You probably own one. Your favorite photographer probably owns one. That sketchy guy seeking boudoir models on Craigslist probably has one. But is a ball head really the best option out there for all photographers?
In this video, James Brew takes a closer look at the far less popular three-way geared head. We all know that ball heads excel at being relatively compact, lightweight, and fast, but for some photographers they’re still missing that special sauce.
As I found when I reviewed the Really Right Stuff PG-01 panoramic gimbal head, there’s really something to the act of slowing down the photographic process through independent axial adjustments. With a three-way geared head, as the name would suggest, you can control your camera’s leveling, horizontal framing, and vertical framing all separately plus with the precision of turning a geared knob. It’s not all about giving yourself time to think and improving the tactile experience of the photographic process, they are also really great for quick, repeatable panoramic images as well.
While this video covers the $209.95 Benro GD3WH specifically, the functionally is generally the same throughout the range of options. Have you used a three-way gear head before? How was your experience compared to the ubiquitous ball head? Let us know in the comments below.