Jun 22, 2010
Omni Tracker table top dolly Review
If you've ever used or are considering one of the various tracker or table-top dollies on the market the Omni-Tracker should be at the top of your list.
I was able to test-drive both the Slim-Line and Full-Body versions and am amazed at their capabilities.
Having used the P+S Skater extensively only as a rental I've always wondered if it would be possible to produce a similar device that would be affordable enough to purchase - without sacrificing usability or build quality. Warren, the brain-child and designer of the Omni has done it.
First off, this is no DIY garage project put together with aluminum I-tubes or heavy steel plates; Warren is a commercial-design engineer by trade and knows proper design philosophy and structural requirements like a NASA engineer, and his products reflects his expertise.
The build of the units is top-notch; solid with well-thought out design that takes the best concepts of the Skater and refines them. In point of fact, the Omni can do things the Skater cannot.
The price is amazingly affordable; it's closest competitor (only in cost) would be the Axis Dolly but at $2000 it's more than three times the cost of the Omni FB and, it does not have the same design philosophy making the Axis Dolly more suitable to track use than table-top. The only other "similar" device is the P+S Skater however it's $6100 price-tag put's it squarely as a rental-only since almost no indie producer could justify the cost - unless you somehow end up using it on nearly every shoot.
Using the Omni-Tracker is a dream; the wheel action is completely smooth (it's spec'd to handle 50lbs *safely* but clearly the unit can handle much more) and setting up the wheels for curved moves is fast and easy especially with the addition of the laser-guides for accurate curve setups.
As many of you know, I don't recommend anything unless I've proved that it meets mission-critical commercial standards and the Omni-Tracker absolutely does, and for less than $600 you can't make or buy anything else that comes close to it's usability or bang-for-the-buck viability.