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Charlotte Motion Control Camera Dolly System

Charlotte camera dolly system helps create moving time-lapses and live-action videos.

Charlotte Motion Control

The system features three modular dollies, including a cable dolly, with a computerised controller and stepper motor. The campaign hopes to reach its $15,000 goal by October 23rd and deliver a finished product in March.

Charlotte provides precise linear movement, and lets photographers and film-makers expand their motion control capabilities. The components can be configured to make three types of camera dollies: a cable dolly, a rail dolly and a wheeled dolly. With a possible span of 200 feet, the cable dolly can glide a camera through spaces that would otherwise be very difficult to move through. A shot can be taken across a stream, over a crowded street, or through a wooded canopy. The rail dolly allows very precise stable shots on a platform that can be set up quickly. Charlotte includes hardware that mounts to standard conduit or pipe, letting you instantly create custom rails at the filming location. The wheeled dolly allows arched or straight shots over any smooth surface.

“Something about the idea of sending a camera alone through space and retrieving the images it captured along the way has always captivated me,” says David Koch.

Charlotte: A modular real-time and time-lapse dolly system on Kickstarter

The brains and muscle of Charlotte are provided by a computerized controller and a stepper motor. The controller connects to most cameras with a remote shutter socket and lets you enter in the total run time, total distance and number of exposures for your time lapse. The controller then calculates and displays the speed and shutter interval.

The motor and controller can operate at very slow speeds for time-lapse and faster for real-time. While other dollies that use dc gear motors require you to switch between motors for time-lapse and real-time, the stepper motor that’s included with the Charlotte dolly is capable of speeds from 0 to 50 ft per minute. This means you can reliably capture very slow things like plant growth and fast things like a person walking in the same package.

The dolly was built to be flexible so that it can be adapted to field conditions. The fasteners are all hand tightened to make field assembly easy, so you never have to worry about forgetting the screwdriver. The system is very compact when disassembled, and can easily fit into a backpack.

“I have been testing the Charlotte Dolly system in the field for almost a year now, making improvements as issues arose”, says David Koch. “I feel confident that it is ready to be in the hands of photographers and film-makers.”

For more: visit the Kickstarter campaign website.

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