I ran across this bracket, on sale, as I was checking out at my local Best Buy. The bracket is called the Dynex Video Accessory Bracket.
I don't usually write about something as simple as a bracket, but the quality and usefulness of this product made me reconsider.
At less than $20, I didn't expect much.
However, after closer inspection and a slight modification/addition, this bracket will be with me and my kit at all times from now on.
What was my need?
On my DSLR, a Pentax K5, I use a Microphone, small video light and a GPS unit regularly.
I also use my flash, in the off camera mode, with genuine Pentax cords and adapters. I use 2 Pentax Hot Shoe Adapters F and a F5P flash cord.
In the image below, are two Hot Shoe Adapters. The Hot Shoe Adapter F comes in TWO versions. One with contacts on the bottom, and one with a 1/4-20 socket (Tripod Socket). The Pentax Stock Numbers are 31046 - for the Tripod one, and 31022 - for the contacts one. The one with the tripod socket is usually more expensive
Specifically, the flash adapter that touches a cold shoe, has a 1/4-20" thread for use with a cold shoe.
In the image below, notice that the adapter on the LEFT has no contacts that are sticking down.
The issue is that I don't have enough "cold shoes" on the camera to mount all the devices at the same time - or at least two of them at the same time.
I have used a combination of brackets and used a creative workflow to accommodate using the devices. I've wanted something that was simpler and bracket-based. I've tried expensive brackets, and I've tried cheap brackets. I've even made some of my own. The CNC/fabricated/expensive brackets make for a very stable platform, but that stability comes at the expense of weight and cost. The cheap brackets I've tried are lightweight, but are made too cheaply and flimsy.
When I ran across the Dynex, I was pleasantly surprised. Not only is the bracket lightweight, but the bracket is engineered for stiffness and has the cold shoes - screwed - in/on! Having a cold shoe that is beefy and has real screws holding it in/on, is nothing short of extraordinary at the Dynex price point.
The fit and finish are top notch.
The engineered ribs, add to the stiffness while keeping the weight down. In the image below, I can attach a quick disconnect plate.
The stock camera/tripod screw on the Dynex is too long for a Pentax K5 to sit alone on the bracket securely, and the faux leather disc is not adequate.
If you try and tighten the screw too much, you will possibly damage the tripod socket in your Pentax K5.
If you want to use the bracket alone, I suggest using some nylon spacers/washers with a 1/4" hole that are available at any hardware store.
I recommend placing the spacer/washer on the side of the bracket that is NOT in contact with the K5. If you put the spacer/washer on the camera side of the bracket, you won't get a stable mount.
For some, this would be a FAIL in the bracket.
However, this worked out for me, in that I never intended to mount the K5 directly to the bracket. Since I have Manfrotto RC2 plates on all my cameras, I was going to mount the Dynex bracket to a Manfrotto 323 RC2 Quick release Adapter. The additional length of the Dynex tripod screw gave me extra grip when screwing into the Manfrotto release adapter.
The release adapter with an additional plate is only $32.95 from B&H. I have a few of these adapters laying around, so it was no cost to me in relation to the Dynex bracket.
With the addition of the Manfrotto 323 RC2 Quick release adapter, I have the perfect inexpensive, lightweight and stiff bracket.
Note: The Dynex bracket is NOT designed as a flash bracket, so while the cold shoe on the Dynex has a plastic center -which is the trigger on flashes and thus "safe"- there is no guarantee of protection to the flash terminals if you use the Dynex bracket as a flash bracket.
The Dynex bracket can be bought here
The Manfrotto bracket can be bought here