Testdrive January 2010
The DollyTrax camera dolly system from MidSouth Visual is a budget trackless dolly system.
Let me start off as usual with saying that i am not a native English speaker and i apologize for my mid-atlantic double-dutch English. I am hoping to find an English-speaking editor to take over this job a.s.a.p.
The product explained.
The DollyTrax camera dolly system (from www.dollytrax.com) is manufactured by Paul Lyke from MidSouth Visual and is advertised as “the new single or double operator trackless dolly system that instantly converts from straight to curved motion, on almost any surface”. It is indeed a camera dolly without tracks, so in fact a small cart with adjustable axle-angles and special inflatable tires. The Dollytrax is available in two versions, one with and one without seat&pushbar.
The dolly system was originally designed for use on MidSouth Visual’s own productions, but due to requests from other video producers, the decision was made to manufacture it for public sale. Quoting Paul: “I primarily wanted a dolly system that I could operate (push) myself, all while being able to frame the shot and pull focus at the same time. Secondly it had to be fast setup and lightweight, so I could grab and go to my next shot. I do a lot of fast paced EFP/b-roll shooting, and I don’t have the time or crew to set up track.”
Lyke notes that the biggest challenge of a trackless dolly system is providing smooth motion on a variety of level surfaces. Three-inch wide, four-ply pneumatic slick tires proved to deliver the smoothest performance on rough surfaces, like streets and asphalt. Another critical feature pro shooters want is the ability to quickly convert from straight motion to curved motion around a fixed radius. “While most systems use track that require calculating radii, measuring angles, distances, etc., it was too much of a time waster for me,” says Lyke. “I needed something where I could setup a new shot in around 30 seconds.”