Took them long enough. Apparently Gitzo has caught onto what the rest of us have known for a while: That Arca-Swiss plates and quick/releases are the way to go for ultimate camera stability and security while on a set of sticks. Full press release below:
GITZO UPGRADES HEADS AND TRIPOD KITS WITH A NEW QUICK-RELEASE SYSTEM COMPATIBLE WITH ARCA-SWISS PLATES
TORONTO, ON., January 23, 2014 – Gentec International, the exclusive Canadian distributor of Gitzo products, announces a new quick-release system that is being introduced across many of Gitzo’s heads, Traveler tripod kits, and accessories. Compatible with Arca- Swiss plates and most other manufacturers’ Arca-Swiss style plates, Gitzo’s new system also offers a number of significant advantages over alternative quick-release systems.
Gitzo’s new system is easier to use during set-up and changeovers, and offers failsafe support of camera equipment. The camera/plate can be snapped into the head from above, which is faster and easier than trying to slide it in from the side. When a Gitzo plate is used, the quick-release system’s secondary safety pin will also engage to prevent camera equipment from falling accidentally from the head, even if the plate locking lever is not fully locked.
The plate also features Gitzo’s new camera screw design. To make it as easy as possible to use, no matter where you are and what tools you have on hand, the screw can be tightened by hand, using a coin or with the supplied allen key.
The hybrid system, used on many of the new models, will also take traditional Gitzo C-profile plates, making it especially useful for photographers who already own and use Gitzo C-profile plates as their standard equipment. To accept Gitzo C-profile plates, the adaptor is simply removed from the clamp.
The new quick-release system includes three standard centre ball heads (GH1780QD, $379.95 MSRP; GH2780QD, $479.95 MSRP; GH3780QD, $549.95 MSRP), two Traveler centre ball heads (GH1781TQD, $319.95 MSRP; GH2781TQD, $359.95 MSRP), a Systematic head (GH5381SQD, $669.95 MSRP), and two Traveler tripod kits (GK1580TQD4, $1,039.95 MSRP; GK2580TQD, $1,149.95 MSRP). Accessories are also available and include quick-release adaptors and plates, plus a panoramic disc.
I own a Gitzo tripod and love it, there are many good tripods out there, but this one is mine. I gave up on Manfrotto and Gitzo's own ballheads a while ago though. I found I could never place my camera *just* right (especially with added weight like a grip and telephoto lens). The worst problem I've experienced is over torquing the plate to your camera's tripod mount, leading to a stripped thread and a costly replacement. I've personally been using a combo of Acratech's ballhead and Really Right Stuff L-Plates, but as long as it works, and works well, I'm not too brand specific. As Gitzo is owned by Manfrotto, maybe we'll see even the entry level line with improved mounts soon as well.