The finest gimbal head is ideal for wildlife and aviation photographers if you use long telephoto lenses.

It’s possible to almost make your camera weightless by using one of the greatest gimbal heads! A good gimbal head essentially suspends the camera, lowering its centre of gravity and enabling it to be retained in any position for an extended period, even when the tilt lock is released. This is a huge benefit for heavy setups.

This is fantastic since it provides a strong basis for panning photos even when using a very heavy telephoto lens. A more common ball head or video head(opens in a new tab) could be more what you’re looking for if you’re not using these bulky setups. Gimbal heads are designed for people who are.

Gimbal heads are designed with experienced and knowledgeable users in mind. As they must be aligned to maintain the optimum balance of the mounting plate, it takes some experience to get your mind around putting them up. Additionally, suppose your gimbal head has a vertical panning option in addition to a horizontal one. In that case, you must ensure the lens’s centre line is parallel to the gimbal’s tilt axis. Click to skip to our section on five factors to consider when purchasing a gimbal head, where we examine the main characteristics of these heads if you are very new and find all this perplexing.

Gimbal heads are designed with professional users in mind regarding functionality and cost. You should be prepared to spend more money on an ordinary ball head since they are complicated equipment, particularly if you choose a premium one made of a stronger but more costly material like carbon fibre.

We have searched the shelves for the greatest gimbal heads because of this. We believe these gimbal heads from various manufacturers currently give the greatest value for your money.

Let’s begin, then! The top six gimbal heads available right now are shown below.

2023’s top gimbal heads

1. Benro GH5C

The lightweight and robust nature of this head’s carbon fibre structure


Construction material: Carbon fiber

Load rating: 29.94kg

Weight: 1.1kg

What makes the Benro GH5C so great? This gimbal head has much, including its carbon fibre build. You can hold bigger weights with the head and easily transport it to and from your shooting sites since this material is stronger and lighter than aluminium, the other key construction material for heads and tripods. We refer to heavy payloads, and the GH5C (unrelated to the Panasonic GH5) can handle a massive 29.94kg of equipment, which is more than adequate for even bulky pro video setups.

With this ingenuity, Benro has excelled; even when fully loaded, the GH5C moves as smoothly as butter. Both the horizontal and vertical axes make panning motions absurdly simple. It has a price, but given that this is a tool targeted at experts, that is to be anticipated.

2. Wimberley WH-200 Version II

The greatest technology, but you’ll need to justify the expense.


Construction material: Aluminum

Load rating: 68kg

Weight: 1.4kg

An all-around great gimbal head with a well-earned reputation in the business is the Wimberley WH-200 Version II. The WH-200 Version II features a revised panning base compared to the original, with zero play, and its pan-locking knob has been repositioned to the side for easy one-handed use. It offers exceptional flexibility of movement even with the biggest lenses. Because they are gripping and ergonomically formed, the knobs are simple to turn even when wearing gloves.

It works well and is both flexible and hard when necessary. The pan and tilt axes spin very smoothly because of Wimberley’s meticulous attention to detail and pursuit of tight tolerances. The standardised Arca-Swiss mount ensures wide compatibility, and Wimberley even offers replacement low-profile lens feet for lenses with a higher than a typical foot. Only the higher-than-average asking price prevents this from being ranked first, but if your budget allows for it, it is well worth it.

3. Benro GH2

The most economical gimbal head


Construction material: Aluminum

Load rating: 23kg

Weight: 1.44kg

Benro doesn’t only produce pricey heads; for individuals who require gimbal head stabilisation but don’t have a lot of money to invest, the GH2 is an excellent low-cost solution. The Gitzo is more elegant, and the Custom Brackets option is more modular, so it’s not nearly as sophisticated as some of the other heads we’ve listed. It’s still a great head to use, with easy-locking pan and tilt knobs, adequate vertical arm adjustment for mounting tall lenses, and an Arca mounting plate that allows it to work with almost everything.

The movement is also really smooth; it may not be quite as silky as some of the more expensive heads, but it still performs well on all axes. We gave it a go with a 4.5 kilogramme, 400mm, f/2.8 configuration and had zero issues. If you don’t need the very top-of-the-line, this is an excellent chance to save some money.

4. Gitzo GHFG1 Fluid Gimbal Head

from the industry leader in tripod production


Construction material: Magnesium & aluminum

Load rating: 8kg

Weight: 1.35kg

Gitzo products are known for their exquisite design and superior engineering, and the GHFG1 Fluid Gimbal Head is no exception. Although its fluid dampening mechanism may not perform as well as anticipated, it nevertheless makes for a sturdy gimbal head that can sustain even large kit configurations. Wildlife and outdoor adventure photographers may relax knowing that although the maximum capacity isn’t as large as the Benro GH2’s, in actuality, 8kg will be more than adequate for anyone’s support requirements.

The Arca-style plate makes it simple to balance and remove equipment as needed, while control knobs are simple. This high-quality head is proof that Gitzo products are always a good choice.

5. Custom Brackets CB Gimbal

Very remarkable, but the cost is difficult to justify.


Construction material: Aluminum

Load rating: 100kg

Weight: 1.5kg

This gimbal, rightly named, is all about personalization. Around the bracketry are no less than nine knobs, including separate pan and tilt drag knobs to regulate resistance apart from the locking clamps. This foldable, modular design in which the horizontal and vertical arms may be divided for more organised storage adds to the intricacy.

The base plate’s scalloped edge, which you may grab while attaching the head to your tripod without needing to use the pan lock for additional leverage, is another considerate design feature.

The build quality is excellent, as you would expect from gear with such a high price. Lenses of various sizes may be mounted easily since everything is clamped down firmly, there is no lateral motion in any bearings, and there are several adjustment choices. Even the heaviest glass will glide with ease once on board.

6. ProMediaGear Katana

Stunning, albeit overkill for most amateur photographers, gimbal


Construction material: Aluminum

Load rating: 22kg

Weight: 2.4kg

Due to its manly style and 33cm height, the Katana Professional seems more like a piece of military gear than camera support. Given its height, the gimbal may be adjusted vertically to a great extent, allowing even the biggest lens to be balanced precisely.

Any lens on this side of the Hubble Space Telescope will have a firm foundation thanks to the excellent construction and material quality, which results in a load capability of 23kg. The only downside to such robustness is that this gimbal is the heaviest one offered at 2.2kg.

When the locking knobs are undone, maintenance-free steel ball bearings provide smooth tilt and panning action with no bearing slack. These may be moved around for more practical access and are big enough to easily use in any weather. The locking knobs may also be partially adjusted to create friction without adding jerkiness, and when completely tightened, your camera is kept still.

Although this head is accessible outside the US, finding one may be challenging. ProMediaGear maintains a list of worldwide stockists that you may access if you’re having trouble.

Helpful tips for purchasing a Gimbal Head

When purchasing a gimbal head, there are five things to remember. Gimbal heads are highly specialised accessories with a unique set of capabilities. We’ve put up a brief guide on what to look for as everyone who purchases one will initially be a first-time customer, even though they often cater to more experienced photographers and videographers.

1. Vertical repositioning

To experience the advantages of a gimbal head, you don’t need to purchase one with vertical adjustment, but you will need one if you want to experience total weightlessness. The better, the more vertical travel it has.

2. Applied Precision

On less expensive gimbals, loosening the clamps locking the pan base and tilt arm might cause slack and wobbling in the joints. Tighter tolerances will be used in better designs.

2. Applied Precision

On less expensive gimbals, loosening the clamps that secure the pan base and tilt arm might regrettably cause the joints to sag and wobble. Better designs, which are often more costly, will have tighter tolerances.

3. Mechanics

Any wildlife photographer understands that it’s simple to be caught off guard in inclement weather, even though compact dials and settings might appear chic and organised. To increase your chances of success, seek a gimbal head with sizable controls that are simple to use while wearing gloves.

4. Mounting strategies

This guide included gimbal heads using the Arca-Swiss mounting plate standard. You’ll also get greater adjustability if you get a gimbal head with a lengthy plate.

5. Spend money on the legs.

Similar to installing a high-tech lock on a rickety wooden door, mounting a gimbal head on a cheap travel tripod(opens in a new tab) is not recommended. Even though the combined weight will be awkward, look for strong, stiff legs.