Recently I was I need of a remotely controllable camera for work I was doing with a client, nothing fancy I just needed a GoPro mounted on an RC vehicle to get a very specific shot. I thought I would share my experience with my followers on the equipment I ended up using and an easy way I mounted my GoPro without having to modify the RC truck. I originally started out with the Traxxas Slash and by all means, this RC truck was more than sufficient and capable of doing the job, but I decided I wanted something a little larger that could handle more terrain.
I opted to go with the Traxxas 8s X-Maxx and I must say this RC truck is truly incredible both for mounting various cameras and just for driving for fun. The reason I decided to go with the X-Maxx was due to its sheer size. It has large oversize tires, beefy suspension, and a large frame. The large size translates into smoother footage when driving over debris or rough terrain. If you look at it this way, if there is a stone on a road and a small tire drives over it, it will cause quite a bounce on the vehicle. If a large tire drives over that same stone it will absorb most of it with little vibration or movement of the vehicle.
As for cameras, I mounted both my Hero 7 Black and DJI Osmo Action, both cameras have amazing built-in stabilization and allow you to get incredibly smooth footage even when driving on bumpy surfaces. For added stability especially when filming in low light situations, you can also add a gimbal such as the FeiyuTech WG2X as demonstrated in my video. The added bonus of using a gimbal is if you are filming on a slop while driving the RC camera car the gimbal will keep the horizon level. Mounting a GoPro on the Traxxas 8s X-Maxx is quite easy, all I did was use the GoPro Jaws Clamp and clamped it on the front shock towers, this kept the GoPro firmly in place. Another method you could use is a GoPro bike mount and clamp it to the shock towers as well. Mounting in this location is perfect and even with the wide FOV of the GoPro, the front bumper of the RC car was not in the shot. If you do find it is in your shot the front bumper is easily removable.
This RC truck is more than capable of carrying larger payloads if you need to use a more professional camera. You would have to get a little creative but you could easily mount something like the Ronin S or SC with a mirrorless camera attached. It may be a little top-heavy but due to the wide wheelbase of the X-Maxx, it should be no problem as long as you are not driving to crazy.
The price of the Traxxas 8s X-Maxx is a little high and definitely, you will need some justification to invest in a remote camera rig like this, The slash is half the price and maybe a better option if you want to spend less. Alternatively there a low-cost RC’s available on Amazon, I have not tested any other that the Slash and the X-Maxx and can not comment on how they would perform as a remote RC camera setup.
Traxxas 8s X-Maxx: https://amzn.to/2FFektu
Traxxas X-Maxx Batteries: https://amzn.to/2ZUAPCn
Traxxas Slash: https://amzn.to/2JUDPbo
Traxxas Dual Charger: https://amzn.to/2RJSeea
GoPro Hero 7 Black: https://amzn.to/2ZSYTph
DJI Osmo Action: https://amzn.to/2EurZTr
GoPro Jaws Clamp: https://amzn.to/2LpU7fw
GoPro Bike Mount: https://amzn.to/2XO4yAk
FeiyuTech WG2-X Gimbal: https://amzn.to/2Yamcxw