Thursday, May 30, 2013

Apples to Apples Comparison

Not all jibs are created equal. On the left you have the VariZoom fulcrum, where we show the concealed tapered wheel bearing. In comparison to another brand of camera booms that uses inexpensive thrust bearings that are exposed to the dust and elements.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

VariZoom / mocoDyne CinemaPro Remote Head system

Whether you are shooting a professional movie or commercial, trust the VariZoom CinemaPro remote head to deliver the camera motion control shots you need. A step up from the VariZoom MC50 and MC100 remote heads, the CinemaPro is trusted by film professionals around the globe.

Featuring powerful but quiet drivetrains, the CinemaPro provides equal refinement when it comes to fast-movement action shots or slow-moving tracking shots.

Wireless Lens Control Integration
The CinemaPro works delightfully well with the TOC Wireless Follow Focus system. (We also have a video on our wireless lens control system.)

HD Video
An HD video slipring is an optional accessory.

About VariZoom
VariZoom manufacturers high quality remote heads, and other related camera equipment for filmmakers, including camera cranes, camera jibs, video tripods, and lens controls. Visit our equipment store at Have questions? Call 512-219-7722 or contact us online.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

What Makes the Best Camera Cranes?

Camera Boom
Beautiful overhead and fly-over shots can take a film or commercial from looking amateur to truly professional. A jib camera crane, or camera boom as it is often referred to, gives cinematographers the ability to capture scenes in ways that just aren’t possible with a tripod or even a dolly.

As with many things in life, there are plenty of options when it comes to a video crane. But what is it you should be looking for in order to get the best camera crane for your production?

Features of a Solid Camera Boom

Counter-weighting – Getting the balance correct so that weight isn’t extreme on either end is crucial for video crane operation. The better your ability to adjust and control the counter-weighing, the easier and safer operation will be. VariZoom camera cranes offer numerous options for perfecting the balance and allow you to fine tune things with their sliding weight feature.

Camera Crane
No Tools Required
Smooth movement – Just as with the head of your tripod, the flow of the camera crane will determine whether you get a nice smooth shot or a jerky unusable one. Proper balance will affect this, but the crane’s base is the most important factor. Make sure the base allows for a wide degree of panning and tilting and that it has a solid build.

jib crane
Dovetail Joint Assembly
Construction – As consumers we’ve come full circle. The emphasis use to be quantity over quality, but that’s begun to change. Solid construction is especially important for film because any delays on set can cost far more than what you’d save by getting a cheaper video crane.

Another vital aspect of a quality camera crane is how easy it is to build and break down. Time is money on a shoot, so the quicker the camera crane can be assembled the better. The VariZoom SnapCrane uses a unique dovetail joint assembly system that requires no tools.

Stability – Safe operation for your cameras and crew is a top priority. The stability of the camera crane is one of the first things to consider. What kind of base is it on? Will it become unstable in the slightest wind?

The camera boom should be fitted precisely for its stand and the stand should be sturdy enough to support the boom when it’s fully loaded and weighted. Added measures like cable tensioning systems will reinforce the stability.

Motion control heads – Having the ability to add a remote controlled motion head is ideal for getting exactly what you want onscreen when the camera is out of reach.

Height/Length – The advantage of using a jib camera crane is its ability to get shots that are out of reach with other rigs. However, going as big as possible isn’t always ideal if you are in a tighter location. The best camera cranes give you options and the ability to easily adjust the length and height. VariZoom offers a 9’ camera crane, 12’ camera crane and 16’ camera crane to meet any filming requirement. SnapCranes can also be set to compact modes or expanded with up to two extensions.

Repair and Replacement – A video crane with proper care will last a lifetime. Over time, it is possible that you may damage your crane and may need to replace a part or repair your crane. The last thing you want is to have a completely inoperable camera boom because you can’t get the part you need.

Before purchasing a jib camera crane, ask about warranties and the availability of replacement parts. It’s also worth your time to read some reviews to see how reliable the system is and whether or not repairs are easy to complete on your own.

A video crane is a serious investment in your production. It’s more important that the boom be reliable and secure rather than inexpensive. Camera operators will tell you that any mishaps or missed shots on set will cost you far more in the long run. So, now that you know what to look for it’s time to start shooting those overheads and action shots.

About the Author: VariZoom manufactures jib cranes, camera stabilizers, and other professional film accessories including the acclaimed SnapCrane camera crane. VariZoom products are well built and easy to assemble and use. Most importantly, they last. Their product selection can be viewed at

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

QuickJib Product Review

With the amount of jib cranes on the market, it’s easy to get lost in a sea of varying prices, features, capabilities, brands, and models.  Not to mention, that any budgetary restrictions involved with your particular filming project will have an impact on the type and quality of the gear you’re able to buy.  Film school graduates and amateur filmmakers have it especially tough; considering very few (if any) will get any sort of major financing from a big film studio without “paying their dues”, which often takes years.  
Camera Jib Crane

The point being is, you need a high quality camera jib, and it has to be affordable.  Enter the QuickJib from VariZoom.  The QuickJib is an affordable camera crane jib that exceeds the expectations of what you thought was possible for around $2500. Not only that, but it outperforms camera jib cranes   
from other manufacturers that are double the price.

Safety was a major priority in designing the QuickJib, as is evidenced by its slim design.  This gives it less resistance in windy conditions than jibs using a four-arm support system making the QuickJib much less likely to tip over and injure a crew member or damage the camera. 

The QuickJib can be purchased in pieces, or as an entire kit, giving you unlimited options.  This jib crane offers a secure clamp system for extension, is easily assembled without tools as the parts are held together with pins and all the fasteners are made of durable stainless steel. The brake system is designed to keep a good tension, but is also forgiving enough to slide under an amount of force that would topple the more common locking brake systems found in competitor models.  QuickJib’s camera platform features high-performance sleeve bearings and the tilt base features sealed radial ball bearings making for silent, smooth motion and professional footage.  The camera platform also features a level for quick reference and is easily and quickly adjustable.  

This jib crane from VariZoom is available with or without a motion control head, and all complete versions include a dolly and tripod.  For the price of $2,559.95, there is absolutely no better camera crane jib than the QuickJib from VariZoom.   

About the Author: VariZoom sells jib cranes, motion control heads, camera stabilizers, and other professional filming accessories to film pros and amateurs the world over.  VariZoom products are expertly crafted with only the finest materials and are built to be easy to assemble, easy to use, and most importantly, to last.  Their product selection can be viewed at