In stock now…The jib that cured me of my jibophobia!


ETHICS STATEMENT: Kessler Crane are my main site sponsor. They also make my pocket dolly. They are also my dear friends. This post takes a look at various low budget smaller jibs but mainly focuses on the new Pocket Jib Traveller from Kessler. It is the best, and yes I am biased…but I always strive to try and remove any bias from any reviews I have. Kessler simply make superior products and so they should, as they have been making cranes and jibs for many many years and therefore have enormous experience. 

It is important to never take one person’s opinion on a product before buying it. Take your time, check out the options, and check out what other people say and if you can, please try before you buy! I know it’s not always possible. 

This video takes a detailed look at the Kessler Pocket Jib Traveller, but a huge amount of the video is taken up with stuff that applies to all jibs and operating them. 

If you choose to buy the Kessler jib by clicking on the images or links, it goes through my affiliate which means I get a small percentage, which in turn helps keep this site afloat, as it’s becoming very expensive to host. It also can help fund my totally independent camera reviews. So if you do buy through my affiliate I thank you enormously! 🙂


Jibophobia: How I got over my fear of setting up and using a jib from Philip Bloom Reviews & Tutorials on Vimeo.

Jib shots can be epic. Especially on the really big ones. I have seen some shots which are beyond amazing from enormous ones. But these require large crews and cost a fortune. Smaller jibs ARE capable of getting gorgeous shots too though, and the quest for an ultra-portable low cost jib for the new generation of lighter cameras has been going for about a year now. I have tried four different ones. First off, the DSLR Devices one, then the one from Lightcraft Workshop, then the one I backed on Kickstarter the Aviator Jib and now this one, The Kessler Pocket Jib Traveler.

Cranes and jibs are heavy, they ideally need to be. They battle the wind and need to NOT fall over! 🙂 I have two other cranes from Kessler. The Pocket Jib and the KC Lite. Both are good. The Pocket Jib/ Pro are terrific, but they require someone to help you. A very solid base is also essential. This gives us extra weight, but we don’t want to go crazy here. No point getting an O’Connor, as we lose the whole point of a portable solution. After all, the holy grail is a jib that we can set up and use on our own, gives us great movement, is stable and doesn’t break the bank!


My favourite by far of all the smaller jibs is the Kessler Crane Pocket Jib Traveler, truly bias aside. It’s incredibly well made and designed. Solid. Clever. Neat. One Piece. It works great, though has its compromises as you would expect at this weight and price point. I explain in detail why I like this one the most in the video above. It’s worth watching…I hope you find it entertaining, too! It also goes over technique and things to remember when using jibs.

You can order it from here. I really do recommend the bag. You must look after your gear. It’s essential. This bag, although a soft bag protects it well.


The attention to detail is also key. From the ease of attaching weights to the incredibly robust brakes on both axis. I honestly feel this jib can withstand the rigours of travelling with me…a big ask, as I am rough as hell with my gear! It’s also one piece. Incredibly simple to put together so that even a muppet like myself can do it.

Is this a jib for all cameras though? Absolutely not. Its weight capacity is 10lbs, but this is without a head. To be honest, even though I had my C300 on the jib, I would prefer to use it on the Pocket Jib, not the traveller. Although technically there is no reason not to. It’s just that I would like to put a nice ball head on the end of my jib for my C300 and other cameras like this. I would definitely put my 1DC on it though!

BUT, this is a lightweight tool, and I will take it on all my foreign trips. It’s 4,5lbs  so barely weighs anything and performs superbly. Just remember: practice makes your shots better. It is about control and the length of shots as well as composition and subtlety. NEVER over-use a jib! It gets boring very quickly, as you can see from my montage of shots from the Kessler Pocket Jib Below! 🙂

Establishing shots: Initial play with the Kessler Crane Pocket Jib Traveler! from Philip Bloom extras on Vimeo.

It’s great that I was able to operate the jib in Piccadilly circus without grief from authorities. Got a few looks, but that was to be expected!

photo 2-5

photo 4-3photo 5-1photo 1-5
photo 5-2



For an overview of the other jibs, first up we have the DSLR Devices jib. James, who makes them, is a local to me. A lovely fella. I only have his first generation, and I believe he is up to generation 4. So it’s not possible for me to say what the new one’s like. The 1st one was fine, although a lot of improvements needed to be made. Do check it out though, and look out for any reviews. It still doesn’t look anywhere near as well designed or engineered as the Pocket Jib Traveler, but that is to be expected. It is dirt cheap though at £199.99 and occupies the bottom end of the market. The lack of brakes is an issue for me.

dslr-overview-photo mk4-site1


Lightcraft Workshop Trapezist jib

It’s quite basic and comes in two parts. I found it too stiff, and the lack of brakes on either axis put me off. It did come with a sand bag and slightly odd-fitting noga style arm for a monitor. Is it any good? Yes it works. I don’t like the movement or the operation. It has a lesser payload than the Kessler one and weighs around the same, give or take. It seems solid enough though, the problem is that, like the DSLR devices jib, it’s hard to compete with an incredibly well engineered beast like the Kessler one. It’s very cheap though at just $339. I have not used this enough to vouch for its stability though. I just worry about lack of brakes and the lack of smooth movement. Remember, buy cheap two or three times or buy well once. The Kessler is $599 and for me is lightyears ahead of this product.

I like Lightcraft Workshop, and their recent fader NDs are pretty good. They just need to work on this to improve on it…



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I backed the Aviator Travel jib on Kickstarter, and it’s a really nice product. A nice design with some lovely touches.

It is SUPER light – at 2.75lbs for the carbon fibre one, it’s almost 2 lbs lighter than the Kessler one. The Aluminium one is 3.75lbs. For me though, the one that I bought, the carbon fibre one is easily the best one to get. The weight is its biggest selling point. It’s so light and can take a whole 1lb more weight than the alluminium one, 7.5lbs…this is 3/4 of what the Kessler one can take.

It’s the only other jib featured here that is one piece. No extras bits to lose and fall off. The way the weights are fixed on, though, is not great. Screwing them onto the back is not as neat a solution as the Kessler one.

The design is lovely. Both the centre section and camera section look great. The screw system to change the length and open the jib out, though, is not great and a little bit clunky. Although with the ultra light weight design it can be forgiven.

It’s the only jib featured here that I would consider if I had no access to the Kessler one. The one piece design, locks, design and weight are very attractive. It’s just the durability I am extremely worried by. The locks for the axis are incredibly flimsy and I can easily see snapping off with a bit of use. Just my opinion of course. I am sure the guys who make this will revise this soon for something way more heavy duty. It needs it. GEAR NEEDS TO BE ROBUST AND LAST…it shouldn’t need to be treated like an unhatched egg…It’s also not as smooth or feels as stable as the Kessler one. It is light after all, and the lighter we go the more unstable a jib will feel.

Screen Shot 2013-04-26 at 01.48.21
Really needs to be way more sturdy than this. I can see this breaking very easily

With some revisions, this jib could be really good. Right now it is disappointing. The design looks good, but in reality it’s not actually that practical as that way it looks down scares me a little. I could of course be wrong and have heard of nobody having this break on them. This is their first ever jib, and as a first one it’s incredibly good. It’s just up against very strong competition now, which is of course a great thing for the evolution of any product. Before the Kessler one came out, this would have been my recommendation. Now, it’s been surpassed. They need to make this more robust and sturdy on those joints. A jib MUST feel robust and the locks MUST be solid otherwise bad things will happen!!

I also found I was getting way more sway with this jib than the Kessler one. That’s the downside of being lighter. Try a beefier jib and the Kessler Traveler will have more sway. It’s the way jibs work.

Screen Shot 2013-04-26 at 01.11.00 Screen Shot 2013-04-26 at 01.10.50










TRAPEZIST: 7.8 lbs






TRAPEZIST: 4foot 4 inches





DSLR DEVICES: 35 inches

TRAPEZIST: 24 inches











So we have gone over bias, I know I am able to put it aside, and it’s always going to be hard to convince people who don’t know me of that. But the Kessler Pocket Jib Traveler is a breakthrough price wise. For the cost/ performance ratio it cannot be beaten, and for me is the single best piece of indie production gear on the market, bang for buck.

I shot the review on the Canon C300 and the jib shots were done on the Nikon D7100. I like it but don’t love it. The image is nice and it’s a very familiar camera to me as it operates in a similar way to my D800. It’s noisy at 3200 ISO which I had to use in Piccadilly Circus due to needing to stop down to get a deeper depth of field. I hate the lack of metering or histogram for video, and the inability to change aperture on a camera-controlled lens in live view mode is a bit of a joke. I had to come out of it, change iris and then go back. A huge pain on the end of a jib. The clean output though was great. Although it drops to 720p when you hit record. If you use an external recorder, then you can get clean 1080p uncompressed. Just don’t record on the card at the same time please!

Overall Nikon need to fix these quirks. They are daft as hell. They have lovely cameras. Let’s see them get better please!

There is a second opinion review from Johannes Schoutsen below and Preston Kanak’s official how to use it video for Kessler.

The First Take – Kessler Crane Pocket Jib Traveler from Johannes Schoutsen on Vimeo.


  1. Great review Philip! I’m curious to know what jib you would recommend for vertical looking down shots? Will the pocket jib traveler suffice with a head that could angle 90 degrees? Or do you think the extension of the jib is too short? Any advice would greatly be appreciated

        1. just to make life more complex, you may want to consider Skycrane ( The versions they make have a few special features for direct overhead use (like in product shots where you look directly into the neck/opening of a beverage bottle). The person who runs it is really nice and is now in Georgia. He will respond to email and phone calls and is super helpful. I am considering this as an option to the Kessler, but of course the Kessler is a SUPER GOOD product. Now that the even lighter Kessler is out, my decision is e even harder (I postpboned my purchase last fall as I got a modest Steadicam rig and that ate my budget). The internal trim block option of the Skycrane is sort of neat, and now the Kessler has a similar feature and is even more portable. Anyway, at this point I sort of lean back to the Kessler myself, bit this might be an option you (or even Phillip) might find of interest, so I wanted to post this note. Best of luck on the selection of your crane!

  2. Gotta get a jib into my life. Fun demo.

    My D5200 defaults to 720p thru HDMI on record too (same sensor as D7100) but when you hit the info button once it sends clean 1080 out even in record. Took awhile to figure that out. Give it a try.

  3. Hey Philip:

    Nice review of all the new jib crane options out there. Definitely some great examples of how to use a jib in the real world. I’ve been looking for examples on how to use the “jib pole stabiizer” I showed you at NAB.

    Thanks for your tireless work on helping many of us see new ways to improve our craft on a regular basis.


  4. The color on the first video is smashing. Not sure if the sun was just perfect or you worked it out in post, regardless, it was great. Thanks for the information regarding the jib. It definitely looks like a great investment along with the many other Kessler products.

    Keep up the great work.


  5. Great review!

    I see you used the kessler kwik release plate for the jib, and I was wondering (as I thinking about purchasing it) if other non-kessler plates are compatible with it.


    1. You can use anything you want. Just please make sure it’s damn good though. A camera needs a solid secure plate that won’t crap out on you at the end of a jib! Same with how you put jib onto tripod!

      1. Reading my question again, I realized I did not phrase it properly. I meant to ask is are other non kessler qr plates compatible with the kessler kwik release receiver.
        Thanks and sorry for the confusion.

  6. PB…Just happen to be looking into less expensive jibs when I saw this great post. Any chance you’ve heard of or experience using the ProAm DV200 or 210 (or DVC50/60) jib. It’s under $300 and gets surprisingly good reviews on Amazon for all it’s models. While the pocket kessler looks nice it’s above our budget at this time, especially when we factor in monitors, and accessories, etc. Thoughts?

    1. Absolutely avoid like the plague. Everything I have touched if theirs has fallen apart. The build quality is awful. They also have a marvellous ability to copy manufacturers designs (knock off) yet only manage the cosmetic side.

      Remember a jib is something you are going put your camera on away from you. It needs to be solid and trustworthy. I may have have been half joking at the beginning about my of jibs but ifs only half. They scare me and the idea of using one from that company scares the crap out of me!

      But once well or cheap three or four times. $600 for a jib of this quality is a steal.

      Hope this helps!


      1. Thanks for that honest advice. Bummer. You may have just cost me several hundred bucks. But you may have also saved me several hundred bucks over time so in a round about way…thank you. I don’t suppose there’s an extension for the Kessler jib you reviewed? – Aluminum

      2. I think you may be confusing “ProAm” with “ProAim”. ProAim makes the rip-off products you talk of out of India I believe, whereas “ProAm” are a USA company producing mainly jibs. I have one & it’s taken a beating & still works well. Thought I should clear that up for the good folk at ProAm. Ps: I have no affiliation with them. Love your work though Philip.

  7. Hi Philip,

    Would it be possible to mount this jib directly to the carriage of say a cineslider so you could achieve a 3 axis move? Given the 1 bar construction do you think it would introduce sway into the shot dollying with it? Finally, if this is possible, of the Kessler sliders, which ones would be able to do it (I’m thinking width of slider would be a contributing factor)?



    1. Hi chris! A bit pointless to be honest as it has a six foot reach you wouldn’t see needs to be on a dolly and track really or say the Kessler shuttle pod as it can be really long…problem is that is motor driven only…dolly and track yes…slider…no.

  8. Thanks for the review Philip! Could you speak to any camera setting considerations when using a jib. I find that when using a jib without a pan and tilt head it can produce a stutter effect especially from left to right/right to left moves. Is it just a question of speed of the move or are there some frame rate/shutter speed considerations? Could it also be the size of jib used. I’ve encountered this on a 12 foot jib. I see it in a lot of other people footage as well.

  9. Thanks once again for a great review! About a year ago I purchased a cheaper jib for around $300 and now I’m having trouble with it and it doesn’t collapse as well as this one, so it’s a pain to travel with. In a couple of months when I move back to the US from Ecuador I will definitely be getting this one and purchasing it through your site!

    Do you have any recommendations with regards to a monitor and arm? I noticed you had a Sony monitor, yet at other times you use the Zacuto EVF (Yes I do read and watch every single one of your posts). Would you recommend having two monitors or if you had to pick one multipurpose monitor would you use the Zacuto? Thanks once again for all the work you put into this blog!

      1. Thanks for the reply, Philip. I’m impressed that a guy as busy as you has time to response that quickly to blog posts. I see that I now have two more options to consider. Will I use an evf or a monitor more? Decisions, Decisions! 🙂

  10. nicely done. its the humor in these that helps convey the information, its entertaining AND educational. Now we just need to get you over your fear of the steadycam 🙂

    I’m wondering with the size, if the ability to tilt the head during movement is feasible? I love the size of it but for alot of shots I like to be able to control the tilt of the head during the shot, instead of having it at the locked straight on angle.

  11. Curious how feasible it would be to mount a fluid head on the end of the arm (with the camera) and operate it from there to incorporate some pan/tilt with the jib movement. Does the jib remain steady enough?

  12. Hi,

    I tried to place an order on the however the inferface just doesnt want to let me pass the log in dept…and I used my proper login and pass combination!

      1. Hi Philip,

        thanks for the link…it is out of stock for now…is there anyway to order through uk…are you an affiliate of some sort…
        dont feel like dealing with the custom…otherwise this jib looks really sweet…I have an aviator…it is an excellent price performer however a bit too light for my needs since my primary camera is a sony fs700…did you try using the kessler pocket jib with a tripod head of some sort…like a manfrottoo 501dv or similar? keep up da good work!

  13. Very entertaining video, Philip! I will keep this jib in mind…

    I’d like to ask about something else than jibs though. I noticed, you used a lot of classical music in your last videos, which I really like. Just where do you license it? Correct me, if I’m wrong, but there is no classical music on “The Music Bed”, “With Ettiquette”… right? [Besides modern composers like Dexter Britain, which I really like as well.]

    The other question regards all those people you shot at Piccadilly. [That sounds horrible, but you know what I mean.] From the times I used to do a bit of street photography, I know, that many belive you can just start shooting in public places, not regarding some people being recognizable in the shot. I’m pretty sure that’s not true (in Germany). How do you handle those situations? Do you just go for it, hoping nobody will be uptight enough to make you stop capturing their image? I don’t know, if it’s just Germay, but there a lot of those uptight people around when I’m out :).

    Have a nice birthday vacation and stay classy! (See what I did there?)

    1. Hi Tim

      I bought loads of classical royalty free. Just google that and you will come Up with loads!

      The law in uk is you can film anyone you want in public place. Apart from police. It’s how you use it that is the tricky part


  14. After waiting patiently for one month i discovered this Famous Jib is sold out. That is after i WAKE UP at 1PM Kessler Time which is 3AM Sydney time.

    If US Manufacturer can not keep up with sales(was sold out in 20 minutes), perhaps they should move production to ………………..!{was going to write Somalia 😉 }
    What a joke this is, wasting my time like that.
    Anyway i better shut up.

  15. Phillip, may I ask, what picture control do you recommend for Nikon users (for more flexibility in post) and what do you do with that footage that looks great! I’ve using my D7000 for a while now, but i’ve never archive that kind of footage from it.


  16. I have owned a seven jib for years but I always hated to use it because it was so much work setting it up. So I was inspired when I saw the Kessler traveler and went out and bought one. I shoot with a C300 and have found it a bit wobbly. I have only done one test though. I had a RedRockMicro cage on it and the C300 monitor. Perhaps if I remove the cage it will make a difference.

    How do you find that it works with your C300?


    1. Hi Doug

      I think it’s pushing it…with heavier rigs I have found the best way…and even on lighter rigs (and this goes with all single arms jibs I have used) is to hold the arm either side with fingers…one on each. Standing camera left I use my a finger on my left hand under the arm to push up and a finger on my right hand to lightly push down…reversing when jibbing down.

      If I try to operate at back I get wobble…much like when I operate a tripod from the panhandle on a log lens

      Try this and let me know


  17. You mentioned Authorities. How do you get away with shooting with a tripod in the city without a permit? Or do you just shoot until someone says something?

    1. And to add to that…what about the random people in the shots, what if someone sees your video and doesn’t want to be in your video, what do you do?

  18. Hello Mr. Bloom
    Thank you very much for sharing information.
    I have a question and really appreciate if you light my mind!
    what kind of codec you are using for you’r videos thous you shared on Vimeo! I’m using H264 for my web videos and it makes some washed out and grayish colors and less contrast, and when I watching your videos I think you may solved this problem! am i wrong?

  19. Great review! How many takes did you do (on average) of each of the crane shots. I’m seeing a lot of shaky footage from others online, but I’m suspecting they’re not using it well. However, it is important for me that I can grab a super smooth shot in 1-2 takes (once I master it). Please let me know, thanks!

  20. Having looked around, and watched your entertaining video, I decided this is the ideal crane for my purposes. But Kessler really make it very uninviting to buy in your native country: you have to provide photo ID with an address – most people in the UK don’t have that – and they want nearly $200 to deliver (the Saver price being more than the expedited(??)), not to mention any VAT and Import duty on top. So a £386 crane, becomes with delivery, case and taxes, at least £640. They need to sort out European distribution.

    1. Hi there

      The problem they have is fraud. When you do remote credit card transactions there is no protection for the vendor. That’s why they do security. Unfortunately they still get hit and embarrassingly the UK is the biggest percentage of fraud for them.

      Shipping is expensive as it’s big and that’s what ups charge. They tried usps/ Parcelforce and the service was terrible.

      You don’t have to buy direct though. Cvp sell them. They are the uk distributor. Of course it’s more expensive here as they pay bulk shipping and import but it’s cheaper than you doing it on your own


      1. Very nice review Phil.

        Only ever been to London once for a day to watch Spurs…and Picidilly was one place I did get to see.

        It seems a very good product at a great price point.
        I take your point about once having it,,,,the temptation is there to do the cool swooping shots to make filming look like it’s been shot by strapping a camera to a pigeon.

        This is on my list to get and I would use it for high static shots too….very versatile.

    2. Got the crane through CVP, once it had come in from the US. That’s a cheaper route than trying to import yourself, because they can take advantage of bulk shipping. It’s very nicely built. My comments would be these: 1. When you crane from below horizontal to above horizontal, the weights slide along the boom, with an inevitable jerk. You have to find a way of lodging them with a home-made spacer. 2. The ‘bendy’ join in the middle is disconcerting. One hope that in time it won’t spread – it really looks as if that section needs beefing up – I am using with a bare BMCC, with rails and matte-box etc removed to keep down the weight. 3. Yes, it wobbles sideways a bit, but as PB says, the two-fingered- with-practice method works, as long as there is no wind. 4. Be very careful if you want to change the angle of the camera by releasing the lower arm – the weight can drop the camera down suddenly trapping your fingers between the two arms with tremendous force, and giving you only one hand to extricate yourself! 5. If you use the crane directly on to the ball mount, then it would be handy to have a bubble level in place of the Kessler logo. 6. If you pan the crane left, there is a tendency for the base to unscrew. 7.The luffing lock is is quite positive, but the panning or slewing lock seems fairly ineffective (not surprising given the leverage). 8. Sod’s law dictates that while there’re a variety of tapped fixing holes in the camera plate (only a ¼” screw is provided), none is in the right place for either the camera or the rails. It would be handy to have a slightly bigger camera plate that was adjustable for angle, to avoid the need for a ball head up there. But all in all a very handy piece of quality kit.

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