I’ve had the wish to take 360 images with my car for some time, now i finally set it up. I make this post in case someone is thinking about a similar setup.
The idea was simple - attaching my 360 camera to my car and taking photos for Mapillary.
First I thought about the software because I don’t want to purchase something and not be able to work with it. Since I use an Android, I have no possibility to connect to my camera using the Mapillary app. But fortunately my 360 Cam’s app supports interval pictures of 2 seconds, which should be good enough. My camera is a LG 360. Not the best of course, but my budget doesn’t let me buy a really good 360 camera. And at daylight the LG cam isn’t that bad so I’ll give it a try. If I’m usatisifed with the interval capturing, I’ve also thought about getting a touch macro app to automatically tap the shutter button on the 360 cam app every X time. Also, I’ll also record a gpx route since I’ve heard that the GPS tagging sometimes gets stuck on this camera.
To the mount itself; first I thought to buy a round mount like for a bike handle to fix it on my car’s roof bars. But didn’t find anything suitable. Also, if the camera is mounted on one side of the car, you can’t see really much on the other side.
So I’ve purchased a 3 suction cup mount. There are some other mounts with 1 or 2 suction cups out there, but I’ve thought to myself, the more suction cups the stronger it is.
But no. It didn’t hold on the car at all. Once I managed to fix the second or third suction cup, the first was loose again already. As you can see, I’ve secured everything using metal strips, a magnet and cable ties, but it should at least somewhat stick to the car of course. Luckily I’ve tested it before starting to drive with it.
Not gonna lie, I bought the cheapest mount I found and expected not too much (wouldn’t have driven fast than 70kph with it anyway), but this was just useless to me.
Pictures of testing the mount:
So while I was angry about the shitty mount I’ve said f^ it, I’m gonna buy an expensive one. Along with an adapter since my LG cam doesn’t have an gopro mounting system but a normal camera screw.
And it’s way better. Even after turning up the suction cup handle it is still really hard to remove. And with my many safety ropes I don’t think it can fail. Now my full safety rope equipment contains:
- A metallic rope to the roof bar (or whatever you call these two bars on my rooftop in english :D), mounted to the suction cup
- A metallic rope to a magnet. This is also for stabilizing the camera. Even though it’s screwed really strong, I fear that the wind may push it back so it’d lay flat. This magnet should, beside securing the setup, give some counter against the wind by being attached in front of the camera and reaching the maximum length of the connection rope
- A nylon rope that was shipped with the new mount
Pictures of first testing (it’s not mounted on these pictures and not all safety ropes are connected yet):
And after that I went out to a bumpy road in the forest where usually nobody else drives on so that I could test the setup in action. Here’s a picture I took:
If you want to see the whole sequence you can do so here (It’s currently uploading and not visible yet but I linked the road where it will the sequence visible once published)
I like it a lot and am excited to capture a “real” road
Aside from that, these are all components I’ve bought, in case someone is interested:
- A water resistant case for my camera (I’m not planning to drive while it rains, but it could start raining or water could drop from trees etc)
- The old, bad mount
- The new mount
- GoPro mount -> ¼" screw adapter
- Safety ropes
I also wrapped some duct tape around the metal ropes so they won’t make scratches on the car and stuck the antenna under the roof bar so it’s not in front of the camera.
What do you think about it? Any improvement ideas?