Here is a nice hack for making an overhead camera rig. If you are doing video tutorials, crafts videos or just need an overhead camera for still life, there is always the question of how to mount the camera. A with the standard tripod setup, you have a bit of an angle, and while you can go this route, there are easier solutions (what was I thinking back then….)
The team at Lensvid used a TV wall mount, which is kinda genius because TVs are heavy and should not move, just like camera. Those are not too pricey and a decent one will set you back about $25. That will get you secured to the wall. The other half is to connect the end of the arm to the camera. Lensvid opted for a VESA to 5/8″ Receptacle + El-BO arm, but I think a magic clamp and magic arm combo would be just as efficient.
The video is kinda long so I recommend hitting their text post for details.
Lensvid mentions that this is not the cheapest DIY, though they are very happy with the results:
This wasn’t a cheap DIY project mind you – the TV arm was about $35 (although in the U.S. you can probably get one for half as much), the 9 solutions VESA adapter cost about $75 and the arm is about $80. As for the 3-way tripod head – We used one from “studio assets” Magnesium 3-Way Low-Profile Pan/Tilt Head which cost about $70 and works pretty well – you can get a Manfrotto for probably about the same price – at the end of the day we are looking at a total cost of components of about $260 – as we said – not exactly inexpensive DIY build, but a very robust one
This of course leaves an open question, how do you get your overhead shots?