Humble Monkey 360-T2 Camera Truck



May 7, 2010
By Dan Havlik

Prod Reviews - Humble Monkey

Humble Monkey's simple and elegant camera dolly can provide smooth tracking shots in your HD videos.
There's been no shortage of filmmmaking accessories released lately for video-capable digital SLRs; some inventive and helpful, some not so much. Seriously, if I see another modular HD-DSLR camera rig come down the pike—an erector-set-style torture device I’ve begun to refer to as an “on-the-shoulder-boulder-holder”—I’m going to scream. (Ok, just screamed. I feel better.)

In the inventive and helpful category, you can add the new 360-T2 Camera Truck from Minneapolis-based production company Humble Monkey. Designed to help you produce fluid tracking shots with your HD-DSLR, the 360-T2 Camera Truck’s simple, elegant wheel-based design reveals its simple, elegant purpose: to provide smooth as silk movement in your high-def videos.

While we didn't find it worked well on all surfaces, the Camera Truck with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II attached was capable of giving us stunning tracking shots with a range of motion. And unlike clunky rail-based slider devices, the Camera Truck is highly portable (it fits snuggly in a plastic carrying box) and uses the effects of gravity to determine the length and speed of your shot. So if you have a long smooth surface ahead of you, you can pretend you’re Stanley Kubrick and keep going and going. Just watch out for the bumps.

A HUMBLE MONKEY

It’s clear that a lot of thought went into the design and build of Humble Monkey’s 360-T2 Camera Truck. It’s certainly no mere skateboard with a threaded camera mount attached even if the truck does use three skate wheels to make it mobile.

Those aren’t just any old wheels, they’re zero-drag 72mm in-line skate wheels made of lightweight acrylic. They appeared to be durable but I wouldn’t recommend using the truck on very rough surfaces, not just because it will add camera shake to your footage but because it will likely scuff up the wheels.

The wheel assemblies use frictionless skate bearings and have stainless steel axles to help keep the movement smooth. Spinning them is a pleasure and you’ll likely spend a lot of time gliding the truck around just for fun. (There’s a also a foot-brake on the device if you start to have too much fun.)

The body of the camera truck is also made of acrylic and rides low to ground with just a .25-inch surface clearance. While this is ideal for sliding across tabletops, it only allows for low angle footage when pushed along the ground.









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