How to build this heavy duty DIY camera car rig for only $30

May 30, 2018

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

How to build this heavy duty DIY camera car rig for only $30

May 30, 2018

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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Mounting cameras to cars is a lot of fun. It can allow us to get some unique and unusual perspectives in photos and videos. But how do you attach a camera to a car? There are a bunch of different ways from inexpensive triple suction cup mounts (that work surprisingly well) to extremely expensive commercial solutions.

But what if you have a big load to carry that the little triple suction mount can’t handle, and you don’t have the budget for a high-end mounting system? Well, you can make your own. And you can do it for $30 or less, too. In this video from filmmaker Rob Wayne at PremiumBeat, we see how.

YouTube video

The parts list is small and the process is fairly straightforward, but the end result looks extremely effective. As we can see in the video, if built well, it can take a huge load, too.

These prices do bring it slightly over the claimed $30, but if you do some shopping around, I’m sure you’ll be able to save a few bucks.

Construction is simple. Drill some holes in the wood for the U-bolts to pass through, then wrap them around the handles of the suction cups and lock them down. But don’t tighten them too much. You’ll want them to be able to move with a little effort so that they can adjust themselves to the shape of body panels when mounted on a vehicle.

Finally, drill a hole in the centre through which you can put a bolt to add some kind of camera mount system. Exactly what kind of mounting system you go for will be up to you. Do you just want to strap on a couple of action cameras? A DSLR or mirrorless camera with a ball head? Or a full on 3-axis motorised gimbal?

Looking at the kind of weight on the shot at the top of this post, and the potential forces that would be applied to those suction cups with a gimbal and camera sitting on them, if it can handle that, then it should be able to handle just about anything.

A great and cheap solution for shooting video or photography from the outside of a car.

You’ll probably want some kind of remote control or trigger, though, to operate it while somebody else is driving.

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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2 responses to “How to build this heavy duty DIY camera car rig for only $30”

  1. George Salt Avatar
    George Salt

    It’s a $30 suction plank. It is not a $30 car rig as none of the “rig” is included in these instructions.

  2. Kevin Jack Birchfield Avatar
    Kevin Jack Birchfield

    Cool, I will try this as I’ve already busted one camera with a dual suction hood mount.