Camera Parts: Tripod Mount
A tripod mount is a camera part that can be used on most SLRs, point-and-shoots or even camcorders. The simplest mounts consist of a flat piece of plastic or metal with a screw in the middle. They screw into a hole on the bottom of a camera body, standardized for most cameras. On the bottom of the mount is a sloped square or other locking piece which can attach onto a tripod. By moving a lever on the tripod, the mount and the camera attach to the tripod.
Types of Tripod Mounts
Tripod mounts themselves are very simple devices. Many have a carpenter's level attached, but essentially, they are only for attachment. What a mount attaches to is called the head, and these fit into two categories. Pan-heads allow for easy side-to-side movement. Ball heads have a ball-and-socket joint, allowing for easy movement in all directions. Sometimes these are referred to as pan head mounts and ball head mounts, even though the head and mount are technically two separate pieces.
Problems with Tripod Mounts
Although the screw hole is standardized, tripod mounts are not. Each manufacturer has their own unique mount, if not multiple. Tripod mounts are usually not interchangeable.