The primary purpose of an L-bracket is to allow you to switch quickly from shooting in upright to horizontal orientation. Using one means that you only have to level the camera on the tripod once. You get the level right for a shot in the first orientation and it should still be level when you flip it round to shoot in the alternative orientation.
Another benefit is that a bracket gives your camera bit of extra protection from the odd bump or knock.
The usual downside of an L-bracket however, is that it adds bulk and, in some cases, the ports are a bit harder to access. These issues are minimised with the Gitzo L-Bracket A (AKA L-Bracket Alpha) as it’s shaped to fit the contours of the Sony A9, A7R III or A7 III very closely. There’s also some flexibility with its horizontal positioning so it can allow free access to the ports on the camera’s left side.
Gitzo has machined the L-Bracket from a single piece of aluminium so there are no joints or bolts. That and the thin profile helps to keep the bracket’s weight down to just 77g. According to Gitzo it’s the lightest L-Bracket of its kind on the market.
Like the quick release plate of the Gitzo Traveler A tripod, the bracket has a lip along its front edge. This fits perfectly around the front bottom edge of a Sony A7 III or A7R III. It means that the plate is kept nicely in position on the camera and neither can twist.
The outer edges of the L-Bracket are shaped to fit in an Arca Swiss type tripod head. Consequently, it’s compatible with the Gitzo Traveler A tripod head without the need for the quick release plate.
Helpfully, there’s a housing for a hex key (supplied) built in to the bracket. This is useful for ensuring that the camera is really securely fastened into the bracket.
There are also four fixing points for straps on the bracket. As a result, if you plan on keeping it in the bracket, it’s worth removing the strap lugs from the camera – they’ll rattle otherwise.
Creating an L-bracket for one shape of camera is a much easier task than creating a universal bracket. It also means that there fewer compromises made to the camera’s handling. Nevertheless, Gitzo has created a remarkably low-profile L-bracket for the Sony A9, A7R III and A7 III. It’s also light and elegant enough to be a permanent addition to a camera.
When partnered with an Arca Swiss style tripod head, the Gitzo L-Bracket A delivers its primary purpose of letting you swap quickly between upright and horizontal shooting.