How to Make an Overhead Camera Rig

Overhead recipe videos are so hot right now, but shooting them can be challenging. This setup is perfect for shooting products, food, or even an unboxing (they're still a thing, right?).
Caleb Pike from DSLRVideoShooter has a real talent for creating sturdy rigs and setups in his studio. This time, he's using the Westcott Flex that Fstoppers reviewed earlier to create a lightweight overhead setup. Having shot overhead before, I've normally used my trusty Manfrotto 190, which allows me to take the center column to a 90-degree angle.

However, this setup looks far more stable, albeit with a lot more time to set up. Still, if you find yourself always shooting your tabletop, it could be a particularly handy rig that takes your mind off things. My favorite part is the adjustable height. 

Here are the links to everything you'll need: 

Total Cost: $97, plus the Flex LED, which can be found for as low as $445 right now on sale. You can buy more reasonably priced lights, though, like the Aputure Spot LED for $150.

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Andrew Pollock's picture

got to say that this may have been a great build/walkthrough video had the guy used MORE lighting. horribly lit and almost invisible at times.

Joonas Nieminen's picture

Just two weeks ago I did a top-down video shoot for a client and we used two larger stands and had a squared metal bar between those and Sony FS7 was attached to it via superclamp that had a videohead. Loosening the superclamp just slightly I was able to slide the camera into different position in the larger table. Using a zoom lens was also great since if I were to use a prime and needed a close-up shot it would've needed to lower both stands that hold the metal bar. Since the camera was pointing down - I needed to tape down the zoom ring of the lens with gaff tape because the glass elements were so heavy that gravity lowers the front of the lens downward over time. For lighting I used 4 LED-panels each in their own corners, 2 top lights were higher to be used as main light sources and 2 bottom lights were used to cancel the shadows from opposite sides.