Jib designed for DV systems 15 lbs & below at DVinfo.net

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Old August 7th, 2002, 12:55 AM   #1
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Jib designed for DV systems 15 lbs & below

Jimmy Jib, the makers of the Triangle, offers this very affordable full scale jib with remote head, the Jib Lite. It is the scaled down version of the full sized Triangle model. It is really 3 jibs in one, 6', 12' or 18' with a lens height of 25 ft. It uses the same electronics, controls, and head motors as the higher end model. It costs about as much as two XL-1ss and is worth every penny for the shots it can deliver.

This can be viewed at http://www.jimmyjib.com

Jib Lite at work on location:

http://community.webtv.net/JEFProductions/JIBCONFIGURATIONS
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Old August 7th, 2002, 06:28 AM   #2
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For a much more affordable solution which is every bit as effective, consider the $750 SkyCrane at www.skycrane.com -- web video clips on dvinfo.net soon.
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Old August 8th, 2002, 12:28 AM   #3
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Jib comparison

I definitely have to agree that the Skycrane is MUCH more affordable rig than the Jib Lite. However, I have to strongly disagree with it being everybit as effective. From what I could see from the site, the head cannot pan. Now, what good is a jib if your camera is 12'- 20' away and you can't pan the camera? Booming left or right is not the same motion. The operator cannot correct as the arc swing is performed. The Skycrane is just fine for vertical moves, but your shots are really limited to just that with a fixed head jib. You won't find that kind of a jib at a concert or any other event or production with a crowd or audience. It just doesn't have the versatility for the "money shots" that these producers want. The main reason that I posted info about it was that it was specifically designed for DV type camera systems and retains much of the same characteristics of the it's big brother flying the betacams, Panavisions and Arri's. Now Varizoom has introduced a remote head that costs as much as an XL-1s. This could be attached to a fixed head jib like the Skycrane and there you go. But is it safe and has it been load tested. I am weary about mixing and matching things like that especially something that's flying over a crowd's head. My point is that this turnkey system is time tested, safe and gets those money shots that the clients want without any add ons or modifications. Believe me, I didn't like spending that kind of money for it but it has payed for itself a few times over so far. It's not too expensive the quality that you're getting. Also, clients that didn't even know what a jib was, ones that had to be talked in to using it, demand it for future projects now that they see what it can do. They are two very different systems as far as function and versatility.
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Old August 8th, 2002, 07:42 AM   #4
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James

The VariZoom MC100 Pan/Tilt works perfectly with SkyCrane and is load-tested and completely safe. SkyCrane is modifying its own head to include pan capability. Nothing wrong with the Jimmy Jib, but it's overkill for DV. You pointed out yourself that the system is multiple times more expensive than the camera.

SkyCrane is a long-time DV Info Net sponsor and supporter. Whenever camera cranes are mentioned, I'll always present the SkyCrane as an affordable, effective, safe and appropriate jib solution for DV use. Hope this helps,
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Old August 8th, 2002, 10:29 PM   #5
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"I'll always present the SkyCrane as an affordable, effective, safe and appropriate jib solution for DV use." Ok. No doubt, it is affordable, effective, safe and appropriate...............but it ain't as versatile.

Next topic. Old Tom has been hard at it I see. Seriously, can that MC-100 be underslung? I'm asking because he doesn't show it on the site in that orientation. I would need that to do a 90 degree overhead spin. I don't see why it couldn't be underslung according to the pictures. Holler at me.
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Old August 10th, 2002, 12:59 AM   #6
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MC100 Underslung

James,

The MC-100 can be underslung without any trouble. It has a reverse control system, built in, to allow same fee control rightside up or underslung.

I double checked the MC-100 page and it is shown underslung in the very bottom left corner. It is not easy to find and we will fix that soon.

http://www.varizoom.com/pages/mc100.htm

Thanks for mentioning it.

Tom
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Old October 31st, 2002, 07:10 PM   #7
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FYI - SkyCrane will tentatively announce their new "SkyPan" in mid-December which will be sold as an accessory to their cranes (or other model cranes). The estimated price will be around $550.
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Old October 31st, 2002, 07:41 PM   #8
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Steven Wills is a new member of our community (http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...&threadid=4648) and he seems to be quite an expert on jibs. (http://home.insightbb.com/~steventv/) Maybe he'll chime in on this thread.
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Old October 31st, 2002, 09:17 PM   #9
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I'll tell you where I'd like some input...variations between SkyCrane models. I went through and read the specs on each model, saw the comparison tables...but still don't have a clue about what the advantages and/or disadvantages are of each.

For instance, the "Shottaker" and the "Premiere"...besides two extra feet and two less pounds for the Premiere, what's the advantage of one over the other? Are there any particular types of shooting that certain models are better at handling?
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Old October 31st, 2002, 09:43 PM   #10
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I believe the difference primarily is in length. Will try to fetch Bob Jones in here and let him tell it to you straight "from the manufacturer."
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Old October 31st, 2002, 09:51 PM   #11
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Thanks, Chris. That'd be great. (I got the info on the upcoming SkyPan from him just today by e-mail...get the idea I'm shopping for a crane?)
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Old November 1st, 2002, 03:21 PM   #12
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Yeow....it seems the old story of which is better (Mac vs. IBM....Ford Vs. Chevy, etc...etc) can be talked to death. BUT...Both have advantages over the other is some areas. Now don't get me wrong, but since I was asked for my input on this, I'll tell you how "I" feel and what I have learned.

First off....it doesn't make sense to "me" to take a $750.00 "jib" and put a $4000.00 piece of controlling equipment on it. It would be really hard to justify it's expense and you would be "limited" in the amount of work you could do to get a "return" on your investment.

How many times have you seen a "skycrane" used at a ESPN, Fox, NBC or CBS event? So far in my career, I haven't. For the "most part", you will find Cammates and Jimmy Jibs being used. Most are around 20' or more and even then, they want longer if you have it. They (the networks) have come to know these products from exposure and dependability in the field. They like the fact that they can get the shots they want without having to wonder about the ability of the gear and the dependability of it.

You need to understand this, we work under great time and money constraints and the producers want a "fit" on every shoot. That means, they want something that is tried and true...used all the time and there is NO doubt it works and it will interface with the truck. So don't be bringing some "weird" piece of gear on a show and drop it on the truck engineer's lap and say it does "so and so" really well. They don't "know" the gear and they ain't gonna like it AT ALL! And if something does go wrong...you better believe they will have a part "red tagged" from a "known" vendor there really quick. They may not even know where or if they can get a part from "Bob's Jib service".

Second, I understand not everyone works in broadcasting and needs the expense and hassle of owing a full sized Jib. It is a TREMENDOUS amount of money (to me) to spend in the hopes you will make a living with it. It is a very specialized piece of gear and sometimes you'll find yourself with it sitting in the garage and the payments still come in and must be paid regardless of your qualifications or experience. Owing a Jib is great...but now you must "feed it". You have the overhead of advertising and promoting it. Just getting the word out takes all my time anymore.

This is where something like the "Skycrane" comes in...it's low in overhead and will do smaller work for DV just fine. It easily transported and does just what it's advertised to do. But don't think your going to get a "foothold" in broadcasting with it. You can get great shots with it I'm sure but if you think your going to freelance with ESPN with it your not being realistic. It seems Skycrane has made a great little product prefect for you guys that need tabletop shots and smaller studio productions. It seems well made and reliable to me.

I would say more but I have a music video to go shoot and I'm running late...yeah...they wanted the twenty footer.
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Old November 1st, 2002, 04:17 PM   #13
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Thanks very much for joining-in, Steven.

My general impression of the topic is that it's identical to that of SteadiCam-type intertial stabilization. That is, it's a two-fold consideration. First, you generally get what you pay for with regard to equipment reliability and capabilities. Yes, there may be a short-cut or two possible for a range of applications. And certainly the prices of specialty "professional" gear becomes naturally inflated over time. But, in general, there's what "really works" and what "kinda works".

Secondly, as with inertial stabilization, getting the equipment does not automatically make the owner a jib-meister. It takes practice, practice, practice. First and foremost I would imagine that you have to have enough skill to frame shots properly on the ground.

I doubt that we have many folks here who would actually expect to try to earn their living from such a specialty. But, as with remarks by Charles Papert concerning SteadiCam matters, it is interesting to see the general view of someone who relies so heavily on this equipment.
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Old November 1st, 2002, 06:40 PM   #14
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Mmmmm!

Boy, I sure stirred up a ruckus!
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Old November 1st, 2002, 06:53 PM   #15
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Steve Wills is of course quite correct. I have a close relationship with Bob Jones of SkyCrane; whenever I stay in the L.A. area he and his wife usually put me up for the night. That said, although I'm a huge SkyCrane fan, it should be clearly understood that it is designed specifically for prosumer 3-chip DV camcorders (Bob had the XL1 in mind when he invented it).

SkyCrane will support a full-size camera; however as James Emory points out it is not intended as a competitive replacement for a Jimmy Jib; nowhere in that league even. Of course you wouldn't see a SkyCrane on a high-end broadcast shoot -- not yet that I'm aware of, anyway. But is in use by MIT and other universities, it has been used for shooting space shuttle launches with HD cameras, independent low-budget moviemaking and a variety of other applications.

SkyCrane is an affordable alternative to the ProMax Cobra Crane. It's a prosumer jib for prosumer camcorders. You can definitely use it for event work, for whatever you'd shoot with an XL1; but as Ken points out, all camera cranes require some intense practice before you'll pull off a decent move.

Again to echo Ken, you get what you pay for in this business. If you need a crane and you can afford a Jimmy Jib, then that's definitely the way you should go. On a budget? The $750 SkyCrane delivers excellent bang for buck.

And it will support the VariZoom pan & tilt head. At trade shows, EZ FX (another fine crane company) shows the VariZoom unit on a $1200 crane, and I've seen Jimmy Jib demo an $8,000 crane with a $4,000 XL1 on it, so yes the price disparities in this business are surprising sometimes!
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