Filmmaking Amateur | Gettin Jibby with It

by Scott
(Georgia, USA)

A good friend has let me borrow his homemade dolly and his factory built jib arm. I am using them with a Canon EOS 60D. The dolly and the jib were designed with bigger cameras in mind. I have no issues with stability. I do wonder, how small is too small when it comes to a jib arm for a DSLR?

I'd like to be able to travel with even a small jib arm. Already I can see the benefit of being able to present a shot with this type of motion. I've always shot hand-held or on a tripod. The jib arm simply locks in to the tripod head. From there you sway its long arm up and down and side to side to give the camera movement that is hard, if not impossible, to achieve on a tripod or moving the camera with only your arms. To be able to reach into my bag and pull out an "instant jib" shot would be awesome.

The jib arm I am using now is not very travel friendly. It's actually a little cumbersome but it's definitely worth the effort to pack and carry it. We've done a couple test shots in familiar surroundings and we were impressed when we saw our normal environment in cinematic form. The panning shots from different heights were cool. I felt like a filmmaker.

There's a difference between documenting and producing a shot. For the most part, I document. These new tools require more producing. So, when using them, it does require more forethought, but again, this type of shot lets clients know you are prepared.

For some reason, we keep delaying our purchase of a GoPro. I used one last summer and it saved me. It takes great pictures and shoots great video and you can do almost anything with it. We want to get the GoPro for the same reason we like using the dolly and jib arm, it provides us with more camera accessibility. The small size of the GoPro and its very good image quality means we can use a helicopter to do fly-over shots with. But that's another story.

The moral of this story is that a small, manageable jib arm that fits on a tripod is a must have item.

Anyone out there have experience with a small portable jib arm for a DSLR?

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