Aviator Travel Jib Review and Test
The jib comes in two options: a magnetic alloy or a carbon fiber. The units vary in weight (the mag comes in under 4 lbs, the carbon under 3 lbs), load capacity (mag at 6.5 lbs, carbon at 7.5 lbs), and price (mag at $497, carbon at $847). I opted for the mag alloy kit because the extra pound in carry weight and capacity didn’t equate to an extra $350. But at under $500, the mag alloy Aviator Travel Jib is a great find. It folds down really small and fits into an included carry case (not much bigger than a camera bag).
When the unit came in I decided to take it with me on my trip to Milwaukee with Loretta. I didn’t have anything fancy planned, but wanted to do some quick tests with it. Even with frozen hands I got the rig assembled and balanced in about 15 minutes (it only took me 10 for the indoor shots where my hands could bend). It levels really easily with one level at the base, and one at the head. The shots I chose were to test both vertical and horizontal movements, as well as shakiness at faster speeds.
I tested it both indoors and outdoors with similar movements to see how the shots would vary. The day I took it up to Milwaukee was a little windy, but it didn’t make a big difference for the Aviator. I mounted the jib right on top of my 504HD head; but, Zeke has recommended using a half bowl mount. I picked one up on amazon for $40, and the whole rig is a lot sturdier now.
Here’s my test footage, be kind to Loretta, she’s not a model, but lets me shoot her anyway.
[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/57417194 w=500&h=281]
The jib held up pretty well. Overall I liked the movement I got out of it, but the one axis I wish it had was a tilt. Being able to tilt the camera up or down during a movement would be amazing, but as is, the Aviator is awesome. Nice Industries makes some killer products, but for the price, the Aviator is the best I’ve seen. It’s weight and compact form make it perfect for shooters who trek to the middle of nowhere, and its sturdiness adds a great deal of production value to the shots you’re looking to pull off.