Note: this article shows pictures of discontinued products, but is applicable to all versions of Capture and our plates including the latest.
Some of our quick-release plates will engage in Capture in 4 directions. Some only in 2 directions. Lot's of folks ask us things like "what the hell does this mean?" and "so what?" and "why can't you just say it in English, doc?"
Point taken. This article should help.
Most of our plates and kits fit into Capture omni-directionally. Since they're square, that means 4 directions. This means that when the plate is attached to your camera, your camera can be inserted (and locked) into Capture in 4 directions. The images below show Capture v2 + Standard Plate, but the same goes for Capture v3.
There's really one key advantage to this: the ability do to a quick lens change. Lens changes are a royal pain in the butt. In addition to having two fragile lenses that you need to hold onto during the process, you also need your camera positioned so that the lens mount is accessible.
Normally, you'd have your lens mount (and lens) facing downwards while your camera is clipped into Capture. With a 4-way compatible plate, you can remove your camera, give it a 90-degree turn, and clip it in so that the lens is facing sideways. This position makes changing a lens much easier, and gives you both hands free to manage your lenses.
If you care about lens changes that much, you should probably check out our Lens Kit adapter. It's a game changer.
Some of our plates are rectangular, and hence only fit into Capture in 2 directions. These plates include:
Dual Plate: This plate fits in Manfrotto RC2 tripods in 2 directions, and in Arca tripods (and Capture) in 2 directions.
PROplate (discontinued) with Manfrotto RC2 adapters Installed: If you're using PROplate and you've installed the Manfrotto RC2 adapters, it will only insert in Capture in 2 directions.
DUALplate v1 (discontinued): The discontinued DUALplate only fits in 2 directions.
Note that with our 2-directional plates, lens changing is still easy. You'll just have your camera facing up instead of sideways. Some purists scoff at having the exposed mirror of your camera facing straight up, but provided that you take reasonable precaution we think it's fine.