Hyperdolly is a track-free motorised dolly of infinite length

Nov 23, 2023

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Hyperdolly is a track-free motorised dolly of infinite length

Nov 23, 2023

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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The Hyperdolly motorised camera dolly

There’s a new motorised camera dolly in town. Or at least, there will be soon. It’s called the Hyperdolly, and it’s being launched on Kickstarter soon.

Most camera dollies run along a track to ensure smooth movement. But this one’s track-free so you can use it over long distances easily. It comes with a dedicated remote control and packs up tiny for easy transport.

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Hyperdolly – Motorised Camera Dolly

Camera dollies usually live in the realms of Hollywood and TV studios. Traditionally, they required a track that they’d run along to ensure smooth, seamless movement. They’re essentially a giant camera slider but with a lot more versatility.

Adding more versatility are the relatively recent releases of track-free camera dollies. These use larger wheels to run straight along the ground. And motorised ones like the Hyperdoly offer even more uses.

The Hyperdolly is for flat surfaces

The Hyperdolly is the latest in a growing range of motorised track-free dollies. It joins YC Onion’s CHIPS 3.0, released in 2021, and 2022’s Snoppa Rover.

Camera dolly caveats

One of the advantages of a tracked dolly, and the main reason people used them, is that you could run them along any surface. If the surface is uneven, you can simply prop up the track where needed. This means you can overcome rough ground, but it takes some work.

The disadvantage of tracked dollies, of course, is that you’re limited to the length of the track. You can join multiple tracks together, but there are often bumps in the joins. Systems that get around this issue are usually quite expensive.

Hyperdolly on a tennis court

Track-free dollies don’t have this issue, but they do have some of their own. Larger wheels like those on the Hyperdolly will help with rough surfaces to some degree. However, you may still see a lot of bumps in your footage on uneven ground. So, you’re often limited to extremely flat studio floors.

Depending on the camera you’re using, IBIS can help. This will help to smooth out the little bumps. But you’re still limited to surfaces with relatively small bumps. And if the ground curves, it can throw the horizon off if you’re not using a gimbal on top to auto-correct.

Hyperdolly – High Load Capacity

The Hyperdolly has a load capacity of 12kg (~26.4lb). This sounds like a lot, and it is, but this is for everything you’re going to stick on top of it. That means your tripod, head, camera, lens, and everything else.

12kg offers a lot of latitude, though. Especially if you’re a mirrorless or small cinema camera user. There’s still room there for your monitor, video transmitter, microphone receiver, or whatever you wish to put on your rig.

The Hyperdolly folds up for easy transport

It has a quiet motor, although the website doesn’t say exactly how quiet it is. It has a dedicated 2.4GHz remote control, but there doesn’t appear to be a smartphone app. It has a top speed of 27cm/second, which is pretty quick. At its slowest, you can get 7mm/sec. This potentially makes it good for things like hyperlapse.

One interesting feature of modern trackless dollies is that they’re often foldable. The Hyperdolly is no different in this respect. This makes it easy to transport, taking up very little space in your car. You could probably even fit it inside a large backpack.

They’re not a tool that’s going to be useful for everyone. But, if you need a motorised trackless dolly, this looks about as good as most out there. It remains to be seen if it shines above the rest, until we see it in the hands of real users.

Price and Availability

The Hyperdolly is launching on Kickstarter – apparently before the end of this month – where it’s expected to cost $1,190 for early birds. This is 30% off the regular price, which will be around $1,700 once it goes retail.

Disclaimer: We only share crowdfunded projects we believe are legitimate. However, most of those projects are not in a delivery state. Make sure you look into the project and make an informed purchasing decision. While some projects may offer amazing rewards, others unfortunately may not deliver on their promises.

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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