All About Professional Video Cine and Skater Dollies

Use skater dollies to support video cameras for moving shots. Their wheels usually conform to horizontal movement, though some dollies have attachments for vertical movement as well. Film and movie makers rely on dollies so much, that the term "dolly shot" is now a well-known technique in the industry.


What Are Skater Dollies?

A skater dolly consists of a base plate, bearings, and wheels. You can use one with or without tracks, making it portable and versatile. A Mitchell mount is usually in the center of the base, and it's where the camera attaches. Many skater dollies come in kits or systems that include interchangeable wheels, adapters, and a case.


What's a Camera Dolly Track?

Though not all dollies require them, you can use camera dolly tracks to ensure smooth movement for your shots. They are rail-like structures that slightly raise dollies off the ground, providing a steady route for them to travel. If you're using heavy cameras, professional video cine dolly tracks made out of a strong material such as steel or aluminum are a smart choice. However, lightweight rubber or plastic tracks are also available for smaller camera systems.

A tripod dolly is another variation that offers increased stability and orientation options. These dollies house tripod stands, so you can move cameras around smoothly while still getting all of the benefits of tripods, such as increased height. Some features that you might find in different tripod varieties include individually locking wheels, leg locks, and the ability to fold down for easy storage.


Choosing Dollies

The type of dolly you decide to buy depends on how you plan to use it. If you're looking for something compact, there are professional video tabletop cine dollies for smaller handheld cameras. Spider dollies are another option that comes with either three or four legs connected directly to the wheelbase. They're the preferred choice when working with jibs. For automated use, check out motorized camera dollies and sliders that communicate with smart devices to move effortlessly.


Find a large selection of top-of-the-line skater dollies and professional video cine dolly accessories at B&H Photo and Video.