Luke made a comment to the "Kidding Camera" post noting the problem of tripod mounts getting in the way of the battery and card door.
Looking at the Fuji X-T1 baseplate—a piece of machined metal for which they want $100, or 1/13th the entire price of the already expensive camera it goes on, which seems a tad excessive—I'm still wondering when a mirrorless camera manufacturer is simply going to build a ridge into the base of the camera itself that allows direct mounting to a standard quick-release clamp.
Or does the first part of that sentence answer the question in the second part? But hey, then they could sell their own quick-release clamp.
It makes sense. Then they could get rid of the tripod-mounting hole altogether, and nothing would ever be in the way of the battery and card door. I don't know, too logical?
If you're not aware of quick releases, they're very handy accessories to own, and can be used with all sorts of different cameras. They consist of a clamp that mounts to the top of the tripod head (shown), and a corresponding plate which you attach to the bottom of your camera. To attach your camera to the tripod, just loosen the screw on the clamp, insert the plate, and tighten. To release, reverse.
I use mine all the time, with all sorts of cameras. The Kirk QRC-2 is a good one for small to medium-sized cameras, well made and not very expensive. (They make different sizes as well. Mine is actually a 4-inch.) With it, I just use a small plain Universal mounting plate like this Desmond DS-1, or this nice Acratech that fits the QRC-2 perfectly. (Kirk's own is only a little pricier than the latter.) Of course, they want you to think that you need a mounting plate made specially for each of your cameras, and if you use a big DSLR, or long, heavy lenses, or if you use a tripod all the time, then maybe you do. (Of course in that case, you probably already know all about quick releases, and could teach me a thing or two.)
The only downside? The bits can get lost. And when you sell a camera you've got to remember to take the mounting plate off! ...Another advantage of building a QR-clamp-compatible ridge right into the base of the camera.
(Thanks to Luke)
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Featured Comments from:
Ken: "I could've sworn I saw something about that recently. Then I found it—it was something I saw on Thom Hogan's site."
Mike replies: See? There you go. (I didn't get the idea from Thom's site, by the way. Just thinking along similar lines.)
cameraman: "Hasselblad had the answer more than 50 years ago...the tripod mounting plate on the bottom of the body fit perfectly into the Hasselblad quick release device that you attached to your tripod."
Sven Erikson: "There are several reasons I can think of why built-in quick release plates hasn't happened:
- Across brands and time, not all Arca-style clamps are compatible. Most are, but sometimes you get a plate and clamp combo that have dimensions that just won't work together.
- Everyone wants something different. Some want a small plate, some want a big wide plate that can slide around. Some want an L-bracket plate, and some want the L on the left and some on the right.
- Not all tripod heads use Arca-style clamps. For example, fluid video heads that just have a flat platform and a bolt, so that they can accommodate all types of video equipment. These are great for using your stills camera for video, but very few use quick release plates.
- Not everyone uses a tripod. I have a couple cameras (e.g. Fuji X100) that have never been on one. Why have the extra weight of the built-in plate if I'm never going to use it?"
Mike replies: Re 4., I doubt it would mean much more weight. The camera needs a bottom plate anyway, regardless of whether it's shaped to fit a QRC.
Herman: "I use a different sort of clamp for my rolling tripod."