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Old October 6th, 2013, 12:30 PM   #1
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Manfrotto 502 with Canon G30?

I am a full time wedding photographer and wife is doing simple documentary style videos that I combine with my stills. I am currently using a Manfrotto 055xprob still camera tripod for our G30 and need to get a proper fluid head. The stills head sucks for pans and tilts. I am looking at the Manfrotto 502 heads (considering both the 75mm bowl with new legs and the flat version for our current legs)

Looking at the bottom of the G30 camera it, looks like the 502 plate will be too big. I worry that with such a large plate we will have problems adjusting the exposure compensation (near the bottom on the left side) and accessing the battery release lever while the plate is installed. I don't want to have to remove the plate to change the battery.

If I can't use the larger Manfrotto 502 head and I may have to go smaller like the Weifeng WF-717AH. The G30 is a light camera and the only accessories we use are a small video light and shotgun mike.

I'd like to hear comments on control access with 502 heads on G30 / XA-20 cameras.

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Last edited by Chris Geiger; October 6th, 2013 at 01:07 PM.
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Old October 7th, 2013, 06:54 AM   #2
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Re: Manfrotto 502 with Canon G30?

The plate for the 502 head can easily be cut so that it's not to long for the G30/XA20.
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Old October 7th, 2013, 05:45 PM   #3
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Re: Manfrotto 502 with Canon G30?

If you don't want to use the 502's long plate just grab one of the shorter 501 plates and they'll work fine with the 502 head. I use the 502 head and plate with my Canon HF G10 (which is almost identical to the G30 in size and design) and although it's true that you have to remove the 502's long plate to replace the battery, in practice it's not that big of a deal.
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Old October 7th, 2013, 07:41 PM   #4
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Re: Manfrotto 502 with Canon G30?

I cut a 501 plate to give me better access on my XA20. Shown in this post.

XA-20 is a fine camera

I also use a Manfrotto 055CXPRO tripod but, I replaced the center column with a Manfrotto 555B that has a 50mm bowl built in. I then went with a flat bottom Manfrotto 701 fluid head. It was by far the cheapest option for a very lightweight video sticks setup since I already had the tripod.

Bob
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Last edited by Bob Ohlemann; October 7th, 2013 at 07:42 PM. Reason: added info
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Old October 7th, 2013, 07:57 PM   #5
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Re: Manfrotto 502 with Canon G30?

When using the 501 cut plate on the 502 head, are you able to access the exposure compensation button and dial? I use this at every wedding I shoot to up the exposure, and with the wide base of the 502, I just don't see a way to get my finger in there to press the button. Here is a close up of the dial and button I am referring to. The G10 does not have this button.
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Old October 7th, 2013, 08:09 PM   #6
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Re: Manfrotto 502 with Canon G30?

I don't have a 502, I have a 701. I believe the two are about the same length which is equal to the length of the 501 plate. I push my cut plate forward in the clamp and have sufficient room to push the button. It is a tradeoff though in that the camera is not perfectly balanced. The balance isn't bad but it's not perfect. It might be better on a G30 since you don't have the weight of the mic preamps on the front of the camera. I can post a pic of the XA20 on the tripod if you think it will help you.

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Old October 7th, 2013, 09:43 PM   #7
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Re: Manfrotto 502 with Canon G30?

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Originally Posted by Bob Ohlemann View Post
I don't have a 502, I have a 701. I believe the two are about the same length which is equal to the length of the 501 plate. I push my cut plate forward in the clamp and have sufficient room to push the button. It is a tradeoff though in that the camera is not perfectly balanced. The balance isn't bad but it's not perfect. It might be better on a G30 since you don't have the weight of the mic preamps on the front of the camera. I can post a pic of the XA20 on the tripod if you think it will help you.

Bob
The plates may be similar, but the top of the 502 head looks larger and wider than the 701. I think the 701 would be easier to access the button/knob.

I ended up ordering the Fancier FC-370. It is far less than I budgeted for a tripod. I was prepared to go as high as $800. I tried a 501 head at a local photo shop and when it was on the tripod I could not push the button. I guess I could put a spacer between the body and the bracket but that seems really silly to me. I ordered the FC-370 from amazon so I can't return it if I really hate it. I'll report back as to how that work for me.
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Old October 8th, 2013, 05:33 AM   #8
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Re: Manfrotto 502 with Canon G30?

I use my XA20 with the shorter 501PL plate on my 502 head with no problems at all, the price for this replacement plate should set you back approx 20.
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Old October 15th, 2013, 10:20 PM   #9
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Re: Manfrotto 502 with Canon G30?

The Fancier FC-370 tripod is not going to work. The legs were ok. A little flimsy but worked well and resulted in a good working height. Overall it was a really cheap design. The bubble level did not work. There was fluid in the level but know bubble. How do you use a bubble level with no little air bubble in it? The bowl adjustment was hard to get right without going way loose with the knob. It took longer to level it with the bowl than it did using the three legs. The tilt was ok, but a little stiff. The pan was so stiff that it caused the sticks to twist up. You had to be careful at the end of a pan to let the tripod release it's wrap up. The spring return was also set very high for a light camera like the G30. The camera, led light and large battery comes to 1.5kg. I was able to access the compensation controls while on the tripod. To change the battery required using a coin to remove the plate before releasing the battery. The video came out ok, but it was so hard to operate that we decided it was just not going to work out. So we sent it back and ordered the 502 along with a couple of different plates to try (Benro QR6 & 50PL)

I'll follow up when I get a chance to try the 502.
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Old March 3rd, 2014, 12:47 AM   #10
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Re: Manfrotto 502 with Canon G30?

Have you had a chance yet to try out the Canon G30 with the Manfrotto 502?

I am in a similar boat as you, placing my camera on a flat surface I can adjust custom dial but I do not see how I can actually adjust it while filming anything.

I do not believe that I would be able to adjust the dial with either the Manfrotto 502 or 500 as both use systems that are wide enough that they would cover the button. It may be possible to hang the camera off the end of the head but that would not be very well balanced.

I'm really interested in how it all worked out for you.

Thanks,
Brad.
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Old March 3rd, 2014, 01:02 AM   #11
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Re: Manfrotto 502 with Canon G30?

The g30 works very well on the 502 head. I have no problems accessing the exposure button and knob. I have the camera mounted very far foward for balance but that also helps with the position of the knob.
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Old March 3rd, 2014, 01:08 AM   #12
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Re: Manfrotto 502 with Canon G30?

the weifeng 717 is fine. I use a sachtler (to support a sony EX1 and now ea50) and I was shooting next to a guy with that head (with a sony NX30). To cut the story short I wanted to try it because so many good things has been said about it and panning (with a rubber band) was smoother than mine (which is around 2K more expensive). I kid you not. He (the owner of that head) said to be careful and check for leaks often and always keep the head on the tripod vertical (when stored). It depends on the weight of the camera (heavier will stay steadier on any head). But again that weifeng was something else, nice little head indeed. Will do some counterweight too (not really... I mean... some. but on a small camera will do just fine. I like to put a macro rail between the mounts, so it's easier to slide the camera to find a good balance quickly.
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Old March 3rd, 2014, 03:51 AM   #13
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Re: Manfrotto 502 with Canon G30?

Hello,

i have my XA25 with my Manfrotto 504HD.

Here is my Fix:
Problem fixed with the Baseplate and the Custom-Button
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