The N44 is a midsize low-profile ball head from Innorel, a camera support company out of China. There are very few such heads on the market and the low price of the Innorel tempted me to check it out.
Below are the specifications as measured:
|Yaw Stiffness||6575 +/- 30 Nm/rad|
|Pitch Stiffness||3400 +/- 8 Nm/rad|
|Weight||0.981 lbs (0.445 kgs)|
|Manufacturer weight rating||55 lbs (24.95kgs)|
|Maximum Height||3.0 in (7.6 cm)|
|Base Diameter||2.2 in (5.6 cm)|
|Ball Diameter||44 mm|
|Quick Release||Arca Clamp|
The size and weight of the N44 put it solidly into what we consider to be mid-sized ball heads, most appropriately paired for all-purpose style tripods.
The stiffness performance of the N44 is very good. On the ball head rankings page we can see that the N44 compares very favorably other ball heads of a similar weight, many of which are much more expensive. Purely in terms of stiffness performance, the N44 does not leave us wanting, and should pair very well with all but the very stiffest all-purpose tripods.
The head features a main lock knob for the ball and a panning base. Unlike its larger brother, the N52 head, the N44 does not feature any tension control on the main lock knob. This is a notable omission compared to other ball heads in this category. That said, when fully unlocked, there is still a small amount of tension on the ball. This is a good thing, until it isn’t. It is unclear to me how this minimum tension might change under varying weather conditions.
The N44 features a screw style Arca Swiss clamp as the quick release. The screw moves smoothly and I have no problems with the overall function of the clamp. The clamp is replaceable, though I found the thread lock on the screw securing the clamp to be overly aggressive. It was rather difficult to remove.
Who is it for?
If you are looking for an inexpensive low profile ball head, the Innorel N44 is for you. Don’t expect the same features and build quality, and operational smoothness of higher priced heads, but there is nothing that will