can't decide between two tripod/head combos

Started Mar 25, 2013 | Discussions thread
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baneling
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can't decide between two tripod/head combos
Mar 25, 2013

Hi all, I'm trying to decide between two tripod/head combinations and wondering if you can help me with it.  They each have features I like, but since this is my first tripod, I don't really know how important these features are. Here are the condidates:

Manfrotto 055cxpro4 with 054-Q2 head
1. had flip locks. not sure why i'd like these better than twist locks, but I do.
2. the head has a tension knob. the Vanguard BBH-200 doesn't.
3. the release plate has a thumb screw, no need for a coin to tighten it to the camera as in the BBH-200.

Vanguard Alta Pro 284Ct with BBH-200 head.
1. the center column can be set to different angles as opposed to either just vertical or horizontal like the Manfrotto
2. the head has a rapid level system where it can be easily and quickly set to horizontal.  I know this doesn't mean anything outside cause the ground isn't necessarily perfectly horizontal, but this would come in handy indoors when I want the head to be parallel to the floor.
3. ballhead is arca-swiss compatable.  but not sure if I'll ever use that.
4. center column has a hook for weight and legs come with a bag that attaches to the legs and can hold things for extra weight.  the manfrotto doesn't have either one, but not sure how important this is. if its a bit windy, can I just hold onto two legs and make sure it doesn't move?
5. because the release plate slides into the head, you can move it back and forth a little which might come in handy when you want to just move the camera back or forth a few inches instead of moving the whole tripod.

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