Here at Arbuckle, we're all about investing in the best gear to continually increase the quality of the content for our clients. We now own a motorized 3-foot slider, a 7-foot dolly and a DJI Ronin 3-axis gimbal stabilizer. So many choices for steady shots! We're going to explain what each of them can do and what the best scenarios for each are. The demonstration video above shows examples of all three back to back.
This little powerhouse has had our backs for years. It can be operated manually by hand, or with a motor, which is essential for long timelapses! It's quick to set up, very smooth and gives our films that extra, dynamic push. The downside is it's length. Sometimes you want to keep filming and sliding, but there isn't any more space! That's when you pull this guy out...
We recently bought a 7-foot RigWheels Passport Camera Dolly. This monster collapses into 19" sections and packs into a 50-pound Pelican Case, so we can bring it anywhere! It allows us to capture more dynamic shots and better slow motion pans wherever we go. The individual dolly parts are very adaptable and can even mount the camera upside down for low angle shots. Plus, the rails themselves can be used almost anywhere - on the floor, a table, or a couple boxes, it works just the same!
The Passport Dolly is an extremely well-made system. The rails, composed of high-grade aluminum, do not flex or bow under the weight of our cameras. The track doesn't wiggle as the camera moves across it. And the rubber skate wheels stay quiet as we glide across. The top plate is also adjustable for almost any tripod head so you won't have to worry about your camera not fitting.
What can we say about our DJI Ronin 3-Axis Gimbal? Let's put it this way: think of any cool tracking shot in a movie, i.e. Goodfellas, and that's what we're now able to do! It's taken some practice, and we're still working out the kinks, but we've already gotten some pretty amazing footage with this funny looking thing.
When you balance your gear on a 3-Axis, computer-stabilized device, the camera essentially floats freely wherever you go and quickly reacts to where you move your arms. It takes a lot of skill to operate, and even a second person is needed to wirelessly tilt the camera up and down when necessary. But overall we're really happy with our purchase and it has allowed us to think about our shoots in a much more interesting, artistic way. In fact, our entire video for Dagne Dover was shot on the Ronin!