May 8, 2013

Sunwayfoto DP-26 Universal Quick Release Plate Review

Sunwayfoto DP-26 QR Plate w/ Canon D10 camera overview
What is so interesting about a mini Arca-Swiss compatible quick release plate?

When we speak about Sunwayfoto DP-26 Universal Quick Release Plate, we are witnessing the continues endeavor of Sunwayfoto designers for minimum weight.

Rated at 9 gr (0.3 oz) makes it ideal for small P&S cameras as well as small footprint mirrorless cameras.

The Package & Contents

Sunwayfoto DP-26 QR Plate box
The Sunwayfoto DP-26 Universal Quick Release plate comes shrink wrapped in the usual by now Sunwayfoto recycled-carton box. A large white label shows the content photo, model and main specification.
Sunwayfoto DP-26 QR Plate inbox contents layout
All parts are nested in pre-cut foam sockets that protect them during transport, while an extra layer of foam bellow (thicker) and above (thinner) are there for even better protection from scratches. Somehow the plate is so small that seems lost in the foam. It comes together with a short 1/4"-20 captive screw and a 4mm Allen Hex key.

The plate
Manufacturer Specification:
Height:7.5 mm
Width:39 mm
Length:26 mm
Mounting slots X 3:1/4"-20 UNC
Weight:9 gr

Sunwayfoto DP-26 QR Plate top view + tool & screw
DP-26 felt so light that I was curious to verify its dimensions and weight. My findings were even less than the declared specification. The height (thickness) of the plate was hardly over 7 mm at 7.15 mm and it weighed a mere 11 gr (0.38 oz)  including the screw. 
The plate is hard coat anodized in black and has a laser engraved logo with model number on one side. The top surface is slightly grooved with the three 14 mm long captive slots laying inside those grooves at 9 mm distance next to each other. Without any rubber coating the plate relies on these grooves and the consequent slightly protruding ribs to prevent it from twisting.
Sunwayfoto DP-26 QR Plate bottom view + tool & screw
The bottom side is almost completely hollow in order to accept the screw head in the three parallel slots. The serial number of the plate is engraved on the back side of the top surface.
Sunwayfoto DP-26 QR Plate screw inserted
Each slot is threaded in the middle in order to let the captive screw pass through and then be able to move within the slot for better adjustment.

Using the Plate

Sunwayfoto DP-26 QR Plate w/ Canon D10 camera mounting seq
First candidate for testing was my small Canon D10 P&S waterproof camera which has a tripod socket in an offset position in relation to the lens axis. In this case I had to relocate the captive screw in one of the outer slots so as to center the DP-26 QR plate under the lens. After aligning the plate with the camera bottom, it required only a moderate force to tighten the screw and fix the plate in position without twisting.
Canon D10 + DP-26 QR Plate on Fotomat V-Pod-S
Pictured above the Canon D10 P&S camera equipped with Sunwayfoto DP-26 QR Plate is clamped via a Hejnar PHOTO F60 1" Quick Release Clamp on the Fotomate V-Pod-S Table Top Tripod.
Canon D10 + DP-26 QR Plate on Fotomat V-Pod-S via Hejnar F60 clamp front & back view
The combination is so light that the tiny ball head coming with the V-Pod is capable of holding the camera in any angle.

Sunwayfoto DP-26 QR Plate w/ Sony NEX-C3 camera mounting seq
The next candidate for testing was a Sony NEX-C3 mirrorless camera which will have the leading part in the illustration of the upcoming Mini Multi Row Panoramic Head article. In the NEX-C3 case the tripod socket is exactly in axis with the lens, so the screw should be placed in the DP-26 QR plate middle slot. While NEX-C3 is quite heavier than the Canon D10 it seemed that there was no need to try to tighten the screw more. Exercising a moderate force is enough since the grooved surface of the plate responds well to twisting forces.
Sony NEX-C3 + DP-26 QR Plate on Sunwayfoto DB-36TRLR ball head
This time Sony NEX-C3 equipped with Sunwayfoto DP-26 QR Plate is clamped on a Sunwayfoto DB-36TRLR Traveler Ball Head and supported by the Triopo GT-3228X8C Carbon Fiber Traveler Tripod.
Sony NEX-C3 + DP-26 QR Plate on DB-36TRLR ball head front/back view
Somehow, even if the ball head / tripod combination is very light, is still an overkill for the weight of this camera. Nevertheless, the plate holds well under the camera and the ball head can be easily adjusted by holding the camera, contrary to other cases where instead of moving the ball the camera twists on the QR plate.

Excellent machining, finishing and build quality.
Versatile multiple slot mounting.
Very low profile.
Extremely Lightweight.

None up to the time of this review.

In my opinion this is a very well designed tiny quick release plate that adds very little to the weight of a small camera. Fully recommended for small footprint P&S or mirrorless cameras.

Note :
The DP-26 Ubiversal Quick Release Plate presented in this article is a complimentary copy, kindly offered by Sunwayfoto,  for evaluation and review. Thanks for the dedication on the serial number once again.

I hope you found the review and ideas useful, thank you for viewing.
All Photos & Photosynths: © 2013 S.C.Vlachos

Price and Availability:
The current retail price for DP-26 QR Plate is US$ 29.97 14.95 (+Shipping where applicable) and is available from Amazon or from eBay

Referenced Articles:

Hejnar PHOTO F60 1" Quick Release Clamp Review

Fotomate V-Pod-S Table Top Tripod Review

Triopo GT-3228X8C Carbon Fiber Traveler Tripod Review

Sunwayfoto DB-36TRLR Traveler Ball Head Review

Canon PowerShot D10 Waterproof-Shockproof Camera Reference

Relevant Articles:

Create a Mini MR Panorama Head for Mirrorless Cameras

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