Action cams are playing an increasingly prominent role in video productions big and small so it’s only natural that accessories catering to action cam videography would mature as well. And just as action cameras have delivered high portability and low cost, their accessories have as well.
Take jibs. They’re cumbersome, heavy beasts, but they’re also essential for getting sweeping, cinematic shots at difficult angles, particularly at high (for human) elevations. Joby’s Action Jib, like the action cams it mounts, is hardly cumbersome. It’s completely self contained: no tripod or counter-weights required.
The Joby jib can mount any action camera with a 1/4-20 screw. The pole kit, which we tested, includes a GoPro tripod mount adapter plus three aluminum poles that offer a combined total of 60 inches in length. It uses a rope-and-pulley system to gently turn the camera mount to give you even more camera movements.
The Joby pole kit retails for $90.
If you already own a monopod, you can just purchase the Jib kit which includes everything in the pole kit save for the poles and retails for $70. The kit’s rope-and-pulley system and can fit monopods longer than 40 inches, between 0.5 and 1.5-inches wide.
What We Liked
The jib assembles fairly quickly and despite its plastic build, is pretty sturdy. You can fully assemble the jib and all three poles in under two minutes once you get the hang of it. It breaks down quickly too.
We mounted both a GoPro Hero4 and a Sony X1000V on it with no issue, although the GoPro’s ultra wide angle field of view did pick up a portion of the jib—a slight reorientation of the mount cleared that up. While we didn’t have the guts to try this at home, we suspect it’s strong enough (especially at shorter pole lengths) to mount a lightweight consumer camcorder too.
We think the jib is sized perfectly: long enough to give you some very interesting angles but not so large that’s it’s unwieldy. The pulley system is quite smooth.
What We Didn’t Like
With all three of the poles attached, using the jib for prolonged periods is murder on your forearms. After about two minutes of use, we could feel the burn. After three minutes, we were resting the pole somewhat awkwardly against our midsection. It would definitely benefit from some kind of waist-level support if you need to shoot it for extended periods.
The Joby Action Cam Jib delivers on its basic promise of sweeping pans and difficult angles. The poles and pulley system worked smoothly and are easy to assemble and break down. It’s plastic, but not very flimsy. Some kind of belt or waist support might be useful, but hey, there are worse ways to firm up those flabby forearms.