Top positive review
One person found this helpful
Dedicated Customer Support and a good product.
on November 16, 2014
UPDATE: Ravelli customer service was extremely kind enough to send me a new dolly after my mishap with the previous purchase (the lock on the legs) and have been very dedicated to making sure they provide the best product possible. This is a great starter product for those of you needing a dolly, but not the expenses to get a proper track system, this will do the job and do it pretty well. The shake mentioned previously seems to be reduced significantly with a more heavy duty tripod, so keep that in mind. There are plenty of uses for this. 4/5
As someone who consistently creates video content, I'm always looking to improve my production value. My next step was a dolly. However, I didn't have the money for a proper system, nor did I have the time to throw together a DYI build. So, I turned to Amazon and found this little deal. So, let's start by talking about the positives:
-Compact, Easy to store
-Lightweight, has a convenient carrying handle
-Relatively easy to set-up
-Got several acceptable shots that were indeed very cool.
-I like the advantage of being able to do any movements I want.
If this were a typical track dolly system then I would be constricted to the path of the track. This allowed me to move around freely during our music video shoot and I could get several different movements without having to stop and reset. I was able to achieve decent arcs, dolly, and truck shots in a single take of the performance.
So, it does have some positives, however, the negatives are pretty problematic and will most likely keep me from getting another one.
-The design is a tad confusing.
This is mostly due to my own ignorance, however, it was not specified on the instructions how this worked. I set-up the rig to test it out right when it arrived and the set-up was fine, it was taking it down when the problems arose. The legs lock into place, which is fine, however, the directions did not specify how they UN-locked. So, I tried to simply push them out of the locks, and wound up making one of the legs virtually unlockable. You have to pull up the locks and then they'll swing out. Again, my own ignorance is mostly at fault here.
-This will pick up any and every little bump on the ground.
We shot with it extensively on a stage for a music video. The stage had a few very small bumps in it (due to being painted many times over the years). The dolly picked up every single one of those bumps and made a couple of shots quite jittery. Now, most of the actual shake was successfully removed utilizing Warp Stabilizer in Adobe Premiere Pro. However, a few single frames were distorted and has slightly doubled due to the shakes and this I can not fix unless I remove these frames all together.
-The wheels don't turn well.
I mentioned in my pros that I liked the ability to move around and do multiple types of movements without having to reset. The exception to this is that the wheels are a bit stiff when it comes to turning. I could dolly backwards and it'd be fine, but if I wanted to go ahead and get a dolly forwards shot, the wheels either wouldn't turn around easily causing a brief very shaky moment before the next movement began and sometimes to movement would get ruined because one of the wheels still wouldn't turn. So, I resorted to manually changing the direction of the wheels every time I wanted to change the direction of the move. This may be fixable, but be aware of this problem. Ideally, the wheels would spin much easier.
Keep these things in mind before buying and using this extensively. If you're on an extremely tight budget, but need dolly shots for your project, this will help you as long as you test it and get used to it's feel extensively before going and doing the actual shots. If you wish to achieve completely smooth shots using this, you must roll it on an absolutely SMOOTH surface, it will register any bumps and potentially muck up your shots.