A new quick-release plate called the “Magic Plate” has made its way onto Kickstarter, where it claims to be the easiest way to quickly switch between portrait and landscape mode without having to remove your camera from your tripod.
Spelling mistakes and overuse of the word “magic” in the marketing aside, the Magic Plate does exactly what it advertises. By using a hinge and lock mechanism, it allows you to switch between portrait and landscape orientation without ever taking the plate or camera off of your tripod’s ball-head. You simply press a release button, flip your camera sideways, and then tighten the “Lock Handle” to secure the camera into place.
Here’s a quick Kickstarter intro to the Magic Plate:
The plate is CNC’d from aircraft grade aluminum, features a standard strap hole, and is compatible with the PeakDesign Capture Clip v3 as well.
The whole thing weighs just 40g, making it much lighter (and smaller) than your typical L-bracket, though you have to wonder if it could possibly be very stable when it’s in the “open” portrait orientation position. Still, it’s an intriguing product for enthusiasts who want this kind of convenience for their landscape work, and aren’t shooting with massive cameras or lenses.
If you’re interested in learning more or possibly pledging to support the Magic Plate, head over to the Kickstarter campaign page where you can reserve yours for $60 (25% off the expected retail price of $80). Shipping to backers is expected to start in May 2020.
The company behind the product says that they have “manufacturing, operations, and logistics set up and ready to go,” but it’s still worth pointing out that crowdfunding is not a pre-order, so pledge with caution. As of this writing, the Magic Plate has raised over $14,000 towards a goal of $35,000, with 24 days left to reach their goal.