Further advances in software technology made it possible to stitch together photographs taken on more than one horizontal row, in order to create immersive 360° x 360° "cubic" or "spherical" panoramic VR environments. This in turn has led to demand from the market for a dedicated support system, capable of rotating ANY camera (traditional or digital) around its nodal point on both horizontal and vertical axes.
The answer is the 303SPH Multi Row Pan Head. Taking advantage of the introduction of this new head, Manfrotto/Manfrotto has re-designed some of the key components of the existing range, starting from the heart... the 300N pan head (old code: 3414), which is used as the rotation unit for all models in the family, as well as being a stand-alone product.
The 303SPH is a multi-row (spherical) panoramic photography head. It has sliding plates to position the camera over the panoramic axis of rotation, plus a sliding plate which rotates around the front/back tilt axis. This allows the camera to be rotated on both horizontal and vertical axes around the camera/lens nodal point, so multi-row panoramic photo sequences (cubic VR photos) can be taken accurately and easily.
Using the 303SPH ensures that software used for photo stitching produces a precisely composed VR environment with minimum post-production intervention or software correction.
The 303SPH's vertical bracket can be unlocked and rotated through 90° (then re-locked) so that the head takes up less space in transport, and so that the sliding plate mechanisms are protected against knocks and bumps. The 303SPH comes complete with a extra set of sliding plates for use with cameras of different sizes.
The Head weighs 4.4 lbs and is 12.5" high , its dimensions are 10.3" x 5.5" x 7.8", with a maximum load capacity of 8.8 lbs.