Portable Camera Mount

Discussion in 'Paddling Photography' started by ve7ggj, Nov 26, 2007.

  1. ve7ggj

    ve7ggj Paddler

    Sep 9, 2006
    (Gary) Victoria, BC
    I have a Canon SD700 in the Canon waterproof housing.
    I'm looking for some kind of portable suction-cup mount that will hold the camera about a foot off the deck and allow the camera to tilt and swivel.

    Something with a suction cup would be good.

    Anyone build one of these? Where did you source the parts?

  2. Dan_Millsip

    Dan_Millsip Paddler & Admin

    Mar 8, 2005
    Beautiful BC
  3. Mark_Schilling

    Mark_Schilling Paddler

    Mar 8, 2005
    "Home by the Sea" - Nanaimo, BC
    I use the RAM system to mount my camera and/or GPS to the deck of the kayak by way of one of their suction-cup mounts (which is designed to stick to the windshield of your vehicle, but works equally well on the deck of a smooth-surfaced, composite kayak). The suction cup mount won't stick to a textured surface such as that found on most plastic kayaks, so you might have to arrive at a different mounting solution if you have a poly boat. One option is to permanently bolt one of their 1" diameter ball-mounts to the kayak; it depends on how comfortable you'd be with drilling a couple of small holes in the deck of your kayak. :?

    Basically it's a modular system - you buy the base (in my case a suction cup mount), arm, and a tripod mount all as separate pieces and 'build' the system you want. The Canon waterproof case has a tripod mount so it works perfectly. It's a bit of a confusing system, if only because RAM makes so many different pieces that it's a bit intimidating to try to figure out what you need. Here's a basic list of the pieces I use:

    Tripod mount - this piece screws into the tripod mount on the bottom of the Canon case.

    3" Arm - this holds the camera case (with tripod mount above) to the system you secure to the kayak (such as a suction cup mount or 1" ball). It provides the ability to tilt and swivel the camera in different directions without having to adjust the tripod mount or base.

    Suction base w/ 1" ball This is the bit that secures to your composite boat or any other smooth surface. It comes with the plastic 1" ball on a diamond base. The suction cup uses a locking cam to secure it tightly to the boat. It grips so tightly that I can lift the boat by the suction mount alone! But it can be knocked off by an errant paddle stroke so make sure you tether the camera system to the boat, just in case.

    Diamond base w/ 1" ball If you can't or don't want to use the suction mount, you can use this instead. It would bolt directly to the boat, so drilling a couple of small holes would be required (I know DarrenM has used this on his CD Sirrocco with no problems). The 3" arm (above) can be undone by hand to secure and remove your device (camera etc.) from the boat. So, once everything is set up, no tools are required to remove or adjust gear.

    Those three bits will be everything you need. If you have a GPS, you can get a cradle for that too, and just swap the camera with the GPS etc.

    RAM makes many of the pieces in both anodized aluminum and plastic. I prefer the plastic bits for paddling as they won't corrode (and they're a bit cheaper). Overall it's not an inexpensive system, but it works very well and they're quite tough. We've used them extensively for 4x4ing (GPS mounts on the windshield etc.) and other applications for years and I've never had anything fail, despite some significant use and abuse over the years.

    The links I've used are from GPSCity.com, which is a popular source for RAM mounts. Another good retailer is GPSCentral.com (also in Calgary); I've ordered from (and visited!) each of these locations and they've provided excellent service at good prices and reasonable shipping charges. I'm not aware of any local (Victoria or Vancouver) dealers that stock lots of RAM parts but that doesn't mean they don't exist.

    Edit: the forum software may not like my links because they contain quotation marks ("s) in the URL. Sorry! :(
  4. TIMAX

    TIMAX Paddler

    Nov 21, 2008