[Andrew] tipped us off about his Cable Cam built out of some lumber and clothes line. It is small enough to fit into a backpack, includes a safety line and the camera can pan and tilt. A future version is planned with a small remote motor to move the trolley more effectively.
[Andrew] accidentally linked us to his other Camera Crane, taking the same ‘cheap yet effective’ approach as his Cable Cam. Once again, just some lumber and creative engineering are used to pull this one off.
For those without the ability to weld, check out [Bill Van Loo’s] all wood version of a Camera Crane. Same parallelogram design, without remote video output or central pivot.