Your New Best Friend: 5 Tools to Mount Your Camera Vertically
Let’s look at five products (and methods) you can utilize to mount your cameras for vertical footage.
If you’re at all involved with full-time or freelance content creation, then it’s likely someone is asking you (with ever-increasing frequency) to produce vertical video. And that means it’s likely you’ve been asking yourself a couple of related questions:
1. What’s the best way to mount a camera for vertical footage?
2. Why would I even mount a camera when I can just crop my footage in post?
Let’s address the second question first. Nobody would blame you for considering this course of action. After all, thanks to 9:16 camera overlays and built-in NLE social media tools, vertical content is now only a few clicks away. The problem with this approach, however, is that it will prevent you from getting a full sensor readout, and you’ll miss out on the increase in perceived clarity. Plus, actually taking the steps to film vertically means you can then crop into the shot for a close-up, which (again) would be inherently sharper than cropping into already cropped 16:9 content.
So, with all of that in mind, back to the first question: What’s the best way to mount a camera for vertical footage? Here are five of our favorite answers in the form of products that will make shooting vertically a breeze.
1. Tripod with 90-Degree Tilt
If you need a quick vertical-video solution that’s probably already in your kit, you’ll be pleased to know that most tripods are capable of a full 90-degree tilt. You can toss your camera on its side with this tilt, then side-mount the camera on your tripod plate. This quick solution allows your camera to capture the most amount of pixel information possible.
If you take this approach, just remember to adjust the mounting plate so that the camera is set 90-degrees out from the standard forward position. Otherwise, when you tilt the head down, the lens will be pointing toward the floor.
2. UURig Vertical L-Bracket
If you’re consistently capturing vertical shots in addition to landscape images, swapping the position of the camera on the tripod plate can become tedious. Therefore, I recommend looking at an L-bracket.
An L-bracket allows you to rotate your camera from landscape to portrait perspective without having to roll your tripod head 90-degrees. You can slide the L-bracket out from the tripod head and then back in at the other angle for an instant change to a vertical setup.
The UURig Vertical L-Bracket is the most economical offering in our lineup. This simple, no-frills vertical camera bracket allows you to mount your camera just as intended. With a 1/4 20 mounting, this plate fits most smaller camera packages.
3. Manfrotto L-Bracket Q2
For those already in the Manfrotto ecosystem, jumping into the L Bracket Q2 is a no-brainer decision. Designed to help filmmakers switch from horizontal to vertical camera setups quickly, this bracket can mount most small to medium-sized camera bodies and packages.
4. Wooden Camera Vertical Plate
Working with something larger than a mirrorless or DSLR camera? You might need to look at a vertical plate instead of an L-bracket. This plate from Wooden Camera is capable of securely mounting larger camera packages. Additionally, this system allows you to mount accessories in many of its 1/4 20 and 3/8 16 mounting points. (Need something smaller? Wooden Camera also makes a mini version of this same bracket for more compact cameras.)
5. Portrait Mode on Ronin RS2
DJI has fully embraced the vertical video game by offering a vertical mount that works with the Ronin RS2‘s portrait mode. If you still want to capture moving cinematic video—subtle push-ins, long walking shots, sweeping camera movements, etc.—on a lightweight gimbal package, then the RS2 is the solution for you.
With all of these options, there’s definitely a vertical video solution out there that meets your needs and fits your budget. Vertical video is here to stay, so there’s no time like the present to add a vertical bracket to your filmmaker’s camera kit.
Get more gear advice and insight with these handy resources:
- The 3-Tier Hierarchy for Ranking Audio Recording Gear
- You Can’t Afford This Expensive Hollywood Camera Gear
- Filmmaking Gear Highlights of 2020 – Indie Edition
- The 9 Best, Budget-Friendly Follow Focuses on the Market
- The 5 Best Smartphone Apps for Checking Exposure
Cover image via DJI.