z7 with the Fotopro EGL-65 - Review

Started 10 months ago | Discussions
Paul Richman
Paul Richman Veteran Member • Posts: 4,534
z7 with the Fotopro EGL-65 - Review
3

The Fotopro Eagle EGL-65 tripod / gimbal-head / leveling-base combination is lightweight and yet very sturdy. It is also beautifully designed and machined. It comes with many innovations:

  1. The gimbal head swings up or down in 45⁰ increments with click-stops. This is a first-ever for gimbal heads.
  2. This swing enables shooting straight up or down.
  3. It also reduces the overall “folded” length to under 20”, for compact storage and carry of the gimbal mounted on tripod and leveling base.
  4. Safety buttons on the quick release knobs offer a second level of secure camera-hold, kinda’ like an Arca Swiss Fliplock, but different and somewhat easier.
  5. Horizontal rotation click points every 15⁰ can be enabled by turning a small knob on the gimbal. This will be quite helpful when doing panoramas.
  6. The tripod is superbly crafted also, with much less “negative space” when folded then my other tripods (Sirui and 3 Legged Things), giving it a smaller folded diameter for compact carry and storage. It is quickly becoming my favorite tripod!
  7. The tripod legs operate nicely, with firmly felt, large tightening rings that are easy to work.
  8. The included leveling base built into the tripod is excellent, and compact.
  9. The fitted case is wonderful, and a sorely needed first-ever for tripod / gimbal-head / leveling-base fully-assembled carry.

This EGL-65 package gets high marks for extreme ease of setup and carry, making it a pleasure to use.

My current gear includes:

  1. RRS PG01 fluid head + RRS leveling base + Sirui 4 section, carbon fiber tripod. I will be selling this setup now.
  2. Kirk Gimbal and car-window mount carried in a huge camera bag. I will be selling the Kirk Gimbal also, and buying a second EGL-65.
  3. 3 Legged Thing Winston (4-section) and Leo (5 section) tripods and Alan carbon fiber monopod. Also selling this now.
  4. Kakaphoto (really!) geared head. (I’ve used and loved the Arca Swiss Cube and dm4 in the past, and really liked them as well.)

I dislike disassembling a gimbal head from tripod, especially if I’ve locked it down with 3 underside Allen screws. To avoid this, I’ve been carrying my fully assembled gimbal in a flimsy, oversized light-stand bag, the only camera gear bag I could find to fit it all, assembled. I do keep the gimbal covered with a LensCoat gimbal cover. (Tennis racket bags can also be used, but I’m not fond of them either for this.)

I’ve used the EGL-65 with my Nikon z7 and Nikkor 600mmF4E as well as Sigma 60-600mm Sport lens. Works ok with these, offering smooth horizontal panning.

The major negative so far is that vertical panning is quite choppy, but only when the L-bracket arable is used, and a minor negative is that horizontal panning could be a little smoother. When my lenses are mounted without the EGL-65 L-bracket (cradle), vertical panning is much smoother and quite usable.

On the other hand, I have no reservations about the tripod (with builtin leveling base), which is fast becoming my favorite.

Thus the 4 star rating instead of 5 for now, as smooth panning is a central function of gimbal heads. Michael Greene, the USA distributor, sent me a second gimbal to test, which was only slightly smoother in panning.

Camera gear selections always involve tradeoffs. I gladly accept the slightly less smooth panning for the much more compact and lighter carry.

I paid retail for my Photopro and get nothing for this review.  I just love the EGL-65 and think it's the perfect companion of compact mirrorless cameras like the z7.  You can google "Photopro EGL-65" to find out more, and buying options.

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Paul Richman
Pixels By Paul
http://PixelsByPaul.COM
"There's a good picture nearby. Find it. Take it. Share it."

 Paul Richman's gear list:Paul Richman's gear list
Olympus PEN-F Olympus E-M1 II Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 Nikon Z7 Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 150mm 1:2.0 +16 more
Nikon Z7
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Paul Richman
OP Paul Richman Veteran Member • Posts: 4,534
Re: z7 with the Fotopro E-6H - Review

Paul Richman wrote:

The Fotopro Eagle EGL-65 tripod / gimbal-head / leveling-base combination is lightweight and yet very sturdy. It is also beautifully designed and machined. It comes with many innovations:

  1. The gimbal head swings up or down in 45⁰ increments with click-stops. This is a first-ever for gimbal heads.
  2. This swing enables shooting straight up or down.
  3. It also reduces the overall “folded” length to under 20”, for compact storage and carry of the gimbal mounted on tripod and leveling base.
  4. Safety buttons on the quick release knobs offer a second level of secure camera-hold, kinda’ like an Arca Swiss Fliplock, but different and somewhat easier.
  5. Horizontal rotation click points every 15⁰ can be enabled by turning a small knob on the gimbal. This will be quite helpful when doing panoramas.
  6. The tripod is superbly crafted also, with much less “negative space” when folded then my other tripods (Sirui and 3 Legged Things), giving it a smaller folded diameter for compact carry and storage. It is quickly becoming my favorite tripod!
  7. The tripod legs operate nicely, with firmly felt, large tightening rings that are easy to work.
  8. The included leveling base built into the tripod is excellent, and compact.
  9. The fitted case is wonderful, and a sorely needed first-ever for tripod / gimbal-head / leveling-base fully-assembled carry.

This EGL-65 package gets high marks for extreme ease of setup and carry, making it a pleasure to use.

My current gear includes:

  1. RRS PG01 fluid head + RRS leveling base + Sirui 4 section, carbon fiber tripod. I will be selling this setup now.
  2. Kirk Gimbal and car-window mount carried in a huge camera bag. I will be selling the Kirk Gimbal also, and buying a second EGL-65.
  3. 3 Legged Thing Winston (4-section) and Leo (5 section) tripods and Alan carbon fiber monopod. Also selling this now.
  4. Kakaphoto (really!) geared head. (I’ve used and loved the Arca Swiss Cube and dm4 in the past, and really liked them as well.)

I dislike disassembling a gimbal head from tripod, especially if I’ve locked it down with 3 underside Allen screws. To avoid this, I’ve been carrying my fully assembled gimbal in a flimsy, oversized light-stand bag, the only camera gear bag I could find to fit it all, assembled. I do keep the gimbal covered with a LensCoat gimbal cover. (Tennis racket bags can also be used, but I’m not fond of them either for this.)

I’ve used the EGL-65 with my Nikon z7 and Nikkor 600mmF4E as well as Sigma 60-600mm Sport lens. Works ok with these, offering smooth horizontal panning.

The major negative so far is that vertical panning is quite choppy, but only when the L-bracket arable is used, and a minor negative is that horizontal panning could be a little smoother. When my lenses are mounted without the EGL-65 L-bracket (cradle), vertical panning is much smoother and quite usable.

On the other hand, I have no reservations about the tripod (with builtin leveling base), which is fast becoming my favorite.

Thus the 4 star rating instead of 5 for now, as smooth panning is a central function of gimbal heads. Michael Greene, the USA distributor, sent me a second gimbal to test, which was only slightly smoother in panning.

Camera gear selections always involve tradeoffs. I gladly accept the slightly less smooth panning for the much more compact and lighter carry.

I paid retail for my Photopro and get nothing for this review. I just love the EGL-65 and think it's the perfect companion of compact mirrorless cameras like the z7. You can google "Photopro EGL-65" to find out more, and buying options.

This is now called the E-6H. Further testing showed that vertical panning is quite choppy or jerky, even without the L bracket (plate). However, a 3 rd E-6H proved quite smooth both vertically and horizontally.

I just received an EGL-9. It’s not much bigger in its case than the E-6H, but it is much heavier, as specs would suggest. But I really like it with my 600mm F4 lens. Smooth panning in all directions and extremely solid and sturdy. With fewer leg sections, it’s a bit quicker to deploy, and it can go much higher, so shooting higher subjects does not require stooping (depending on your height).

As a bonafide gearhead, I highly recommend both!

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Paul Richman
Pixels By Paul
http://PixelsByPaul.COM
"There's a good picture nearby. Find it. Take it. Share it."

 Paul Richman's gear list:Paul Richman's gear list
Olympus PEN-F Olympus E-M1 II Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 Nikon Z7 Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 150mm 1:2.0 +16 more
Paul Richman
OP Paul Richman Veteran Member • Posts: 4,534
Nodal alignment problem
1

I’m now starting to do panoramas with these two Fotopro‘s. I have found that it is not possible to fully nodal align the E– 6H. The vertical part of the gimbal arm is fixed (unlike the E-9H) and so cannot be moved to properly position the Z7 over the point of rotation (see photo below). I am nonetheless getting some good results with it so I’m going to keep experimenting.

I have been able to fully nodal align the E - 9H since it’s arm can be moved in and out on its base. More later.

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Paul Richman
Pixels By Paul
http://PixelsByPaul.COM
"There's a good picture nearby. Find it. Take it. Share it."

 Paul Richman's gear list:Paul Richman's gear list
Olympus PEN-F Olympus E-M1 II Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 Nikon Z7 Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 150mm 1:2.0 +16 more
GMan19 New Member • Posts: 3
Re: Nodal alignment problem
1

Thankfs very much for your review. It is the first I've seen commenting on it's strengths and weaknesses.

Paul Richman
OP Paul Richman Veteran Member • Posts: 4,534
Re: Nodal alignment problem

GMan19 wrote:

Thankfs very much for your review. It is the first I've seen commenting on it's strengths and weaknesses.

Thanks for commenting. I wasn’t sure there was any interest in this. I will have a much more thorough review soon. It will probably come out on Nikon Rumors.

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Paul Richman
Pixels By Paul
http://PixelsByPaul.COM
"There's a good picture nearby. Find it. Take it. Share it."

 Paul Richman's gear list:Paul Richman's gear list
Olympus PEN-F Olympus E-M1 II Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 Nikon Z7 Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 150mm 1:2.0 +16 more
GMan19 New Member • Posts: 3
Re: Nodal alignment problem
1

I'd appreciate a link to your review when we need it is ready. Thanks!

Paul Richman
OP Paul Richman Veteran Member • Posts: 4,534
Re: Nodal alignment problem

GMan19 wrote:

I'd appreciate a link to your review when we need it is ready. Thanks!

Will do. Thanks for your interest.

It’s now in a rather advanced form, but still needing further work.

Here’s one of several things I need to resolve for my writing.

What is the relationship between the degree of nodal alignment required for proper panorama  stitching, the camera’s resolution, and the nearness of foreground objects? Can one say that nodal alignment is not important if foreground objects are say further than 2 or 3 feet away?

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Paul Richman
Pixels By Paul
http://PixelsByPaul.COM
"There's a good picture nearby. Find it. Take it. Share it."

 Paul Richman's gear list:Paul Richman's gear list
Olympus PEN-F Olympus E-M1 II Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 Nikon Z7 Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 150mm 1:2.0 +16 more
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