When I first set foot on my videography journey my first challenge was to hold the camera steady enough to produce something worth watching. My first camcorder - a Canon Legria - weighed in at around 270g and was so light I found I had to brace it against solid structures to get a reasonably steady hand-held video. A tripod was obviously a solution - but if I wanted to move around - it wasn't much of an improvement.
And I had a need to move around - I wanted to get some footage of the Water Dragons which are plentiful around Middle Path but they fled form me when I was on foot well before I was within a useful range. However when I was on the rideon mower I could get right next to them - they just didn't seem to regard me on a mower as threatening. But a tripod on a mower is not an easy or elegant contraption and juggling the machines fully occupied my abilities so that there was precious little left to do the actual filming.
I also wanted to get some footage of Maleny to show off the local town on websites and had comeup with a sunroofcam system using a folded tripod, a big sponge and a bungee cord - the results seemed on a par with Google's street cam but the tripod wasn't the ideal mount as there was a lot of leg to play around with inside the car. I felt there was something better (and, as it turned out, cheaper) out there.
I looked around for a solution to holding a moving camera steady on a tight budget - I wanted to pay a lot less for something to hold the camera than I had for the camera - nothing commercial fitted the bill and then I came across the Johnny Chung Lee's $14 Camera Stabilizer page which made a lot of sense (thanks Johnny). Off I set to follow Johnny's well-presented guide, I picked up some Celsius cast-iron bar bell weights (firstname.lastname@example.orgKg & 1@ 2.5Kg for flexibility) and fortunately went to the local irrigation supplies shop for the pipes. I am familiar with irrigation so I knew I would have a choice between metal and plastic pipes and fittings. Johnny had used iron pipes - it was a great discovery to find the weight's central hole was a snug fit on a 3/4" plastic riser.
Using plastic greatly simplified the fabrication as I only had to drill one 1/4" hole in one plastic end-cap to have a very versatile camera mount system using stock standard plastic irrigation parts which are readily available form any irrigation supplier. I also dug up an old ball head which I'd had for over 40 years which gave the system a very adaptable camera mount for a whole range of situations.
Here's what goes into the multicam mount system:
Here's how we make the floorcamfor those rare moments when you want to walk the camera along at floor height while shooting
|fergusreilly.com/multicam_mount_system.php||||||||||updated 9 Dec 11|