Sunday, July 20, 2014

Manfrotto 560B-1 Video Monopod with RC2 Quick Release Review

Video is one of the last remaining frontiers of digital photography. Most photographers are comfortable with their stills gear, but video gear is a whole new world to explore. The Manfrotto 560B-1 video monopod is the little brother to the version with the more useful 500 series fluid drag head. The higher-model is more useful, but the560B-1 does have its charm.

Essentially, the 560B-1 is a stills monopod that adds emergency video functionality. It will fit the needs of those who absolutely must shed bulk or who have a steady hand for impromptu video sessions.

The head uses the commonly available 200PL quick-release plate. This is essentially the 234RC monopod tilt head, which can be bought separately.

What makes this a video monopod is the fluid drag foot assembly. The feet can be folded up to reduce the footprint to the traditionally monopod point, but when extended they form a base for the monopod to rest on. This does not mean that the 560B-1 can free-stand with a camera attached, as the monopod will rotate on a ball-and-socket joint at the base of the fluid-drag unit. Where the fluid-drag action comes into play is in rotation movement; i.e. for panning. Tilting motion is not as such damped.

What this means is that the 560B-1 doesn't offer enough features for the serious videographer, since there is no fluid-damping for tilting motions, nor is the head self levelling. However, at its core is a sturdy monopod that does what monopods should do.... for stills photography anyways. The fluid-drag base is a nice extra.

With thanks to Broadway Camera

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