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Monday, April 30, 2012

Jibs & Cranes

Jibs & Cranes
blog from VIMEO
modified by Campbell Cameras

A jib — also called a crane — is a device that enables cinematographers to get smooth moving shots. With a jib you can tilt and pan horizontally and vertically, or even a full 360 degrees. There are many reasons why you'd want to use a jib, which we'll explore in depth later. For now, let's just say working with a jib can make your finished product look ultra professional, like this video from Heartland Bowhunter:

Before we jump in, let’s address a fundamental question: Is there a difference between a jib and a crane? The answer is not really — the terms can be used interchangeably. A crane is an arm that lifts something, and a jib is the name for a crane used in the film industry. However, we should note that large pieces of lifting equipment are often called cranes, and smaller ones are sometimes called jibs. You can also cover all your bases and call them "jib cranes." But enough semantics — let's talk mechanics!

A jib is made up of an arm with a camera attached to one end and a counterweight attached to the other. The arm is then attached to a tripod, or some other supporting structure. The whole thing works like a seesaw, but with the balance point located closer to the end with the counterweight, so the camera has a larger range of motion.

Campbell Camera's is now offering affordable indiSYSTEM Jibs for as low as $249.99 that will give you the same effect as movie production jibs for over half the cost. Campbell Cameras also offers CobraCranes that start around $249.99 as well!

Now that you know what they are, when should you use a jib or crane?

When you want to track movement
Because a jib has such a wide range of motion and moves so smoothly, it can be used to track moving objects. If you don't want to spend the time, effort, or money on a dolly, a jib is a perfectly good alternative. So when you find yourself shooting a heard of animals, pull out that jib.

When you want to make a shot more interesting
A nice sweeping jib movement can add visual interest to a shot of a stationary object. You know all those car commercials in which the camera slowly moves around the vehicle, revealing every gorgeous crease? Lots of those are made from jib shots!

When you want to add height
A jib can reach much higher than your normal tripod. Its sweeping motions also create a feeling of grandeur and vastness. Try using one next time you shoot a big crowd of people, or the next time you need to portray a giraffe’s perspective.

Now that you've got some background on jibs and cranes, put one to use. Consider using one to achieve that epic establishing shot you've been thinking about for your next video!

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