Do It Yourself Go-Pro-Like Camera

This little project took about five minutes, used about $5 in parts, and took advantage of a lesser-used camera.
This little project took about five minutes, used about $5 in parts, and took advantage of a lesser-used camera.

I have a buddy, Scott Andersen, who is heavy into GoPro video making. Part of it is his semi-professional work for his church, and part of it is family fun photography. He owned four GoPro cameras until he destroyed one recently. He used GoPro cameras when he visited us in May.

Abby thought the GoPro paradigm was pretty cool, but I concluded that it didn’t make sense for us to buy into a whole new line of cameras, particularly since we have lots of cameras already, and we both have the iPhone 5 that makes high-definition video. I also don’t love the fisheye look that GoPro cameras render.

Then over the past couple of weeks I uploaded some content to my YouTube channel. I don’t normally like to outsource content, but I started thinking it might be a way to “drive traffic,” as they say in the biz, to my site.

I then thought it might be nice if I had some kind of channel/ promo video, which I am beginning to develop.

I pulled a bunch of video clips from my hard drive, and I have some decent content, but I also want some point-of-view stuff of Abby and me making pictures, hiking, adventuring, etc., and the GoPro video of Scott’s jumped to mind. I decided to engineer something, and it took less than five minutes.

I dug around in the garage and found a plastic clamp that once belonged to my dad. I suppose it was meant to hold boards together when you glued or drilled them. I then got a quarter-inch bolt and two nuts for it. The tripod socket on most cameras is a standard quarter-inch hole. I drilled the handle, stuck the bolt through, and snugged it down with one of the nuts. The other nut then snugs down the camera.

I clamped the assembly onto the hood of my 70-200mm, and it worked fine. See for yourself…


  1. I think if you say my name three times, I’m supposed to appear. Or something like that. 🙂

    I do like this idea. Sadly, I have no more point-and-shoot cameras with which to try this. I do have plenty of spring clamps, and lots of 1/4″-20 threaded bolts and screws.

    Correction: Even as I was typing the above, I realized my *daughter* has a point-and-shoot camera with a tripod mount. And it makes videos. (But won’t focus closer than 1.5 feet.) Now the wheels are turning. 🙂

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