Quick Tripod Tip For Using Your Tripod Within Your Vehicle

I received a message from reader/listener who was confused as to what I talking about when I referred to using a tripod within my vehicle.  The reader said the only time they really used their tripod was to record the interviews they conducted.  I explained to the individual what I was referring to, but then it occurred to me there might be others out there that don’t know what I am talking about.  I figured creating a video that explained how I used the tripod in my vehicle would be a easier to understand then to write about it or explain it in a podcast.

A tripod is not ideal to use in every situation but is always good to have in your surveillance vehicle for that moment where you don’t want to hold a video camera for extended periods of time.  It will also allow for you video to be still.  Shaky video is a private investigator nightmare and embarrassing to send to a client.  In this video I used the previously reviewed Targus TG-5060TR.  Click the photo for the link to Amazon.

Thanks for watching.



  1. I’ve used this tip for a while now. One variation is when I want to use my HD camcorder to record a subject that may go mobile. I will thread the seat belt through the tripod brace at the middle (triangle area) and that helps to hold the camera still if I have to start driving. I use this in my front passenger seat so I can operate the camera while driving (be careful). Sticking the rear two legs between the seat and seat-back a little also works in some cars for me.

    • Good tip Jim. I have never had good luck when trying to videotape with my tripod up in the front seat while driving. Typically if the individual I am watching goes mobile then the tripod comes down and I switch back to my monopod.

  2. I’ve been doing PI work for 8 years now, insurance for the last 4, I do photography on the side as well so just stumbled into something. A Manfrotto Magic Arm with a grip head, flip the lever on the arm and I have about 24″ of reach and 360 degree articulation. Squeeze the pistol grip where the camera mounts and there is another ball joint for fine tuning. It mounts in the center of the vehicle so is good for every direction except the driver side (I don’t want that arm in my face). so for that I have a suction cup mount, quick disconnect the camera and mounting plate off the arm and attach it to the suction cup and ball mount’s quick connect.

  3. Andrew, I have read your very informative review of the HD DVR car camera in which you referred to the use of a tripod in car. When I acquired one of these cameras (which I recognised from the photos including the box in which it came) the menu items were in Chinese, which I don’t understand. On the internet I came across a review of a DVR Camera in which instructions were given for translating the items from Chinese to English. The camera shown appeared to be very to mine (including the box) except that it was not HD. I thought I would give the translation a try. In doing so the firmware appears to have been changed because inter alia the default resolution for the HD camera, 1280*720 is not now available, the infrared does not work and the daytime video is jerky and not as sharp as it should be. It would appear that the HD firmware has been overwritten and attempts to recover the situation by translating the menu items back to Chinese failed to restore the HD functions.
    I purchased the HD DVR on the internet and can’t contact the vendor. Moreover, the Camera does not have a name by which I could contact the manufacturer.
    I would be very grateful if you could advise me as to how reinstall the original HD setup instructions either in English or in Chinese.
    Thank you
    JJ Mac

    • Hi John,

      I haven’t watched my video since I made it but it should be clear that he camera is not really HD. I personally never used or tested the infrared on it so I can not vouch for it. Please keep in mind with anything bought on Ebay or Amazon (especially with cameras) that the quality is not that of a big name brand especially for the price. ‘

      And for the price, this camera did everything I expected it to do. I don’t know how to reinstall instructions. I am sorry I can not be of more help. Hopefully another user of this camera and answer your question.