Make an overhead camera mount with PVC pipe. This is an inexpensive DIY camera hack that you won’t know how you lived without. Set up your video studio!
I have to say I am mighty proud of myself for this project.
Several weeks ago I attended a Bloggers Retreat at Pondersa Ranch near Zion’s National Park. The entire week was absolutely amazing. Throughout the retreat, there was a big emphasis on video and capturing your adventure. So we went on many adventures including horseback riding, four wheeling, and I even got to go on a helicopter ride. Now that was truly amazing! Anyways, we also had a couple classes on video, and how to do lighting, sound and editing. The weekend was indeed an awesome adventure and when I left I had a new excitement for videos and decided I wanted to take the leap and do more videos on my blog.
I do hands only videos at work (meaning an overhead shot and all you record is your hands, no front shot of your face) and I have really enjoyed doing them. I began to think about how I could do that at home. At work we have a really nice set up that probably cost several hundred dollars, if not more. But I need something on a smaller scale but still produced a high-quality shot. After exploring online and seeing what others have done, I came up with this setup.
I purchased my supplies at Lowes, but I have included links to where you can find them online. Usually, the hardware store will have supplies for cutting onsite, so if you are purchasing online you will need to get a PVC pipe cutter too.
- 1, 10 foot piece of 1/2″ PVC Pipe
- 2, 1/2″ PVC Caps
- 3, 1/2″ PVC Elbows
- 2, 1/2″ PVC Tee
- 1, 1/4-20 x 1/2-inch bolt
- PVC Pipe Cutter (optional)
- Hand Held Drill
- Smartphone Mount (optional)
I got my PVC pipe at Lowes, and the best part was that they cut it for me. So I didn’t even have to mess with a hack saw. While I had a good idea of what I wanted I had them cut a couple extra pieces so I would be able to to place around with what I had envisioned. Here Is what I ended up having the Lowes gentleman cut the PVC pipe into. Including an additional 21-inch piece that is not shown.
- 1, 21″ piece
- 3, 13″ pieces
- 2, 11″ pieces
- 1, 7″ piece
- 1, 3″ piece
Once I had all of my pieces and they were cut to the lengths I wanted it was time to begin assembly.
Have you ever noticed the little screw hole in the bottom of your camera?
That is so you can screw it onto a tripod. Well for all intensive purposes, that is what I am creating. So I needed to find a bolt that would fit that hole so I had a way to attach my camera to the mount.
I took my camera with me to Lowes and found that the 1/4 – 20 x 1/2 bolt fit it perfectly. What all those numbers mean, I have no idea. I just know that it fit. Keep in mind that you don’t want a pointy ended screw but a flat ended bolt.
I wanted that screw to go into one of the Tees. So I started by making a mark on the inside center with a black marker so I would know where to drill.
Using a 15/64 drill bit, I drilled a hole where that black dot was.
I found the 15/64 drill bit to be the perfect size. It allowed me to twist the bolt in and keep it nice and tight.
Twist the bolt in as far as it will go so the end is poking out of the tee.
That is really the hardest part of the whole assembly. Next you simply push the pieces together.
The tall 13-inch piece in the back can be switched out with the 21-inch piece. It all depends how far you want your camera away from your hands. The same with the 3-inch piece at the top, that can be switched out with the 7-inch piece.
You can twist your camera directly onto the mount, or if you want to film with a smartphone you can purchase a Smartphone Mount and use that as your camera.
If you would like to view the instructions for this mount via video, you can watch below.
With my new setup, I did a practice video. Now I know this is really pretty lame, so remember this was a test for my new overhead camera mount.
So what do you think? Are you ready to do more videos too?