What a better name for the world’s smallest camera motion control slider than Hercules. The Southern California-based independent company Rollocam has done a lot of heavy lifting in the recent months to bring this unique piece of engineering to life. After the immensely successful Kickstarter campaign of the project that raised more than $380,000 at the end of last year, the Hercules is finally ready for a full on release in July.
Just as many small indie companies, however, Rollocam went through some issues with getting the product shipped. Fortunately, it seems that the major production obstacles along the line have been sorted out, and the company is in the process of rushing the Hercules out to the first eager bakers. Before we dip our toes into details, let’s first see one of the demo videos of the world’s smallest camera motion control slider in action.
At the heart of the motorized system is the patent pending Hercules drive unit which contains a very strong gear motor that can handle almost any camera. The speed and direction are programmable using only one button and can run continuously in both directions as well as index move for time-lapse video. On top of that, the AAA-powered Rollocam Hercules can literally fit in your pocket and can be assembled in seconds.
You can get the bare bone Hercules without a slider track for just $125 and for $249 you get the full Premium package. If you tend to use the slider predominantly on flat surfaces, probably you won’t need the track. This way you can get incredible, low angle shots that are not limited by track length. But if you want to use the dolly as a full-fledged motorised slider with all the bells and whistles you will need the different-sized wheels along with the Slider Track. The latter is a 20” long track with four independently adjustable feet to level the track on uneven surfaces, and it’ll set you back another $60.
Furthermore, the Hercules can produce a great variety of shots such as breathtaking motion controlled time-lapse shots, stunningly smooth linear moves, curved shots, and panoramas. The tiny motorised slider can achieve its broad variety of shots by using changeable brackets. From the inline wheel bracket to the curved wheel bracket to the 360-degree panorama bracket, Hercules can quickly produce a variety of shots in seconds. And, the best part is it does all of this while being powered by a single AAA battery. The latter provides up to 1.5 hrs for a continuous move and up to 5 days in time-lapse mode. You can set Hercules to move the cart 0.01 to 1 inch in either direction per cycle which can last from 1 to 60 seconds.
Even though the Hercules motorised slider can handle cameras up to 10lb, for heavier setups, users can add the cheese plate that allows the payload to be distributed evenly among the three wheels for better traction. The cheese plate also enables the camera lens to point to any direction independent of the Hercules movement. An additional, large diameter wheel set can be swapped with the standard wheelset in a few seconds using the thumbscrews that hold the wheels in place. The large wheelset effectively doubles the speed of the Hercules should you choose to move the camera faster.
Ultimately, Hercules can handle a variety of cameras from smartphones to professional ones as it works with almost any camera on the market that has a universal camera thread mount. Along with the intuitive one button motion control and its five different cycle times and programmable modes, Hercules seems to be the perfect fit for timelapse videos as well as linear camera moves, curved shots or panoramas in real time. For more information and pre-orders head over to Rollocam’s official website here.