Manfrotto 504HD or Sachtler Ace? at DVinfo.net

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Old October 28th, 2011, 08:53 AM   #1
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Manfrotto 504HD or Sachtler Ace?

I'm looking for a stable and solid but affordable videotripod in the 600 - 900 range. It will be used with a double setup, a 60D with lens (11-16/17-55/24-70) on one hand and the Sony NX70 on the other hand. It will mostly be outdoor use, a midlevel spreader is preferred over a groundspreader.

Currently I'm really thinking on a Manfrotto 546BK/504HD combo or the new Sachtler Ace kit. The Ace-kit is a low-end product from Sachtler where Manfrotto more presents the 504HD/546BK combo as a top-end solution of their productline. And that's the whole issue here. Anyway, I'm sure both kits would do the job very well but what would be your choice?
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Old October 28th, 2011, 11:27 AM   #2
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Re: Manfrotto 504HD or Sachtler Ace?

There a number of thorough product reviews in the articles section of this website concerning tripods in your price range. I would recommend checking them out: Production at DVInfo.net
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Old October 28th, 2011, 12:03 PM   #3
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Re: Manfrotto 504HD or Sachtler Ace?

Consider the Vinten Vision Blue as well. I use it quite happily under my Sony NX70. It'll not balance well for anything lighter (e.g. when you take off the mic and XLR unit from the NX70), so if your camera will be much lower than 2kg, you need to look elsewhere.

The Ace is purported to be good, Philip Bloom and others are impressed (given the low price). You may also want to look at the Sachtler FSB range, they have stepped balance settings that go from 0kg, 1kg etc. and are better at lower payloads.

From Chris Soucy's excellent review, the 504HD has some real issues. I've found Chris to be reliable for all other tripod reviews, so it wouldn't do any harm to read his review on here and see for yourself:

Review: Manfrotto 504HD/ 546GBK Video Support System at DVInfo.net
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Old October 28th, 2011, 01:23 PM   #4
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Re: Manfrotto 504HD or Sachtler Ace?

I've been using a 504 for quite a while with a setup that goes about 8 pounds and haven't had any issues at all with bounce back or stickiness when starting a pan or tilt. In fact I've had 20 pound loads on it and it works even better. I for one have been extremely pleased with the 504 head on my older 525 legs and for the money, I think it's a pretty good deal. Are there better. Sure, but for the money, it works quite well.
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Old October 28th, 2011, 08:02 PM   #5
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Re: Manfrotto 504HD or Sachtler Ace?

Agreed on all fronts:

Compared to the 501HDV I own, the 504HDV was much smoother and more robust - as a rental, it was quite a pleasure to use. Compared to the Cartoni i used yesterday, it can't hold a candle to it, but for about 1/6 the price, the 504HDV isn't bad; at all.

After reading a bunch of posts on this forum, many from "tripod guru" Chris Soucy - I have my eye on the Vision blue as well. Similar price, so worth a look...
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Old October 29th, 2011, 12:23 AM   #6
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Re: Manfrotto 504HD or Sachtler Ace?

The News, apparently official, "Chris Soucy is now a Guru!.

Wife has had to use 5 tubes of KY, 3 oversized shoehorns (aka crowbars) and a 1000 lb winch on the 4WD to get his head through the study door!"

More as it happens, folks!


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