Yes - the new design has 3 main features:
1. A quick-release which is part of the molding (saving 1 lb in weight !)
2. A side PAN knob - easier operation
3. Tighter tolerances
However - $30 more expensive....for a total of $595 ... sigh ....
I'm very happy with my 'old' one. To me, it's a work of art. The beauty of the basic design, and I'm sure this is true of the new ones too, is that one you balance your camera/lens, you can put in in almost any position, and with just a little friction dialed in, it will stay in that position. I rarely have to tighten the tilt know down all the way.