Sometimes, when you mount a GoPro camera on the body of a moving vehicle, the camera vibrates so much that the resulting video is unusable. The video footage seems to warp, wobble, and it seems like you’re viewing the world through clear jelly. Clear, wobbling jelly. You may have seen videos like this before.
Well, here are a few tips to help you reduce this exact type of vibration from your action camera shots, whether they’re made by GoPro, or another brand such as DJI.
Solving The Vibration Problem:
There’s no one way to fix vibration that carries through to the camera’s lens and sensor. If your action camera has Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS), turn it on, and that may fix everything immediately. However, if you’re using an older action camera, or with without special image stabilising hardware, or an electronic algorithm built in, then you need to take a few more steps.
The solution depends on the amount of vibration, the location of the mount, type of mount you’re using, and the tools you have at hand. Some of the quick fixes listed here will help you analyse your problem a little better, and figure out the right way to fix that particular kind of vibration on your action camera.
- If you’re using a tripod screw mount attached to a super clamp, you may want to add a rubber washer (or even a ripped up piece of cardboard) between the GoPro tripod mount and the super clamp to dampen the micro-vibrations and wobbles. Also, screw it on tight to make sure that there’s no chance that the tripod mount unscrews by itself. It has been known to happen. But then, why would you be using a Tripod Mount and super clamp when you can just use the GoPro Jaws: Flex Clamp? Well, sometimes you just have these two pieces of equipment at hand and have to make-do.
- If you’re using the GoPro handlebar mount, add a thin piece of old tyre tubing or any rubber, between the clamp and the vehicle’s surface, to dampen vibrations but still hold the camera securely. The GoPro roll bar mount already has a piece of rubber on the inside. Now you know why!
- If you’re using a suction-cup mount, you may have to:
- Extend the arm as little as possible. This reduces the amount of movement at the end of the arm.
- If you absolutely must extend the arm, tie the loose end to a rigid part of the vehicle, like the chassis, and tie it tight so that the wind and transmitted vibrations are dampened. You can tie it down with nylon rope or zip-ties. During a shoot, the zip ties could save you some time, but remember to have a folding knife or a pair of scissors at hand to cut them off.
I’m sure you’ve got more tips out there. Let’s hear them in the comments. If you’re using the action camera by hand, you can check out these other tips that I have for reducing shake when using light cameras.
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Published: January 27, 2015 | Last Updated: June 4, 2021