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Camera Skate Dolly
Get the perfect low-level, panning or tracking shot with this Camera Skate Dolly from Monoprice!
This dolly is constructed of solid aluminum, with adjustable aluminum axles and polyurethane covered plastic wheels, which employ ball bearings for ultra-smooth motion. The base plate features three 1/4"x20 threaded mounting points for ball joints, extension arms (such as PID 10275 or 10276), or other camera mounting solutions.
The axles can be angled to about 45° to either side, allowing the dolly to turn a full circle in as little as a 7" radius. Markings on the base plate allow for precise adjustment of axle angles so you can get a straight or curving motion for panning and tracking shots.
- Compact size: 8.0" x 6.5" x 2.5"
- Roller bearing wheels for smooth motion
- Solid aluminum construction
- Three 1/4"x20 mounting points
- Axles can be angled up to about 45° to either side
- Can track a full circle in a 7" radius
- Includes 1/4"x20 to 3/8" thread adapter
- Weighs only 1.2 lbs
- Supports up to 24.9 lbs
- Specification Sheet (Apr 19, 2013)
PROS: small, light, black, smooth rolling
CONS: no brakes
PROS: The thing just works. It's great for either straight long shots or nice tight radius shots.
CONS: The only con is that it didn't come with any instructions. I basically figured it out, but it might be nice to know how they intended to use all the adjust holes etc.
The skate itself is quite heavy and very well made. The arms adjusting wheel direction are just about the right stiffness so you can get them pointed the right direction, but they will stay in place when you don't want them to move.
The wheels roll very easily and are smooth. Be careful, it's easy to set your camera down somewhere where it will happily roll away into a street or off a table. No, the wheels don't lock.
The limitation of the dolly's ability to look professional is how flat a surface you are rolling it on. Carpet isn't flat enough and the pic bounces a bit even with image stabilization on in the lens. I have a 2x10 which is 10 feet long which was lying around and works extremely well. So do tables, desks or even a polished floor as long as you avoid any cracks.
I am still undecided as to whether it's better to push the cart or the camera with my hand. I am also of the mind that pulling it with a bit of string might be better, but haven't tried that. It already looks great with just pushing and pulling, but I know with some practice my technique will no longer be the limiting factor.
My testing was done with a Canon 60D body with either the EF-S 15-85mm or various primes. I also tried it with an iPhone 5 which worked great. The heaviest configuration I tried weighed about 3.5 lbs plus the weight of the cart and arm. Weight of the camera didn't seem to make much difference in the stability of the shots although I would recommend leaving any image stabilization on inside the camera if you have it. I also used Premiere Pro's image stabilization with great success which cleaned up the last tiny jitters for buttery smooth shots.
I also got the 7" arm which Monoprice sells as an accessory. Given the cheap price of the skate the arm seemed pricy until I got it and realized how it worked. The single clamp on the middle joint tightens not only the joint, but both of the ball heads at either end of the arm. So it's effortless to set even a heavy camera into any position and lock it down with one turn. It also allows counterbalancing the weight of a lens so the skate doesn't fall over which a normal ball head won't do. Get the arm!
Overall, the unit works very well. It allows for shots I could never get and was very inexpensive for it's capability. Well done, Monoprice! Highly Recommended!
PROS: Well Made. Heavy. Smooth Rolling. Allows expensive tracking shots which look fantastic and are dirt cheap to shoot.
CONS: Reveals just how shaky your body is even pushing a little cart )
Requires a ball head or some other way of attaching camera and skate together so you can aim the camera.
PROS: Smooth rolling
CONS: No manual. There are some little parts that come with it and I'm not quite sure how it's all supposed to work together. That said, we made it work with my GoPro with a tripod mount.
PROS: Well made
PROS: Great design, smooth operation, flexible platform for different cameral options.
CONS: Can't think of any.
PROS: Well built and very smooth.
CONS: Smaller than it looked.
PROS: Well made. Heavy duty. Easy to operate.
CONS: Wheel lockup. Small size.
Pros: Great color, nice wheels
Cons: All four wheels won't touch the floor or surface you pan on.
I was so looking forward to this. When I received it, it was really wobbly. When you put it on a level surface, all four wheels are not on the ground, causing the skate dolly to wobble when you pan. I thought the weight of my Nikon would fix this, but the camera wasn't heavy enough. I emailed Monoprice to see if there were a fix for this and I got no reply. So I just returned it.
PROS: nice color
CONS: Very wobbly and not steady.