Why a Playstation controller is the best way to control our camera rig

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Update by Chris Tropea to the Nissan Frontier Desert Runner project car
Oct 5, 2023 | Nissan, Frontier, Nissan Frontier, Camera Rig

More and more, we are using the Nissan Frontier to shoot car-to-car action photos and video. Having someone in the bed to capture that content, though, is not only dangerous but can also produce shaky footage.

To solve this issue, we looked at some commercially available camera rigs and decided that we could make our own out of stuff that we already had lying around.

We started with the hitch receiver from a bike rack, as it seemed solid and didn’t transmit vibrations.

We then used some custom aluminum plates with a DJI adaptor to mount our DJI Ronin S gimbal.

To control the camera, we’re using a PlayStation-style controller along with the DJI app. An HDMI cable connects the camera to a monitor mounted in the cab.

Now we can safely get super-smooth shots while we do our testing at the FIRM.

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1988RedT2 MegaDork
9/21/23 2:53 p.m.

So, it's not just for deep-sea submersibles anymore?

J.A. Ackley
J.A. Ackley Senior Editor
10/5/23 11:59 a.m.

In reply to 1988RedT2 :

I nominate Chris Tropea to lead developing the controls for the next deep-sea submersible mission to the Titantic. laugh

ChrisTropea Associate Editor
10/5/23 1:37 p.m.

This setup very much feels like playing a video game with the controls. Not sure if I would use this controller if I was going on a deep sea exploration though. 

superfund Reader
10/5/23 2:01 p.m.

With there being no pictures of the controller I'm just going to hope it's a Mad Catz

ChrisTropea Associate Editor
10/5/23 2:04 p.m.

This is the controller we use. I forget what brand it is but it's the one that would ship fastest from Amazon. 

J.A. Ackley
J.A. Ackley Senior Editor
10/5/23 2:14 p.m.

In reply to ChrisTropea :

Why a PlayStation-style controller over an Xbox one? Could this have saved those doomed in the submersible that sank?

ChrisTropea Associate Editor
10/5/23 2:15 p.m.

In reply to J.A. Ackley :

We went with the Playstation style one because it worked a little better with the software than the Xbox style from what we read when assembling the system. 

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
10/5/23 2:18 p.m.
ChrisTropea said:

but it's the one that would ship fastest from Amazon.

Some of my best and worst purchases were made using that logic.

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