Mounting a DSLR camera in a car isn’t as easy as it sounds. There are some unique requirements associated with this task. The weight of the DSLR camera, the need for a steady hold, the physical size of the camera and lastly the need to have the DSLR camera in a mounted position that’s useful. Let’s take a look at some good DSLR camera car mount options.
All the mounts that we will discuss will attach to the DSLR camera using a standard tripod attachment. That’s a 1/4″ – 20 threaded screw hole on the bottom of the camera. I haven’t seen a DSLR camera that doesn’t have a standard tripod screw on the bottom but just ensure it’s there before mount shopping.
There are two locations that strike me as useful for a DSLR camera car mount. The first and most obvious is the interior at the windshield. Attachment must be done via heavy duty suction cups capable of holding the DSLR camera which typically weighs in at a pound or more. The mount needs to have a sufficiently long arm so that the camera will fit without the windshield getting in the way. Most photographers aren’t going to use the camera while driving, and for safety sake, probably shouldn’t try that. So we need a mount with a strong suction hold, long reach and a standard tripod screw at the mounting tip.
An excellent DSLR camera car mount option is the Fat Gecko Camera and Camcorder Mount. This has everything we are looking for. Steel frame construction coupled with dual 3″ suction cups that can hold a heavy camera. There’s a long extension arm to allow clearance of your windshield. The mount attaches to any flat smooth surface. The mount pivots at a ball and socket connection at the base and tip.
The RAM Mounting Systems Ram Mount Twist Lock Camera Suction Cup Mount is a different design versus the Fat Gecko. Shorter arm, single 3.3″ suction cup with a twist lock vacuum lock. The mount comes with a standard 1/4″ – 20 threaded attachment and that attachment has a round platform which I find useful for stabilizing a heavier DSLR camera. These have pivot ball and sockets at the base and tip. A lifetime warranty is offered by the manufacturer.
I mentioned earlier there are two good locations for DSLR camera car mounts. The second location is the car dash. I guess it all depends upon where you plan to target your photos from. Assuming it’s directly out the front windshield, a car dash mount will work great, perhaps better than a suction mount. If you will be shooting out your side window, then a suction may work best. You can potentially attach a suction to the front windshield and simply angle it through the side. If taking it through the front windshield, just place the dash mount in place and you should be all set.
On the car dashboard, the Arkon Sticky Suction Windshield or Dash Camera Mount makes for an interesting entry. It’s the mount in the photo that accompanies this article. This is a suction cup mount with a sticky base. The sticky base adheres to a textured or smooth dash. Be sure to wash your dash free of any oils or dirt prior to attachment. If the sticky part loses suction, just rinse it in warm soapy water to recharge. There is an extension arm that increases height from 3.5 inches to 7 inches although I recommend using the shorter length for a larger DSLR camera. The mount adjusts vertically and provides 360 degree rotation.
These are three good examples of DSLR camera car mounts. Be safe with these mounts. Since we’re talking about a DSLR camera, not a dash cam, snap your photos while stationary, not while driving.