If like me you shoot with more than one camera during a shoot you know what a pain it is to swop cameras on tripods and other support systems between takes - usually to move your primary camera from a tripod to a shoulder mount or slider requires filming to stop while your assistant runs back to the van to fetch the tools. Unscrewing camera plates wastes time and also wears out the mounting screws and thread holes of your equipment over time.

The obvious solution is to use the same type of camera base plate on all your support systems, but in a real world production environment this is simply not realistic - equipment is purchased based on budget, need and availability and most manufacturers simply apply their own standards.  

As part of a bigger upgrade this year I fitted all my cameras and support equipment with universal quick release adapters. Having now used this on two or three big projects I must say it makes a massive difference! I can now use any camera on any tripod or my slider by just unlocking the release latch, sliding the camera off and lock it into place in the waiting quick release adapter on the other camera support device. No time wasted - I even did this on the move during a recent doccie shoot.

There's a huge selection of adapter brands out there but eventually I decided on Libec AP-5s across the board. The Libec adapters are all metal, solidly built and feature both 1/4" and 3/8" screw holes as well as a set of spare screws which will come in handy if you ever lose one.

Above: a nice feature is the 1/4" and 3/8" screw holes on the side which come in handy as a attachment points for accessories such as articulating arms.

The only downside I can think of is that your camera now rides a bit higher on your tripod than it used to. If like mine your fully accessorized primary camera just barely fit your camera bag, you might have to rethink your packing after fitting this!

Above: Libec AP-5 adapter fitted to my camera slider. I can now easily swop between my primary and secondary cameras on all my equipment.