The mounting head (panning head) that attaches the camera head to the main camera mounting, does two things:
• It supports the camera securely.
• It allows you to swivel the camera from side to side (panning), and to tilt it up and down (tilting) to follow the action
On lightweight cameras a panning handle (pan bar) fixed to the right side of the mounting head is used to control camera movements, while your left hand adjusts the focus ring on the lens barrel. On larger cameras, two panning handles are normally fitted, with extended focus and zoom controls attached.
The camera may screw directly onto the head, or have a quick-release wedge plate underneath it, which slides into a recessed plate on the mounting head.