Hi this is Jay P Morgan and we’re out in the wilds of Los Angeles where we’ve discovered a new species of animal. It’s an upside-down ball called the Platyball. It’s completely upside down in comparison to the traditional ball head you might have seen before. This new upside-down ball head is migrating and it’s going to be everywhere, very soon.
The upside down ball head called Platyball by Platypod!
The folks over at Platypod just announced their Kickstarter campaign for the Platyball. It’s a ball head, but a very unique ball head. Let’s take a look at it because I think there are things about this that make it very innovative, easy to use and something you might want to consider.
First off, let’s talk about ball heads. What are the pros and cons of a ball head.
- quick and easy to use
- not very accurate all the time
- doesn’t carry a lot of weight
This new platyball has moved past the traditional ball head and pan and tilt head, to an upside down ball head, which alleviate some of the problems you had with the ball head.
You can loosen this with a trigger mechanism here, and you tighten it with the top finger. It’s also much more accurate, as you tighten thism it tightens down exactly where you’re at. It doesn’t move, it doesn’t shift, it stays exactly where you set it.
An advantage to this system is you can do it entirely with 1 hand. It can also take the weight of this 22lb long lens!
The Platyball is Arca-Swiss on the top. It comes with a disk and you can simply secure it by turning at the top.
The main advantage of this, that I think is absolutely stunning is, once your ballhead is level and you lock it in place, you can unlock the pan and this pan is going to always be level!
This makes it perfect for doing panoramas and it’ll be easy to stitch together because you leveled it.
And also it’s extremely nice if you’re shooting timelapse at night cause it gives you the ability to stay level, especially with the Elite cause you can electronically level and then you know you can go ahead and shoot away.
This makes it perfect for very light video if you want to want to do a little panning shot, it is a fluid head, so you can pan around and it’s always going to be level.
So that I think is a major advantage between these two.
The one handed use, to be able to release and lock, and the ability to be able to level it below the camera to be able to do panning shots and stitch images together.
Let’s talk about pricing.
For the Kickstarter campaign:
Ergo + Elite $399
Who’s going to use this?
Well the reason we’re out here in the mountains of Los Angeles because I think landscape photography is a natural. It just makes it really easy to get a level horizon – quickly find it, level it and you can work from that without any problem, and you’ve got a reference point that gives you a level horizon every time.
If it’s nighttime and you can’t see the horizon very well, you can level it, find your horizon and your camera will already be level as that sun comes up.
It also just makes it really fast if you’re moving around with your camera with a longer lens on, it’s quick and easy to use with 1 hand.
Architectural photography is another natural for a couple of reasons – if you switch this around and move it to the front so the lens is pointing towards you, you can shove this into the corner of the room and you can get this very tight in the corner and that gives you the maximum amount of space from your subject matter to do a nice room shot. Cause you’ve got to get your camera up against the wall and you’ve got to get your head behind it to be able to see what’s going on.
When will I use it the most? I love shooting model as the sun goes down, with strobes. I do that all the time. So I’m balancing strobes with ambient light. What that means is, I’m going to drag my shutter as the sun goes down, to be able to give myself a nice blue sky, and a little bit of life in the sky back there, which means I’m going to get down to ¼ of a second, a second, sometimes 3 seconds, and with this I can move it around quickly in order to grab those 2 – 3 seconds. It makes it so easy to move, lock, expose. This makes it so fast to lock my camera in and shoot away.
We’re going to do some landscape shots, some panoramic shots and just see how it works and feels in our hands.
This has been so fun to shoot around today! The reason I wanted to come test this out is cause I wanted to see if I could adapt to this 1 handed loosening and panning. Those 3 nobs are in your hand and you can use all of them very ergonomically, but it’s definitely a new way to work.
It took me about an hour to get the hang of it, and then it became very easy for me to do those 3 functions.
The Elite and the Ergo made it so easy to do those 3 things – point, level and pan! I think it’s a home run all the way around. Love the upside down ballhead concept, which gives you that smooth flat pan!
Check them out on the Kickstarter now. We’ve got all the links below.
Keep those cameras rolling and keep on clicking!