The Manfrotto 324RC2 joystick head is an innovative take on the traditional ball head and features a joystick-style handle set to the right hand side to change camera position.
The head can be used left-handed, but isn’t quite as comfortable as right-hand use. A large button on the joystick releases the head from being locked, so you can reposition the camera on the ball and twist the joystick for a front tilt. A friction dial on the bottom of the grip allows you to adjust ease of movement when the lock release button is depressed. On the top you’ll find a circular spirit level to assist with straight horizons. If you’re looking for a superfast and easy-to-use tripod head this type could be for you. With a maximum load of 3.5kg this head is more suited to entry-level and enthusiast DSLRs, rather than pro spec cameras.
This head is perfect for beginners and enthusiasts who are looking for ease of use and speed. The downside of this particular head is the limited maximum load, but there are more robust models available for heavier camera and lens combinations. The position of the joystick isn’t quite as comfortable as the pistol grip head, but has easier and increased movement.
This head features a Manfrotto 200PL-14 quick-release plate like the majority of Manfrotto heads. This plate is small enough to leave on the bottom of your DSLR most of the time, which many people do.
The Manfrotto 324RC2 joystick head is difficult to dislike. It’s so quick and easy to use that it removes the slow-down you often experience when you shoot with a tripod. It’s not as sturdy as a 3-way or standard ball head, but is great for everyday shooting.
- Street price: £85 (As of July 2016)
- Visit: www.manfrotto.co.uk
This review was first published in the June 2010 issue of Digital Photo - download back issues here.