Overhead shots with monopod and remote control app

dancebert

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Jan 18, 2014
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Caldas da Rainha, Portugal
Before remote apps I attached camera to monopod, set exposure and timer, pressed shutter release, hoisted the monopod and hoped something worth keeping was in frame. This method took 2 hands (1 high, 1 low) to raise and hold the monopod. Now I want to use the smartphone app to trigger the shutter but that needs more hands.

I've ruled out 1 hand for monopod, 1 for smartphone because it's too easy to drop 1 or both. All the other solutions resemble Rube Goldberg contraptions, e.g.,

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I'm thinking of some combination of the following
- Add handle to monopod for better control by high hand.
- Attach to belt a receptical in which the bottom of monopod is inserted, like parade flag bearers.
- Smartphone case that holds phone on high hand forearm. Keep 2 hands on the monopod while waiting to shoot, then let go with the low hand and activate shutter. Suppose one could also activate shutter with nose, or something held in mouth. Voice actuated shutter?

Any ideas?
 

OzRay

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Ray, not Oz
Why not attach a bicycle mobile phone holder to you monopod and then you can basically hold the monopod with one hand and operate the phone with the other (possibly while having your fingers around the monopod behind the phone).
 

oldracer

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Now I want to use the smartphone app to trigger the shutter but that needs more hands.
Sometimes the way we define our problems makes them unnecessarily difficult to solve. I think your problem might be better stated as "I want to trigger the shutter while securely holding the camera overhead on a monopod."

There are any number of cabled releases that could be securely taped to the monopod shaft, allowing you to hold it with both hands and trigger the shutter with your thumb. For example: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Replace-DMW...=Camera_Camcorder_Remotes&hash=item566639392b or, with a longer cable: http://www.ebay.com/itm/5m-Camera-R...=Camera_Camcorder_Remotes&hash=item51bec55cfd
 

ex machina

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Assuming you've already connected your phone and camera:

1. Velcro your smartphone to the monopod leaving room for hand-holds both above and below the phone.
2. Set the camera drive mode for self-timer: 2 secs or 10 secs, whichever best affords the required time to reframe and steady-up after triggering the remote shutter.
3. Hold the monopod securely both above and below your device, with the lower hand's thumb being free to trigger the remote shutter.
 

dancebert

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Jan 18, 2014
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Caldas da Rainha, Portugal
Sometimes the way we define our problems makes them unnecessarily difficult to solve. I think your problem might be better stated as "I want to trigger the shutter while securely holding the camera overhead on a monopod."
D'oh! Thanks for opening my eyes, oldracer. The specific ideas were all excellent - thanks OzRay, oldracer and ex machina.
 

robbie36

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Sep 25, 2010
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rob collins
I have tried this in the past. I chose the easy option - namely to go shooting with a friend - one using the ipad/trigger, the other holding the camera on the monopod. Now that is a simple solution but I gave up with it for a number of reasons - the most important of which is that the wifi connection with the camera kept failing when the camera was moved around. In addition, I found there was quite a delay between pressing the shutter on the ipad and the camera actually firing. Thirdly, I found the app rather irritating in that after each shot it moves to playback mode, so it is difficult taking shots in quick succession.

Overall, I find with monopod use, the best method for taking photos with the E-M1 is to place the camera in timelapse mode taking a photo every 2 or 3 seconds. Use a lens slightly wider than you need so you can crop. Here are a couple of shots using this method.





 
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