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The part of a tripod that swivels and where your camera (or telescope or binoculars) is mounted: the other part is the legset.

Tripod heads come in different kind, depending on their purpose. Heads used for video emphasize smooth movement - there is a kind called a fluid head.
Heads used for photography are either three-axis heads or ballheads.

An essential component of a worthwhile tripod head is the Quick Release System.

One good tripod head brand is Arca Swiss: another on is FOBA.

Protect your tripod head from shocks and dust. Be sure to buy one whose load capability can accomodate your camera and lens.