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  • Camera Jib Services

Camera Jib Services

Camera Jibs are one of the best ways to achieve a cinematic feel to your shoots. Be it a live event, news piece, internal communications project or art project, a jib allows for smooth shots that appear to fly through the air.

What is a jib?

A jib is a system that allows a camera to be moved through the air by an operator. Typicalcly a jib comprises a boom that acts as a cantilever where the camera attaches to the end. See above images to understand this. A jib typically comprises a tripod base with s swivel head; a large boom arm; and a "hot head" which is the motorised part that moves the camera around 2-3 axis.

See our product video of the jib here which gives a good idea of what it can do:

Why use a jib?

Jib allows for large swooping shots. These are very useful as establishing shots where you want to show your viewer a wide scene from a different perspective. Many films start with establishing shots done from an aerial position. Jibs are also good for shots where you want to swoop from a height down to the ground. The movement of a jib, when used properly, is very smooth and fluid which gives it a very engaging look.

How does the crane arm move?

The jib booms that SXS provide are manually operated. The operator stands at the counter-weight side of the boom and moves the jib manually. Some much larger systems are hydraulically controlled which requires a very specific skill set to use.

How does the camera stay level?

The camera at the end of the boom must stay level. If it did not the operator would have to constantly adjust the y-axis which would complicate its use. The way the camera stays level is with hinged bracket at the top which is attached to a guide wire to the fulcrum of the boom.

What is better about a jib over a camera quad-copter, slider rail or steadicam?

All of these devices have different applications to suit a certain type of shot or limitations on your shoot. Jibs are good because the risks involved are very low and they can be used almost anywhere. The downside of a jib is that they can be unsightly and their movement is limited by their length.

Does it come with operators?

We always provide a jib with someone who knows the system well. In the case of our larger jib this is two people. The reason for this is that a jib has many small parts that require a unique understanding of.

Are jibs safe?

When used properly yes. The biggest risk with jibs is the operator letting the head go so low that it can touch people. A jib operator needs to be calm, focussed and highly aware of their surroundings. Fail safes are often put in place such as positioning the jib near structure that prevents the arm going to low or the counterweight meaning that the head lifts in the event of the operator letting go. Running a jib is a skilled jibs that requires a lot of practice.

What are some typical applications for a jib?

We use jibs mainly for establishing shots for corporate videos as well as crowd swoops at live events.

Can camera jibs be used outdoors?

Yes, but it is important to be aware of high wind as this can make their use difficult. It is down to the discretion of the operator as to whether the jib height needs to be reduced or the jib not used at all.

How many people are needed to operate a jib?

For our small jib a single operator can manage the jib and camera to a basic level. For our large jib a minimum of two people are required. If your shoot involves narrow depth of field and precise focus pulling you will need additional people.

How much do they weigh?

Our small jib, with counter weights weighs around 100kg. Our larger jib, fully loaded, weighs over 400kg.

What jibs does SXS have?

  • We have two jib systems:
  • Small Jib - this can have a boom of from 5' to 14' and is good for smaller events in venues. It has a 2-axis hot head and can hold a 10kg camera (PMW200, EX3, 7D etc)
  • Large Jib - this can have a boom from 3m to 9m and is good for larger performances or in venues where there is ample room, such as large function halls, outdoors, arenas and stadiums. It has a 3-axis hot head and is also good for 10kg cameras.

Most of these articles are also available on Google+ via Johnny Palmer's Google + Profile

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