If you’ve watched any of my films before you’ve probably noticed that I like a lot of motion to my shots. I feel like it makes everything look more cinematic and is a great way to add production value to any piece. I typically use a Glidecam HD-4000 and a Konova K3B2 Camera Slider to add motion. The Konova slider provides smooth reveals and drama to any landscape shot, while the Glidecam makes it easy to cover a lot of ground and capture the energy of an event. As with anything, there are many tools available to help get the job done. When you get what I would consider the basics – Glidecam and Slider – it’s time to look into more niche products that will enable you to get the exact shot that you want.
Let me start off by saying I’ve been skeptical of tabletop and floor dollys before which is why I hadn’t purchased one. My experience came from using a friend’s Pico Dolly and finding that I didn’t enjoy the quality of it or the precision required to use it. It always felt like it required a lot of setup for a shot that could be replicated very well using a simple slider. To sum it up, I was wrong, and the rest of this post will tell you why.
I have recently been given a great opportunity by Konova. Last year, I made a review video for their Konova K3B2 camera slider, and last month some employees in the company noticed it. They got in touch and asked me to review more of their products and sponsor me. This is all incredibly exciting! So, last month they sent me their Konova Radial Dolly to try out and review. This dolly is very useful for getting rotation shots around objects such as rings, candles, products, or in the case of the video above – entire dance floors. It really opens up a lot of shooting opportunities that aren’t available with the Glidecam and slider.
The following is my review of the Konova Radial Dolly and is the result of having used it in multiple video shoots over the past month. While Konova did send me the Radial Dolly, I am not being paid by them in any way, and they believe that the dolly stands on its own merits as an excellent piece of camera equipment. If you’ve been in the market for a tabletop/floor style camera dolly then I would highly recommend reading my review and considering purchasing the Konova Radial Dolly yourself.
If you’ve read my review for the Konova K3B2 camera slider, you will recall I had a lot of difficulties with a third party seller, before I ended up just purchasing from Konova directly through their Amazon store. Within three days I received my slider and was very happy. I am pleased to report that the shipping directly from Konova was extremely fast for their Radial Dolly as well. The Radial Dolly itself comes in a nice padded case similar to the K3B2 camera slider. In it comes the dolly itself and a small keychain laser with magnetized mount (I love lasers!).
The Konova Radial Dolly has the same 3/8 inch tripod screw mount as the K3B2 so I can swap my Manfrotto 701 tripod head easily between the two pieces of equipment. In the future I plan to purchase another 701 head to speed up time when on shoots.
The Radial Dolly itself is incredibly well built with the entire base machined from one solid block of aluminum. The wheels are of the high quality type you would find on a set of roller blades, with very nice ball bearings making it roll smoothly. Be warned, if your dolly is on even a slight incline it will begin rolling if you don’t have the brake set. And yes, the dolly has a brake! It’s a little pad that is lowered by a set of screws making it easy to keep the dolly stable while you are mounting a camera to it, making adjustments etc.
Speaking of adjustments, the dolly makes it easy to replicate shots by having all three wheels rotate and lock in independent directions. Like the tick marks on the K3B2 slider, each wheel has 360 degree markings so you can set it for consistent rotation. This is incredibly helpful when on a video shoot and you need to repeat a shot in different locations, each time you can set the wheels to the same settings. The entire base plate is also adjustable so you can set it to the proper level if the ground is uneven.
By far the coolest thing about this dolly is the laser and mount that come with it though. The mount can be magnetically set to 6 different areas on the dolly, depending on the direction the dolly is facing. Once set, the mount can hold the pocket laser in the on position so it can target whatever you are rotating around to ensure it stays on target the whole time. This is incredibly useful for ring shots etc. when you need to keep it in the same spot in the frame the whole rotation.
With all these pros, the Konova Radial Dolly still comes with a con that is present in all tabletop dollys and others that do not use an actual floor track. The dolly shot itself will be as smooth as the floor is. This means you should follow one of the cardinal rules of cinema and make sure you do your location scouting beforehand. Will the location have a smooth floor or table you can use? In my month of using the dolly, with proper scouting I was always able to find a good place to use it. I’m even considering bringing a board or other flat material to shoots so I have a guaranteed way of using the dolly.
In the review video, you can watch how I used this dolly in many real world scenarios. I wanted creative shots of dance floors, reveals at wedding receptions, and a creative ring shot with candles in the background. All of these shots weren’t possible if I didn’t have the dolly. You can also download sample clips of shots that I have taken with the dolly below. All except for one of them have had no post-stabilization effect applied and are examples of what you will receive from the dolly if used in a proper flat surface.
The Konova Radial Dolly is very useful when you need a specific shot that isn’t possible with other camera equipment. I’m very happy to have it in my arsenal and you can expect to see more shots used with it in my future films.
To purchase the Konova Radial Dolly, please use the following link:
Download the Konova Radial Dolly Review video in high definition
[wpfilebase tag=fileurl id=306 linktext=’Konova Radial Dolly Review 1080p’ /]
Download the Bride clip shot with the Konova Radial Dolly
[wpfilebase tag=fileurl id=307 linktext=’Konova Radial Dolly – Bride Clip 1080p’ /]
Download the Ring Shot clip shot with the Konova Radial Dolly
[wpfilebase tag=fileurl id=308 linktext=’Konova Radial Dolly – Ring Shot Clip 1080p’ /]
Download the Reception clip shot with the Konova Radial Dolly (note – I stabilized this clip using Warp Stabilizer to give you an idea of how the footage can be recovered if you’re shooting on a rough surface)
[wpfilebase tag=fileurl id=309 linktext=’Konova Radial Dolly – Reception Clip 1080p’ /]
:: Technical Details ::
- Manfrotto 501HDV Head, 547B Legs – Tripod // Amazon Tripod Head Page // Amazon Tripod Legs Page
- Manfrotto 701 Fluid Tripod Head // Amazon.com Page
- Konova K3B2 80cm
- Konova Radial Dolly // Amazon.com Page
- Xume Adapters
It is a big help to me when you use any of the above product links to Adorama, Amazon, and B&H and when you get anything. It costs you nothing, and helps me keep my site running. I have bought from all of these websites and I highly recommend them for their service, quality, and shipping speed. I recommend them all personally.
Interested in having me review another piece of video gear? Please contact me!