It's good having bits and pieces around to help rig your camera. Considering all the accessories out there, there's a lot of ways to attach them to your camera. These Pico plates are another useful little tool to do just that.
There's two main ways to use them: To add 15mm clamp to your camera/cage, or add 15mm clamp to an accessory. Or buy the two pack to achieve both. One runs $25 or two for 50 which includes a pair of rails. Not a bad deal.
Small enough to be pretty darn unobtrusive, but just big enough for a solid contact surface. You can use it either like a mounting plate with the included 3/8 and 1/4" bolts, or use it like a cheese plate with the numerous 1/4" taps, most going though both sides.
Why i like these as an alternative to friction arms
I like and use friction arms plenty, but they don't have a 15mm clamp by default, and they can get a bit clunky. These pico plates obviously have a more limited motion, but there's a fix for that: mini ball head. Just screw a small ball head on, and you get a large range of motion. It may seem like they're entirely different beasts, but they both have the purpose of adding attachments to the camera. I like how different they are at achieving that same goal; someones one will be best, other times, the other will be best.
A quirk or two
While it comes with two screws, many times you'll need just one, and if you're using the 1/4", taking out the 3/8 bolt leaves the hole open for the 1/4" to slide right out. My suggestion: if you want to leave the 3/8 out, then store the 1/4" in one of the threaded taps instead of the slot.
Using the sliding mount, it's just a smooth solid surface for your accessory to contact, so you need to tighten it up snugly to avoid slipping. Additionally, i had some cork furniture protection disks which i attached to the top of the pico plate to act much like the rubber/cork you have on your tripod plate.
Sum it up
I like these things, and i'll be giving them pleny of use. Small, cheap, and useful, can't beat that trifecta of attributes. If you're limited on your rigging bits, these would be a great addition with a tiny out of pocket expense.