Manfrotto 501PL Rapid Sliding Quick Release Plate
Earlier this year, I modified my fluid head tripod, shoulder rig, and monopod to all be compatible with the Manfrotto 501PL Rapid Sliding Quick Release plate so I could easily remove my camera and connect it to the stabilization system of choice. I recently discovered another benefit of having this plate attached to your camera. The plate allows for my camera to stand on its own (HDSLR body with medium telephoto lens) acting almost like a mini tripod. I’m realizing there are so many practical uses for this! Just last week, I shot timelapse of the 4th of July fireworks without access to a tripod. I placed the camera with a 24-105 lens and base plate on the window sill (I really don’t recommend this by the way, it’s not the safest or best business practice especially 6 floors up off the ground!) and the base plate was sufficient to allow the camera to stand on it’s own. My shot otherwise would not have worked out without this base plate. I highly recommend it! Here is a link to my 4th of July timelapse, thanks to the Manfrotto 501PL plate: fireworks timelapse.
Other practical uses would be shooting low, ie having your camera on the ground.