Ballhead or Gimbal for wildlife?

Started Mar 25, 2014 | Questions thread
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Ballhead or Gimbal for wildlife?
Mar 25, 2014

Hi all, I'm shooting with an E-M1 and 100-300 (with lens collar) for wildlife and I'd like to get a nice tripod setup to improve the sharpness of my shots. Currently I just have an inexpensive Slik travel tripod I bought before going overseas. I love the size and weight but it's not the fastest to setup and the ball head that came with it is extremely difficult to use. You have to tighten it until your fingers practically bleed and then it's practically impossibly to loosen it again. I considered just getting a new head but given the small size the tripod only has a 1/4 inch mounting bolt.

So here is my dilemma. Last week my wife bought me a Jobu Design Jr 3 gimbal head. It's a really nicely built piece of equipment but pretty heavy in relation to m43 gear. I don't have a tripod with a 3/8 inch mounting bolt yet so I haven't tried out the gimbal in real use. As I've been reading, I've come across fantastic reviews of the Really Right Stuff BH40 ball head. It's much smaller and lighter than the gimbal. It seems like it might do what I need given the relatively low size and weight of m43 gear. What I'm looking for is the ability to track moving wildlife while attached to a stabile platform but still have the ability to move around a bit. The tension adjustments on the gimbal definitely do that but it seems the BH40 might as well. I'm asking this here because I'm looking for people who have experience with this from a m43 perspective. I'm not mounting a 2lb camera and 5lb lens on these things.

So I'm trying to determine if I should return the gimbal and stick with a ball head. Seems more versatile in that I could also use it on a monopod. Obviously I need to get a tripod too but that's a separate question

 Solomente's gear list:Solomente's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS3 Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3 Olympus E-M1 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm F4 ASPH Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH +7 more
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Olympus E-M1
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