Sunday, July 24, 2011

Operation Kayak-Cam

For some time, I and my paddling cohorts have made great use of my Flip UltraHD Video Camera and its Flip Video Underwater Case while on the water. This is my second such Flip, because the first one is still probably at the bottom of the Mulberry Fork somewhere, or perhaps is made its way down to the Gulf by now.

But there has long been a limitation...recording while paddling is very problematic. We overcame this obstacle a couple different times, but only in a limited fashion.

  • In March at Kings Bend by wedging the camera between Tyler's life-jacket, as can be seen beginning at the 8:30 mark in this video
  • And most recently at the Hargrove Shoals, where I can be seen to be dumped out of my boat, beginning at 1:24 in the video below.

Well as I saw it, there were a couple of ways to rectify the situation. I could buy a helmet cam, which would, of course, be the best and most practical way to go. However, it's not the most economical. So I thought up a way to make a mount, though it did require me to risk ruining my underwater housing for my Flip and drilling a hole in my kayak. But sometimes the risk is worth the reward.

So Operation Kayak-Cam commenced...

I was determined to drill the hole for the mount just north of the cockpit, so that the camera will be easily within arms reach, and I'll be able to leash it to the boat. To mount the camera to the boat, I took a lightweight tripod head (Slik SBH-100DQ Ball Head with Quick Release) that I carry on my monopod, and screwed it to boat.

Using the tripod head, should create a stable platform to hold the camera steadily in a fixed position. In addition to the Flip, I drilled a hold in the waterproof housing I built for my Panasonic DMC-LX3, which will give me the opportunity to take still photographs or video.

Now I'm all set to hit the water and give this setup a trial run. Here's hoping it works as well in practice as it appears it will in theory.

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