Manfrotto Q054 Ball Head Review

If you’ve made the decision to invest in a lightweight, carbon-fiber tripod, you’re going to need a good tripod head, so let’s dive into our Manfrotto MH054MO-Q2 054 Magnesium Ball Head with Q2 Quick Release Plate Review

I personally own and use Manfrotto tripods and heads and I’ve had zero problems with them.  I take my 055XPROB with me all over the place (Thailand being the farthest so far), and I love it.

Ball heads are great if you need the flexibility of being able to move your camera around frequently to line up your shots or if you are switching back and forth from regular shots to portrait shots.  While following kids around with a gear head tripod is a pain, a ball head makes it easy.

Add in 360 panning and you’re ready to make stunning panoramic shots.

Is This Tripod Head Right for You?

Manfrotto MH054M0 54 Ball HeadIf you are shooting with long lenses or a heavy camera or plan to upgrade in the future (e.g. a Canon 5D Mark III with a 70-200mm zoom lens and a battery grip) then you need a tripod head that can support the weight of your camera without “creeping” out of place.

The Manfrotto 054 Magnesium ball head can support up to 22 lbs of gear, which is usually more than enough unless you are using a huge lens (think sports photographers at professional events or wild game photographers).

Ball heads are great if you need to move the camera to follow your subject (kids come to mind) and for panorama shots as long as the tripod has 360 degree panning (which this tripod head has).

Manfrotto 054 Features

Here are some of the most important features:

  • Magnesium construction (for reduced weight)
  • 360 panning for easy panoramic shots
  • Q2 quick release plate so you can leave the attachment plate on your camera and quickly go back and forth between hand-held shots and tripod-supported shots
  • Portrait selector switch so you can go beyond 90 degrees in case you are on an unlevel surface or want to get creative
  • Supports up to 22 pounds of gear (many heads only support approximately 7-12 lbs of gear)
  • Compatible with RC2 plates
  • Friction adjustment for the head allows you to make more precise changes and can prevent your camera from flopping over if you are not  holding the camera when releasing the ball head

Manfrotto 054 Specs

Here are the main specs for this tripod head:

  • Height: 4.81 inches
  • Load Capacity: 22.05 lbs
  • Weight: 21.47 oz
  • Panoramic Rotation: 360 degrees
  • Lateral Tilt: 100 degrees (10 degrees beyond most ball heads)
  • Independent Pan Lock: Yes
  • Separate Friction Adjustment: Yes

Customer Reviews

From other owners

Amazon Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

From Manfrotto:

Pros & Cons

(Back to Top)

Manfrotto Q54 prosPros:

  • 360 degree panning makes panoramic shots easy
  • Magensium construction is light and keeps the weight down
  • Highly rated by your fellow photographers
  • Quick release system makes it easy to remove your camera without detaching the camera plate

Manfrotto Q54 consCons:

  • This isn’t for you if you need to make very precise angular changes from shot to shot (look at gear heads instead)
  • Not for cheapo tripods – this tripod is made for professional tripod legs
  • Supports up to 22 lbs, but if you are shooting with a monster telephoto lens, you’ll need a heavier duty and more costly head

Manfrotto Q054 RC2

That’s it for our Manfrotto 054 review.

Click here to add a comment

Leave a comment:

Get Your Tripod Buyer's Guide Today (Free)

Get the Buyer's Guide today to find your perfect tripod...