Manfrotto have just launched the Nitrotech N8 fluid head, a flat-based tripod head that’s compatible with the company’s existing quick release plates and is rated for a camera package of up to 8kg (17.6lbs).
Nitrotech N8: Gas damped
The new tech in the head (the ‘Nitro’ part of Nitrotech) is a small piston that contains Nitrogen, which will allow what the company calls ‘continuous counterbalance.’ This means you’re not limited to clicked steps to set a balance point for your camera, whether you’re using a small mirrorless camera or a bigger, slightly more rigged out setup.
Size and compatibility
The base of the Nitrotech N8 is 75mm wide and flat so it will be compatible with a wide variety of jibs, sliders and other mounts. You’ll need an adapter to use it with bowl-equipped tripods, which is included if you’re buying it as part of a tripod kit.
Pan and tilt speeds are also adjustable, and there are two of Manfrotto’s Easylink 3/8″ mounts for adding a monitor or other accessories to the tripod. There’s also an illuminated bubble so you can make sure you’re on an even keel (well, make sure your camera’s on an even keel).
Styling is always a subjective thing to judge and the N8 looks to my eye a little more sci-fi than most other tripod heads (that’s a good thing, I think). The control knobs for pan and tilt look nice and grippable. The design is supposed to allow you to adjust the head with one hand and grip the pan bar with the other – it will be interesting to see if this works in practice as it can sometimes be awkward to find the right lever on a regular head if you’re not looking directly at it.
Nitrotech N8: price and availability
The Nitrotech N8 is shipping now for £449.95 (head only) or in a variety of kits that include bowl adapters and tripod legs.