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Filming From Above: DIY Overhead Camera Mount

This overhead camera mount is the perfect solution for when you need a bird’s eye view of your workspace!

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Filming and taking photos from above can be an expensive habit and a good alternative is to make something yourself. I have seen all kinds of overhead camera mounts on Pinterest and decided to build one to help film tutorials that require a view from above.  It is light, cheap and it doesn’t take space on my desk.

Materials I used to make this:

  • 1 plumbing pipe at least 1.5 m long; I used reinforced fiberglass pipe PPR but PVC works just as well
  • 3 pieces of 90 degree Elbows
  • 2 pieces of Tees (these joints allow a line to be split into two lines with a connection that is at a 90-degree angle)
  • 2 Caps
  • 1 screw with a stopper
  • 1 selfie stick
  • Tools: knife, hammer, screwdriver, hair dryer

This is a sample of the video I made using this camera mount.

Like this sample? Check out the full face chart tutorial!

Here are my notes on this project:

  • The plumbing pipes and other accessories you can get at a hardware store. I bought mine from Hornbach, a German DIY-store chain in Europe. In the US you can buy from Home Depot. You will buy one standard size piece of pipe and cut it yourself at home or in the store.
  • I used fiberglass reinforced PPR pipe. PVC or CPVC pipes work just as well and are even easier to put together. That was not the my case, the types of pipes I used required some tapering and heat to fit the pipe into the elbows and the Tees.
  • I used a hairdryer to heat up the fittings just enough for the pipes to slide and when it cooled it got rigid again and tight in the elbow/cap/Tee. In this case, it is very hard to take apart so it’s not portable (but not impossible, already tried that too!)
  • You have to make a hole in one of your Tees for the phone mount to be attached. Consider this when you are in the shop before getting home with all your supplies. It is a good idea to get the hole done in the hardware store. It is a simple drilling hole in the middle of the Tee but the job is harder with a heated metal if you don’t have a drill at home.
  • I used the phone holder from a selfie stick. You can replace this with a cheap tripod and just remove the grip, but make sure it fits your brand and type of phone. Eventually I managed to fit my small camera in that grip and it’s holding it perfectly!
  • When you calculate the length of the pieces that rest on the table have in mind how much space you need to actually work so it doesn’t get in the way.
    When you decide how tall your tripod should be I suggest you check how wide your phone will film so you don’t get irrelevant things into the frame.
  • See the images in the gallery for my measurements.

Watch the video version of this overhead camera mount tutorial


Hope you found this useful. Let me know how it goes with your project. Good luck!

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