Zacuto Polaris – Lightweight Baseplate for Mirrorless and DSLR Cameras

May 9th, 2019
Zacuto Polaris - Lightweight Baseplate for Mirrorless and DSLR Cameras

Zacuto recently introduced a new baseplate system designed for mirrorless and DSLR cameras – or any camera up to 50 lbs – called the Zacuto Polaris.

Zacuto Polaris Concept

The Zacuto Polaris is a lightweight yet robust baseplate built around an Arca Swiss compatible quick release system. Otherwise, the Polaris plate and QR receiver are not a traditional Arca Swiss mount. To attach your camera, you first have to snap it in the QR receiver. To lock the camera down, the Zacuto Polaris uses a knob that you have to screw 1 1/4 turn. Finally, to release your camera, you have to turn the same knob 1 1/4 of a corner and pull the knob to release.

Like every Arca Swiss system, it has safety locks so the unit can’t slide out if the knob isn’t all the way lose. I prefer the clamp locking system of the Kessler Kwik Release system which is – in my opinion – much faster, takes a smaller footprint, and less prone to operator’s errors.

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Zacuto Polaris Baseplate

The Mirrorless Polaris Baseplate kit includes a camera plate, a mounting plate, a 15mm rod support base, and a set of 12″ rods. The rods are tightened with two mini ratcheting levers. The 15mm rod support base is height adjustable to align popular cameras to standard matte box height. Also, various accessories are available if you need to extend your rig, like a Polaris Shoulder Pad. You can purchase additional Polaris camera and mounting plates if required.

Finally, some of the camera cages from Zacuto, like the GH5 Basic Cage will be updated with a built-in Arca Swiss compatible plate to be “natively” Polaris compatible. Other cages for the Sony A7 III/A7R III and A9, Blackmagic 4K Pocket Camera, Nikon Z7/Z6, Panasonic S1, and Fuji X-T3 should be updated pretty soon. Or, if you already own a cage, you can screw the camera plate at the bottom of your cage.

Of course, the Zacuto Polaris is compatible with all 15mm rod accessories from Zacuto like the Z-Drive, the Tornado, and the Trigger Grips. Indeed, it is also compatible with every Arca Swiss and 15mm rod standard accessories you might already have.

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The Zacuto Polaris Shoulder Pad

Pricing and Availability

The Polaris Baseplate System will cost you $350.00, but there is currently an instant saving of $70.00 at B&H. Individual parts are also available for pre-orders. Shipping will start in about a week.

What do you think of the Zacuto Polaris system? What type of quick release system do you use? Let us know in the comments down below!

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 John Galter
John Galter
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May 9th, 2019

I’ve used both systems Kessler and Zacuto and I prefer the Zacuto because it releases from the side. Kessler releases from the back and there is usually camera or accessories there lots of the time. The Kessler lever is a hard and long cam lock. Zacuto’s snaps in the same as Kessler and then very little turn to tighten. Plus it can be blown out to a full system and I’m using my mirrorless shoulder mounted sometimes and tripod sometimes.

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