Stability is just a few pieces of PVC away.
The difference between amateur and professional can be as simple as a little stability, but the difference between amateur and professional equipment can run a small fortune. While I won't argue that these rigs beat the system and bring you utmost of quality, they can give you an edge over handholding a camera, and maybe keep some money towards travel to cool locations.
Generally speaking, PVC materials can be about the best investment you can make for budget gear. It's lightweight and strong but not buoyant (for those of us shooting in the water), and it has pieces that are universal. This means adjustments, replacements, and precise custom builds are a breeze. The one downside is that unless you rock some PVC cement, these rigs may turn into pieces without warning.
Since I am loyal to the GoPro brand (for now) these suggested builds are optimized for the GoPro's sport camera and wide angle specifications. There are plenty of rigs out there for camera's of all kinds, and don't be afraid to get creative!
1. The T-bar stabilizer
This is hands down the best all around rig that I have used. I take it everywhere, and it's my go-to for stable video both above and below the water.
- Many ways to hold and grab
- Stable for stationary shots
- Customizable to suit any need
- No inherent stabilization/bracing beyond two hands
2. The Monopod
The fun is far beyond just a selfie stick! Monopods are the simplist of mounts, but also can have the most versatility. There's no where this rig won't be easy to carry and great for getting the shot, from the ski mountain to deep beneath the waves.
- Easy to make
- Portable (depending on length)
- No inherent stabilization
- Camera weight may increase shake
- Rig is frequently in the shot
3. The Backplate
This one is a bit more specific and intensive than the others, but the results are simply unbeatable. A stable follow camera with interesting third person perspective that actually helps build reference to some of the action a person may be doing. I find that it can be both more stable and more informative than most chest mounts or head mounts.
- Stable on subject
- Wide perspective
- Follows action
- Difficult to make/adjust
- Rig is frequently in shot
As this rig may be difficult or unwieldy, it's important to make sure construction suits your exact needs. Some are wider angles than others, some sit higher or lower. For this reason we actually built ours from scratch. Here's a few videos we used for inspiration, but you'll want to do your own research to see what you like best!
Don't be afraid to get creative with this one, we even used a flagpole mount in ours!
Got an easy mount you live by? Leave a comment below or let us know on instagram @mountainsandmaritime, and be sure to check out the online store where everything you buy goes straight to charity!
Subscribe to The Mountains & Maritime Blog
Get the latest posts delivered right to your inbox