About this project
The Aviator Kickstarter project has wrapped up, but it's not to late to order your own. Just click TheTravelJib.com to find out more about the film making accessory Tech Crunch called a “Film Maker’s BFF” and Next Wave DV called “The most portable camera crane around."
To all the backers, friends and family (who I think may have refreshed this page more times than I did), and all the people who helped spread the word - a huge, sincere thank you!
UPDATE 2: Click on the "Updates" tab above the video to see behind the scenes shots of The Aviator Travel Jib in action alongside shots taken with the jib. We've also posted more photos of the jib in the "Updates" section.
UPDATE 1: WOW! We did it. But it's not too late to get your own. If you haven't become a backer, yet, go for it! Thanks to all the backers for funding us so quickly! And thanks to everyone who is helping spread the word. Keep it coming. Lots more exciting news to come...
What is The Aviator Travel Jib? The Aviator Travel Jib is a professional, ultra light weight, compact camera jib (camera crane) that lets you get cinematic, sweeping camera moves anywhere in the world.
The Aviator Travel Jib compacts down to 24 inches, extends to 6 feet, weighs less than 3 ¾ pounds (supporting cameras up to 6lbs!) and sets up in under a minute. That makes it the perfect camera motion accessory whether you’re shooting on the other side of town or the other side of the world. Use it to shoot weddings, extreme sports, documentaries, indie films, music videos, real estate, travel, commercials, corporate, and more to dramatically raise your production value.
The Aviator kit comes complete with a fluid pan base, a high end padded bag, mounting hardware, bubble levels, monitor/accessory mounting ports, and ballast bag.
Thanks to the included fluid pan base, The Aviator works great with any photo or video tripod rated to support 17lbs or more.
What are the rewards?
What will we use the money for? We are ready to start production and your pledge will help us pay for the many molds, materials, and other manufacturing costs involved in bringing The Aviator to market.
When will the rewards ship? We have been through several prototypes and are ready to start manufacturing. The factory is ready for us to place the order. That means if we make our funding goal The Aviator should ship by August.
What makes The Aviator Travel Jib so great? Jibs (camera cranes) stabilize your camera while moving it through space around and above your subjects creating graceful, sweeping moves that you just can’t get any other way.
Unlike normal jibs that are heavy, large, expensive, and a big hassle to set up, severely limiting the locations and situations where filmmakers could put them to use, The Aviator is super portable, lightweight, compact, and affordable.
The Aviator features leg locks designed by world renowned tripod makers 3 Legged Thing. And they are supplying us with their exclusive 8 core Stealth Carbon Fiber. We’re even manufacturing The Aviator at their factory! Thanks 3LT!!!
What skill level of shooter is this for? The Aviator is super simple to set up and use. Whether you are a seasoned pro or just a passionate beginner, you’ll get breathtaking footage within minutes.
Yes! There is a 1/4" 20 mounting port on each side of the bottom bracket. You can easily mount your video monitor to either side of the jib with any standard articulating arm or 1/4 20 goose-neck.
The Aviator will work with nearly any camera provided the camera side load doesn't exceed 6lbs.
As long as your total weight for the camera side of the jib is under 6lbs. you should be good. Keep in mind it may be under the weight limit with one lens, but over with another. So if you try using it with a 70-200 2.8 for example, you may go over the limit. Though it is unlikely you would want to jib with that lens, anyway. Traditionally most jib shots are done with a fairly wide lens.
The only hiccup is on some cameras (the C300, FS100, and Epic probably all fall into this category) is the back of the camera sticks out behind the top bracket (because of the position of the 1/4 20 mount on the bottom of the camera. In this case, if the camera is mounted directly to the bracket you will lose some of the movement at the bottom of the swing (the back of the camera will make contact with the top pole of the jib before it has reached the bottom of the swing. You may lose about 6 inches of lift at the bottom, but I'm not sure until I can get hold of one and try it. But don't worry. There is a simple solution. If you have enough weight head room you can add a spacer or even better, a lightweight fluid head.
I have much better fluid heads, but I often use the Velbon PH-368 Vel-Flo 9 Mini-Pro. Because it weighs so lightweight.The Velbon is almost all plastic. It makes a weird cracking noise if you tighten it too much, but it hasn't fallen apart on me yet. It's incredibly lightweight. They say it's rated to hold 10lbs.
It lifts the camera up off of the bracket enough that you shouldn't lose any of the vertical lift. So if your camera is shaped more like a traditional video camera and less like a DSLR, weigh it and make sure you have enough room to add a small head (some are as light weight as a couple ounces) and still be under 6lbs. and you should be good!
We don't have the final numbers on it yet, but we expect the carbon fiber jib to be between 10 to 20% lighter. Carbon fiber also has unbeatable vibration dampening properties, and it looks and feels extra, extra nice!
There are so many factors involved with shipping times that I can't give exact dates or say if anyone will get theirs by a specific date until we get closer to shipping. I will keep backers updated with detailed updates as the project moves along. I want to get these to everyone as fast as possible. Thanks for your support!
I'm hoping to do a detailed how to video on this at some point after the Kickstarter closes, but here's a link to the article that inspired my set up. They use the same motor I did. It's basically an $18 hobby motor that runs off of a single AA battery. http://www.diyphotography.net/using-a-motorized-yoyo-as-a-panning-slider
What kind of tripod I recommend is hard to say. It really depends on how you plan to shoot. If you are mountain climbing, traveling on planes, or going solo, usually size and weight are most important. In that case I'd go with the 3Legged Thing Eric. Super lightweight and folds up really small. If you want something at a lower price point the 3Legged Thing X4a Jack may suit you better.
I also like using it with video tripods because the leveling ball base makes it super easy to level. They tend to be larger and heavier, though. But if space and weight aren't as important, like when shooting in urban environments where you are going from car to location, a video tripod like the Manfrotto 536 may be more your style. I've been using the 536 for some time. It's almost 30" long, and weighs over 7lbs, but it'll go up to over 6 and half feet high and it is rock solid. If you go with a ball head tripod you'll want to add a half ball leveler that screws into the bottom of the jib. They aren't expensive. Just make sure it's the right size for the ball tripod you are using.
Finding the right tripod that works for every situation is almost impossible. Some are sturdy, but not small or light. Some are lightweight, but big. And quality, sturdy, lightweight, compact tripods are also not inexpensive. I've found that my best return on investment is to get the nicest one I can afford rather than buy a bunch of cheep ones that are never quite right. And if you can afford it, get a small lightweight one for when you need it and a solid big one for when you don't have to worry about size and weight.
That said, any tripod rated to hold more than 16 lbs. should work. So feel free to experiment, try out the jib with your friends tripods, just be careful, and have fun!
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