Introduction: Mounting a Camera Overhead


A tri-pod is an indispensable tool when shooting video or photos. However there are times when you need to do overhead shots. This Instructable will show you how to mount a camera overhead.

Not all the parts are DIY but this should give you an idea on how to do and what parts you could substitute.

Step 1: Parts and Tools

So what makes this whole system work really well is the Manfrotto Magic Arm and Super Clamp. You don't have to get these exact items but they work really well. There are other similar alternatives out there.

  • Manfrotto 244 Variable Friction Magic Arm with Camera Bracket
  • Manfrotto 035 Super Clamp
  • F-Clamp (I used a Dewalt one)
  • Round steel bar (closet rod)
  • Steel bar stock
  • Rubber Sheet
  • Contact Cement
  • Nuts and Bolts

Step 2: Video of the Build

Written instructions follow

Step 3: Build

So the base of this mounting systems is using a F-Clamp. They can be found at most hardware stores, get one that has a solid thick steel bar. This is very important as a thin bar will cause the mounting system to wobble at the slightest touch. Trust me I know.

What I like about using an F-Clamp is it gives a huge range of adjust-ability, it can be used to clamp to thick surfaces.

The clamping surface areas where the clamps to work pieces is a bit to small so my first step was to made these larger.

The plastic was removed from these surfaces and then a piece of 2" bar stock was welded to the surfaces. If you don't have a welder you could use some double sided tape to hold them in place. Really it's just to hold them in place so they don't move while the clamp is being adjusted or moved.

To the steel pads, some rubber sheet was glued to them with contact cement. This is to ensure the clamp doesn't mark up any surfaces when in use.

Holes were drilled into the bar of the F-Clamp and into the steel closet pole, so the two pieces could be bolted together. Using a wing nut will make transporting this clamp easier.

Step 4: Usage

So the Super Clamp and Magic Arm makes this system work really well. First the F-Clamp is mounted to a surface such as a table or counter. Then the Magic Arm is mounted to the Super Clamp which then is clamped to the steel pole on the F-Clamp The arm can be adjusted to any position and angle.

Overhead shots or shots over a counter can be made very easily with this set up. I've mounted mostly my mirrorless DSLR but this system handles a heavy camera like the 70D with no problems.