iStabilizer Dolly Video Demo and Review

2012 08 16 09 04 17

The other day we took a look at a neat way to create smooth video with the iPhone. (Check it out here.) That’s not the only iPhone camera accessory we’ve been reviewing and today we’ll take a look at the Dolly from iStabilizer.

The Dolly is a great tool for taking panning video or creating a stable yet flexible base for time-lapse picture/video settings. Perhaps most impressive is the fact that it isn’t designed to work with a specific smartphone but rather, thanks to the included iStabilizer Mount, you can use it with a wide selection of smartphones in a variety of settings. Let’s take a look at the device and a quick demo video.

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From iStabilizer:

Create captivating cinematic videos and panning shots using your iPhone / iPod Touch or other mobile devices like the GoPro. (GoPro camera requires the GoPro tripod mount that is sold separately by GoPro)

For years sophisticated-looking camera moves were only available to pros with big budgets. But now, with most camera devices capable of shooting HD video, the iStabilizer Dolly allows you to take smooth tracking shots on any flat surface, giving your video a look and feel that’s fit for the big screen.

The iStabilizer Dolly will even cradle your device while in your preferred case or bumper. The included iStabilizer Mount™ (Patent Pending) can be used on any tripod with a standard ¼ x20” camera mount.

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The iStabilizer Mount is kind of neat since it is designed to work with the Dolly but is an excellent universal mount in its own right.

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You can insert an iPhone with or without a case. You can use it with a wide variety of different smartphones. I tried it with an HTC Titan, an HTC One X and a few other assorted phones and it worked perfectly with them all. On the bottom is a standard threaded tripod mount. That means you can use the Mount on any tripod or monopod or… of course… with the Dolly.

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This is the Dolly with the iStabilizer Mount in place.

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And this is the Dolly with the iStabilizer Mount in place and Elana’s iPhone, Speck CandyShell Grip and all, locked into it. Here’s a quick video look at the kind of things you can do with the iStabilizer Dolly.

At first I thought the iStabilizer Dolly was a toy. I mean, it sure looks like one thanks to the frame, wheels and Erector-set-looking design. After using it for a while it is clear to me that this is anything but a toy. With the Dolly, and a good deal of practice, you can use your smartphone to create interesting visual effects. It is yet another way smartphones in general and the iPhone in specific, is becoming a powerful image and video tool.

As is the case with so many things, there is no doubt that, over time, I will be able to create smoother, more interesting and more refined videos. The iStabilizer Dolly gives you the tools to create interesting panning videos The rest is up to you.

The iStabilizer Dolly is compatible with: iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, iPod Touch, GoPro, and other Digital Cameras. The mount expands to accept devices up to 2.75″ (7cm) wide. It is approximately 8” W x 3” H x 5” D and the Adjustable Arm extends up to 11″.

MSRP: $59.95

What I Like: Well made; Flexible with regard to the kind of device it will accept; Opens the door to new video possibilities; The mount can be used in a variety of ways

What Needs Improvement: Using it is harder than you might think and it takes a good deal of practice to get decent videos…

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1 reply

  1. I don’t think that “iStabilizer mount” is unique. I have one that looks identical (minus the branding on the one shown above) that came with a kit that included the mount and an iPhone “telephoto” lens. The lens sucks, but the mount is great – and it works on all kinds of phones since the arms just slide up and then tension holds the phone in place, and then can screw into a tripod for even more control. I don’t know that I’d have a ton of use for the dolly, except as a way to annoy the crap out of my cats, and taking videos while I do, but I like the mount enough that if they sell that on it’s own I’d pick up a couple extras.