Friday, January 25, 2013

In search of the perfect camera mount

First one must ask, does such a thing even exist? I have been looking for a good camera mount for a couple of years now (for past posts on this topic just search this blog for “mount”). My needs were, I thought, simple. All I wanted was something that was both solid and yet flexible enough to allow clamping on various spots on my bike. I tried the GoPro mounts (poor vibration characteristics), RAM mounts (better) and most recently built a fixed bracket that is attached to the lower triple tree (best). But none of them had the mounting flexibility I was looking for so I contacted someone with lots of experience making motorcycling videos – Gary France of Flies in Your Teeth fame. Having enjoyed watching countless videos he had posted from his US trip and others I was sure he had the answer. And he did: rough-guide-to-camera-mounts-2.html
So I decided to try the Cardellini setup he recommended. I found a mini-ball head on eBay (not a Manfrotto but good enough, I hope) that was tapped for the 3/8”-16 tpi thread on a Mini Cardellini clamp. And I ordered the clamp from Cinema Gadgets in California. The ball head arrived a week or so ago and the Mini Cardellini clamp arrived today. (The ball head was coming from China so it was here in a week whereas USPS and Canada Post managed to store the clamp for an extra week before delivering. Go figure.)

I will still use my fabricated bracket mount (the design of which I am changing to incorporate a rubber grommet that should further reduce vibration) for simple forward-facing videography but this new setup will give me the ability to mount my camera in all sorts of unusual places for, hopefully, more interesting videos.
And of course, as with all winter motorcycling acquisitions a waiting period is involved before the items can be put to use. In my case I expect it will be another 10 weeks before the ice and snow are off the roads and riding is once again possible here in the frozen north.

21 comments:

  1. Canajun:

    I wanted to build one of these, remote panning mount

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B38TVApAByo

    bob
    Riding the Wet Coast
    ob

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    Replies
    1. Bob - That looks pretty cool but he doesn't provide much information on how he built it. Proprietary I guess.

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    2. Canajun:

      this project is well documented on the GoPro forum showing you all the parts, where the bracket is mounted but I can't find the link right now.

      I wanted to make a manual version

      bob
      Riding the Wet Coast

      Delete
  2. You using GoPro? It's all about reducing vibration. And that comes partly from type of mount, and partly from where you mount it.

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    Replies
    1. No Name - Yes it's a GoPro Hero. And you're right, vibration is the problem to be solved or at least mitigated.

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    2. I'm on a H-D, which is shake rattle and roll- I have found the best GoPro results using the suction cup mount on the tank, the front fender, and the lid of one of the hard bags- the common denominator being the suction cup mount, which I find helps to attenuate vibration-

      Any video I shot using a clamp mount on the handlebars or engine guard bars was unusable due to vibration


      FYI the new HERO3 is getting a lot of bad reviews on Amazon- so that's definitely a wait and see for me

      Delete
    3. I'm on an H-D as well. I'm leery of the suction cup mount because I don't know what it might do to my paint - overly paranoid perhaps.

      An upgrade to my GoPro just isn't in the cards yet but that's good to know about the Hero3. Thanks.

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    4. Canajun I've been using the suction cup mount on painted surfaces with no marking of the paint. BUT- it is very important that you wipe down both the contact surface of the suction cup and the painted area where you will mount it on the bike. One tiny bit of grit between the cup and the paint will give you a scratch.

      Delete
  3. We have to wait 10 whole weeks for video?

    How can you contain yourself waiting that long? A lot of pacing and watching the weather channel? Or just dreaming up where your first ride will take you to this year?

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    Replies
    1. Trobairitz - 'Fraid so. One of the curses of living in a northern cliomate where the ground is covered in ice and snow for 5 months each year!

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    2. Canajun:

      have you ever thought of storing a bike on the Wet Coast and flying here, once in a while . . .

      bob
      Riding the Wet Coast

      Delete
  4. Wow, having to wait ten weeks is a shame. I like to use my purchases straight away. I hope the mount works as well for you as it does for me. I am looking forward to seeing the results. Gary.

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    Replies
    1. Gary - Me too. Thanks for the guidance and inspiration of what can be done.

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  5. I just looked at the panning video that Bob put up. Great results, but I see two problems. One, it is hard enough sometimes to concentrate on riding a motorcycle, but also having to operate panning / zoom controls for a camera while riding? Two, I see he wasn't wearing gloves, so presumably the controls need to be re-invented so they can be operated when wearing gloves. Great shots, but its not for me.

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    Replies
    1. Gary - Good points but recognizing the limitations/risks I think it could be a lot of fun to play with. And probably no worse than messing with a GPS.

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    2. Gary:

      the GoProHD is mounted on a rotating swivel, using an electric motor. There is a rheostat type of control on the handlebars which is calibrated to show direction the camera is aiming. I think it is safer than we think, much safer than using the one handed single photo method

      bob
      Riding the Wet Coast

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    3. Bob - I have a friend who's an electronics hobbyist and he can't wait to make me a panning mount. My only concern is he'll get carried away and I'll end up with something that could film Star Wars. :(

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  6. Canajun - some of us pull over to mess with our GPSs - I'm with Gary.

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    Replies
    1. Karen - That's the smart thing to do but as my father-in-law used to say, "Too soon old, too late smart."

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  7. I stopped at GoPro.... I think I'll go over to Gary's blog to get more details. After that, go over to Charlie6's blog to share the good news (he broke his video camera too)

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