Cheap And Easy Top-down Camera Quadpod


We keep waiting for evolution to give us that third arm but in the mean time, this may be the solution for holding the camera while you document your projects. [DHagen] has made a four legged tripod (quadpod) for his camera in order to use it as a digital copy machine. We’ve spent many a night trying to get a steady and sharp video of an LCD or array of LEDs in action to document our weekend tinkering and this will make that all a lot easier.

His build uses materials that will total between $10-$20 at the hardware store down the street. A chunk of scrap wood is connected to the camera using a bolt in the threaded tripod hole of the camera. Two L-brackets are attached to the wood so that one is on either side of the camera lens. This leaves two mounting holes on either side of the lens to attach threaded rod using nuts. The assembly is capped off with a square of acrylic (plexiglas).

Quick and clean. It’s not the cheapest camera mounting solution we’ve seen, but it sure does a good job.

12 thoughts on “Cheap And Easy Top-down Camera Quadpod

  1. “Tripods” are used for a reason. A “quadrapod” (4 points) can define 2 planes where a tripod only one plane. The result can be a rocking “quadrapod” along the 2 adjacent planes.

  2. Just to save UK people the effort of looking it up: The tripod thread is (usually) 1/4″ UNC (20 tpi) – a yank thread. It’s possible, but difficult to find nuts, bolts and studding with this thread in the UK.

    1/4″ BSW is probably close enough (20 tpi, but 55 instead of 60 degrees). Might be a bit sloppy without the additional mounting peg that some cameras/tripods have.

  3. A camera is a great way to digitize books. I think I can get about 100 pages in 10 minutes with my setup (2 pages at a time), compared to hours it would take with a scanner.

    I mounted my camera on a tripod with the legs adjusted so that the camera was almost directly over the book, and the back leg weighed down so it wouldn’t tip over. A fixed mount like this would be a lot better, but I haven’t had any reason to copy a book lately. I would go with a single wooden support since the 4 corner supports would get in the way of the books and (possibly) make a shadow depending on the lighting I use. I’m picturing something kind of like a hangman setup. There could be a place to mount my LED light too (just needs velcro).

    I haven’t found a good way to keep the pages flat. A flat piece of glass might work, but I don’t have one big enough, and it makes aligning everything before taking the picture trickier, slowing the process down. I’m thinking 2 flat pieces of acrylic with a V in the middle might be best.

  4. I like this project in spirit, but the image of the camera on every page would get annoying, fast.

    If you’re into book scanning, come check out where a whole bunch of people are building and sharing their designs. We have tried most everything. Most of us have two-camera home-made high speed scanners.

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