When I traveled to Pittsburgh a few weeks ago the main goal was to get timelapses. While I was there, we decided to also test out the GoPro and 5D car mounts. Like any new piece of gear, it takes time to learn how to get the best results from it.
After the Pittsburgh trip, I was motivated to get better looking footage using this unique mount. I was more intrigued by the car mount made for DSLRs (and even bigger) than the GoPro. Eli and I went out one day around old town and shot some more with it being attached to the production van, AKA Thunder Cat. We also attached the GoPro to compare. We then tested a few shots shooting the wheel well on my Jeep. I immediately noticed how hard it was to see if we had proper exposure on the 5D. I also notice how shaky it got being mounted on the hood. Time to fix those problems.
Each car has a different ‘sweet spot’ where you will get a great shot with the least amount of shake. It will take some practice and a few tests but once you know where it is you will get the best shot possible. To control exposure there are a few options with DSLRs (and auto is not one of them). The first option is connecting to a laptop with the EOSD software installed via USB. You can control the camera on your laptop controlled by a passenger as long as you have a long enough cable. This will give you a big screen and all options to control your camera. The other great option is what I will be doing.
Tablets are awesome and they are becoming more useful with new apps and connections, especially for production. I have the Nexus 7 (don’t hate Apple users) AND always look for ways to use it on shoots. There is an app called the DSLR Controller http://dslrcontroller.com/ and paired with a USB Host cable http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Delectronics&field-keywords=usb+host (be sure to get one that has been tested to work on your device) you can turn your tablet into a monitor and camera controller. AWESOME. I will be writing a separate blog on this as well.
Below is a test video of getting landscape and architectural shots using a car mount.