Videomaker Tips 002: Combining a ball head with a quick release plate

A typical quick release plate attached to your camera is useful for connecting to a tripod in a fast manner, but you can gain a lot more flexibility by teaming a quick release plate up with a ball head. Watch our hands-on video for more details on how it’s done.

Attaching a quick release plate to your camera and connecting it to a tripod is convenient, but it ensures that all adjustments and leveling are handled directly by the tripod.

If you’re using a smaller camera like a GH5, chances are you probably prefer a small and light tripod with a flat head base instead of a bowl. One of the big advantages of bowl setups is that they allow the tripod to be easily leveled by adjusting the head directly on the bowl without needing to adjust the legs. With a flat tripod base, the legs need to be adjusted in order to properly level.

Video walkthrough

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By opting to attach a ball head to your quick release plate, such as Manfrotto’s 496RC2, you gain some of the flexibility typically associated with larger tripod setups featuring bowls. The ball head allows you to level and adjust independently of the tripod, affording more flexibility.

Having such a setup also means that it can save you time because you may not need to adjust your tripod’s legs in order to pull off a proper level. You can use the ball head in combination with your camera’s built-in leveler to help you out.

Be sure to check out our previous Videomaker Tips post where we discussed how a simple rubber band can help you enhance your fluid head panning technique.

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