We have been steadily working our way through the Benro range over the last month or so trying to review as many of their products as possible. One item that we have noticed people constantly requested and reaching out about is the Benro S6 fluid head.
Although some items from the Benro product range have a questionable reputation within the community, the excellent build quality and performance that the S6 is able to provide for you have rightfully earned it an excellent reputation within the community. It is able to offer you some extremely smooth panning and tilting helping to improve the image quality you are able to capture.
If you are looking to be doing much slow pan videography work or any type of epic panoramic photography then we feel the S6 would be a great addition to your camera accessories. Anyway, without any further ado, let’s get into our dedicated Benro S6 review, we hope our article helps any of our readers who are considering adding the S6 to their camera accessories.
User Interface And Control System
If you are familiar with the Benro product range, you will probably know that they are well known for producing some extremely easy to use tripods, ball heads, and fluid heads. This holds true for the Benro S6 too but not only is the head extremely easy to use but it also offers some of the best performance in its price range too.
The head comes with both a 1/4 inch and a 3/8 inch mounting plate so you can adjust it as required to mount the S6 fluid head on pretty much any tripod you have in your collection. Once mounted, you are able to take advantage of the fully extendable panning arm to get some very smooth panning out of the head to help improve the image quality that you are able to capture.
Additionally, as you would expect at this price point in the market, you are also able to fully detach the panning arm and switch it between left-handed use and right-handed use as required. Unlike some competing heads out there, the rear-mounted bubble level on the Benro S6 ensures that you can quickly and easily see the bubble level in both left and right-handed modes.
The photograph above shows the bubble level on the S6 and the Red arrow shows you the rear-mounted location of the bubble level. Additionally, and a feature that we absolutely love and fully expect other brands to rip off and use in their own heads, the green arrow shows an illumination button.
So not only are you able to always ensure that your tripod, fluid head, and camera rig are level by quickly glancing down, you can also press the illumination button to light the bubble level up to take a reading in low light. We are sick of some of the competing heads making it a nightmare to check the levels on the head by putting them in stupid locations or covering them up when using the head in left-handed mode, we think Benro have done a great job this time and really set a standard.
The photograph above shows the quick release plate system on the Benro S6 and although the plate is fully compatible with the majority of other modern Benro heads, it can be a bit of a pain if you may need to hot-swap between tripods with different branded heads or from your tripod to a gimbal quickly. Although we doubt that this will be a problem for most of our readers, only you know the niche you work in and what you will be needing to do when working. If you are not planning to have to quickly mount your camera rig from your S6 head to a gimbal or if you are using a multi tripod set up that all use Benro heads then this will never be a problem anyway.
The actual quick release plate itself is solid and works flawlessly. You are able to quickly and easily mount or unmount your camera rig from the S6 within seconds and once mounted the locking system offers you peace of mind that your camera rig is safe. Another thing that we like is that spare quick release plates (Click here to check for product prices and availability) for the S6 are easy to source.
If you accidentally lose or break the included one or you want to pick more up to mount plates on all of your camera bodies to allow you to hot-swap cameras on the S6 then you can easily do so. Some competing brands, as well as some older generation Benro heads, are a total nightmare to source spare quick release plates for but thankfully, this is not an issue with the S6.
Performance And Functionality
The performance of the Benro S6 is excellent and it is probably the main reason that the fluid head has managed to earn the reputation that it enjoys within the community today. Especially when you consider the price tag of the head and what you can get for a similar price from a few other brands, the S6 blows most out the water and has few real competitors at this price point.
We have made the list below for some of the key features on the Benro S6 that we feel our readers should be aware of:-
- Maximum upper load capacity – 13.2 pounds.
- Net weight of the S6 fluid head – 2.65 pounds.
- Panning arm extendable range – 3 to 6 inches.
- 4 step counterbalance.
- Full 360-degree panning rotation.
The video below is only around Ten seconds long but offers some great sample footage recorded using the Benro S6 that shows the performance of the different counterbalance settings.
Build Quality And Design
In our opinion, the design of the Benro S6 is flawless both aesthetically and functionally. The head both looks and feels professional while the internals of the S6 has been designed to work flawlessly to provide you with some excellent image stabilization and smooth panning. The pan and tilt locks on the S6 are also very firm offering you peace of mind that your camera rig is safe and secure when using the head too.
The actual build quality of the Benro S6 is also excellent, especially for its price point in the market. Everything just feels really well put together and seems to work seemlesley together without issue. Even the handle extender is smooth and easy to extend, all in all, the S6 gets a well-deserved tick in the box for its build quality as we can’t fault it.
That brings us to the end of our review of the Benro S6 fluid head and as we have mentioned a few times, this really is an excellent bit of kit and will make a great addition to your camera accessories. It offers some excellent image stabilization and smooth panning for your camera rig and we feel that it will help to up the image quality of your panning jobs.
It is easy to see why it is held in such high regard within the community as well as why many people on social media and photography/videography forums recommend the S6 over competing products to intermediate level photographers or videographers.