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VectorMount brings "life" to vehicle-mounted GoPros

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October 26, 2012

The VectorMount, with its optional Tribase vehicle mount

The VectorMount, with its optional Tribase vehicle mount

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Sticking a forward-facing video camera on a race car is certainly an effective way of giving viewers a sense of what the driver of that vehicle sees. For inventor Steve Greenthal, however, it wasn’t enough. He thought that the locked-off shots from his rigidly-mounted GoPro HERO looked “dead,” and didn’t capture the feel of actual racing. This inspired him to create the VectorMount – an aluminum GoPro mount that smoothly pans the camera back and forth, in response to the movement of the vehicle.

The VectorMount is moved both by airflow and centrifugal force.

A built-in wind vane tail generally keeps the camera pointed ahead and into the airflow, as created by the direction of travel. If there are strong crosswinds, or if the camera is mounted in a location where it’s subjected to turbulence, the angle of that wind vane can be adjusted to compensate.

The arm that the wind vane is mounted on also incorporates a swing weight, which causes the camera to pan left or right in response to centrifugal force. According to Greenthal, this means that the lens will point into the direction of a turn (as the driver would do), as opposed to just remaining pointed straight ahead. The distance between the swing weight and the camera can be adjusted to determine how much movement occurs – the closer the weight is to the camera, the less it will cause the camera to turn.

In order to keep the camera from suddenly jerking into life when it first moves, a silicone inertial dampening system is built into the panning head. Users can also purchase rotation stops, to limit the head’s range of movement.

The basic VectorMount, with no vehicle-mounting hardware

The basic VectorMount, which includes no hardware for mounting it to vehicles (apart from a threaded post), is priced at US$189. A package that includes the self-leveling three-suction-cup Tribase sells for $249.

Videographers who want to see a different perspective from helmet-mounted GoPros might instead be interested in the unrelated $69 BoomPro – it extends the backward-facing camera out in front of the wearer, so it can look back at them.

In the video below, video shot using the VectorMount is compared to footage shot with a static-mount GoPro. In some cases, it looks like the VectorMount’s movements could almost be considered distracting, although the footage is certainly much more “alive” – which is just what Steve wanted.

Source: VectorMount

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.   All articles by Ben Coxworth
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4 Comments

Very nice effect, but really, sod the camera, where can I have a go in one of those buggies?

Synchro
26th October, 2012 @ 12:37 pm PDT

Hi Synchro: Go to www.vectormount.com for details on everything. Thank you for your interest!

Jason Brumbalow
26th October, 2012 @ 02:28 pm PDT

I'm not sold. Yes, sometimes it provides better shots but other times they are much worse.

I suppose if one were to edit and cut out a lot the end result with the vectormount could be the more interesting, but often what is really interesting is unedited movies documenting the action and not necessarily providing the prettiest pictures.

BZD
27th October, 2012 @ 09:27 am PDT

At the start when the buggy was just driving by itself I wasn't to impressed, it was a bit disorientating though if the camera was mounted further bag on the buggy so you always had some body work visible it might help.

When the buggy starts to follow the other buggies the mount really comes in to its own and I can definitely see the advantage of it there.

Jonathon Patrick Marks
29th October, 2012 @ 03:30 am PDT
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