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Gear & Apps

Tutorial: Build Your Own 2-Axis Cable Cam

By Hanssie on July 20th 2014

Who doesn’t love a good DIY project? Especially one that saves you some money using items you may already have in your garage or will have as soon as you make a quick trip to Home Depot.

The following tutorial gives step by step instructions for building a 2-axis cable cam for your timelapse photography and real time video needs. Using the Syrp Genie Motion Control Timelapse Device and your DIY roller platform, you can get some pretty cool aerial shots.


Screen Shot 2014-07-19 at 6.09.04 PM

The Genie was a very successful Kickstarter project a few years ago, raising over $600k (their goal was $150k). The device is used for motion control and image capture for film and timelapse. It is a favorite among filmmakers and timelapse photographers because of it’s size and ease of use. You can program the Genie and it magically does it all – turns, slides, pivots while taking the photo for you. It will set you back a cool $900 though, but from what I hear, it’s worth it.

Turns out the company is giving one away to “the best DIY cable cam rig we lay our eyes on. Simply post a photo(s) to your Instagram feed and tag @syrp_ #syrpdiy.” So, watch the video and get to Home Depot ASAP!

[Via Syrp on Vimeo]

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Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at Follow her on Instagram

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Michael Moe

    looks like after effects warp stabilizer got a lot do to with the footage! ;)

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  2. Greg Faulkner

    Looks a bit Heath Robinson to me….

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    I always love DIY projects you create something cool…..its also advisable you be careful and not end up breaking your other gear or camera ….play safe

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  4. Stan Rogers

    Really cool idea, but it’s guaranteed to be a bit “bouncy” under some conditions. (Not because it’s inexpensive or DIY, but because it’s cables. Fundamental physics never take a break.) So to prevent expensive bad things from happening when (not if) the wheels come off the cables, you are definitely going to want to put some sort of safety strap around the cables if you try this at home. (Inexpensive “not for climbing” carabiners would probably do nicely; you’re just trying to turn a forty-foot drop onto something solid into a two-or-three inch drop hanging from something springy.)

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