When you carry a video camera and walk around while filming, the resulting video is often very jerky and can be annoying for the viewer if you don’t follow good technique. Ideally, we’d all like that smooth camera motion you might get from a SteadyCam, but SteadyCams can get very expensive, they need some customization for the camera you’re using, and they take a long time to learn to use effectively.
So we’ve added a new heavy duty Tripod Dolly to our equipment lending program. Basically, you can rest your tripod on the dolly, and then wheel it around to get that professional look and feel in your final video. For obvious reasons, you’ll need to use it on smooth surfaces, so grass, gravel, thick carpets, uneven sidewalks, etc. probably won’t give you the best results, but it works like a dream on regular flooring or low carpeting. (And even on a slightly bumpy surface, you can always use something like Adobe Premiere‘s Warp Stabilizer to remove most of the shakiness after the fact–just ask a lab consultant if you need help with this!)
Wes and I made a 90 second video on how to use it, which you can view at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=267ccJfyQOY
Right now we only have one dolly, but if it proves to be a hit, I’ll get more to meet the demand.
Reserve the dolly online at checkout.sas.upenn.edu (you’ll find it located in the Tripods category.) If you’re new to borrowing from the Vitale Digital Media Lab, check out our overview of How to Reserve Equipment.
p.s. Thanks to William for the perfect title for this post.