Shooting top quality videos requires so many instruments besides the cameras. One of the most important camera accessories is the camera dolly. This instrument helps the person behind the camera to move it seamlessly. To get the perfect shot and have a good shooting experience, a top quality camera dolly is necessary. It will allow you to easily adjust the angle of the camera and conveniently move it upwards, downwards and sideways. The right camera dolly will also provide extra support and stability, reducing fatigue as the cameramen will achieve better shots with less effort.
In this article, we will look at the top 9 best camera dollies that are available at the moment and discuss other important things that will help you choose the right one for you.
Top 9 Best Camera Dollies
1. TARION Y5D
This is a perfectly designed camera dolly system for DSLR/Mirrorless cameras photography. It is specially made to be used as an electric autodolly slider car which can run on both straight line and curved line. It is also compatible for iPhone photographer. While this will be a valuable addition in the collections of a professional photographer, it can also be the perfect camera dolly for the beginner and/or amateur photographer who is desirous of a quality end result. It will also make video making easier for the user.
The TarionY5D Antodolly is an innovative camera dolly with all the features to make video making more fun for an experienced user. It is equipped with a remote control for auto moving. The remote has an impressive working range of 20 feet which makes for improved convenience. It is scaled marked to adjust directions easily. It also provides 3 speed levels to get the best shooting effect. The dolly is also affordable.
2. Dolica LT-D100
In terms of design, functionality, and price, this is one of the most attractive camera dollies on the market. It is a professional lightweight and heavy-duty tripod dolly that features adjustable leg mounts and wheel locks. It has an interestingly obvious professional-grade construction: the body is made of lightweight aluminum while the wheels are made from quality plastic and rubber.
The Dolica LT-D100 Professional camera dolly enables smooth roll movement for all kinds of projects. It is compatible with all standard professional tripods and light stands. Though it is lightweight, this dolly is very stable and will perform excellently in all kinds of surfaces. Adjusting the height of the tripod is a breeze. Folding and moving the dolly from place is also very easy, thanks to the locking pins. In addition to a very helpful dolly handle, this product also comes with a black nylon case for easy and convenient transportation.
3. TARION TR-SD80
This is another top-quality camera from Tarion that ticks all the boxes when it comes to the factors that matter most to most professional buyers. It is a well-made sliding system that is specially designed for stable continuous filming. It is strong and can hold most kinds of professional DSLR cameras, SLR, and professional camcorders. The innovative unique design on both ends of the dolly protects the slide plate from impact and scratch. The design of the ends also help to ensure maximum use of the track length.
The TARION TR-SD80 Track Slider is equipped with a standard ARCA SWISS groove that eliminates the need for a quick-release plate. It also features 4 adjustable low-resistant roller bearings which improve stability and smooth movement. The dolly is also very cheap.
4. Ravelli ATD
This is a highly rated professional-grade camera dolly that will contribute meaningfully to the making of ultra-smooth videos. It is specially designed to allow for the smoothest rolling movement of tripods and light stands on any kind of surface. Like other products in its class, this dolly comes in a heavy-duty construction that will hold all kinds of heavy cameras. It is obviously durable too.
One of the major reasons the Ravelli ATD Professional Tripod Dolly moves very smoothly is the fact that the rubber wheels contain casters with all metal ball bearings. It also features fully adjustable leg locks that make it possible to fold it down to a small and more portable size. It also comes with a strong and handy bag that makes carrying it easier.
5. Kamerar SD-1 Mark II
This is yet another camera dolly that you will find very valuable during filmmaking. Measuring about 23 inches in length, this dolly is big and strong enough to support most digital cameras used for moviemaking. It also has a sturdy construction with strong metals and four nylon rollers. The 4 legs are removable. They are strong, however, and provide the needed support and stability needed to obtain the smoothest videos.
One other reason many professionals love this dolly is the fact that it has 1/4″ and 3/8″ screw adapter for mounting a camera or head unto the sliding plate and a stop break. Though this product cannot be termed affordable, it is reasonably priced. It also comes with Lifetime Limited Hardware Warranty to boost the value of the package.
6. Vidpro SK-22
This is one of the most aesthetically pleasing camera dollies you will find on the market. In addition to the good look, it is a well-built dolly that will stand the test of time. It is made from CNC-machined aluminum and smooth rolling rubber wheels. It is designed for use with DSLRs and camcorders. Thanks to the innovative design and strong, secure grip, using this dolly will be easy for beginners and expert photographers.
The Vidpro SK-22 Professional Skater Dolly performs excellently in all kinds of surfaces. You are sure to get precise camera gliding even on rough patches. It allows for 360 radial and straight line dolly motion. It is ideal for table-top use as well as low-angle motion tracking. It comes with articulating magic arm that helps to make using it smoother.
7. Glide Gear DEV 1000
This is a highly recommended camera dolly that was made for individuals who want feature-film quality production shots but are limited by their budgets. Though it is not the cheapest dolly on the list, it is among the reasonably priced when you consider its quality. It is made with aircraft-grade, heavy-duty CNC-machined aluminum. It can comfortably handle most cameras with the maximum load being 9kg.
The Glide gear DEV 1000 camera dolly features a self-lubricating glide rails, spirit level, and tension adjustment knob with locking features. It can be used in a number of ways: it can be deployed as a standalone unit with the detachable feet and can also be attached to a Tripod. It is a very handy slider that will give you the feeling of using a high-end camera dolly. It will also improve your videos meaningfully.
8. Konova KSD1000
This is a Korean made camera dolly that will help you to shoot very smooth motion pictures without any hassles. From its design to its functionality this an above average dolly that makes video making easy without costing you a fortune. The main base is made of anodized aluminum, which is great at handling impact and dust. The wheels are made of high quality ball bearings and helps the dolly move smoothly, minimizing noise for the best video recording experience.
Thanks to the quality of construction and material, this dolly is quite durable. The anodized aluminum rods are adjustable, have smooth movement, and can be locked easily. It is strong, stable and works best on flat surfaces. The wheels are also well-coated to improve durability.
9. Pico Flex Dolly
This is a huge bargain you can grab straightaway. It is an affordable camera dolly that offers almost everything you will expect from the high-end dollies. It has a high-quality construction; made of durable aluminum with smooth roller blade style wheels and fluid bearings. On any smooth surface, the little dolly offers smooth, high quality camera tracking that will let the user take cinematic shots.
With a smartphone and this Pico flex dolly, an amateur will make a professional-level video with little effort. It features fully adjustable axles that enable smooth straight line, curved, and even 360-degree movements. You just need to install a small ball head onto the 1/4-20″ mount and you are good to go. You can also mount additional accessories as there are 2 x female 1/4-20″ threads.
Camera dollies are not things you should buy in a hurry. They are important accessories when there is need to take top quality videos. Looking at the variety of products reviewed here, you should have an idea of how difficult it can be to choose one. To make the experience easier, we will discuss few other helpful things in this section.
Factors to Consider when Choosing a Camera dolly
Here are the most important factors you need to consider when it is time to buy a camera dolly.
The Cameras You Intend to Mount on Them
You need to think about the sorts of cameras you are going to mount on dollies before picking a particular model. If you own heavy camera/camcorders and/or plan to acquire one, you need to look at the sort of dolly that can support it/them.
Quality of Construction
The quality of construction is one of the most significant factors to consider when choosing a camera dolly. You need a dolly that is made with the right materials and designed in such a way that it can stand rough usage and minor accidents.
Stability is key to obtaining those smooth footages we all love. You should look for dolly models that will remain stable even when moving on rough surfaces. The wheels and the mounts are among the most important aspects of the dolly when it comes to stability.
You also need a camera dolly that will move smoothly in different directions when shooting. Some of the little factors that influence movement are reliable ball bearings, well-aligned rails and design of the dolly.
It is also desirable to buy a camera dolly that will let you mount your camera, camcorder, or any other compatible device with ease.
Frequently asked questions about camera dollies
Are Camera Dollies The Same Thing As Sliders?
While they perform similar tasks and look very much alike, dollies and siders are not exactly the same. Sliders are generally shorter, easier to setup and quite flexible.
What Are The Major Reasons For Using Camera Dollies?
The major reasons for using camera dollies is to track shots and keep cameras steady while taking tracking shots. They are needed to make the end product (video) smoother.
Are Camera Dollies Only Necessary For Shooting Video?
Though they are most helpful in shooting videos, camera dollies are also used in tracking subjects and taking still photographs. It depends mostly on what you are interested in and your experience level.
Are Camera Dollies Used In still Photography Too?
Yes, camera dollies can be used in still photography. This is mostly possible in wildlife photography where the subjects are likely to be moving about.
Can Video Makers Track A Shot Without A Dolly?
It is possible for experienced video makers to track a shot without camera dolly. This is not something you should try, however, as the quality of the footage you will get can never be as high as the quality of image you can get when you use a dolly or slider.
Make sure you understand all the important information contained on this piece before making any purchase. We sincerely hope this guide helps you buy the perfect camera dolly that will meet your need.