Pico Flex Dolly makes for smooth moves


September 6, 2011

The Pico Flex Dolly allows low-budget film-makers to execute smooth tracking shots

The Pico Flex Dolly allows low-budget film-makers to execute smooth tracking shots

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Few things add to the production value of a video like a good tracking shot - you know, where the camera is on wheels, and moves around or towards the subject. While full-size dolly systems for 35 mm movie cameras are financially out of reach for most low-budget and hobbyist film-makers, guess what? You can now shoot movies with a little something called a digital single lens reflex camera, and it only needs a tiny dolly. One such creature is the CineSkates system, but we recently heard about another, known as the Pico Flex Dolly.

Unlike CineSkates, which consists of three wheels that attach to the feet of a GorillaPod tripod, the Pico Flex is more similar to a "real" dolly, in that it takes the form of an aluminum four-wheeled camera platform. Both sets of urethane wheels turn, and can be locked in position.

If users already have their own friction arm, they can mount it on the platform, then mount the camera on it in a variety of positions. If they don't own one, which is more likely the case, they can order an optional 11-inch (28-cm) arm with the dolly. There are a total of three mounting points on the platform, so additional arms holding things such as lights or lens flags could also be added.

The Pico Flex Dolly is made by Photography and Cinema, and is available for preorder via the company website. It sells for US$90 with the friction arm included, and $65 without.

The video below shows what can be done with it.

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Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away. All articles by Ben Coxworth

A useful but expensive version of a skate board.

Buy a skate board - lock up the trucks... add some squishy springing if needed - poke lots of grease in the wheel bearings to make it run more or less silent.

$70 change.

Mr Stiffy

Mr Stiffy;

OR, you could simply spend the $90 bucks on the dolly and not waste an entire day screwing around with something best...would be junk and not work anyway. As a photographer I must admit I\'d much rather just spend the money and do the shot what we like to call \"the right way\". Compared to the price of every other piece of camera equipment, 90 is cheap.



\"OR, you could simply\" save the $20 bucks, and \"buy a skate board - lock up the (...)\", and be happy you\'re able to quickly build your own solutions to simple problems.

I guess both is legitimate; one doesn\'t always need to go for the latest gadget if one were just a little creative. But this isn\'t a DIY site. But then again, diy-comments are always a good check on the actual necessity of something \"brand new\".

But here\'s one advantage of this Pico Dolly: Size. It fits into pockets, unlike a skateboard. But you also get a few little wheels and a small board in a hardware store... 90 bucks for such an un-sophisticated piece of plastics? I mean, c\'mon, it\'s just 4 wheels!

Nils Sens

@Nils Sens, I wish it were that simple. I've spent the past 6 months developing a dolly that we're about to launch on kickstarter. The cost to build the Pico Dolly is probably $50 at least. And BTW, it's CNC machined aluminum, not plastic. I still don't get how they developed that axel. We just used modified skateboard truck hangers. I feel OldHacker's comment is the most realistic.

Tyler Simpson
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