Have you ever wondered: “how did they get that shot, where was the camera attached?” Or how did the cameraperson squeeze, strap, or balance themselves into that position? B&H offers a wide range of options for mounting your video camera for vehicle-based shots, raising your camera above the fray, and otherwise mounting your camera in innovative ways.
A staple of many police procedurals is the shot of the characters riding in the squad car, whether it be the cynical detective and the raring-to-go rookie, or a reveal of the jittery perp in the backseat. B&H has a large array of car mounts, offering support for video capture using cameras ranging from mirrorless or DSLR models to full-fledged pro HD cameras. Options include window mounts for a side view, or dashboard and car mounts for head-on, through the windshield shots, or other positions. CruiseCam stabilizers for interior car use are geared for capturing the drivers’ POV.
Looking to capture cross-coverage of your leads’ witty dialogue as they tool down the highway? Enter the hostess tray—this isn’t your favorite cupcake, but rather a shelf that perches on the exterior of your car, enabling you to shoot through the window. The appeal of the hostess tray is it rests completely outside the car, enabling you to raise/lower the car window during the shot. This design also allows your talent to enter and exit the vehicle without having to remove the mount. The Matthews Brauer Hostess Tray Kit uses suction-cup mounting, and includes a cheese plate with horizontal and vertical channels for quickly adjusting your camera’s position. The bracket in the Matthews Side Mount Kit rests over the car door, so raising the window is not an option, but this strap-mounted rig’s length and width are quickly adjusted via thumb levers, making it easy to fit to your vehicle. The Side Mount Kit also incorporates a leveling head, enabling you to tweak your camera’s horizon relative to any strong horizontal lines in the frame, without adding the bulk of a fluid head.
The magnet-based RigWheels Sidecar/Hostess Tray smooths your shot and saves setup time by incorporating a cable-based vibration isolator. This rig can be used with a separately available gimbal mount, and is also available with a Pelican case, or without the vibration isolator. RigWheels also makes several Cloud Mount Systems for mounting your camera on a horizontal vehicle surface like the hood, roof, or truck bed.
Taking their name from Swiss cheese (or Fontina, if you’re an Italophile), the cheese plates used in many car mounts are perforated with regularly spaced mounting holes. Unlike many camera-cage plates, the holes on rigging cheese plates are not threaded, enabling you to mount the plate using a wider selection of longer screws and bolts. Mount the plate on your surface, and your camera on the plate.
Your eye for the perfectly framed shot will set you apart from the masses, but when you need to literally rise above the crowd, consider using a tripod platform, a.k.a. shooting riser. Raise your camera and camera operator almost 3' above the crowd with one of Axler’s Portable Shooting Risers, offered in 3 x 3' and 4 x 4' options. Don’t be fooled by their resemblance to folding camping tables—these platforms provide support for up to 450 lb, easily accommodating you and your camera rig. Long-range lenses are crucial when capturing your subject from a great distance, but their increased focal lengths also magnify the slightest camera movement. The Spider Pod System offers a clever solution for avoiding a user’s inadvertent jarring of the camera by supporting the camera and the operator on separate raised platforms.
Ever try to tilt your camera straight down while it’s mounted on a tripod head? It’s not always possible with a standard tripod setup. Add a tilt plate to the mix to extend the tilt angle of your camera beyond the capacity of your fluid head. Tilt plates can be sandwiched between your camera’s baseplate and your tripod head, or affixed directly to another type of support.
The truly special Spider Ringo Head 90 Degree Camera Mount is to be used strictly by artists for their creative projects, for custom display screens, and perhaps for capturing runway models, or giraffes. As someone who sighs (inwardly) when I see people shooting video in portrait mode (especially for landscapes), I hope that this mount will be used by pros only for spoofing the portrait mode look.
Wrapping up our selection of specialty mounts are camera stands. These adjustable supports can be used for positioning your video camera for stationary shots at heights up to 28'. Applications include overhead shots of events, landscapes, or gardens, large group shots, or in-studio use for video capture of podcasts, vlogs, etc.