15mm or 19mm Camera Base Plates: Which is Better for DSLR Cameras?

A beginner can work just fine with a bare camera. However, as you continue making progress as a photographer/videographer, you need some advanced equipment to improve your professionalism when it comes to your creations. A camera base plate is a great way to attach various accessories to your DSLR, such as mechanical rails tripods (to allow quick attachment and detachment). The camera base plate is attached to the camera with the rods and set up a professional rail support system for photographers. 

Types of Camera Base Plates

Let’s talk about a couple of camera mounting plates that can be used to set up the camera on rods.

  • 15mm LWS

15mm LWS camera base plates are rods with 15mm in diameter, which are symmetrical to the lens’ optical center. They are 60mm apart (when measured from center to center) and a height of 85mm from the optical center. This spacing is also known as “15mm video” or “15mm LWS” and is standard for ENG and broadcast work. It’s also better for lightweight handheld camera configurations like DSLR cameras, which have popularized over the past few years. The 15mm LWS is quite often mistaken for the 15mm studio support.

  • 15mm Studio Support

15mm studio support plates consist of 15mm diameter rods, offset 17.25mm to the camera right from the lens’ optical center, which is 100mm apart (when measured from center to center) and at the height of 118mm from the optical center. This standard was established before the 19mm Studio standard. It is plausible that it was offset to balance the accessory burden on film cameras. The dilemma is that when the rods stretch further away from the camera, they start to bend more than the thicker 19mm rods, necessitating the development of custom solutions to keep up with the ever-increasing size of equipment, primarily the lenses.

  • 19mm Studio Support

19mm studio support plates consist of 19mm diameter rods. The two rods are symmetrical to the optical center, which is 104mm apart (when measured from center to center) and at the height of 120mm from the optical center. Compared to the older 15mm Studio standard, this camera base plate has two benefits. First, it is symmetrical with a more balanced camera setup. Second, the problem of bending is solved with thicker rods.

The 15mm LWS is a compact camera base plate that makes it convenient to carry around and attach to lightweight DSLR cameras, which is the most prevalent type of camera used among consumers. 


SmallRig Camera Base Plates

SmallRig offers different types of 15mm LWS camera base plates that are suitable for different cameras.

  • SmallRig Universal 15mm Baseplate 2092 

SmallRig Universal 15mm Rail Support System Baseplate 2092 is a standard camera mounting plate that easily attaches to the camera with its QR plates. The camera base plates are made of aluminium alloy, a material known for its durability.

  • SmallRig Universal 15mm Baseplate 2272

SmallRig Universal 15mm Rail Support System Baseplate 2272 is a dedicated baseplate designed for mirrorless and DSLR cameras. It is height-adjustable to mount on different cameras.

  •  SmallRig Lightweight Baseplate 3067

SmallRig Lightweight Baseplate with Dual 15mm Rod Clamp (magnesium alloy version) 3067 is made of magnesium-aluminium alloy, which is about 40% lighter than traditional aluminium alloy. This base plate is designed to work with SmallRig’s magnesium alloy cage 3065 for DSLR cameras which protects the camera from shocks.

  • SmallRig Baseplate with Dual 15mm Rod Clamp 1674

SmallRig Baseplate with Dual 15mm Rod Clamp 1674 is a simple and light base plate for the currently popular cameras. With a net weight of 171g, the base plate is suitable for hiking trips. 

Wrapping Up

The SmallRig camera base plate makes the camera more portable by attaching the 15mm rods. The various 15mm LWS camera base plates provide different functions to meet the individual photographer’s needs.

SmallRig is a Hong Kong-based manufacturer of camera accessories. They provide a variety of attachments, such as stabilizer rigs, shoulder mounts, battery plates, and tripods. All of their accessories are compatible with a variety of notable camera brands such as Sony. Start your journey with SmallRig’s products which have great quality and unbeatable prices!

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