What equipment is needed to start shooting Timelapse with the Stage Zero Dolly?

If you are coming from a Photography, Videography or Animation background, then you are familiar with the basic building blocks needed to complete a stunning timelapse sequence with the Stage Zero system.  Here's a detailed look into what's needed to get started shooting; Camera, Camera Head and Tripods are desirable in addition to the Stage Zero system.


Just about any camera still or video cam up-to 15 pounds can be used with the Stage Zero System. When shooting timelapse, DSLR cameras have many advantages but the system can be used with any video camera as well (without a shutter cable connected).  When shooting video the MX2 should be kept in Continuous Mode. When shooting with DSLR cameras the MX3 controller will trigger your camera's shutter creating individual frames of a timelapse sequence - We have many DSLR camera cables that mate with popular models.


To support the system tripods are the most flexible option.  We suggest you choose your tripods based on the total weight of the system (rail, cart, camera and accessories). If your working with a 6' stage zero kit and a professional DSLR the total weight can reach up to 15-20 pounds. To be on the safe side and since it can be desirable to support the entire system with a single tripod (for example fully vertical or with one end resting on the ground or a surface), it's best to find a tripod/head that is rated for the 15-20 pound range. We have found the Induro AKB2 tripod kit to be an excellent match.

The simplest & quickest way to connect your tripods to the aluminum Stage Zero rail is to use a quick release plate. Simply thread one of the included t-nuts on the standard 1/4"-20 stud, slide the t-nut into the bottom center slot of the rail, position where desired anywhere along the rail and tighten the plate firmly in place. The tripod now can be mounted and dismounted easily via the quick release plate.

Camera Head

It's best to have a flexible head to support your camera. This will allow for leveling and creative positioning depending on your rail orientation.  Any photographic or video head that's rated to support your camera weight will work fine. The kit comes with stainless 3/8" bolts to secure a head to the cart and the plate has two additional key-locks to secure the head in place (prevent rotation).   We have found the Manfrotto 460MG works well for this application but many prefer ball heads.



The bundles include a battery (with charger and power connector)  It's an excellent 2700mA battery that will run the Stage Zero for about 10 hours.  Any 12V DC battery will work, so we do have power cable pigtails to standard 2.1 x 5.5mm barrel connector (red line in diagram) to connect your own battery as well. Note that the power supply wire with the white stripe on it corresponds to the POSITIVE (+) pole at the battery and barrel plug. For safety sake always disconnect your power supply cable from the battery and cover the terminals when not in use.

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