When shooting a video project, using a camera jib or crane is a great way to perform a cinematic motion sweep. Because of the rise of HDSLR cinematography, there are now quite a few selections of camera jibs available in the market.
Unlike most jibs out there, the Aviator Travel Jib actually started out as a Kickstarter campaign. It inventor describes it as “the most portable camera crane around.” The Aviator compacts down to 24 inches, can extend to 6 feet, weighs less than 4 lbs, supports a camera kit up to 6 lbs, and sets up in under a minute. Geez, that was a mouthful.
So is the Aviator a worthy addition to the SLR Lounge essential gear list? Just watch the video and find out.
The Aviator Travel Jib Video Review
The Problem with Traditional Camera Cranes and Jibs
If you are shooting light and mobile, then traditional jibs, even those made for smaller DSLRs, are heavy and simply not portable. They are bulky, take time to set up and break down, and slow down your shooting schedule if you have to move from location to location.
And let’s face it, as great as jibs are in raising the production value of your shoot, they are simply expensive. You are looking somewhere in the neighborhood of a thousand dollars or more for a typical jib. On top of that, you may have to purchase a fluid-pan base and counterweights separately.
Why We Love the Aviator Travel Jib
The reason why we love the Aviator Travel Jib is that it essentially solves all the complaints we have with traditional jibs. The whole unit fits into a portable carrying case and only weighs 4 lbs. It is incredibly simple to set up, and once you understand how to set it up, it only takes a minute or two to set up and break down.
The best part is the cost of the jib. The mag-alloy version that we used in the video costs less than $500 and comes with a fluid-pan base, counter weights, and the aforementioned carrying case.
You can even purchase the carbon-fiber version for around $850. This version weighs less than 3 lbs and can carry up to 7.5 lbs of camera load.
In regards to build-quality, both the mag alloy and the carbon-fiber Aviator Travel Jib kit feature technology engineered by the professional tripod makers 3 Legged Thing. So, it features top notch components!
The one piece of gear that you will still need for the Aviator Travel Jib (and any other jib for that matter) is a tripod. The company recommends a photo or video tripod that is rated to support 17 lbs or more. Below we have our full recommended setup for the Aviator Travel Jib.
The SLR Lounge Recommended Gear Setup for the Aviator Travel Jib
This is the gear setup that we use for our own Aviator Travel Jib:
If you are an independent filmmaker shooting with a Canon 5D mkIII, a Panasonic GH2, or other similar cameras, then you should look into the Aviator Travel Jib.
Given its portability, ease of use, build quality and affordable cost, this is an absolute must have in any filmmakers toolkit! It will add production value to your film without taking too much out of your bottom line.
We may sound over-enthusiastic about it, but we really do feel that you can get more than your money’s worth with the Aviator. Therefore, we award the Aviator Travel Jib a strong 5
out of 5 stars.