Gear Check: Breakthrough Photography QR Plate

Quick release plates are necessary if you’re going to use Arca Swiss standard quick release plates on your ballhead. All of my ballheads are from Really Right Stuff, and whilst I love their gear, there’s no denying that you pay a high price for it! I recently discovered some VERY reasonably priced QR plate alternatives from Breakthrough Photography, so I thought I should share them in this week’s Gear Check article.

Their QR plates are available in three different sizes, and whilst they don’t feel quite a satisfyingly dense as some other plates I’ve used from more expensive brands like RRS and Wimberley (maybe they use a cheaper grade of aluminum?), they can’t really be faulted at their price points. Other options are often 4 or 5 times more expensive.

  • The smallest size is 40mm wide and sells for just $10 from Amazon or B&H Photo.
  • The middle size is 60mm and sells for just $15 from Amazon or B&H Photo.
  • The largest size is 85mm and sells for just $20 from Amazon or B&H Photo.

I tested all three sizes and found the 60mm and 85mm to be the best ones. Whilst the 40mm one is designed for smaller cameras, I found that I really wanted it to be a bit thinner. 40mm is a fine dimension one way, but on a small point and shoot camera, I felt like it ought to be 25mm or 30mm in the other direction, otherwise it was wider than the camera was thick. The 60mm size is a great general purpose plate for larger DSLRs and some mirrorless bodies though, and the 85mm is a good option for the lens foot of your 100-400, 70-200 or other similarly sized glass.

All plates come with thumb screws, meaning they can be attached and removed without tools, they have removable anti-twist plates and you can attach a camera strap to them if you want to configure your camera with a sling style strap.

if I had a dollar for every time I heard the phrase “I forgot my tripod plate” then I would, at the very least, be able to buy a few of these plates! At these prices they are great to keep in various camera bags for emergencies. I’ve got one in my car, too!

Photo of author

Dan Carr

Founder of Shutter Muse, full time photographer and creative educator. Dan lives in the Canadian Yukon, but his wanderlust often sends him in search of images all around the world to meet the needs of clients and readers alike.

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