Welcome to our Friday Rapid Gear Reviews segment of our weekly videos, where we will review a different gear every Friday. This week we will be reviewing and telling you everything you want to know about the SnapTrack Cinerails Dolly System.
(Note: The Cinerails used in the video is the pre-production model. The production model’s Cinerails will be in painted black.)
Watch the Video Review Below
What is the SnapTrack Cinerails Dolly System?
The SnapTrack Cinerails Dolly System is a very simple, portable, and cheap dolly solution. Along with the actual Snaptrack Cinerails dolly, 7 cross rails will be included, which are designed to snap onto standard full length ¾” PVC pipes that can be found in any hardware store for just $2-3 apiece.
Once snapped on, it creates a smooth railing for the dolly to slide across, resulting in quick and easy on location pans. The set also includes a drawstring which allows you to bend the track to a desired curve.
Pros of the SnapTrack Cinerails Dolly
Design and Portability
Because of the simple design of the SnapTrack Cinerails set, the entire system can be set up and broken down in just a couple of minutes. The total number of parts needed for the set is even small enough to fit into a single carry-on suitcase. This makes the Snaptrack system incredibly portable, fitting virtually anywhere at under ten pounds (including the dolly).
Not only is the dolly portable, but it is also built to support up to a 20lb load, which is more than most portable sliders. Also, if you are worried about having to fly to a location shoot with your 10′ set, just find a local hardware store on your way to the shoot, buy the 10′ pieces of PVC pipe and you are set to go. This use of standard ¾” PVC is a huge benefit in that if you lose or break any one piece, it can be replaced at very little cost.
The last major selling point of the Snaptrack is its price. At a price of $349, it is remarkably inexpensive compared to standard dolly systems, coming at a fraction of the cost yet providing all of the production value. So, compared to a standard 4′ slider, the standard Snaptrack set provides you with an 8′ sliding dolly that can bend into an arc or left straight for far cheaper and generally with more portability.
Cons of the SnapTrack Cinerails Dolly
While using the SnapTrack system, we only found a few things that could use some improvement, the first being its drawstring. When using it for the first time, it can be a bit tricky to use, because of its small size and also the ratchet was not the easiest thing to operate.
We were also hoping the dolly had a center thread to install a low mounted tripod head, but that will only be available on the upgraded model. Also, you cannot operate the tracks on highly uneven terrain like you could with a standard slider set on two tripods.
The last con we had was of the PVC pipes themselves. The model we received were made up of white PVC pipes, which meant taking them to a professional shoot would not have looked the best. However, as stated above, this is a problem that has been solved in the final version of the product. Cinerails has covered their cross rails with a black coating (as pictured at the beginning of this article), making it look much more low-key and more professional.
We give the SnapTrack Cinerails set 5 out of 5 stars. We feel this is something any budget DSLR filmmaker should have in their set of equipment. It delivers everything from price, portability, and function, so what’s not to love about it? To find our more, you can visit www.cinerails.com. Their website should be launching soon, so be sure to check them out! You can also contact them directly at (970) 402-1344.