Manfrotto 561BHDV-1 – Photo/Video Monopod

Manfrotto 561BHVD-1 Monopod - Picture from B&H Photo site

I’m tall, just a hair under 6’5″.  I usually say I’m 6’5″ as it’s easier.  So when I started my quest to get a monopod, I was surprised at the number of short monopods.  I’m not sure what I expected but I thought it would be easier to find an inexpensive, longer, monopod.  I gave up my search, not due to not finding one, but not finding one that felt good to me, that wasn’t a Gitzo $400-500 carbon fibre.  😉

Fast forward a few years and someone suggested the Manfrotto 561BHDV-1 or the 560B-1 (Thanks Marc!).  On paper, the 560 made more sense, as it was essentially the same monopod, with a photo head instead of the video head.  But as soon as I held the 561, I knew it was the one for me.  It was slightly taller than me, so if I wanted I could put my camera up over my head slightly and get some higher than average shots, as well as being stabilized.  I could do video if I ever wanted and the video arm fits nicely under my arm as I’m shooting so I can smoothly pan the camera around.

I’ve loved Manfrotto for a long time.  I have an old 676B that I still use as a light stick for my flash.  They make quality tripods that stand up to the abuse that most photographers put them through.  Here’s the thing, these are not the most inexpensive but they are reliable.  I’ve seen some tripods that are solid, but from one to the next there may be flaws.  Some things I don’t have a problem with, but if it’s holding my camera, I would like to have something that I can rely on every time.  Most Manfrotto products will last for years.  If you treat them right, they may outlast you.  LOL

I also have an Induro tripod, but that will be for another review.

Back to the 561.  The best highlights I came up with are from the Henry’s and B&H site:

Product Highlights

  • Very Tall Monopod–6.56′ (200 cm)
  • Minimum Height of 2.5′ (76.5 cm)
  • Weighs Just 4.21 lbs (1.91 kg)
  • Fluid Head Included
  • Pan-Bar for Smooth Panning and Tilting
  • Long Sliding Plate
  • 3 Mini Legs at Base for Added Stability
  • Supports Up to 8.8 Lbs (3.99 kg)
  • Four Section Monopod
  • 701HDV Head
  • Strong and tall, the 561B is a 4-section monopod equipped with a fluid head able to support up to 4 kg
  • Key feature of this monopod is the fluid cartridge incorporated into the base that gives you an incredibly smooth panning action

This unit will not hold a huge rig.  Right now I’m looking for something that will give me the flexibility and stability I’m looking for in a nice reliable package.  At some point I’m sure I’ll have to upgrade if I’m using heavy equipment, but right now this is working perfectly.

I picked mine up used, but here are the costs from Vistek and Henry’s.

Henry’s – $399.99

Vistek – $344.95

Manfrotto is distributed in Canada by Amplis


About covesphotography

I have loved photography since I was a child. I always had a camera with me, although it was usually an old Kodak 110 Instamatic. When I was older, I used to take (with permission) my fathers Konica SLR with a 50mm Sigma lens. I was always disappointed that I had to wait for the film to be developed to see what it looked like. I have about two large containers full of pictures in my bedroom closet even now, mostly mine from that time. I don't know exactly how old I was, but I was able to take a picture of a sunset over Lake Superior with a heavy cloud cover above and the water below, the sun just broke through. My parents took it and blew it up to a very large image and I had it hanging on my wall for years. As a lot of teenagers are now, I was impatient and didn't stay with my love of photography, however when digital became more popular, and because I double exposed an important roll of film, I purchased my first digital camera, about 2004. I loved it so much that it went everywhere with me. Now I want to turn that passion for photography to something that can bring joyful moments to other people. From elegant weddings, to family portraits, from infants and pregnancy photos to corporate head shots, from pets to product photography. I travel to you, either to your home or a location you specify. If needed I can help in location scouting as well.
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