7 Types of Tripod Heads That Will Elevate Your Photography

Whether you’re a professional photographer or you’re just getting your feet wet in the field, you’ll want to have a few tripod heads at your disposal. Having the right tripod can help you achieve your target shot more efficiently, speeding up the shooting process, especially if you’re rushing to enjoy the sun in a particular window of time.

However, given the many tripod heads available, selecting the right one can be challenging, as each tripod head is meant to assist with a particular kind of photography. Here are the different tripod heads that you can use for your camera:

Ball Head

As implied in the name, this type of tripod head uses a ball structure to move. You’ll see a spherical ball sitting on a groove, and the ball has a piston on the end, which connects to the mounting setup. It is one of the most popular tripod heads since you can use it to position your camera at virtually any angle.

Gimbal Head

If you love doing wildlife or bird photography, that means you’ll be using 500mm and 600mm super-telephoto lenses. You’ll need a tripod with a Gimbal head for this, but you’ll have to choose one that can handle the camera and lens weight. A gimbal head allows you to move your camera effortlessly, whether horizontally or vertically, allowing you to capture the moment right away.


Photographers who use monopods for their work would benefit from a tilt head designed primarily for monopods. It allows only vertical movement, as you’ll need to rotate the monopod with your hand if you’d want to achieve horizontal movement. 

Pan and Tilt Tripod Head

If you don’t need multiple angles and you want to work with only two axes, the pan and tilt head would work best with your needs. It has two handles for horizontal and vertical movement. To move your camera horizontally, you’ll have to lock the tilt head and loosen the pan head to turn it around. If you want to move your camera vertically, lock the pan head, loosen the tilt head, then move the tilt handle to get your desired shot. You can also use this tripod head to shoot videos.

Motorised Tripod Head

If panoramic photography or time-lapse videos are your areas of expertise, a motorised tripod will make the process much easier. Also known as a geared head, it uses a battery-powered motor to achieve precise movement. Most motorised tripod heads use a rechargeable battery to power it up, and you can use the inbuilt buttons to change the speed and procession. High-end models have a smartphone supported application that you can use to control the tripod remotely and set specific parameters. However, be sure to check the tripod’s payload capacity to ensure it can support your camera’s weight. 

Panoramic Tripod Head

If you don’t have the budget for motorised heads but love panoramic shots, a standard panoramic tripod head is your next best bet. It allows you to move your camera in horizontal directions while still staying stable. The base plate is etched in degrees so you can move your camera at a precise angle, allowing you to take individual images and stitch them to create a panoramic photo. 

Three-Way Heads

Three-way heads are great for photographers looking for precise movement. It works like the ball head since you can use it to position your camera in all three axes, but this head enables you to get a precise position much faster. It also comes with three lever handles that you can use to control the three axes separately. 


Having an array of tripod heads would make it easier for you to capture a variety of shots. By using our guide, you can explore new photography accessories that can unlock unique, gorgeous photos that will help you progress as a photographer.

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