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REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
Manfrotto494 Mini Ball Head
 
4.6

(based on 44 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (28)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (13)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

97%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Stable (29)
  • Attaches firmly (26)
  • Large range of motion (22)
  • Strong clamp (22)
  • Compact (6)

Cons

  • Small range (3)

Best Uses

  • Travel (24)
  • Landscape/scenery (20)
  • Home (14)
  • Night shots (14)
  • Portraits (12)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Photo enthusiast (20), Semi-pro photographer (9), Pro photographer (4)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (21), Yes (4)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Stronger than it seems.

I bought the 494 Mini Ball head to use on my 680B monopod and 3121B sticks. When asked in store if I thought I'd need a bigger head, the salesman locked the ball-head off...Read complete review

I bought the 494 Mini Ball head to use on my 680B monopod and 3121B sticks. When asked in store if I thought I'd need a bigger head, the salesman locked the ball-head off and proceeded to lean his full weight on it. The head didn't move at all.

I'm using this with a Canon 5D Mark II, battery grip, and so far the biggest lens is my 24-105mm ƒ4L, and I haven't had any problems. I can leave it locked for quite some time, during long exposure shots at night, and be fine. We have yet to see if this will decline over years of use, but I'm optimistic it won't.

I would have liked the 494 to have come with some kind of threading adapter, though--I have a smaller monopod that is lighter and just a little taller, but it has a 1/4-20 screw on it.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Great Value

The ball head is excellent, considering the cost, I would perhaps down rate it only for the "klunkiness" of the movement. However, it's solid, and I feel safe with my...Read complete review

The ball head is excellent, considering the cost, I would perhaps down rate it only for the "klunkiness" of the movement. However, it's solid, and I feel safe with my Nikon mounted to it.

Reviewed by 44 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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5.0

Little ball heads work great.

By acphoto22

from Chicago, IL

Verified Buyer

Comments about Manfrotto 494 Mini Ball Head:

I use these to aim a bracket that hold 2 speedlites. These have simplified my set up.

 
5.0

The ball heads work great.

By Allen

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Comments about Manfrotto 494 Mini Ball Head:

I use theses small heads under a bracket that holds 2 speedlites.

 
5.0

Fits well, does it's job.

By Jeffrey

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Comments about Manfrotto 494 Mini Ball Head:

Works perfect. It's Manfroto and that is what I expect from them. Thanks,

 
5.0

Always a good value and never been disapointed

By d0zx

from Northern Utah

Verified Buyer

Comments about Manfrotto 494 Mini Ball Head:

I have always been pleased with Manfrotto quantity and value and the same goes for this ball head.

 
4.0

Manfrotto 494 Mini Ball Head review

By Robertt

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Comments about Manfrotto 494 Mini Ball Head:

I plan to use the 494 Mini Ball Head to add a tilt adjustment to the Free Wave Orbit motorized pan head. This ball head has a back and forth range of about +/- 95 deg and side to side of +/- 10 deg. It has two knobs, one to lock in position and one to adjust friction, very nice. It does not include a 3/8" - 16 to 1/4 " - 20 Reducer Bushing to use on the 1/4 " - 20 thread on the Free Wave Orbit nor on a tripod with a 1/4" - 20 thread. I would give it 5 stars if it included this bushing.

(0 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

494 mini ball head

By randy

from san antonio, tx

Verified Buyer

Comments about Manfrotto 494 Mini Ball Head:

thank you!

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Very good small ballhead

By Bill from Houston

from Houston Texas

About Me Photo Enthusiast

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Compact
  • Easy to Use
  • Lightweight

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Landscape/Scenery
    • Travel
    • Weddings/Events

    Comments about Manfrotto 494 Mini Ball Head:

    I would gladly trade the friction adjustment knob for a pan on/lock instead, but otherwise it is a pretty good ballhead for its size. Don't expect the power of a much larger ball, and you'll not be disappointed. I'm using it on Manfrotto's 732CY compact carbon fiber tripod with a Canon Rebel SL1, and with that camera and a Tamron 16-300 it is strong enough. I had previously over-shot in my effort to downsize, and I had a Giotto micro ball head that was just not up to the task.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No
     
    4.0

    Great compact ballhead

    By Ham66

    from West Bloomfield, MI

    About Me Photo Enthusiast

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Compact
    • Durable
    • Easy to Use
    • Lightweight

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Landscape/Scenery
      • Travel

      Comments about Manfrotto 494 Mini Ball Head:

      I use this on a feisel tabletop tripod.attached to an Olympus me-1 as my pocket camera which goes everywhere for non serious photography. Very sturdy and reliable. Highly recommended. No downsides yet - used for time lapse and long exposure photography.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No
       
      5.0

      Works fine with Manfrotto BeFree

      By LGA

      from DC Metro

      About Me Semi-pro Photographer

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Compact
      • Durable
      • Easy to Use
      • Replacement For Qr Head

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Landscape/Scenery
        • Night Work
        • Travel

        Comments about Manfrotto 494 Mini Ball Head:

        Just received the 494 as a replacement for the stock QR ball head on the BeFree. My D800 and D700 (and several lenses) have old style Kirk plates. Mounting a compatible Kirk base to the QR plate would work but it's awkward. I substituted the QR plate that comes with the BeFree for the Kirk L brackets and had trouble coupling it to the QR base in the light (unfamiliarity) and would not have figured it out in the dark. Test run with the 494 and the D800 with the 28-300 lens extended and it seems rock solid with no crepitation. The BeFree is perfect for informal travel needs when I'm not packing the large tripod. Note: The tripod still fits (barely) into the zipper case with the 494 and a Kirk base plate attached.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Perfect Travel Ball Head

        By sjmiller Photo

        from Atlanta, GA

        About Me Photo Enthusiast

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Compact
        • Durable

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Landscape/Scenery
          • Travel

          Comments about Manfrotto 494 Mini Ball Head:

          This ball head is the prefect compliment for my travel size MeFoto tripod. I don't want a plate attachment, and this ball head is strong enough for my heady lens (70-200 f2.8), but still small enough to fit into my carry-on suitcase. The only downside for how I use it is the controls are 180 degrees apart, which when closing the tripod causes some conflict with the 120 degree tripod legs. Minor issue.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Good Value

          By Dao Jim

          from Blaine, WA

          About Me Photo Enthusiast

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Compact
          • Easy to Use
          • Lightweight

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Landscape/Scenery
            • Travel

            Comments about Manfrotto 494 Mini Ball Head:

            I am using the 494 with my Fujifilm X-1. There is no slipping with the 55-200 lens. I was wondering how it work with Canon 6D and 200mm lens: so I put on a heavy Canon F1 with a 35-70 zoom. The 494 held it very well.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No
             
            5.0

            Mini Ball Head 494 by Manfrotto

            By SFC

            from Mesa, Arizona

            About Me Photo Enthusiast

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Has A Great Selection

            Cons

            • None Experienced

            Best Uses

            • Home
            • Landscape/Scenery
            • Night Shots
            • Portraits
            • Wildlife

            Comments about Manfrotto 494 Mini Ball Head:

            When I originally order this product, I wanted it for a Nikon Pro Staff Tripod. Once I received the Mini Ball Head, it would not work, in fact not even close.

            I called B&H Photo explaining the situation and they did have options: I could return the product; I could exchange for another Mini Ball Head; or talk with the Sales Department.

            The problem solved as I decided to get the Manfrotto 293 3-Section Aluminum Tripod.

            For all your Photographic problems, B&H people are excellent to work with for all your photo needs. In addition, the prices are very competitive.

            Thanks B&H

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No
             
            5.0

            What a great little ball head!

            By burt

            from Southern Calif.

            About Me Pro Photographer

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Attaches Firmly
            • Good Stability
            • Large Range of Motion

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Home
              • Landscape/Scenery
              • Night Shots
              • Portraits
              • Sports/Action
              • Travel
              • Video
              • Weddings/Events
              • Wildlife

              Comments about Manfrotto 494 Mini Ball Head:

              Love this little ball head! Its very easy to use and its light weight. Fits on a unipopd fairly easily as long as you have a bushing reducer to make it fit right.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

              (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Simple and Secure

              By KevinJCav

              from Indiana

              About Me Photo Enthusiast

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Attaches Firmly
              • Good Stability
              • Large Range of Motion
              • Strong Clamp

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Landscape/Scenery
                • Portraits
                • Sports/Action
                • Travel
                • Weddings/Events
                • Wildlife

                Comments about Manfrotto 494 Mini Ball Head:

                This ball head is a little smaller than I expected, but works fine for my needs. In addition to being able to move the ball, the main part of the base can rotate on the bottom plate when the clamp is loosened. I use it with an RRS clamp on a Manfrotto 680B monopod and it is very secure with my Canon 1D series and up to a 70-200 lens.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No
                 
                4.0

                Great Head

                By evenshteven

                from San Antonio, TX

                About Me Photography Student

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Good Stability
                • Large Range of Motion

                Cons

                • Slow To Mount

                Best Uses

                • Night Shots
                • Portraits

                Comments about Manfrotto 494 Mini Ball Head:

                This head has a solid, sturdy feel and allows the camera to rotate about with ease. Only minor downside is you can't pop the camera off the head super quick, you have to unscrew it from the base.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • Yes
                 
                5.0

                spin it and win it.

                By diamond jim

                from davison,mi

                About Me Photo Enthusiast

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Attaches Firmly
                • Good Stability
                • Large Range of Motion
                • Strong Clamp

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Home
                  • Landscape/Scenery
                  • Night Shots
                  • Sports/Action
                  • Travel
                  • Video
                  • Wildlife

                  Comments about Manfrotto 494 Mini Ball Head:

                  stronger than necessary.
                  good steel quality feel

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No
                   
                  5.0

                  494 Mini Ball Head does the job

                  By Robsb

                  from San Jose, CA

                  About Me Photo Enthusiast

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Attaches Firmly
                  • Good Stability
                  • Large Range of Motion

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Travel

                    Comments about Manfrotto 494 Mini Ball Head:

                    I recently purchased a Giottos QU305B Mini Table Top Tripod and was looking for a small ball head to go with it. I have a Nikon D700 and planned to use the tripod/ball head combo when traveling. The Manfrotto 494 caught my eye because of its load carrying capacity and small size and its friction adjustment. I added a Manfroto 088LP Female 1/4"-20 to Male 3/8" Thread Adapter with Flange and mounted a Kirk KIQRC10 1" Standard Quick Release Arca Swiss. The thread adapter allows me to mount the Ball Head to the tripod and still remove it easily. The ball head is just the right size for the tripod. This set up holds my D700 with a 17-35 f/2.8 lens with no problem and together only weighs 1 lb.

                     
                    5.0

                    A Must Need for On-Loaction Video Shoots

                    By Disney TV Guy

                    from Disneyland, Anaheim, CA

                    About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Attaches Firmly
                    • Good Stability
                    • Large Range of Motion
                    • Strong Clamp

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Night Shots
                      • Portraits
                      • Sports/Action
                      • Travel
                      • Video
                      • Weddings/Events
                      • Wildlife

                      Comments about Manfrotto 494 Mini Ball Head:

                      This product is being used to allow our production to mount HD Portable LCD monitor on location for producers and clients to watch from the side. It's great for all angels as it rotates. It also come in handy for extra portable lights, still photographers and other equipment that needs to be mounted. Great mutli-purpose tool to have in a production

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No
                       
                      5.0

                      Opps, my error

                      By Todd7238

                      from Vancouver WA

                      About Me Photo Enthusiast

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Good Stability
                      • Large Range of Motion
                      • Strong Clamp

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Home
                        • Landscape/Scenery
                        • Night Shots
                        • Travel
                        • Wildlife

                        Comments about Manfrotto 494 Mini Ball Head:

                        I returned the 494 ball head because I left off the CR2 from the part# when I ordered it. I currently have a 484CR2. So I want to be able to move my camera between a tripod and a monopod. The new 494CR2 will be mounted to a SLIK Pro340DX tripod. Great combination.

                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • Yes
                         
                        4.0

                        Sturdy, simple ball head

                        By Wireline hand

                        from Australia

                        About Me Photo Enthusiast

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Attaches Firmly
                        • Good Stability
                        • Strong Clamp

                        Cons

                        • Heavy

                        Best Uses

                        • General Photography

                        Comments about Manfrotto 494 Mini Ball Head:

                        The Manfrotto 494 is a study, no-frills ball head. It has everything I need and nothing I don't.
                        I also own a 482 micro ball head (current model 492) which is strong but a bit small for a digital SLR. The 494 has a larger ball, a separate friction adjustment and is easier to adjust.
                        On the other hand, the 494 is a solid chunk of metal (mass 220 g) and I wish it was a bit lighter. I bought Manfrotto again for dependable quality.

                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • No

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