Varavon's latest Tilt Jib Mini Crane is not the most portable system on the market, but the highlight of this product is the ability to tilt the camera when performing vertical movements. Many other jibs will keep the camera horizontal which will cause you to lose tracking of your subject.
The Varavon Tilt Jib comes in it's own travel case, and setting up the system requires no tools. All assembly can be done by hand. The tilt function uses a cable system and requires you to have a strong fluid head and of course tripod system. The Varavon Tilt Jib base kits are available from a small 3ft version to much longer models, or you can always purchase an extension kits later down the line to increase your vertical. You can get more information about the Varavon Mini Tilt Jibs via eBay (click here).
Here's some footage shot with the Aviator Travel Jib. As far as mini video jibs / cranes go, this is THE MOST Compact Crane i've ever personally had the chance to use. The aluminum version (available in carbon fiber also) is very lightweight and sets up very quickly. No nonsense, and no fiddling around when it's time to set up for a shot. It is just as fast to break it down when it's time to move. I really feel these mini jibs will appeal to the event videographer who needs to travel light and work in confined areas, or to the traveling videographer who wants to recreate these specialty camera movements on location. There's nothing to complain about as far as build quality for this price, and the built in panning base of the Aviator is a HUGE advantage over other systems that require you to bring a strong fluid head.
Filling an empty bag is a good option when you don't want to travel with an extra 4-5lbs of weight, and you can easily fill it up with extra camera gear, or even water bottles. The telescoping poles can be adjusted so that you don't have to use the full 6 feet of extension. As with any tool, the Aviator Jib moves very smoothly but still requires perfect balance with your counter weight, and practice to get the best no-wobble results. The Aviator is one of the more pricier mini jibs available on the market, but it's compact folding design is unique allowing to be extremely compact and fast. The Aviator Jib can be found in both Carbon Fiber and in Aluminum (click here).
The Aviator Travel Jib Mini Crane Carbon Fiber or Aluminum
It's a pretty cool design to use two monopods, but be weary about how much weight you should attempt to operate with these monopods. They aren't exactly designed to be operated sideways. If you're looking for a lightweight portable telescoping mini jib /crane, don't forget the new versions that have been released recently (found here)
Patricio sends in his DIY Telescoping Camera Crane video. There's not much information on exact specs, but the parts being assembled are shown towards the end. If you're the DIY type, you could probably figure this out. [Thanks Patricio]
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]