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Old August 19th, 2010, 07:42 PM   #1
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Kessler vs Proam crane

I've looked extensively at both cranes. I love the Kessler crane but the ProAm is 1/3 the price. I know you get what you pay for, but I can't find anyone that has bad things to say about the ProAm. I'm holding to learn a handful of good crane moves to spice up my videos. I'm not looking to become a serious crane operator.

If you guys could give me some advice, I would be grateful. Is the Kesler crane that much better that it justifies the cost?

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Old August 19th, 2010, 09:56 PM   #2
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I've built a couple of DIY cranes and like the proaim, they certainly did the job, but I ended up with the kessler. I need to get the shot 1st time not having to worry about wobble if you're shooting short films and you can afford to have 3 or 4 runs and keep the best - go for the cheap one - if you're operating in a commercial environment, I'd go for the kessler
Cheers - Paul M.
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Old August 19th, 2010, 11:32 PM   #3
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I used the ProAm a couple of times and was not impressed with the side to side wobble. I rented a JonyJib and realized what crane moves are supposed to look like. Thing's built like a tank and weighs as much! I used an 8 footer on a Sachtler System 20 tripod. The tripod cost more than all my camera gear!
The Kessler looks like it's built right and is cheaper than the Jony. I'm going to end up with the "Ultra Complete 8 foot". for the price it's the best out there plus you get the tripod and heavy duty head. I found a bunch of people on the forums who use the Kessler and rave about it.
The older I get, the better I was!
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Old August 23rd, 2010, 08:54 AM   #4
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I've never used Kessler, but I have ProAm and have used it with many cameras, from EX1 to T2i and TM700,
it's not the best camera crane, but it does the job, just don't move too fast:)
i have 12 footer it's cheap, light, fits in the large bag, and it takes me 5 minutes to assemle or take one down.
I love this place!
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Old August 23rd, 2010, 09:54 AM   #5
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After buying two cheap cranes and being disappointed I finally bit the bullet and purchased the 12 foot Kessler. I only wish I still had the money I wasted on the el cheapos. The great thing about the Kessler is that it's modular. You can keep adding (spending more money) to get the crane you desire. I highly recommend the Kpod tripod and head as well. You'll never have to worry about the tripod collapsing.
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Old August 23rd, 2010, 10:05 AM   #6
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My advice: The Proam is junk. I bought one and never ended up using it. When you mount a camera to it, the whole shaft twists. The thing is cheap, it looks cheap, feels cheap. It is cheap for a reason.

If you are any kind of professional or want professional results, don't waste your money on this system. It is for amateurs/hobbyists.

I have the Kessler 12 ft. with Kpod and hercules head and a remote camera turret. (the tripod weighs a tonne but is stable and durable).

I mount an EX3, EX1 and sometimes my Redrock M2e to it. Even though this crane is of great build quality, it takes a little while to learn it's behaviour. There are times when the jib shakes a bit during movement...try to avoid sudden stops/starts.

Set up time for the Kessler Crane is about 20-30 minutes depending what accessories you have (monitor, cables, remote control, lens control, camera turret, etc.).

Also, your clients will be much more impressed when you show up with professional equipment instead of a hobby toy.

Good luck with the decision!
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Old September 11th, 2010, 12:55 PM   #7
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Is ProAm made by the same people as ProAim?
Need to rent camera gear in Vancouver BC?
Check me out at
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Old September 15th, 2010, 01:09 PM   #8
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I bought the ProAm crane. I decided that I wanted to buy a crane and see how much I used it, before I spent a bunch of money on a "good" crane. I shoot mostly promo stuff for my surfboard company, so it's not like I want to be a full time crane operator. I bought the ProAm Crane on Ebay for $250 and then purchased an LCD monitor for an additional $125. So for under $400 I have a decent crane with monitor.

I took my time balancing out the unit. Once balanced, it is fairly smooth and easy to move around. The speaker stand that the crane mounts to is fairly shaky, so I've quickly learned to go with slow smooth shots. As long as I move slow, I get good results.

I hope to upgrade to a Kessler one day, but for now, I have a super functional and inexpensive crane that I can practice on and get my chops down. One thing I love, is the ProAm sets up in less then 5 minutes. It is so easy to setup and tear down, that I fear I may get spoiled. The biggest complaint I have is the unit is shaky, but it is possible to compensate for it.

Here is a short clip I took on the day I received the crane.
YouTube - 1st Day with crane
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Old November 3rd, 2010, 01:05 AM   #9
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+ one for the Kessler.

I have the 12ft (bought it about 3 years ago before the Hercules and everything) with the remote head. It's still going strong and have found it to be a fantastic asset to have when budget doesn't allow for a JimmyJib and operator.

As someone else mentioned, being modular is great - being able to go from 12ft to 5.5ft as required.

Have had everything from an EX3 (could go heavier if you wanted) to a 5D. EX3 is great cause BNC cables are abundant, the 5D is a little trickier to find long enough HDMI cables (though the Teradek Cube might solve that)

Overall, I love the Kessler system, and think what they are doing is great.
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Old November 9th, 2010, 09:50 AM   #10
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kessler meand more quality

proam cranes are cheap , like homemade cranes

i have a proam 250, is good only for cameras like the hv30, I tried to use it with a canon xha1 and i felt that the camera will fall ...............
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Old January 31st, 2011, 09:44 PM   #11
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I bought the proam 12 footer a few months back and just started using it recently. It works pretty well for my needs but it isn't built like a tank which is good and bad. Yesterday was super windy and the crane shots didn't really work because the wind was blowing the crane around. But when it's not insanely windy, it's not too hard to get smooth shots.

Today I received a kessler pocket dolly in the mail and it just oozes quality. It's really solid and smooth and makes me want to buy more from kessler!

I film rock climbing so I often have to hike my gear for 30 minutes to reach the location so I'm not sure if I could handle the weight of the kessler 12, but if weight was less of an issue I wouldn't hesitate to buy it.
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Old January 16th, 2013, 01:18 AM   #12
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Re: Kessler vs Proaim junk

I bought one of their matte boxes. They advertised it for the Sony FX1. It didn't fit unless you are ok with the stages tearing up your camera. The rails were not straight, so the blocks didn't want to slide. They heavily shot peen the rails to hide their crappy machining and abusive handling.

The swing away system was looser than a West Hollywood type on intravenous laxatives. It had more slop than a pig pen. The documentation was just about non-existent.

And when it all didn't work or fit, they said they would refund all the money plus shipping, but first to send I had to get it brought back from another country, pics sent, they said they would send half upon receipt of a shipping receipt, and balance upon its arrival. They never sent the first half, kept moaning about how they didn't have any $ in their paypal account, then when they got the unit in, they said it had taken too long, they would not be sending the balance.

They are first class liars and scammers, and their products are total junk. You've been warned.

I have a Kessler cineslider. REALLY nice machining work, very smooth, very rigid, works great. I've pawed over most of their line a the NAB show, really good workmanship.
Dave -
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