Flyline Cable Cam Review
A lot of you know us by our camera movement abilities. We use different types of gear such as heavy lifter drones, black arm with car mounts, ground gimbal and cable cam. Today’s equipment review is going to be on the Flyline cable cam that we own and operate. Just like anything, there’s a time a place for certain types of camera movement. So when would you use a cable cam on set?
An example would be using it when it’s not practical to use a drone or steadicam, such as in the woods, where a drone may not be able to fly safely or it’s too long of a shot for a steadicam. Another example would be over a ravine where a large drone could not takeoff or land practically. Other examples include when you need more precision or repeatability as well as audio sensitive locations like on film sets with speaking talent. Operating indoors is very doable when you have the proper anchor points. Also, moving the camera very close to talent or objects can be done safely.
When we were looking to purchase a cable cam, we looked at several different brands and designs. After purchasing the Flyline, built by Photoship One, we’ve been quite pleased with our results.
So let’s dive into the pros of the Flyline.
- It’s American Made. The engineers at Photoship One have done a great job on a clean and rugged design that doesn’t flex when carrying heavy payloads. The fact that this system is American made, also gives me the peace of mind of quality. An added bonus, if there are any issues with our Flyline, Photoship One is located in AZ within the US, making for replacement parts to be delivered quickly, unlike from oversea shipments.
- Motion Control. The Flyline can come equipped with hardware that allows the user to setup end points on the cable to prevent the cable cam, or trolley from striking the anchor points at the end of the cable. This is a great safety feature for not only your cable cam, but also your gimbal and camera. Motion Control or MoCo can also be used for pingpong mode which is really convenient at concerts when you need the trolley to travel back and forth automatedly within your end points.
- Long Cable Runs. We mount the trolley on a synthetic cable called dyneema. We use 8mm thickness, which makes the cable incredibly strong. 8mm has a breaking strength of 12,000 lbs. Due to this strength, we can rig up to 600 ft runs of cable. Now, a side note about dyneema, not only is it super strong, but it also floats on water, it’s way lighter then steel coated cable, it has a .08% stretch rate and it has a high abrasion resistance. The Flyline was designed with deep outrigger pulleys so that it can’t jump the cable at any given time when mounted correctly. 8mm dyneema is a solid fit inside the pulley grooves.
- Speed. The Flyline can be mounted with different motor drive pulleys for various types of speed. A 3:1 ratio motor pulley comes standard, but you can go with a 2:1 ratio for slower and more precise moves or mount a 4:1 ratio for faster and more extreme speeds. The top speed is 45 mph. The Flyline can also operate on a slope with a maximum pitch of 15 degrees. This provides elevation changes during your shot for a more cinematic feel.
- Cooling Fan. This is one of the several upgrades we decided to go with since we would be using the Flyline in heated environments like the desert. The custom motor is specifically bored out so that the fan can can keep your motor nice and cool to prevent metal warping or magnets from becoming unglued. Extreme heat will kill any electric motor.
- Payload. We can carry as much as 60 lbs of payload. Having this freedom makes it a versatile cable cam. We mostly use the MoVI Pro with Red or Alexa Mini. Most of our payloads are around 20 lbs or 35 lbs all up weight.
- Run Times. The Flyline can operate on a range of 12-26 volts of DC power. We use 6S 22.2 volt LiPo batteries with our system. We can run a 10 amp 6S battery and get about 3 hours of run time. We can also run two 10 amp batteries in parallel and just about last all day.
- More Versatility. The Flyline provides two 15mm rails to run through the trolley to accommodate whatever you want to mount on them. Extra batteries, HD downlink transmitter, or even a sweet Behind the scenes camera to grab some nice behind the scenes videos.
- Price. The price can range anywhere from $2800 – $8,000. The trolley itself is only $2795.00. A complete turn key system will cost around $8,000. Comparing these prices to other similar cable cam systems, the Flyline is priced nicely.
Overall the Flyline cable cam is a simple and robust system that provides you want you need when dollying a camera across cable. To learn more about the Flyline, visit their website at:
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