The Fusion Plate is a camera accessory designed to allow photographers to quickly and easily switch between a shoulder strap and tripod. The device consists of a quick-release plate made from aerospace grade aluminum that also combines a sturdy flip-up accessory loop. This means that not only can it be used on many tripods, but also as a camera shoulder strap.
While camera shoulder straps are understandably popular, your camera is always at the ready and not banging against your chest, they do have some drawbacks. Firstly, attaching a tripod mounting plate can require removing the often protruding attachment loop. And photographers prone to paranoia can also be concerned that the screw attaching it to their camera will come loose … causing recurring falling camera nightmares.
It's these issues that prompted photographer David Fliger to come up with the Fusion Plate, which was recently funded via Kickstarter. After working on the problem with his father (a toolmaker and manufacturing engineer) for more than a year, they came up with the design which is made from a solid bar of aerospace grade aluminum and incorporates a flip-out stainless steel attachment loop.
According to the designers, stress tests have shown that the Fusion Plate can hold weights that exceed real world use, so it should be more than strong enough to securely hold your camera gear without the risk of it falling to the ground.
The plate screws into the base of a camera via the 1/4 inch accessory hole and is made to Arca-Swiss standard measurements. This means it can be used in Quick Release clamps from the likes of Really Right Stuff, Wimberley, Markins, AcraTech, Arca-Swiss, Kirk and others. If you're a Manfrotto user, you'll be pleased to know makers haven't ruled out the possibility of making a compatible version.
When not using a tripod, photographers simply flip-down the concealed loop and attach their shoulder strap. Because the loop is separate from the screw which holds the device in place, the torque from twisting is not transferred and there's no risk of it working loose … and your camera falling. The only issue could be that the plate may block access to the battery and memory-card on some camera models.
While Kickstarter funding – where US$68 could have bagged you a Fusion Plate – has now ended, it is soon expected to be available online direct from FPGear.com in black, blue or red finishes.
Here's the Kickstarter video showing off the Fusion Plate.