I guess the WF717 Fluid Head Standard 3/8" Mount was out of stock for a few months. The 3/8" standard mount (not bowl mount) is what is used for tripods with the extendable center column (neck). It might not be the most fluid head available, but the low price and the fact that it's made mostly of metal makes it very popular for use on top of Sliders and Table Dollies. It can also carry a decent amount of weight and is used to support small small Jibs / Cranes, or under Sliders.
So many people want to go with the biggest and baddest crane/jib ever, but later find out it's just too cumbersome to be useful. My advice is to get at least two cranes, and start with the smallest and lightest one for your camera. You'll enjoy using it more often, and if you need something bigger you can buy your second one later, and trust me you'll still end up keeping your smaller one. Also having a lighter setup will allow you to use dolly tracks for both rolling and vertical movements at the same time.
A majority of the small Jibs around 4ft. don't have tilt functions, but I specifically went to these cranes because I found myself not really using it. The video above from Vimeo member Meld Multimedia is another fine example of movements that can be had with a lightweight 4ft. jib. Unfortunately the version he has is out of stock, the version I have is out of stock, so the next best budget option would be from the ProAm line which has had excellent reviews for it's price. [Thanks Jason]
Frank passes along a tip about this inexpensive 4ft. Camera Jib. 4 feet is the perfect size for a tool like this to make traveling a bit easier, and at the same time provide you with sweeping and booming shots. Adding a bit of camera movement always helps to up your production.
In a restaurant, real estate video, or night club music video. These smaller jibs are great for interior shots where an 8ft crane would just be overkill and cumbersome. Take note that there doesn't seem to be a tilt function at this size (something I rarely use anyways). The camera will stay perfectly level on it's Horizon as you sweep and move in vertical shots. This one seems to have a decent price and 100 percent feedback from a seller who makes other cam equipment. [Thanks Frank]
YouTube member kellyhuffaker throws up a nice (and totally amusing) review of the budget crane I purchased a while back. I've used it only a few times, but didn't get around to sharing much. I like the idea of using the panning bearing (in this video) over a Fluid Head since it saves on cash. You'd need a very large head to support this kind of weight like a Manfrotto 501 or larger. Great job on this video, the tips, and the comedy. [Thanks Kelly]
For those who've been looking into the TommyJib line of jibs, Salvador P. sends us his Unboxing video with a few of his first video samples. This one shown seems to me one of the smaller units, but you can find a complete line of TommyJib products available via eBay. Got questions or comments you can leave them on this article.