The Foba Quick Release Camera Plate BALPI is a large (just over 3" of clamping surface length) Arca compatible plate, with a ¼" x 20 screw to attach to the bottom of most cameras. At the time of writing, this Foba plate retails for approximately $70 (B&H Photo).
The camera plate is made from aluminum, with a channeled top surface (which helps grip if the cameras base is slightly curved). The plate measures 80mm by 60mm by 11mm, and weighs 110g (0.24 lbs).
In the interests of full disclosure, this review is based on a sample unit kindly provided by Foba for testing with their Superball ball heads, but the plate will also work with any Arca compatible clamp.
Installation, Fit and FinishThe plate comes packaged as shown below:
The slotted hex head screw means the plate can be installed with a socket, large screw driver, or even a key or a coin (the latter two being very useful in the field). The large surface area grips well, making a solid connection with the camera that isn't likely to twist off, and requiring only a moderate tightening force on the screw.
Overall finish is excellent. There are some tool marks on some of the edges where the material was cut, but these don't degrade the performance of the plate in any way whatsoever. The plate grips perfectly in the dozen or so Arca clamps from different manufacturers we've tried it with, however the plate is too long to be used with the safety stops built into the small Foba M-1 Superball ball head. This plate does not support the safety stop system employed by companies like Kirk, RSS and Wimberley.
The picture below shows the Foba BALPI plate installed on the bottom of a Nikon MB-D10 grip.
Because of the 80mm x 60mm dimensions, this plate will work best with larger cameras. On cameras with a narrower base, it's possible the BALPI will stick out the back a little (it does on our Nikon D90).
PerformanceThe Foba BALPI Camera Plate grips solidly, and performs very well. It fits perfectly in the Foba Superball. The ability to be able to install and tighten without tools is a big advantage in the field. You can purchase the Foba BALPI Camera Plate from B&H Photo