How to use a pov chest mount

My POV MTB Chest Mount Setup for intense footage

The chest mount is one of the best action camera positions for POV, but also the most difficult to use properly.

These are the biggest mistakes I see riders make all the time when using a chest cam:

  1. Narrow FOV looking boring and slow
  2. Wrong angle pointing to the ground or sky
  3. High camera position looking slow and detached
  4. Loose straps that result in shaky footage

I’ve learned the tricks I’m about to show you the hard way as I’ve been using the chest mount for almost all of the 200+ MTB POV videos on the Suspension Traveler YouTube channel.

I always get comments asking how I make my videos look so immersive and true-to-life – how they look as intense as it feels when riding. One key is using the chest mount properly.

mtb pov camera angle
The famous rule of thirds used for POV

Camera Angle

With the camera angle, go as low as you can while keeping the horizon and a bit of the sky in the frame.

For my chest mount, I found an angle of about 35° between mounting plate and camera to be the best.

I found this angle works well in all situations from flat trails to incredibly steep ones and also jump lines that change your body position all the time.

gopro chest mount perfect angle
Angle of about 30° between camera and chest plate.

You want to be able to see the ground rushing past and still see the horizon for reference.

An easy way to do this is using the rule of thirds: having interesting stuff in every segment of the picture from the bottom to the top.

mtb pov camera angle

This also provides the viewer with visual cues they can relate to – they can see what’s happening. How the bike is moving. How rough or smooth the trail is.

The middle should be where you’d look ahead on the trail as a rider.

Camera Position: Get low

Next up is the camera position on your body. Generally, lower is better for immersion. Higher is more secure and stable.

I tend to put it as low on the upper body as I can manage without impeding my movement.

Also, as you can see in the picture, I have the camera upside down and hanging off below the chest mount. This helps to put it just a couple more inches lower.

mtb pov chest mount position
My chest mount position: as low as I can go

Field of View: more is more

Surely heard of the GoPro effect: The fisheye lens makes even the hardest trail look smooth and slow.

But you can take the wide field of view to your advantage! By moving the camera closer to the ground, to show it moving past quickly.

Just make sure you tighten the straps to reduce any movement in the harness and avoid shaky action cam footage.

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Julian Mat is a former bike shop owner and editor of Suspension Traveler. He has been riding Downhill MTB and Enduro for over two decades.
Julian has poured all his accumulated knowledge, best-kept secrets, and proven guides into Suspension Traveler, to make it the go-to resource for gravity mountain bikers.

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