There are a whole host of camera accessories out there, especially when it comes to rigging a camera. When it comes to Steadicam work, balancing the camera takes top priority, but if you plan on moving from Steadicam to sticks on set, the changeover can take up valuable time. That's where the SOS Plate comes in. It's a fast and convenient way to convert from Steadicam to studio mode.
The SOS Plate was created in 2010 by Justin Browne, a camera/Steadicam operator who has worked on dozens of projects including Arrested Development and Iron Man 2, so you know it's designed with purpose. The SOS Plate comes in a standard dovetail design and is compatible with all 3" standard size Steadicam dovetails including Pro, Tiffen, Steadicam, SXC, Betz, and Schatler.
Credit: JB Steadicam IncThe plate allows you to keep your Steadicam dovetail attached to the camera where it can then connect directly to any tripod head.
Browne points out that he made the accessory because camera operators have all been on jobs where they were asked to hold the Steadicam for a few shots because converting it to sticks takes too long. The SOS Plate changes the game.
SOS Plate with Archer adapterCredit: JB Steadicam IncBesides the SOS Plate, Browne has also designed adapters for different-sized stabilizers, including the DJI Ronin, ARRI Trinity, and Archer, Zephyr, and Clipper models. The adapters screw directly on top of the SOS Plate, so if you need a setup for a non-standard Steadicam, you'll need the SOS Plate and the adapter.
The SOS Plate by itself costs $450. The adapters run $40 each. The price may seem steep, but it's obvious they're not made in large quantities which generally drives the price down.