Quick release plate is a metal plate that serves the purpose of facilitating a more natural attachment and detachment process of cameras onto and out of tripod stands. There are different types of quick release plates, most of which are customized by tripod manufactures to suit their tripod heads
This, therefore, means that there's no standardization whatsoever in the quick release systems that's currently in the market.
What Is a Quick Release System and Quick Release Plate?
A quick release system is comprised of two parts, namely a quick release plate and a quick release clamp. Setting up the quick release system involves the mounting of the quick release clamp onto whatever it's being mounted on, a monopod, pan-tilt heads, ball head or even tripods. This mounting of the clamp is more or less like how you would typically attach the camera itself onto the tripod head.
It involves the screwing of the clamp onto the head of whatever accessory it is being mounted on. Once this is done, the quick release plate is then screwed onto the camera’s base in the same way that a camera would be attached to the tripod or monopod head.
The next step is then to attach the quick release plate to the quick release clamp, something that is usually very easy. The methodology of attaching the plate onto the clamp is however not standard for all quick release systems owing to the fact that they are all from different manufacturers.
Some systems such as the Manfrotto system require that the Manfrotto quick release plate slides in and out of the clamp whereas others such as the Arca quick release system offer the tilting in mechanism.
Therefore, whenever one has a different use for the camera that doesn't require the camera be mounted onto something, the camera can quickly be removed from where it had been mounted with the camera quick release plate. The reattachment of the camera back to where it had been mounted is as easy as the detachment, and thus, the process consumes far much less time as compared to when there's no use of a quick release system.
Then Why Does One Need a Quick Release Plate?
If you're always on the move when filming or when using your camera for purposes of the photography, then you probably should get yourself a quick release plate.
Here’s why. First and foremost, a quick release system saves you a lot of time by assuring you have camera quick release plate whenever you feel the need to unmount your camera from the tripod head. Usually, one has to spend time screwing the camera into the tripod head, which by itself is time-consuming.
Furthermore, one cannot just unmount the camera from the tripod head with ease whenever there's the need to. A lot of time is thus spent in the mounting and unmounting of the camera and especially when there is need to change locations or angles. With a quick release system, however, one only needs to go through the setup process only once.
Make Work Easier
The second reason as to why people need a quick release plate is the fact that with a quick release system, work is made so much easier. Once you get a quick release plate, the tedious process of having to attach and detach the camera from a tripod head every other time you need just the camera alone is eliminated.
This is because, with a quick release system, you only need to go through the setup process just once. If there is a need to remove the camera from the tripod, all you need to do is slide out or tilt the camera together with the quick release plate out of the clamp since the two are joint. Bear in mind that the method of removal is highly dependent on the tripod brand that is being used. Isn’t that work made easier?
Offer Steady and Secure Support
Another reason is the fact that quick release plates offer secure support to the camera, thereby eliminating any possibility of the camera being held loosely and consequently falling off. A steady and assured support of the camera once mounted onto a tripod head is very vital if one is to go about their business with no worry. Screwing the camera directly onto a tripod head does not offer the kind of support required or at least not for long.
This is because after sometime the camera starts to loosen and is not held tightly onto the tripod head. This, therefore, poses a risk, one that can easily be eliminated by making use of a quick release plate together with a corresponding quick release clamp. There is also no need to go through the tussle of balancing your camera once you get yourself a quick release plate. With quick release plates, all you need to do is simply adjust your camera to your preferred angle, and all is set.
Quick release plates also come in handy in promoting interoperability. Simply put, having a quick release plate eases the switching of cameras from one gear to the other, thereby enhancing the use of different cameras with different gears.
A good example is being able to move a camera mounted on a tripod to a monopod or even switching cameras on the same gear. This, however, requires a couple of quick release plates and clamps with each gear having its plate or clamp.