Platypod has made a name for itself for giving filmmakers unique, compact, and rugged pieces of gear on which to shoot their films. Case in point: Platypod Ultra and Max, which double as mini-tripods and mounting plates for small mirrorless and larger DSLR cameras that can be set up virtually anywhere.
To round out this system, the company has introduced both the Platyball, an inventive little ball head system that will not only make a lot of Platypod fans happy but will also give filmmakers options they may not expect to see in a compact ball head.
The first thing one might notice about its design is it's sleek without any protruding knobs or handles. The thought behind this was to make the Platyball ergonomic enough that filmmakers could operate their cameras by holding onto it, or as the company puts it, to make it "a natural extension of your hand." The inverted design, which places the ball on the bottom rather than the top of the head, also contributes to this, because you're not just moving your camera, you're moving your camera and the ball head itself.
It also features one-touch controls, including an Arca-Swiss twist locking collar with 360-degree indicator, quick-release, panning lock, and a lock/unlock button for the entire ball head.
Both models are tough, featuring a machined aluminum unibody with internal steel components and polymer brake pads that can support loads of up to 22 lbs. They're also weather-sealed and glove operable.
The Platyball comes in two models, the Ergo and the Elite, which are identical in almost every way except for one major difference: the electronic level.
The Elite's LCD level has a ton of features on its own. It has three levels of brightness, works in six different directions, and uses standard 12V alkaline A23 batteries.
Pricing and Availability
The Platyball is currently on Kickstarter with a retail price of $249 for the Ergo and $325 for the Elite. However, if you make a pledge early, you can take advantage of some early-bird savings.
Units are expected to be shipped first to early backers in December 2020 and then in February or March of 2021 to everyone else. So, it's looking like some serious patience is required if you're interested in this thing.