DSLR cameras have brought high-def video capture into the hands of vast numbers of people like myself – people who have now had a glimpse at the possibility of making pro-standard video but who don't have the cash for all the pricey accessories that you need to move to the next level. So a bunch of businesses are taking creative approaches to bring down the cost of moviemaking – and here's a neat example. RigWheels are a simple and compact way to build yourself a cheap camera dolly to liven up your footage with sliding shots – the visual effect is similar to what we got with a slightly more expensive Glidetrack-type slider rig on our recent Zero Electric Supermoto review video.
RigWheels are sold in packs of 3 or 4, and each unit is effectively a large bolt with four 25mm rubber coated bearing wheels attached.
You mount them on some sort of carriage – whether it's a carriage to which you directly mount your camera, or a carriage on which you secure a tripod. Then you lay down a smooth surface like a pair of parallel pipes, tracks or rails, and slide away to your heart's content.
Like all "hack" solutions, it's likely to be a bit fiddly to set up, but the RigWheels team reckon their wheels are exceptionally smooth on the right surface.
RigWheels aren't cheap, at US$115 plus US$25 shipping for a pack of 4 if you don't live in the United States. But they're a heck of a lot cheaper than pro-level dolly systems, and they're compact enough to throw in your kit bag wherever you're headed. And the lift this kind of movement can give your footage may well be worth the money.