30
Jan
10

DollyTrax camera dolly – January Hardware Testdrive

It has been delayed a few weeks, due to bad weather and illness. But here it is:

Hardware Testdrive: DollyTrax camera dolly system

Testdrive January 2010

The DollyTrax camera dolly system from MidSouth Visual is a budget trackless dolly system.
Dollytrax dollieLet 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.”

UPDATE FEB. 7:  The remainder of this review has been removed in consultation with the manufacturer. It seems that we have received a damaged unit. The review was therefore considered not relevant and is postponed to march or april 2010, with a new updated DollyTrax dolly.


5 Responses to “DollyTrax camera dolly – January Hardware Testdrive”


  1. 1 Mark
    February 7, 2010 at 7:03 pm

    Seems a shame to take down the review, the comments made seemed like design faults not damaged items (screws and hubs).
    Your review now reads like an advert for the unit, will you re-publish a review later?

  2. 2 marvelsfilm
    February 7, 2010 at 9:07 pm

    Mark.

    I’d like to pride myself on saying that the hardware reviews are not biased in any way. The manufacturer has explained to me that the Dollytrax was not only damaged during transport, but also that the product has been redesigned and parts improved so that such damage (and other defects mentioned in the review) are now obsolete in the “Dollytrax V2”. Since the import of my Dollytrax took over a month due to trouble with customs and mail, the release of the improved version crossed my tests. The manufacturer agreed on my proposal to send the improved version a.s.a.p. so that i can base the review on the current production model.
    I think that’s fair.

    Martin

  3. 3 Mark
    February 12, 2010 at 1:18 am

    Martin
    Thanks for the clarification, please be assured that I was not accusing you of bias. I thought your original review was a very useful reminder that we often have to take on trust what we read on websites, and that we all rely on those filmmakers (such as you) who use their own money to buy and review product.
    I understand that the manufacturer wanted you to take the review down, it was damming. I nearly bought the same unit and like you did not realise that it was made of wood. The fact that they are now offering a Dollytrax v2 indicates that there were design faults, not just shipping faults.
    It was only in your response to me that the v2 version of the product was announced (their website doesn’t mention it)! You have done the community a service if you have exposed products with problems. My original comments just reflect the fact that I think that your UPDATE statement should have mentioned the design faults, and not just attributed all the issues to shipping damage.
    Anyway, matter closed! Keep up the good work, I enjoy reading your blog.
    Mark

  4. 4 marvelsfilm
    February 12, 2010 at 11:15 pm

    Hi Mark. No offense taken! I really appreciate your comment and reaction.
    My planning of a final Dollytrax review depends now on the manufacturer Paul Lyke.
    Keep an eye on this blog and http://www.martinbeek.net

    Martin

  5. 5 Leo
    July 26, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    i got a pic of this, and built one myself and works GREAT!! thanks for posting this up.. making it my self i saved $400, i cant beleive how much they sell it for .. no where near that much to make it..


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