Looking to record overhead video for your next project? Here are a few tips on how to assemble the perfect rig for the shot.
Cover image via solarseven.
Whether it’s for your favorite Youtube cooking channel or an unboxing channel, overhead camera setups are crucial for certain styles of social videos. Shooting overhead presents your subjects in a nice, straightforward manner that’s aesthetically pleasing. It also mimics the POV of your viewer as if they were in the video themselves.
Let’s take a look at the best camera, lens, and platform to create your own perfect overhead rig.
Image via Canon.
For this rig, my preferred camera is the Canon 80d. With a lightweight body and a surprisingly great battery life, the 80d is a great fit. One feature that sets this camera apart is its rotating LCD screen, which you can flip around to monitor your parameters and see what you are recording without attaching a separate monitor. You can find this camera for $999 on the Canon website.
(If you’re on the hunt for a 4K camera under $1000 USD, I’ve also put together this helpful camera list of 5 cameras.)
Image via Canon.
When shooting overhead footage, capturing the widest possible angle while maintaining a flat image is a priority. Since you’ll want a wide-angle lens without going full fish-eye, the Canon EF-S 35mm prime lens is the best companion for your 80d using this rig. This prime lens will also give you a great shallow depth of field to make your shot a bit more cinematic.
Make sure that you get the EF-S instead of the EF lens, since we are working with a 4/3 sensor camera. You can find this lens here on the Canon website.
Image via Glide Gear.
The Glide Gear OH100 is a handy and portable platform for your overhead videos. This platform eliminates the need for a tripod and fits right on the table where you will be filming — it also comes with holes in the top that you can use to attach lights. With a max width of 34 inches, there is plenty of room to record whatever you need to get your hands on.
If you need a backdrop for the items you will be shooting, this kit comes with clips to hang a muslin screen. While some people might say that a tripod with a crane would be the best kit for overhead, the OH100 offers a stable shot that will get the job done much more cheaply.
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