I have a Canon EOS 60D camera. I want to use this to take some video by moving the camera smoothly in horizontal and vertical axis. For example, if I want to take video of the bezel of a TV, I'd like to be able to smoothly have the camera move down on the vertical axis with the lens facing the bezel in the same angle the whole time.

Something like this, but not this expensive

enter image description here

Here is an example at 3:40 when the camera man slides through the keyboard horizontally.

  • "Something like this, but not this expensive." Welcome to video production. That's always the search.
    – user3643
    Oct 2, 2018 at 20:09
  • Turn the TV and cam on their sides, then use a basic horizontal track.
    – user3643
    Oct 2, 2018 at 20:11

2 Answers 2


Unfortunately, there aren't really cheap options to do this. You can approximate it using a crane or a stabilization rig (like a SteadiCam Jr), but both of those is still going to cost you hundreds of dollars.

For horizontal movement, the cheapest option is probably to use a more basic track and roll it by hand. You can use a motion control unit to get smoother motion, but a motion control unit itself is going to be over a grand normally.

For pure vertical, you need something called a camera pedestal. Unfortunately, this is probably the most complex movement to perform in a controlled manner, so there simply are no cheap options. There are some DIY approaches out there, but you're looking at expensive hardware if you want to do a pure vertical movement with good control. (The cheapest commercial pedestal I know of is over a grand.)

That is just the way the market is for being able to do advanced moves. They are all specialized, limited use devices and the cost rapidly multiplies with the weight of the camera. That's why rigging costs so much, because the market is so limited and specialized. It requires careful design, tight tolerances and a very limited market, that all adds up to big costs to the consumer.

  • Thanks for your answer. I did some reasearch on this subject and came to the same conclusion: these cost a lot. Well, I have the ability to build something myself here, so I'm going to make something myself and use a microcontroller with a stepper motor to make it move automatically.
    – MikkoP
    Dec 30, 2013 at 19:11
  • @MikkoP - I'd be interested in hearing more about whatever luck you have making something yourself. You could probably make a self-answer about how you built one yourself if it works out well since it would be a cheaper solution to the problem. As I understand it, the big trick will be getting it to move smoothly without shaking as it moves. You pretty much need a precision track with a controlled motor, but it should be able to be accomplished if you are decent with electronics and machining.
    – AJ Henderson
    Dec 30, 2013 at 19:56
  • I already started modeling the system. sharepoint.peltoset.fi/1388433406842-slaideri2.PNG I will be using some ball brushings with oil lubrication for smooth movement. I will make an Arduino software for controlling the motor I'll put there and have some buttons and a dot matrix screen for that.
    – MikkoP
    Dec 30, 2013 at 19:59
  • @MikkoP - so primarily going for horizontal at the moment? I'd expect some movement issues if you try using that design for vertical due to the track being able to twist and any play between the track and the bearings becoming an issue.
    – AJ Henderson
    Dec 30, 2013 at 20:05
  • Horizontal movement is the primary goal. I'll add some support pieces there for better stiffness.
    – MikkoP
    Dec 30, 2013 at 20:12

Smooth horizontal and vertical camera movement with a Canon EOS 60D camera

  1. Revolve Automated Motion Motorized Dolly + Slider Bundle - U$400

    There are 2 motor speed options supporting 6-10 lbs vertically, 15-20 horizontal.

    They sell a slider but with accessories you can use 3 to 10 foot pipes. Also available are reversing switches and interval timing for sliding time lapse videos.

    RAM Motorized Dolly + Slider Bundle


  2. Neewer 70in/177cm Aluminum Alloy Jib Arm Camera Crane - U$100

    Neewer Jib Arm Camera Crane

    Not motorized and there's a bit of dolly motion along with the pedestal movement, an arc motion, but it keeps the camera level. For distant shots it wouldn't be noticeable.

Compare those to a professional system:

  1. FloatCam DollyCrane SD / DC Slider - U$4400

    Floatcam DollyCrane SD

  • For the jib, you always notice the arc. If the shot is far enough that you don't notice the arc, then you won't notice the vertical lift either.
    – user3643
    Oct 2, 2018 at 20:15
  • 1
    If you use a long enough focal length to appear close to the screen, as MikkoP intends to do, you'll notice the pedestal; the dolly will be a much smaller percentage of the movement - if you're desperate to save a few hundred dollars you have to accept compromises. To find out how focal length and distance affect your shot there's much more information available at Photo.SE, where we'll be happy to address your concerns.
    – Rob
    Oct 2, 2018 at 20:56

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