I thought I would ask you guys for your ideas and experience on this topic.
I love my Slik 800 ball head for its use with panoramic work, but it just doesn't have the holding power I need (which is kinda fundamental I know). I tried various things to improve it, but at the end of the day, it was better but not good enough - it has to go. Recently I bought a new set of legs and while at the shop choosing them, I tried a few heads out of curiosity and realised mine was a little lacking. The two heads that really caught my eye did so for two reasons - performance and price. Let's get this straight now, I have a tiny budget so no RRS or anything over about £200 ($300).
I started to get interested in this change after seeing that the Manfrotto head I saw was apparently Arca compatible (because I want an L bracket) BUT Scoobysmak's video confirmed that it isn't compatible and to really cap it all, it has a silly little tightening screw. The lack of arca compatibility means I have to consider other QD systems and that is a project in itself. I don't know why Manfrotto have to have so many different systems but I have to decide which to use. I liked my Slik's safety catch and locking lever so would like to keep that system in preference to long winded and awkward screws that get lost. Current favourites are 057 series ball head or 486MG Hydrostatic ball head with either the RC4 QD system or the RC2 system. I can shop carefully and get these just within my budget.
Do yous guys have any better ideas? As I said above, I would love Arca, but will look at everything suggested.