IMPORTANT NOTE: The Really Right Stuff PG-02 has been updated again since I wrote this post. Now called the PG-02 Mk2, it is lighter and features several new features that improve again on the original design. Please take a look at my in-depth PG-02 Mk2 review for the latest information.
I’ve used the RRS PG-02 gimbal for years, and I tend to mention it a lot when I’m writing about wildlife photography. If you aren’t familiar with these things, here’s why you might want to use a gimbal head, and here’s our guide to the best gimbals on the market right now.
In the last few months, RRS updated the design of the vertical arm on the PG-02 so that the locking is now performed by a small lever instead of the larger knob on the original version. Ergonomically it’s a nice update, and the locking motion is now much easier as the lever’s throw is relatively small, whereas previously, the knob required a significant degree of rotation.
This change also makes the gimbal’s overall packed width quite a bit less, and I immediately noticed that I found it easier to stuff into camera bag pockets and various pouches I have in my gear closet. The decreased size is excellent, and it’s a little lighter as well.
I also found that the rotation of the clamp seems to be more heavily damped than before. For vertical tilt, you could use the locking knob to adjust the drag before, but with the new locking lever having more of an on/off action, it seems like they have stiffened up the dampening.
As far as I can tell, the horizontal arm of the gimbal has gone unchanged, so if you fancy upgrading, you would only need to swap out the vertical arm. Since I use this gimbal so much, I found the update worthwhile because the new version is a definite improvement. While looking through the viewfinder, I can more easily lock the vertical tilt with a small, quick movement of my fingers, and the lens remains on target. It’s not a game-changing update, but it’s a nice one!