New Workshop! Lighting 3 | Advanced Off Camera Flash Preorder

Gear & Apps

SnapTrack Cinerail On Kickstarter: Affordable & Portable Camera Dolly System

By fotosiamo on February 20th 2013

Gotta love the cool, innovative camera gear that you can find on Kickstarter. The latest find is the SnapTrack Cinerails & Camera Dolly System, which its inventor, long time cameraman Danny Dodge, is touting as the “portable, lightweight, snap together camera dolly system” that allows you to use generic PVC piping from any hardware store as the rails AND allows you to customize the arc of the track.

Best of all, you can carry the Cinerails and dolly in a suitcase when travelling!

What are SnapTrack Cinerails?

“SnapTrack Cinerails are rails used to connect two readily available 3/4 inch PVC tubes to make a dolly track. By using the Cinerails draw string, you can pull the track into an arc of varying degrees allowing you to dolly around your subject. As a part of the complete SnapTrack Cinerails system we’ve created a tripod dolly that works perfectly to create smooth tracking shots. The system is one of the most portable, light weight and easy to assemble dolly systems anywhere…. and it’s affordable. Only 7 Cinerails are neccessary to create 8 feet of track.”

SnapTrack Cinerail 1

How much weight will it hold?

“The standard track set up will hold 20 lbs, combined weight between your camera and tripod. For example, the set up I show in the video weighs only 13 lbs. combined weight (the DSLR and lens alone is only 3 lbs). But, If you purchase a second set of Cinerails ($59) and add them to the track to give it more support per linear foot, you can run a total weight of 70 lbs. That would allow you to mount a full size (25 lbs) tripod, and up to a 45 lbs camera.”

SnapTrack Cinerail 2

Snapping the track together from Danny Dodge on Vimeo.

What’s so special about them?

While most dolly track systems are heavy and time consuming to put together, the Cinerails system can be put together in less than 60 seconds. The most interesting aspect about them is that you can convert the straight rails into an arc. This sounds like a big step up from traditional dolly and sliders that are limited to a straight line movement. You can also vary the diameter of the arc, depending on your scene.

Moreover, you only need to travel with the Cinerails cross members and the dolly itself. Once you get to your shooting location, you can purchase PVC pipes at a local hardware store to make the tracks themselves.

SnapTrack Cinerail 4

Because you are rotating around the subject, you don’t have to walk and pan at the same time:

“Properly positioning the camera allows you to dolly around the subject while keeping them perfectly framed in the picture. With the SnapTrack Cinerails system the need for panning the camera is eliminated. By positioning the subject at the focal point of the track as the camera moves around it, this allows the operator to keep the subject properly framed without having to pan the camera.”

The SnapTrack in Action

Here is a commercial that Danny made using the SnapTrack Cinerail and Dolly System.

SnapTrack Cinerail 3

An ad I shot, edited and color graded for a local gym. from Danny Dodge on Vimeo.

Support on Kickstarter

The Kickstarter fundraiser ends on February 22, 2013, so be sure to check the site out if you are interested in getting the SnapTrack Cinerails & Camera Dolly System.

This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links, however, this does not impact accuracy or integrity of our content.

Joe is a fashion and commercial photographer based in Los Angeles, CA. He blends creativity and edge with a strong style of lighting and emotion in his photographs.

Q&A Discussions

Please or register to post a comment.

  1. kenyee

    Nice concept, but I can’t see how the rails would stay flat.  And given the tinkertubes design, it’s probably 2x more than it should cost :-(

    | |
    • mellifluousnegro

      He’s gotta make a profit, right? And most of that money goes to the dolly system, i believe.

      | |
    • Danny Dodge

      Definitely watch the video and you can see that there’s no issue with the track staying flat.  The “tinkertubes” make some pretty nice “tinkervideo” :-)

      | |
    • Joe Gunawan

      We just got our test review unit. I have to say the dolly actually does have a nice build quality. It should be pretty fun shooting with the Cinerails =)

      – Joe

      | |