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Old August 3rd, 2010, 02:47 PM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: York, England
Posts: 1,323
Good Dolly & Track (extendable)

Wow. Lots of dolly & track options out there - but it's hard to know which are good and which are bad. so....

I'm looking to buy a Dolly & Track that I can use for commercial work. Since I want to buy once and not keep coming back to the market because the 'cheapy' turned out to be crap, I'm looking for something that's not the cheapest, but will do the job. I need

1) To be able to put it together and pull it apart quickly (5-10 mins max) without tools

2) I'd like the track to be extendable when needed and be SMOOTH from one section to the next

3) Straight and corner capable - it's no good if the thing folds in a coil then you can't get it straight again

4) Must be configurable over 'not entirely flat' ground (i.e. level the track). I'm talking drive ways and grass that are not flat, but not seriously bumpy either.

5) Ideally should be able to go through normal doorways when assembled

6) I don't need to be able to sit on it - but that may be an option that favours one over another.

7) Camera size is Panasonic HMC151 up to HPX371 or Sony EX3

Budget is not fixed at this time, but I really don't want to spend the earth because it has to pay for itself - so what systems do you recommend?
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Old August 3rd, 2010, 06:02 PM   #2
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Fairfield, Dunedin, New Zealand
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Hi David...................

Anything here take your fancy?

Camcorder Tracking Dollies

All their stuff is solid and reliable and they're not exactly a million miles from you if you want to try before you buy.

The track does have joiners however, and as with any system that has joiners, there is a bit of a bump when you cross them, tho' in practice it's easy to cut around them in post.

You COULD get away from the joiners by buying a coil of the neccessary pipe but that could very quickly get out of hand and you'd need a truck to transport it.

The Libec unit shown may well be better but then you're really shelling out some serious money.

Somewhere to start, anyway.

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Old August 4th, 2010, 10:47 AM   #3
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: York, England
Posts: 1,323
Thanks Chris.

Yes - I've looked at Hague and I'm yet to be convinced about the value of using PVC (or rubber) pipes. They are either not easy to transport, not easy to maintain perfectly straight or not even to level.

I've looked at the Hollywood Micro Dolly - and would appreciate feedback from any one who has used one.

Any others similar to the Micro Dolly?
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Old October 15th, 2010, 04:33 PM   #4
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Canada
Posts: 46
Eazy Dolly

I just unpacked my Eazy Dolly, and would be happy to give a quick report on it.

Welcome To Eazy

Firstly, it arrived quickly (and I'm in Canada, so we are used to packages being held in customs for a few days) and was packaged VERY professionally. It took me literally ten minutes to unpack the carton, assemble the dolly and track and shoot a couple of minutes of quick test footage.

The track is metal, with very good joiners that bolt together. (You don't need a wrench. Finger tight is fine.) There are three sections in the 12-foot standard package, and I got an extra 4-foot center section. The dolly itself is very solid, and it takes less than 30 seconds to spread it apart, attach one arm, look at it in puzzlement, finally figure out the label must face you, turn it around, and begin shooting. Honest; 30 seconds, and I'm a moron.

It is very well made and definitely a professional-level piece of kit all around. There are so many interesting design features, I can't begin to describe them. It turned out to be better made, lighter, faster to assemble and ultimately smoother than I had even hoped for.

Let there be no mistake - I have been in the film business for almost 20 years and I have watched folks work with the pro-level dollys and tracks since day one. There is no way in the world I would have ever been satisfied with a homemade dolly and dolly track. The Eazy Dolly track is like a smaller version of the pro's track, and the dolly itself may not be the $20,000 ride-on kind like the big boys, but will suffice for everything I am going to use it for.

When I reviewed the test footage, I could not detect the slightest bump in the footage when crossing joints, and the track fits very snuggly together. It also bolts together so you know it isn't going to spread apart throughout the day. (Just for fun, I laid it straight on the grass with no wedges or leveling at all ... and the footage was just fine. Now I am going to use proper wedges for real though, especially on grass because the track and the wheels are SO well-made and smooth that they will show the slightest bump from one blade of grass!)

Essentially, for $600, I got a tripod dolly, 12 feet of track, and extra 4-foot center section AND shipping. It was a great deal, and I am more than pleased with it. (One of these days I may get around to reading the assembly instructions, but I sure didn't need them; this thing is so simple and straightforward. Hey ... I'm a Mac user; we don't do manuals.)

The personal service from Carlos was amazing and I am now like a kid ... in a candy store ... with a new toy ... on too much coffee and Red Bull.

I am going to have to finish this report and go out and shoot SOMETHING ...
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