Self-Taught Filmmaking

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See others who own it and stuff shot with it at...
mediahalo.com/equipment/jibs/cowminijib4/?vim

Or go right to amazon:
amazon.com/dp/B00DY8CFBM/?tag=viewnow-20

There's a newer version of this which seems to address some of the issues i had with the original, it's at a great price and worth looking at:
amazon.com/dp/B00FBI1Y2Y/?tag=viewnow-20

Jibs are a fantastic way to add a dynamic movement to your shots. For a long time they were inaccessible to the average filmmaker, but between DIY and jibs such as this one, pretty much anyone can jib it up.

Build quality

Let's be honest, it's $200, and for that, it's built quite well, there's mostly metal except for the knobs and rubber grips. The metal feels sufficiently thick, giving a feeling of confidence that it won't fall part.

Design

Overall, really not bad for the price, it's simple and makes sense for the most part. It's not as clever as some of the bigger brands such as kessler, so to pack it up you have to take out the rear pole but can pack it all inside the nice and small case. One of the big purchase factors for me was the inclusion of a 75mm bowl attachment. Pretty brilliant at this price point, but it comes at a catch: After adding a tripod head to the bowl, you're only going to have enough weight capacity left for relatively small cameras. This this was probably built with only DSLRs and handycams in mind. There are some workarounds for that though.

The biggest design flaw i see in the ease of use part of this jib is the way you connect the camera. The camera plate has two walls next to it, making getting your fingers in there to secure the camera to the jib not easy. there's a solution to this though: add a quick release plate or maybe even a ballhead that' you'll leave secured to it.

The pole connectors are just the same as in many tripods, though in this case they are dealing with entirely different load directions. The main thing you need to do to keep this thing as solid as possible is to ensure all those connections are very snug, because just one loose one can lead to torquing(twisting), and that makes for poor camera action.

Probably my least favorite part of the design are the weights, you have to screw them on and off. It's nice in that the weights won't just slide off, and you can make very small adjustments to them, but it's far slower than a typical clamp design.

DIY it a bit

My main concern with the stability with this unit started when i saw the first people review it: the poles seemed to bend at the joints. My suspicions were confirmed when i got mine and opened the connections; they didn't build in any extensions inside each pole for stability. So, when you extend each section, there's all of about 1" of pole remaining inside the prior section, not very stable. Obviously the shorter you keep the jib, the more stable it will be, and my first act as owner of this jib was to put in stops into each section to prevent it from extending to its full length. It's a basic procedure: just unscrew each joint, carefully keep those crappy plastic stoppers in place, and use a strip of gaff tape to create a stop a few inches up the pole. Yes, you're going to give up a few inches of total jib length, but it will be far more stable

Conclusion

Hey, it's $200! it packs down into something that's almost carryon-able. and keeping in mind the considerations i outlined, it's totally usable for small cameras. There is already a newer improved version of this, but it's overall pretty similar, so either should be plenty darn useful in helping you get some jib-o-matic style shots.

j vimeo.com/75104235

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