The Gitzo GH2780FQR Series 2 Safari Magnesium Ball Head w/ Quick Release is a jewel of engineering that combines a high load capacity, smooth control over movement, and a small size and weight. Part of the Safari series, the ball head's strength and small size make it an ideal companion for long hikes and long lenses. The green GH2780FQR head is also ideal for mounting a spotting scope for birdwatching.
Gitzo recommends the magnesium head for DSLRs with lenses up to 300mm, but notes that it can safely hold larger equipment as well. The large ball of the GH2780FQR enables smoother, steadier movement of heavy payloads.
Along with the size of the Bubble Ball, its construction is another major factor in the head's facility for smooth movement. It's treated with PTFE, one of the lowest-friction materials known to science. The construction of the ball also contributes to the head's light weight (only 1.5 lb) relative to its strength: the hollow sphere has an ultra-thin wall, keeping it light.
Pan adjustment is kept independent from that of tilt so that you can exert a finer degree of control over framing. The head features three levels around the quick-release assembly and a fourth bubble on the stem of the head, to ensure that your frame is flush with the horizon.
The head's double quick-release safety system consists of two pins, one fixed and one manually operated by means of a button, that prevent camera equipment from suddenly dropping out of the head when the quick-release locking knob is released. This is extremely helpful when you're unloading heavy, unbalanced equipment such as long lenses and spotting scopes.