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Old January 2nd, 2009, 10:05 AM   #1
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anyone using tripod dollies? need advice...

I'm looking at this as an option to a glidecam... I think there would be less of a learning curve and probably can find one for a good price. Does anyone have any ideas of a good brand/model to go with. I'm only hope to spend around 100-200$... i know that B&H has some for 60$, but i'm guessing the quality might inhibit the look i'm going for.
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Old January 2nd, 2009, 10:08 AM   #2
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Bought one and HATED it! I returned it. It is not smooth and will only substitute for a glidecam if you are running it along a glass floor. It showed "jitter" every time it ran over even floor grout.

Hope that helps!
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Old January 2nd, 2009, 10:13 AM   #3
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I concur with Stephen. Imagine putting your camera on a grocery shopping cart and that's what it's like. Even with a smooth even floor it still vibrates the camera and you can pick up the rolling sound in your audio.
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Old January 2nd, 2009, 10:28 AM   #4
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I'm not 100% worried about the audio... But to know that they are prone to vibration on even flooring makes me feel a little let down. It does seem like a great idea. The ones that I've looked at, you can tell that there would be vibration. The wheels that are used seem to be very low quality. I'm surprised someone hasn't designed one with the bearings and wheels of a long-board skateboard. Sounds crazy, but it seems to me that they would be the best option.
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Old January 2nd, 2009, 12:16 PM   #5
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I find dollys are really only useful for going from point a to point b, forget about using one for any movement unless you have the perfect reception floor, even then it's iffy as the wheels can be prone to flatspotting. I have a dolly, however it usually sits in the back of my truck 49/50 weddings a year, the only time I use it is at very large receptions where it is easier to just wheel it around for the different events of the night. I mostly view it as one more thing to carry and makes a much larger footprint than just using a bare tripod, which can be a pain for cramped churches and receptions. If you want movement, start saving and go strait for a steadicam imho.

P.S. If your still interested I'll gladly sell you my manfrotto 3198 bought it last year for around 300 bucks, yours for only 150!! One of the wheels has a flatspot and needs to get replaced.
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Old January 2nd, 2009, 01:15 PM   #6
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I don't think the cheap ones of these are made for taking smooth moving shots. They're more for mounting things, cameras, monitors, lights, on to move them around efficiently.
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Old January 2nd, 2009, 01:23 PM   #7
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dollies CAN be very usefull BUT like any piece of gear it depends on the circumstances.
For instance, I use one where possible in the church. Rock solid steady footage and a decently smooth move to my final position. However it's not always possible to use it so I may use a monopod or nothing at all until I can get back to my tripod. I used to use it at receptions for intros, toasts, etc and even the first dance and IF it was a fairly smooth floor I could get some decent moves.
NOW hoaving said that, the dolly
I use is a Bogen 3067 that has 5 inch wheels so it's not as affected by the flooring as much as many dollies that use 3 inch wheels. Now for receptions I use a DVMultirig and frankly am quite happy with it plus it's a whole lot less gear to haul in.

Don
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Old January 2nd, 2009, 03:17 PM   #8
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I bought one once. Probably my worst purchase. It's only good for sliding your tripod out of the way.
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Old January 2nd, 2009, 03:50 PM   #9
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that sucks... i mean you would think with the right design it could be something pretty useful in our line of work. I think i'll scratch this idea from the drawing boards...

the multirig looks awesome... but a little more then what i want to spend right now.
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Old January 2nd, 2009, 09:13 PM   #10
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The dollies you guys are referring to are the type shown in the picture below.

May be worth your while having a quick look at the Glidetrack to see if it ticks any of your boxes. It certainly gets around all the problems associated with the setup shown, and is ultra portable/quick to setup.

Bit above your budget, however, you would at least have something that worked, as opposed to lying in your car/attic/garage.

You can find it via my signature.
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Old January 2nd, 2009, 11:24 PM   #11
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Hint: Wheelchair. :)
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Old January 3rd, 2009, 04:40 AM   #12
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same as dana, bought one, sold it on ... within 1 whole day i seem to remember!
it's the same as pushing a supermarket trolley and expecting it to always go in the direction you want - i.e. it won't!

glidetrack however is my best investment of 2008.
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Old January 3rd, 2009, 07:29 AM   #13
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tried it out midyear this year.

http://jmagbanua.com/vids/mae_rj.wmv

It has its uses but much too cumbersome to use. The Gldietrack(TM) is the way to go.
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Old January 3rd, 2009, 11:18 AM   #14
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Hey guys... once again thanks for the suggestions.
The glidetrack looks like an awesome product... Which one are you guys using? The compact version or the standard?
I never though of using it in place of a tripod dolly...just makes me want it even more now.

Jason, your video looked awesome. Nice job! I didn't think the shots with the dolly were bad by any means. If you go in expecting to use it on a particular type of surface (ie, dance floor). It looks like it could yield some pretty decent results. I wouldn't expect it to perform well on a surface such as asphalt.

This being said. The glidetrack still seems to be a better investment. I might go with that.
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Old January 3rd, 2009, 11:38 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meryem Ersoz View Post
I don't think the cheap ones of these are made for taking smooth moving shots. They're more for mounting things, cameras, monitors, lights, on to move them around efficiently.
I second this. If the dolly doesn't run on track and doesn't have pneumatic wheels, it isn't really intended for moving shots. It's PRIMARY design is for moving the camera between shots. Of course, if you can get more mileage out of it than that, good on ya!
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