Mini Dolly: Finger-Sized Skateboards
A mini dolly refers to a small dolly for small cameras. Video technology has advanced so rapidly over the past decade. Today's consumer cameras can shoot in HD and are far better than some of the best video camcorders that were on the market ten years ago. The ability to shoot HD with something that can fit in your pocket is great, but one problem with these cheap and small consumer cameras is that there isn't any support gear made for them, such as dollies. This forces you to get a little creative because you need to make your own mini dolly out of whatever you can find, such as a finger-sized skateboard.
Getting a Finger-Sized Skateboard
Most adults have probably never heard of finger sized skateboards before. It's not something that a person can ride or perform extreme sports on. In fact, you might not even be able to find it in some skate shops. A finger sized skateboard is actually a toy, and it can be found in most toy stores around the world. These finger-sized skateboards have interchangeable parts so the wheels can be swapped out and replaced.
Using a Finger-Sized Skateboard as a Mini Dolly
A small camera can easily be placed on a finger-sized skateboard to turn it into a mini dolly. The wheels only move in one direction, so if you want the camera move to be a dolly in and out, then the lens must be placed over the skateboard's nose. If you want the move to be a dolly left to right, then you need to have the lens be perpendicular to the nose.
Moving the Mini Dolly
Because the wheels are very small, this dolly can only be moved on flat surfaces such as a table or hardwood floor. The small wheels enable every little bump to be picked up by camera, so this mini dolly isn't always the best choice. However, you can compensate for the lack of a smooth surface by creating a track for the dolly to move on. This would have to be a household object like the tracking system for window curtains. The track should be wide enough for the mini dolly to fit into, and it should be somewhat enclosed so that it won't slip.
When placing your camera on the mini dolly, you should always keep a hand on it so it does not fall. When you're leaving it unattended, take the camera off the mini dolly to prevent it from falling over.