Introduction: Motorized Video Pico Dolly With Canon SX 50 HS

The Pico Dolly off Ebay was $35. Add a $40 kit of Tamiya 12 speed gearbox,  battery holder/switch and wheels (available at most RC or train hobby stores) and you have a great, smooth dolly rig for creative video shots. Use the Canon SX50 HS to grab high speed or stabilized video and you have super cheap, fun to make, pro looking content.

Comments

author
nwyss made it! (author)2013-09-27

I have used with an iphone using my instant tripod adapter bulldog clip. It's smoothness is all about what it is moving on. a wood floor is very good, outside or on carpet it bumps around a bit so i put a wood plank down for it to run on. If the carpet is too soft the motor cant move the heavy weight.

author
Hume made it! (author)Hume2013-09-29

Thanks again! In terms of the smoothness, mostly what I'm concerned about is how steadily it pushes the dolly, and how slow it can go. For macro shots of stuff, we're going to need to be able to go extremely slowly, without any jerking or irregularity in the speed. Do you think this build is suitable for that? Assuming I run the pico dolly on rails or something?

Any thoughts are appreciated!

author
Hume made it! (author)2013-09-27

Great build! Thank you for posting it!

I'm comparing your motorization solution with another, friction based one, and I wondered if you would have any suggestions.

I'm trying to decide if this motorized setup would be suitable for macro shots, using an iPhone (or similar smartphone).

Of course I’d rather use a DSLR, but I’m teaching a class to some grad students about how to make video essays, and the school wants them to use their phones. I’ve been asked to find a way for them to make slow moving macro shots, and we have less than $100 to do it. Since the department has a few of these P&C Pico Dollies, I’ve been looking for a solution that involves using one of those.

Do you think yours would work? How smooth is it? Tiny wobbles or jerks are really quite visible in macro…

THANKS!