Really Right Stuff makes some of the best ball heads and brackets on the market, Ron, but they are also very pricey. The Giottos head I am using is very functional at a more palatable price. Adorama also sells Flashpoint brand heads that look like they may be clones of the Giottos heads, but at a slightly lower price. Unfortunately, I cannot tell you from experience how well they actually work. The Giottos head uses Swiss Arca compatible quick release plates, which are very easy to use, IMO. I really disliked the quick release system on my old Manfrotto ball head -- it was quite cumbersome. The Swiss Arca system is much easier to attach and remove from the ball head. My only criticism of the Giottos is it weighs a little more than I would prefer, but that is a tradeoff based on the cost. For the amount of use it gets, I couldn't justify the higher cost of the RRS head to save a few ounces in my case.