The lil-mule time lapse camera dolly is an intuitive, affordable, heavy duty camera dolly for creating arced or linear camera moves when shooting time lapse or video.
Most time lapse dolly systems are based on the "slider" concept. The main limitations of sliders are having finite movement length (usually 3-4 feet) and only being able to make straight moves. The Lil-Mule addresses these challenges by giving you a self contained motorized cart that moves straight or in arced moves, and can motor as far as your surface will allow.
As an amateur time lapse enthusiast myself I find that it's challenging enough to set up your camera, compose the shot, set the intervalometer, etc. when doing time lapse.
The controller for the Lil-Mule is a single knob which allows you to variably control the speed you are moving in the forward and backward direction. No math equations, no menu settings, just set up your shot and twist a knob to start moving...
Lil-Mule wouldn't be a reality if it weren't for the amazing support of the KickStarter Community...
This video is a collection of test footage I shot at a park near my shop while developing Lil-Mule. My goal was to capture the dolly in action using my GoPro camera and show the resulting Canon 7D footage. My hope is that it gives an idea of how easy it is to quickly capture some moving time lapses.
The total weight of the Lil-Mule dolly, camera, additional 10lb weight, large twelve volt battery was 37 lbs. (roughly 17 kilos).
The Lil-Mule Gear Motors are high torque, can easily push more than 40 lbs., and come in 3 different speeds:
• 6 rpm (included) - moves at a top speed of 11 ipm
• .5 rpm - moves at a top speed of 1 ipm
• 20 rpm - moves at a top speed of 36 ipm
I tried many different motors before settling on the ones offered with Lil-Mule. The 6 RPM motor which is the one included in all of the different motorized rewards, is by far the most useful and flexible. Almost all of the time lapse footage was shot in the videos above with the 6rpm motor. It is actually moving quite fast for time lapse. Even the really long shot of the airplanes at the end of the main kickstarter video was shot using the included standard 6rpm motor...
The .5 RPM motor is good for people who might want to shoot at night and the 20 rpm motor is at the other end of the spectrum moving quite rapidly for time lapse.
I did measured time tests for each motor in inches over a one minute interval (ipm = inches per minute). The distances are based on having the controller at full speed / maximum torque. Slower speeds can be achieved with each motor by turning the speed knob down with each respective motor speed. You can use the ipm # from the list above to calculate the type of distance you will roughly travel for a specific shot.