In this review the protagonist will be an accessory for videomakers who want to travel light: SmallRig Lightweight Fluid Video Head (3457)
SmallRig is not new on the page of TechGameWorld.com. Just a few days ago we told you about PT10: the company’s tripod designed for the outdoors. This time we enter the category for which this brand is known to many: videomaking. In this review, in fact, we will talk again about a product aimed at not taking up space and, therefore, to be transported with ease: SmallRig Lightweight Fluid Video Head (3457).
The name is long, it’s true… however, it sums up what the accessory promises to offer, namely a fluid tripod head, designed for making smooth videos. Let’s analyze this Lightweight Fluid Video Head together and find out if it can prove to be a good companion for videomakers who like to travel light.
Technical specifications declared by the company
- Fits tripods with 3/8 screws
- Load capacity: 5kg
- Tilt: + 90 ° / -60 °
- Product Dimensions: 104 x 77.5 x 62mm
- Net weight: 512g ± 5g
- Base diameter: 46mm
- Length of the telescopic handle: 140 ± 5mm
- Maximum length of the telescopic handle: 330 ± 5 mm
- Material: Aluminum alloy.
Review SmallRig Lightweight Fluid Video Head – Unboxing e prime impressioni
The fluid head is contained in a cardboard and perfectly padded thanks to the classic black sponge. The package contains only the product, without any instruction sheet. A once extracted, we realized how the magnet useful to keep the key in position had come off. Nothing transcendental (we fixed it immediately with super glue) but that made us turn up our noses slightly given the not exactly low cost of the accessory.
Removed this little note, the head is built in a truly impeccable way. The predominant material is aluminum, which allows the head to weigh 506ghowever, we also have a foam section that coats the grip for added grip. Speaking of dimensions, however, from the base to the top of the handle (placed vertically) the whole will measure 17cm. From base to plateinstead, the head measures 10cm. Single handlebeing telescopic, it can go da 14cm, until to a maximum length from 33cm.
SmallRig Lightweight Fluid Video Head Review – Several features
SmallRig Lightweight Fluid Video Head is equipped with ben 6 knobs. Starting from the lower side, the round one is used to unlock the movement on the X axis. On the left side we have 2 others: the lower and larger one will be used to allow movement on the Y axis. will allow you to move the upper section back and forth, in order to balance the center of gravity and have more stable videos in case, for example, we use heavier lenses. In conjunction with the handle we have another lever that will allow us to rotate the latter 360 ° to use it as we feel comfortable. On the upper part of the head we will be able to unhook the Arca-swiss plate with the circular knob, while with the one on the other side we will be able to rotate only the upper part, in case we want to make adjustments.
As we have previously mentioned, anchored to a magnet there is the key useful for tightening or unscrewing the thread that will anchor our chamber to the plate. There are 2 1/4 “-20 threads present: ideal to be hooked to a cage or an” L-plate “. If we want to install a camera without a cage (as in our case) we can extract one of the two screws. The left side houses a 1/4 ”-20 input for hooking an arm with a microphone or LED light (or whatever) on it. On the bottom there is instead a small level useful to fix the position of the tripod in the case of a gap.
SmallRig Lightweight Fluid Video Head Review – Our Test
We have examined this head with a camera body that, with the lens installed, does not even reach the kg of weight. If you do not have a cage, you can only install the camera horizontally since, due to the mechanisms, the head is unable to swing left or right. Seeing that some clips speaking more than a long text, we leave here below some tests we carried out, first on the X axis, then Y and then on both. The tests were carried out with a goal from focal length of 120mm and with any type of stabilization deactivatedto make the idea better.
As you can see, the yield is really excellent. In the case of stabilization, even if not so qualitative, the results will be truly enviable. Below, another example, this time with theOlympus body IBIS activated on our camera.
While blocking one of the two axes we had no problem obtaining satisfactory results even without IBIS, when we used this head in “free” mode a bit of difficulty arose. This is because the two mechanisms do not require the same force to be operated. The base that allows us to move horizontally, in fact, is slightly more durable. In most cases, this translates into a “zig-zag effect” which can be eliminated thanks to stabilization in the camera or in post-production.
Let’s sum it up
SmallRig Lightweight Fluid Video Head (3457) is a fluid head that, on the company’s official website, is offered at a price of €91,37. What this accessory offers is the concrete possibility of making smooth videos with unobtrusive equipment, to be carried with you even on any outings or simply easy to carry. We appreciated its build quality, all the changes that can be implemented directly from the head and, above all, the extendable and tiltable grip to our liking. By mastering it, you will certainly be able to manage the force to be applied to make smooth videos with both axes unlocked but, in our opinion, the ideal is to use this head with a camera body or lens that enjoy decent stabilization. so as to bring out the best this head has to offer.
Points in favor
- Quality of materials
- Easy to use
- Telescopically extendable grip
- Numerous functions available
- Compact and lightweight
- The mechanism that manages the X axis is a bit more difficult
- The magnet that the key still got there detached