Great piece of gear that is not going back to B&H.

First off I gotta say this is one of my favorite tools I have reviewed in a long time and I am not sure B&H is going to get this back from me because I love this thing.

StillMotion has talked about the Manfrotto 561BHDV-1 Monopod in many of their videos in the past saying how much they love and use this thing and I would have to agree with them.

It is so versatile and so quick to move around and capture shots so much faster than with an normal tripod, I know for sure if I was not using this that I would have missed shots because of setup time or if I tried to handhold the camera it would have been so shakey that the footage would have been unusable.

The monopod comes with the fluid head and this thing can go tall much higher than I need at 6′-3″.

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The mounting plate is not bad because I can get my T2i battery in and out without removing the plate, however I always forget as I did here which way the plate has to go in.

I am not a big fan of the thumb release, if that what it is called, because once it’s tight up against the body of the camera you can’t get it back down with out a screw driver.

Manfrotto 561BHDV Monopod Review

You can also find the sticking point in the middle of the ball and use it for static shots like these and even use it for interviews like I did here.

You can also add to a static shot like this one and get up high and show that tasty bacon.

You can also add on a view finder like the Z-Finder to add another point of contact so you can get some different moves that way.

Now you can get a lot of range of motion on the ball, however I’ve noticed that sometimes the ball will pop for some reason, not all the time but it can ruin a shot, I find that exercise it a lot before the shot helps and applying downward pressure helps.

What is also nice is you can use the feet to help you bring the extensions up and down faster.

At 4 pounds and I hiked 4 miles, holding just like this and it was no problem at all to carry.

Just a fantastic piece of gear that has really helped improve my footage. I highly recommend it and if anyone knows about the ball popping issue please let me know.

Royalty free music by Premiumbeat.com. Song Liquid Groove.

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47 comments

  • I solved the sticking issue by untightening the screws on the bottom a turn or two. I found it kept the center sticking point but resolved the problem.

    I also put some lubricant on the ball, but I doubt it really added to the fluidity of it. Hope that helps.

  • Any way i could just buy the MonoPod? But not the head that comes with it? I already own that head! Thanks!

  • Hi Dave. Nice concise, informative video as always.

    I’m wondering, What lens did you use in the panning and tilting shots? Was it the 50mm1.8 or the kit zoom? If it is the 50mm I am surprised how stable the shots are with no IS.

  • The 561BHDV is great. I picked one up early this summer to test out for a project I was working on.

    I’ve seen some comments online where folks are critical of it, saying that if you want support get a tripod. They miss the point. The 561 is really a replacement for a shoulder mount or for handholding not for a tripod.

    If you are shooting on jobs where you need something more than handheld, don’t want to use a shoulder rig to call attention to yourself, same with a tripod, it works well.

    I have not noticed the popping issue on mine.

    If you want to use a different quick release system to avoid the manfrotto lockdown knob there are other options. A small RRS plate plus one of their clamps works very well. You can then use the same setup on anything else you mount the camera to. It allows you to seamlessly move from platform to platform.

    This blog post will give you a sense of what I’m talking about with the RRS clamps:
    http://www.jonroemer.com/blog/2011/04/zacuto-stuff/

  • I own two of these and had serious issues after a few jobs with the popping issue, they work great out of the box, but after many hours of work they start to stick really bad, you can loosen the screws all you want, but it still pops, and then they become so loose they won’t stand up and the feet arn’t useful anymore. I called Manfroto, explained i can’t send them back as these are my main tools, they told me to take the bottom apart, lube up the ball and socket with bearing grease, and then tighten it back up, I did and they work great now.

  • Nice video Dave,

    How do you get your embeded videos to start in 720p? I try checking the HD box in YouTube but they always start in 480p.

    Thanks!

  • @Vajk I will try to do a post on this sometime but this should help:

    Works:
    height=”385″
    fs=1&hl=en_US&hd=1″
    height=”385″ fs=1&hl=en_US&hd=1″

    NOT
    height=”390″
    fs=1&hl=en_US”
    height=”390″ fs=1&hl=en_US”

  • Dave!

    Please call Manfrotto and get an official “solution” to this POPPING/bump-jump issue. If you could do a video on this fix that would be very helpful. I LOVE this monopod, but i hate that popping issue, it shows up in the footage and just ruins the shot!

    Thanks!

  • Good review. I recently went through a gear acquisition phase and you’re not helping me curb my appetite.

    If you had to pick one, would you buy this before a good solid standard tripod?

    Thanks,
    Tom

  • @Tom sorry about that. Emm does that to me as well on Cheesycam.

    It depends what you do, if you need to move fast like I do, I would get the monopod first.

  • I would be curious to know if anyone has purchased the 561B-1 or 562B-1 without the fluid head and attached their own Manfrotto 701HDV head?

    Here’s my thought… the 561BHDV-1 comes with a stripped down version of the 701HDV Pro head (it only tilts, it doesn’t pan). For a little extra money, you can purchase the two items separately and have the fully functional 701HDV head (in case you want to use it on a tripod or other device). Comments?

  • @Dave Thanks for the reply. I don’t doubt the monopod’s ability to pan on the ball at the bottom. My concern is that I have a nice Manfrotto tripod already, but with a Bogen 3030 head. I’d really like to buy the 701HDV for my tripod and save $100 by buying the monopod w/o the head.

  • Yep, I have the same popping issue. Not only that but mine has what I would describe as micro sticking on pans. It’s fine if you do a med to fast pan, but if you want a super slow pan, this thing has micro sticking. As anyone that owns this can see the panning mechanism is totally independent from the bottom ball joint, and it’s totally encased making lubricating it impossible. I don’t know, I think the fact that thing sticks on slow pans makes it a totally piece of junk in my book. I’d love to be able to change my mind on this piece of equipment, so if anyone has a solution on fixing the sticking problem, I love to hear it!

  • Great review! It looks interesting, aside from the price.

    What would be the principal advantages over a regular $70 Manfrotto monopod? Or even something like the NeoTec 685B?

  • @Steve M. I am sorry if you purchased this on my recommendation and it didn’t work out for you. I know what you mean by the micro vibrations on the pans however when I watch it on my monitor (footage that is in this video) it looks respectfully smooth.

    As for the popping issue, I will try to do a video on fixing this issue.

  • @Dave, no not at all, I’ve had this for quite some time, it’s not the -1 model, but this thing had issues from day one. Should have returned it but didn’t. I emailed Manfrotto and told them they should have recalled these monopods for the issues they have!!

  • @Dave

    Please do update us all on this “popping issue” this isn’t the only place I’ve read about that issue.

    Dont get me wrong, I think this product is great, high quality and tons of creative shots/functions can be had with this monopod/head combo. BUT that annoying “popping” issue just kills that awesome shot/pan one tries to achieve.

    Great concept, but someone in QC at Manfrotto should have caught this little “issue”

    I do find that as a temporary fix that a good “wiggle-twirl-swirl” clears up that popping issue for a while… Hopefully Manfrotto hears Daves loud voice of concern, and replies back soon!

  • I received an email from Manfrotto yesterday asking me to call them on my monopod issue, which is the same as the rest of you. This email came after I basically told them, you only need to look to the Internet on the problem with your monopod product. I don’t know about you, but I didn’t spend $300 dollars on something I need to take apart and apply wheel bearing grease. I realize I can’t speak for everyone, but rest assured, I will let them know there are many of us with the same issue.
    Will that accomplish anything, probably not, but I will make the point, if you can’t remedy the problem, yank the product off the market.

  • good to know that I am not the only one with the ball popping issue. I just received mine on Tuesday and took it out for a quick interview and it was doing it. I thought maybe it was the grass settling under the legs. Still a great product. I tend to have to go hand held a lot because I am simply not strong enough for a glidecam and lugging around and setting up a tripod is much too cumbersome. Love this product even with the pops….

  • Great review Dave! No thanks to you, Philip Bloom and the StillMotion blog; I purchased this unit from Amazon for $299. Unfortunately the expected ship date is 5-8 weeks out! Now I understand why at the beginning of your review you mentioned that you wouldn’t be returning the demo unit back to B&H! It’s even out of stock on Manfrotto’s site.

    Definitely looking forward to receiving it.

  • For the time being I have purchased a regular monopod > attached an adaptor plate from Calumet for about $ 20.00 so that I could mount a fluid head onto the monopod…and voila.

    The monopod doesn’t have the little feet and the ball…but I don’t seem to need them.
    The camera pans either by turning the monopod or … the smooth fluid head rotates
    and tilts nicely as well.

    Now…practice … since it all looks easy in theory.

  • I would love one of these. Only problem is I and can’t afford the 561BHDV-1 right now.

    I all ready own a Manfrotto 680B monopod which doesn’t work that well for video.
    It doesn’t have the feet nor the red dampened thing just above the feet.

    So my question, would It be possible to attach the feet and the red dampened thing to my standard monopod? How are they attached to the monopod?

    Thanks, Jakob

  • I found this monopod in stock in a local shop but its the 561BHDV .. not the 561BHDV-1 .. is it the same thing ?? I will definitely pick it up if it is the same as it is out of stock everywhere online .. the specs look the same .. just curious before i drive up there and pick it up ..
    also can you use the manfrotto quick release plate with this ?

  • Loosening the screws at the base definitely solve the issue for me. But, with those screws loose, the actual fluid base doesn’t get activated, instead when you pan the ball does the spinning. Anybody else notice that? I assume the same would happen if you greased the ball.

  • I have been looking at this monopod for sometime and you have convinced me to get it. It is an impressive piece of equipment. I immediately noticed the “popping” issue right out of the box; I believe it is friction related.

    With a heavy camera and lens, it is barely noticeable but by itself, if you move it around very slowly, the popping issue becomes obvious. I sprayed a bit of lubricant on the ball and after using it again, I am now wondering if I actually had a “popping” issue.

  • Hey Dave,
    Would the 560b work with a weifing/fancier/ephoto wf717 fluid head? I am thinking of getting one, but it’s an extra 120+ bucks for the manfrotto fluid head.

  • Hey Dave,
    Awesome website. Been subscribed to you for a while on YT but just yesterday i got to check out your channel.
    Could you tell me what kind of hood do you have on the 50mm?

    Thank you, and a hi from Portugal!

  • Any new word about a permanent fix for this popping issue? Im thinking I would really like to make this purchase but I can’t deal with it messing up my shots like that, that’s awful! Does anyone know if they are having the same issue with the Manfrotto 562B-1 Fluid Video Aluminum Monopod w/ Plate? Is this essentially the same monopod only without the head?

  • I’m thinking of buying this based on your recommendation, but I’m emailing Manfrotto first to see their comments on the popping issue. Thanks for the rec!

  • Ok, they just replied – that was fast! Ten minutes! They said that if the monopod sticks, I can send it to Manfrotto for repair. Meh. They also said that the monopod is not available without the head, in case anyone is still wondering.

  • Does anyone know what size allen wrench I need to use to not loosen but to tighten the ball at the bottom of the MA561BHDV1? I am using this unit with my Nikon 70S Camera and as the need is for a totally still shot sometimes, I find that the unit sometimes still moves to the side or backward or forward.

  • hey Dave, Great review i have just bought one of these bad boys, and i LOVE it but when i watched your video i noticed that you stepped on the feet to raise and lower the monopod, when you step on the feet does it allow you to adjust the height of the monopod or does it simply help keep the feet on the ground when you unlatch the locking lever to adjust the height of the monopod, thanks for your help and keep the videos coming!!!

  • The “popping issue” is based on the lack of weight. So as Dave said in the video.. easily fixed w/ some downward motion. I too thought it was a problem but when i realized when i’m holding it w/ right hand on the body, the handle under the armpit, and left hand on the lens. You create enough weight that the popping goes away. if you’re holding it @ the handle it’ll pop all day long. The handle makes a HUGE difference in the mono as I tried w/ out the handle and I felt like there was just no control.

  • Seriously thinking about returning this today due to the popping, but not sure if there is an other option for a tall monopod of this build quality. What do you think?

  • Is the use of a monopod simply due to the lack of setup time? I’ve never been a fan of monopods; I prefer tripods for the extra stability. Maybe it’s just a personal preference.

  • I bought this monopod after reading your post (but didn’t read the comments) and experience the popping on almost every use. It’s ruined every shot. I’m waiting for a call back from the Manfrotto tech guy now. $300.00 for this?
    Has anyone gotten theirs back from Manfrotto and if so was the problem fully remedied?