3 DIY Camera Dollies - ClubTread Community

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 11-01-2012, 11:36 PM Thread Starter
Headed for the Mountains
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Kamloops, BC, Canada.
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Default 3 DIY Camera Dollies

I've recently had a slow month for work, so I've went about building camera equipment I can use on hiking and skiing excursions

This video demonstrates the use of 3 different types of camera dollies and what kind of angles can be achieved with each one given the situation.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fNCuemZB5aU

I am curious as to who else on Tread films and what kind of equipment they use.

And also.. In keeping with the Halloween spirit I made a somewhat eerie/creepy video. You can watch it here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lmFBMp9y82k

(it must be noted, that in filming the latter video I was sick as hell so I didn't go about taking the time to have it make any sense. I was going to throw in some acting for the dialog bits but ended up settling on simple static and dolly shots)

No GoPros were harmed in the making.

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post #2 of (permalink) Old 11-01-2012, 11:46 PM
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Good leads for sure.
I will always likely shoot free hand or stationary. The effects you get are much smoother and Pro looking though
Thats dedication to better film [^]
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 11-02-2012, 10:31 AM Thread Starter
Headed for the Mountains
 
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Free hand is better at letting the viewer know that there is someone behind the camera which definitely will always be useful in different situations. where as dolly or jib shots, if done well, immerse the viewer and lets them forget that someone is piloting the camera.

I've found that using my portable dolly works great for panning time laps also. Combined with a ratcheting system that you have to manually advance at evenly spaced intervals actually can produce decent lapses. Its pretty involved and definitely the poor mans system but it works.

At the moment, working on time lapse of Kamloops scenery. I'm hoping it turns out well...
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 11-02-2012, 12:03 PM
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Nice instructive video. I think I'm going to start doing videos. I do the majority of my photography at sunrise/sunset and don't keep many shots from daytime activities. Seems like video can tell a pretty neat story of the day's activities with just a little planning. I've been amazed at the quality of amateur video lately with even entry-level equipment. Have you had any success using a monopod or adapted hiking pole for panning shots while hiking/skiing?
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 11-02-2012, 01:27 PM
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Sa-weet! Awesome video. Love those contraptions. Brilliant ideas!

Perfect timing as I've been considering a small dolly setup for a kayaking trip coming up.

What do you use for the silver wheels in the second dolly?

I was thinking something similar to that....and then I will use my paddle shafts for the rails. I need it to be absolutely as small and light as possible as I'm going on a self-sufficient kayak trip for a month and weight limit on the aeroplane is tight (seeing as I'm taking my folding kayak with me).

I film some outdoor adventures (www.vimeo.com/ewenclark). I used to use a Canon HV30...now I use a Canon T2i or 7D. I have experimented with the Contour HD a while ago (not impressed) and most recently the Sony NEX 5 (also not impressed).
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 11-02-2012, 04:46 PM Thread Starter
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Thats quite the awesome camera setup you have there Booewen. I'm a little bit jealous to be honest..
Great idea using the Kayak paddles! The wheels on the portable dolly are your standard skateboard bearings with spacers(spacers you can find at a skate shop). If you do use bearings as your way of rolling the dolly then you will need to make sure your paddles are completely smooth as any little nick or bump can cause a jump in the footage.

I'll be keeping an eye out for your video man!

@ Dav - I agree totally! Entry level DLSR's are packed with so many features for video now days.
As Philip Bloom says,"Canon has democratized film making". Pretty much anyone now can become a film maker with the tech becoming so cheap.

I have never used a mono pod but its an interesting idea. I could see it being useful in some situations. Probably a step above free hand filming.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 11-02-2012, 06:20 PM
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I turned my hiking/ski pole into a mono pod by epoxying a 3/8 screw into the top. Because I use a DSLR I find it doesn't really add much to stability. The camera is just too heavy and because it's simply screw on with no rubber plate...can't screw the camera on firm enough to not have it be a touch loose.

Plus panning or anything with a monopod is useless. You would need a fluid head on a monopod and then you may as well bring a tripod!

I find panning with a wide angle lens handheld works fine...especially if you stabilize it in the editing process.

And Saltfactory: it's my job so I am allowed to buy toys haha
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 11-03-2012, 11:55 AM Thread Starter
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I checked out your videos on Vimeo Booewen. Really impressive! I love the Asulkan video! Its so well done man. You and your buddies are all really strong skiers. Seeing the wicked telemark shots made me so eager for winter...

What were you filming with in that video?
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 11-03-2012, 12:55 PM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Saltfactory

I checked out your videos on Vimeo Booewen. Really impressive! I love the Asulkan video! Its so well done man. You and your buddies are all really strong skiers. Seeing the wicked telemark shots made me so eager for winter...

What were you filming with in that video?
Thanks!

I should clarify...my buddies were all definitely amazing skiers. I, on the otherhand, had only been skiing 2 years at that point and as such do not feature in the video at all. Haha. They were so great looking after me and waiting for me on the downs and giving me tips, it was awesome.

I shot it with the Canon HV30 (which shoots to mini-dv tape). I have yet to shoot a skiing video with a DSLR...I think it would be be much harder in terms of zooming, focusing even stability. None of the shots in the video were planned...everything was just shot on the fly because no-one wanted to hang around and miss out on turns for a video. So literally just kept the camera handy and grabbed it out quickly when I could. Don't think that approach would work so well with a DSLR.

Because of the excessive slightly damp Rogers Pass snow...I taped a clear plastic bag over the whole of the camera except the lens. And didn't open it the whole week. So the camera kept bone dry...and I could operate the camera through the bag without much problem. Although it was hard to see through the view finder..so I shot half-blind a lot of the time. I couldn't flip the screen open with the bag on.
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 11-04-2012, 12:04 PM Thread Starter
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Considering how rushed you were and the quality of the video is true testament to a talented film maker.

Interesting point with taking the DSLR along. I will have to budget my time time wisely if I'm to film with my Canon 600D while skiing. Fiddling with settings while in the mountains will interesting. I'm foreseeing frozen hands in the near future. Although lots of shots can be done with the GoPro.

You never mentioned having a GoPro. Have you thought about picking up the hero 3?

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post #11 of (permalink) Old 11-04-2012, 08:33 PM
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saltfactory;' what camera/s/lenses are you using?
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post #12 of (permalink) Old 11-05-2012, 08:49 AM Thread Starter
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Using a Canon T3i. I shot the time laps with an 18-55mm macro lens.
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