Attaching the Cameras to the Mount

The current design calls for screwing each camera to the camera plate with a 1/4-20 screw, from below the plate up into the camera. The camera plate is then lowered into the camera box and secured to the top plate. At this point the head of the 1/4-20 screws is hidden between the two plates. That’s a great security feature, but not so convenient if you want to remove a camera to make some adjustment, or to loosen the screw in order to change the alignment of a camera.

This lead me to look into whether we could somehow use the kind of quick release mechanism that one finds on a tripod. Fortunately, it turns out that those can be purchased separately from tripods, and in a wide variety of designs and price points

Note: this approach will definitely add cost… a piece of aluminum bar stock is cheaper than most of these, and we’d one for each camera.

I found designs like these:

Using one of these for each camera would allow us to eliminate the camera plate, reducing the mount’s payload. On the other hand, depending on the model, the rigidness of the camera attachment might be reduced, possibly lowering the quality of pictures we can capture.

What do you think about using these for attaching cameras? What assessment would be needed to validate that these produce acceptable images?

Thanks,
James

This is a great idea. This could certainly replace the top plate as you say. There are a few things Id keep in mind with this:

  1. If the cameras are lower in the box because you swap the plate for these devices, do the lens shields hit the bottom of the box on the inside? Can you still cut the hole in the front face? My feeling is yes in the new box, but something to think about. In the old box, it may be much closer to the bottom.
  2. We need to be able to reach into the box to release the locking mechanisms. The left hand most camera may be trickier to release cause of space.
  3. The bases for these devices seem to only have a single attachment point. This means it could come loose. Two would be better.
  4. Stability. I think people who take images with DSLRs should have comments for this online already. My guess is its fine, but worth checking.

Id be keen to buy 2 of the ones you choose, and replace the bottom plate in the Caltech unit with these as a test. Its easy enough. All Id need is 2-4 holes to hold down the bottom part of the device to the lower plate in the box.
Thanks
Nem