The Feather Camera Crane: Lightweight Travel Jib for Adventure Filmmakers

by Hugh BrownstoneLeave a Comment

LITE PRO GEAR takes on Kessler’s Pocket Jib Traveler, the Aviator Travel Jib and others with its Feather Camera Crane – and has consistently sold out each manufacturing run for the last 2 years.

It’s usually the third piece of gear film-makers employ to add motion to their work after sliders and stabilizers: the jib. Often the go-to device for establishing shots and more, the jib (crane) is also the most ungainly and difficult to secure smooth shots with once you’re outside the studio walls (wind – even a breeze – is often a problem with light weight jibs).

We haven’t seen any of these jibs in the metal – we’re working on it — but the specs make for interesting reading. On first blush, it appears that the Feather Camera Crane is being priced as a premium product – and in some ways, it does significantly exceed the specs of both the Kessler and Aviator jibs.

Actual performance, reliability and robustness? To be determined!

 

Product NameLite Pro Gear Feather Camera CraneKessler Pocket Jib TravelerAviator Travel Jib
Weight (lbs.)3.85.53.75
Folded length (in.)282724
Maximum payload (lbs.)10106.5
Maximum reach from center/tripod (in.)84 (collapsible to 35)Not listed, but assumed to be half of circular travel distance (thus: 36)36
Maximum vertical sweep (ft.)11.5 (depending on size of tripod)5.26
Circular travel distance (in.)Not listed, but assumed to be double maximum reach from center (168)72Not listed
Pan range (degrees)360Not listedNot listed
MaterialsCarbon fiber, anodized aluminumNot listedMagnesium aluminum alloy
What’s includedBoom, camera head, control cable, crane tower, jib handle/weight hanger, extra camera track screws, Allen wrench, rock bag/caseJib with camera platform, base with mounting holes for accessoriesJib with camera platform, fluid pan base, mounting holes for accessories, ballast bag, padded carry case
What’s novelControl cable for support, flip locks. Multiple counterweight configurations; Rock Bag with water bottles/rocks/sand etc, or standard weight plates. Threaded holes on tower for monitor mounting

 

No need to assemble; drag control and locks; sliding weight bar;  threaded holes on side of mounting base for things like arms for monitors
OptionsExtension plate for larger camerasCase; camera platform extender (for larger cameras); kwik release platesCarbon fiber jib
Price$979.00$599.95$474.00 ($797.00 for carbon fiber)

 

Feather Camera Crane Spotlight – Lite Pro Gear

About the Feather Camera Crane

Via Lite Pro Gear:

The ultralight Feather Camera Crane™ from Lite Pro Gear is a strong and versatile carbon fiber jib designed to capture awesome shots for the mobile cinematographer. It offers great performance without the hassle–from the outdoor extremes to indoor studio shoots. No other portable camera crane currently matches our payload capacity and boom reach for as light of weight, in addition to offering options for compact use. And it’s engineered and constructed to last.

feather camera crane 1

The 10 foot Telescoping Boom is constructed from 3k Carbon Fiber, which has a strong strength-to-weight ratio. The telescoping length of 10 feet to 2.9 feet is reliably controlled by flip-lock clamps, which you'll find work better than screw locks in the outdoor elements. The longer fulcrum length gives you smoother shots than smaller portable jibs, in addition to a higher overhead perspective and a larger swooping range. The 2.9 foot compact mode allows you to shoot in close quarters. The counterweight end can be adjusted to help you fine-tune the camera balance. It should be noted that carbon fiber is corrosion free so the telescoping functions will continue to work effectively over time. Also, as a bonus, you can use the boom separately as a monopod or a GoPro pole for quick and dirty overhead shots, or as a mic boom.

feather camera crane 2

The Adjustable Self-Leveling Camera Head maintains a smooth and consistent shot throughout large swooping motions. The camera seat mounts to the boom-end-bracket on a track, allowing you to slide it vertically for various head configurations that can accommodate a variety of video and D-SLR options, including stripped-down REDs. The seat also allows you to hang heavier cameras, giving the entire system much more stability. As well, you can use a ball head, MOVI, or RC Heli gimbal for additional configuration options.

Order the optional Extension Plate for the mounting of larger cameras such as the Sony FS700, if you don’t want to use the hanging option.

Your camera mounts to the head via ¼”-20 or ⅜”-16 track screws, which are held in place so they are always there when you need them. Included in the purchase is one ¼”-20 tool-less track screw, one ¼”-20 track screw, and one ⅜”-16 track screw.

feather camera crane 3

The Camera Crane Tower easily attaches to your existing tripod and/or fluid head’s quick release plate through two 1/4″-20 or 3/8″-16 connection points. And it fits all video heads, from Manfrotto to Satchler. Because you're using your existing fluid head you’re able to tilt the camera up or down, resulting in a broader range of creativity. The tower also has 1/4″ and 3/8″ sized holes so you can attach an articulating arm in order to mount a field monitor. For stowage you have the option to separate it from the boom and pack it neatly in the rock bag, allowing for easy storage, protection, and versatile packing configurations.

Learn more about the Feather Camera Crane by visiting Lite Pro Gear.

Vimeo Staff Pick Video – Who We Are

(cover photo credit: snap from Lite Pro Gear)

Hugh Brownstone

Hugh Brownstone

Hugh is the founder of Three Blind Men and An Elephant Productions. He and the team write, direct, shoot, score, and edit web-centric films; conduct photo shoots; and write copy, white papers and blog posts. Hugh also writes screenplays (he recently optioned a TV pilot) and just published his first eBook (Apple's iPhone: The Next Video Revolution). If it's about telling stories, it's in their wheelhouse.

And always with the ambition of authenticity, humanity and wit.
Hugh Brownstone

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