Ask any indie filmmaker: Creating a crane shot, where the camera goes up and over and all around, requires expensive equipment, careful planning, and an acceptance of the fact that everything can and will go horribly awry. And often securing the equipment is the most important part of this process, which is why Joby’s Action Jib is probably not great, but for action cam users, will likely be “good enough.” You may also want to have a look at the best photo box.
Having used (and being the current owner of) a jib, I do love them. If you watch “behind the scenes” bits from movies, they’re the long pole the camera sits on, often used to get wide, beautiful tracking shots. Doing that on an action cam is a little bit more difficult, and hauling a rig that costs at least a few hundred bucks and can run you a few thousand bucks up a mountain is a bad idea in about a thousand different ways.
Hence, Joby’s cheap, cheerful jib, which costs $70. Just break it down, toss it in your bag, haul it up a mountain, unfold it like a fishing pole, stick your camera on the end, and begin filming your opus. Oh, don’t forget to sync your camera to your phone and stick it in the included mount.
Cut Of The Jib
Will this jib give you smooth, perfect Hollywood panoramas? Probably not; my experience with cheap gear tells me it rarely performs up to the kind of spec you imagine. But it will give you good-enough panorama shots, and, let’s face it, if you’re using an action cam, it’s more about practicality and cost than anything else. And at $70, if it gets destroyed, it’s easy to replace.
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