Balancing Act

How to record / video log your road trips

If you like to take frequent road trips like I do, then you may have driven through certain section(s) of your trips that you wished you'd capture on video. It could be a scenic drive, an urban utopia, a coastal drive, a desert stretch or even simply within your city of residence.

I've tried several option, including hand holding a camera while driving (pretty dangerous), having a passenger hold the camera and even mounting an actual weighted tripod on the back area of my car to support my Canon 5D Mark II. I found these options cumbersome, especially driving around curves or roads with frequent stops.

The answer to my woes is the Targus TGT-SP travel tripod:

You can mount a compact point-and-shoot camera with video recording mode, a cellphone camera (with included cellphone clip) or a dedicated HD camera, such as the Flip Mini HD cam (which I use) onto this handy dashboard mounted tripod for a foolproof method of recording your travel. The great thing about this dashboard mounted tripod is it has a quick-release (just like a traditional camera, see components photo) and it has a built-in ball-head so you can position your camera with a wide variety of angles.

Since this dashboard mounted tripod is secured with a suction cup, a smooth surface is a necessity. You can mount this on your winshield, but that would mean mounting your camera upside-down or side-way as well. To solve the mounting problem, I adhered a spare Garmin Nuvi GPS dashboard disk onto the surface of my dashboard, then mount the Targus travel tripod onto the disk.

The setup works like a charm and is very secure. At a little over $8.00 from Amazon.com, it packs quite the value for its price. If you're going to do any moving video recording using this method, be sure to adjust your camera (i.e. recording, stopping, adjusting tripod angle, etc.) only when you've stopped completely. Keep your eyes on the road when your vehicle is in motion, drive safely and have fun.

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