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What should I get Jib or steadycam?

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  • What should I get Jib or steadycam?

    First READ the info before responding plz!

    Work as a one man band (so no focus puller etc)

    Shooting music videos and shorts.

    1, What should i get a jib + a dolly?
    2, or a steady cam system + a dolly?

    Im leaning towards the jib.. but Im not sure what would be most useful?

  • #2
    Well, first of all I believe you're talking about different things, for different purposes. But, from the one-man-band point of view, you'd be better of with a jib, providing you'll have the time and skill to mount it alone and a budget which encompasses a wireless follow focus system. Now, for the dolly it will be very hard to operate it alone, as it will limit you to some kind of shots... would you consider an option 3 jib+steady cam?


    • #3
      Depends on your shooting style of course, but I personally find a Steadycam system handier if I'm going solo.

      Some jibs are fairly good, but many cheap ones are rather wobbly, so make sure you get something that can handle a good bit of weight. For certain moves I often find it handy to be more than one when using a jib, while a steady cam you can easily deal with on your own.
      Haavard Helle


      • #4
        Steadicam operating isn't something that you can teach yourself over a week. It takes tons of practice. I've been doing it for two years now and I still consider myself an "amateur" and nowhere near the level of other steadicam professionals. So definitely keep that in mind. While operating a jib efficiently takes skill, I would say it's not nearly as hard as mastering the steadicam (not to insult any jib operators out there, you guys are magicians and I 100% respect what you do).


        • #5
          Or have something that could do both?


          • #6
            Its gear for a feature movie I am working on.. there will be a very small crew but most of the time I just operate as a one man band.
            I think I will definitely buy a jib but do I get a track dolly or a Vest+arm to go with my glidecam?

            I dont really use my glidecam that much.. like people have stated it takes time to master.
            Im hoping the vest will make it a bit easier and more likely for me to work with it and get better when you can keep at it for longer.
            However to shoot anything more serious do you need a wireless follow focus and focus puller or could you get by shooting on the steady cam without?

            This might be a silly question but can you mix up the way you shoot each scene.. like go from very controlled shots with steady cam/dolly and then in the next scene go shaky hand held?
            Is it comen to switch like this.. or does it just make things confusing for the viewer?


            • #7
              try a gimbal?

              but if you get a jib get a GOOD one. set up time can be a huge chore + weight on your rig

              follow me on instagram @lightformfilm


              • #8
                A vest and arm will absolutely not make it easier to operate in the sense of the skill required to pull off shots. All the vest and arm do is redistribute the weight and make it physically easier to carry/control. But as far as technical operation, nothing really changes.

                Whether or not you need a wireless FF is up to you. Most steadicam ops come with one. It's as simple as if you have one, you can adjust focus, if you don't, you can't. Without one you'll be stuck either to wide lenses and closed down apertures or be razor precise on maintaining exact distance from your moving subjects.

                You can shoot any scene and any way you like. It's your visual interpretation of the story.

                Please don't take this the wrong way, but it sounds like you might not be too heavily experienced. I highly suggest playing with these toys via rental before you make any sort of financial equipment. Typically these are positions hired out to dedicated operators.


                • #9
                  Garrett Brown, the inventor of the Steadicam, described learning a Steadicam as -- "exactly like learning to play the guitar." Meaning, it's an art form. You may learn to play a few chords within a few days, but you aren't going to be Jimmy Page by next week.

                  Stabilizers as we currently know them are very unpredictable -- you miss five shots and maybe the sixth is usable footage. This is fine for various production scenarios, and useless for others. And, it is precisely because of the above that producers are all excited about these brushless gimbal rigs -- that promise the ability to get a usable shot the first time with very little training.

                  Jibs/cranes also require practice -- but, in theory, it's the kind of thing you can learn in an afternoon or two. For the one-man-band there are a few entirely feasible options like from Kessler Crane.

                  So, if you've got a year to dick around with stabilizers -- they can be awesome under some conditions, not suck under other conditions, and entirely suck for some conditions. And, if you need to shoot next week -- get one of those portable crane/jib things and never look back.
                  Media Production by Andrew Gupta