How To Do A Dolly Zoom Without A Dolly

A dolly zoom is an exceptional cinematography method that can produce quite impressive visual effects in your videos. It consists of either advancing the camera towards or pulling it back from the subject, simultaneously adjusting the lens’s focal length. This effect induces a sense of vertigo and can intensify the drama within a scene.

Step 1: Choose Your Subject

The first step in doing a dolly zoom without a dolly is to choose your subject. You want something that will be interesting to look at and that you can easily move around. A person, an animal, or even an object can work well for this technique.

Step 2: Set Up Your Camera

Once you’ve chosen your subject, it’s time to set up your camera. You want to make sure that the camera is stable and that you have enough space to move around. If you’re using a tripod, make sure it’s securely attached to the ground.

Step 3: Start Recording

Now that your camera is set up, it’s time to start recording. Begin by zooming in on your subject and then slowly move the camera away from them while keeping the lens focused on their face. This will create a feeling of disorientation as the subject appears to get smaller while the background gets larger.

Step 4: Edit Your Footage

Once you’ve captured your footage, it’s time to edit it. You can use video editing software like Adobe Premiere or Final Cut Pro to trim and adjust the footage until you get the effect you want. Make sure to pay attention to the timing of the zoom and the movement of the camera.


Doing a dolly zoom without a dolly can be a fun and creative way to add some visual interest to your videos. By following these steps, you can create a cool effect that will make your footage stand out.