Best Portable Jib Crane For Every Filmmakers

OVERVIEW

Getting the perfect shot when recording videos or films or capturing a moment requires more than just a video camera. A camera crane or a camera jib arm offers you complete control, especially while filming panoramic scenes, without shaking and diminishing the quality of the video.

Cranes and jibs are mechanical arms that allow for smoother transitions and movement of cameras while recording. Jibs can capture 360-degrees while allowing for smoother panning and tilting and can move both horizontally and vertically. However, jibs are generally smaller than traditional camera cranes, allowing for more flexible movement.

Using a jib is better if you want to improve the quality of your shots drastically since they can allow you to capture shots at varying heights without interruptions effectively.

However, before you invest in a jib or a camera crane, there are a few things that you need to consider: 

  • Size: Since we’re discussing portable jib crane, make sure that it is either compact or can fold up to be small so that you can carry it around easily.
  • Weight capacity: You can always go for heavy-duty cranes if you need to lift heavier stuff. However, for raising cameras, the load capacity can be anywhere between 8 lbs to 44 lbs.
  • Portability: If you are planning to travel frequently, you must research and invest in a lightweight jib crane that is made of aluminium alloy or carbon fiber material.

To make things easier for you, I have compiled a list of 8 of the best portable jib crane available in the market

REVIEW OF PORTABLE JIB CRANE

1. MaxxHaul 70238 Receiver Hitch Mounted Crane

portable jib crane

MaxxHaul 70238 Hydraulic Hitch Mounted Crane combines portability and affordability. It requires no permanent installation or drilling. The hitch mount design enables you to take it to the job site.

The weight is distributed to the adjustable support legs and does not allow overload on the hitch receiver. The crane swivels 360-degrees. Three boom positions lift loads to 1000-pounds on to trucks and trailers.

The swivel assembly/part, however, must be removed when the vehicle is in motion. The boom capacities are 500 lbs, 750 lbs and 1000 lbs. It is perfect for moving heavy items like pressure washers, drum barrels, toolboxes, generators in and out of your truck. 

PRODUCT DETAILS:

  • This crane is the first portable and affordable unit of its kind.
  • The three boom capacities are 500, 750 and 1000 pounds.
  • Product Dimensions are 54.00 x 20.00 x 9.75 inches.
  • Easy to move heavy generators, barrels and pressure washers.
  • No permanent requirement for installation or drilling.
  • Crane can swivel 360 degrees.
  • The Swivel part must be removed when the vehicle is in motion.
  • Lift range is 30 to 84 Inches.
  • Item Weight is 136.9 pounds.
  • Fits standard 2-inch hitch receiver.
  • It can lift the weight of Class III and IV.

Pros

  • Quick pins for easy installation and removal.
  • Full knockdown design for compact storage.
  • Adjustable legs for different hitch receiver heights.
  • Heavy-duty all-steel construction.

Cons

  • Poor manufacturing quality.
  • Design is not up to the mark.

2. Neewer 70 inches Aluminum Alloy Jib Arm Camera Crane 

portable jib crane

The Neewer camera portable jib crane system is engineered for DSLR cameras and camcorders and can support up to 17.6 lbs or 8 kgs.

It is simple to set up and can be extended to 70 inches or 117 cms (including the handheld part). It comes with easy angle adjustment and allows flexibility and minimizes awkward movements.

The 2 x 1 kg counterweights help to keep it balanced and remain stabilized. It also makes it easier for you to hold the jib crane. It is built of aeronautical magnesium aluminium alloy.

It comes equipped with 1/4” screw hole and 3/8” screw hole, making it compatible with cameras, camcorders and lighting equipment such as LED lights, magic arm etc.

It can be moved up or down and left or right, making it a useful and flexible tool while photographing and filming.

PRODUCT DETAILS:

  • This jib crane can be mounted on any tripod due to its strong versatility.
  • Provides expected flexibility and minimises awkward moving.
  • Built with an aeronautical magnesium-aluminium alloy.
  • Processed by CAM technology.
  • Outstanding stability due to high-quality bracket.
  • 1/4 - inch screw hole is provided for mounting other accessories.
  • Perfect for DSLR and Camcorder movie making.
  • The total length of the crane goes to 177 cm.
  • It can tolerate weight up to 8 kg.
  • It is an optimal choice for outdoor filming and photographing.
  • Perfect for DSLR and camcorder.
  • Unique quick release plate meets the demand for shooting and filming.
  • The material used Aeronautical Magnesium Aluminum Alloy.
  • Total length is 70 inches.
  • Diameter Length is 45 inches.
  • Thread for the tripod is ¼ inches and 3/8 inches.

Pros

  • Simple installation.
  • Excellent stabilizing effect.
  • Solid metal.
  • Good fittings.
  • There are lots of mount options.
  • High intensity and rigidity of the bracket.

Cons

  • Arm twist locks unlock very easily.
  • Tubes bend and break easily.

3. XtremepowerUS 500Lb Hydraulic PWC Dock Jib Engine Hoist Crane

portable jib crane

This hydraulic hitch-mount crane mounts on the 2-inch receiver hitch of your vehicle to make loading or unloading of bulky and heavy equipment safe and straightforward. No permanent installation or drilling is required.

You can install it on the hitch and remove it when your work is done. The load is supported and distributed to the adjustable legs of the crane. This helps you prevent overload on the vehicle’s hitch receiver.

The portable pickup truck or trailer bed crane allows for one person to lift engines, watercraft etc. easily. It can be positioned on the tailgate for full clearance during loading. The crane can swivel 360-degrees, making it versatile.

PRODUCT DETAILS:

  • Allows for one person to lift engines in the portable pickup truck easily.
  • Positioned on the tailgate for proper clearance while loading.
  • Versatile as the crane swivels 360 - degrees.
  • Mounts into receiver hitch to install only when you need to use the crane.
  • Made with steel.
  • Hitch-Mount Hoist Crane Type.
  • Hydraulic Lifting Type.
  • Max Weight Capacity is 500 lbs.
  • Boom Extends from 36.2 to 56.7 inches.
  • Lifting Range is 0-2200 mm.
  • Receiver Hitch Size is 2 inches.
  • Item Weight is 112 pounds.
  • Package Dimensions are 43 x 11 x 8 inches.

Pros

  • Built to handle heavy loads of up to 500 lbs.
  • The length of the winch cable is adequate.
  • Lower unit with a thrust bearing.
  • Bearings of two pulleys.
  • Grooves to keep the cable well tracked.
  • Grease zerk on the bottom housing.

Cons

  • Missing assembly instructions.
  • Bearings on the sizeable back pulley.
  • Flaw in the attachment of the back pulley.

4. Glide Gear JB4 Portable 4 Ft Jib Crane w/Carry Case

portable jib crane

This 4-feet jib crane boasts unique features such as dual-camera placement. You can choose to put your camera/tripod head on the L-bracket or the top of the jib. You can also put two cameras on the jib to get two different perspectives on your shot.

Both the mounting positions come with a 3/8 – ¼ - inch adapter and a spirit level. The jib is made from lightweight 6061 CNC machined aluminium with tight tolerances and a sleek black scratch-resistant coating for a smooth operation.

The portable jib crane can fold up into a small carry bag, so you can easily pack the gear and carry it along. It is specially designed for DSLR cameras and easily sets up and breaks down very quickly. It can support cameras with weight up to 6 lbs. 

PRODUCT DETAILS:

  • Supports cameras weight up to 6 lbs.
  • Telescoping Mini-Jib 4ft jib.
  • Dual mounting options for different perspectives.
  • Mounted on for making a video of two cameras at once.
  • Quick-Jib folds up into a small carry case for easy portability.
  • Lifetime Warranty from Glide Gear.
  • Item Weight is 6 pounds.
  • Product Dimensions are 25 x 5 x 5 inches.

Pros

  • Helps give shots at the right angles.
  • Strong tripod.

Cons

  • Extensions have no security mechanism.

5. ​​Apex Hydraulic Hitch-Mount Pickup Truck 1,000 lb Jib Crane

portable jib crane

Next comes the Apex Hydraulic Hitch-Mount which is ideal for loading generators, compressors, engines, and other small equipment into your truck or trailer bed. The heavy hitch crane features a 360-degree 48 – inch boom lift.

It comes with two adjustable support legs and secures to a 2 – inch class III or IV receiver to leverage a vehicle as the third support. A specialized hitch-receiver T-adapter enables the crane to be placed on either the driver or passenger side of the vehicle.

The crane can fold up very compactly and is held in place with a safety pin and lashing strap for storage and transport. It is equipped with three lift points on the boom arm at 57 – inch, 54 – inch and 52 – inch heights. The crane support is 47 inches long. The support legs are adjustable from 36.25 inches to 53.375 inches apart.

PRODUCT DETAILS:

  • Small equipment like load generators and compressors can be loaded easily.
  • Hydraulic hitch-mounted lift to hoist locking pins by 360 degrees.
  • Load cargo from the driver or the passenger side of a pickup truck.
  • Includes handle-operated lever, steel hook and chain.
  • It works with a 2-inch Class III or IV hitch receivers.
  • 4 ft. Boom with adjustable height support legs.
  • Heavy-duty reinforced steel construction.
  • Lift capacity of maximum 1,000 lb.
  • Item Weight is 114 pounds.
  • Product Dimensions are 47 x 53.38 x 57 inches.

Pros

  • Sturdy construction; well built.
  • Easy to handle.

Cons

  • Cheap build.

6. PROAIM Astra Professional Mini Camera Jib Arm  

portable jib crane

Looking for an affordable piece? Then check out the Proaim Astra 4ft jib crane, which is an affordable and lightweight camera crane accessible to independent filmmakers and videographers. It is constructed from aluminium, which makes it extremely light and versatile.

It is ideal for shooting wedding videos, commercials on locations, music videos or sporting events. Its tool-less design and simple operation plenty of production time. You can achieve superior shots that add value to your production.

PRODUCT DETAILS:

  • Compact 4 ft. camera jib which always fits into tight shooting spaces.
  • Durable aluminium frame provides stability.
  • Saves lots of production time due to tool-less design and simple operation.
  • Achieve superior shots that add value to your videos.
  • Best mid-sized crane on the market to obtain professional results.
  • The total length of jib: 4 ft. 9 inches.
  • Support cameras up to 8 kg or 17.6 lb.
  • Self-balance can be till the weight of 1 kg.
  • Camera mounting bolt has free holes of ¼ - inch.
  • Product weight is 4.20 kg.
  • When the stand is at its minimum height of 4 ft, the height range from ground level is 7 ft.
  • When the stand is at a maximum height of 5.8 ft. then the height range is 8 ft. 9 inches.

Pros

  • The jib is nicely protected and packaged.
  • Sturdy design.
  • Easy to assemble.
  • Well made parts.
  • Smooth operation.
  • Stable.

Cons

  • Heavy and not easy to carry.
  • Makes noises while operating.

7. ​Apex S-CRANE-1000 Pickup Truck Bed Hoist Jib Crane

portable jib crane

The Apex S – is a portable jib crane for a pickup truck or trailer beds that allows one person to easily lift heavy objects with a manual operated 3-ton hydraulic ram. Its maximum capacity is 1000 lbs with the boom contracted, and 400 pounds with the boom extended.

The jib can swing 360 – degrees with a swivel base with an integrated locking arm to restrict free movement. The lift boom extends to 70-7/8’’ while the ram travels up to a maximum of 15.5 inches.

It includes eight 3/4 – inch holes pre-drilled in the 10.625 – inch square base-plate for mounting on a pickup truck or a trailer bed. It is constructed from heavy-duty steel and has a black paint finish.

PRODUCT DETAILS:

  • A portable pickup truck or trailer bed jib crane allows for one person to lift engines, watercraft, and more easily.
  • The maximum capacity is 1,000 lb with boom contracted, and 400 lbs with boom extended.
  • The swivel base rotates 360 degrees with locking arm; 70.875 - inch maximum boom extension; 15.5 - inch ram travel; manual operated 3 - ton hydraulic ram.
  • 8 Pre-drilled 0.75 - inch holes in a 10.625 - inch square base-plate for mounting on truck or trailer bed (mount hardware sold separately).
  • Heavy-duty steel construction; heavy-duty chain and hook.
  • Item Weight: 100.0 pounds.
  • Load Capacity: 1000.00 pounds.
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 10.6 x 70.9 inches.

Pros

  • Easy to assemble.
  • Can easily pick up heavier items.
  • The swing is exceptionally smooth.

Cons

  • Smaller tubular steel bar has problems with adjustment.

8. Crane Attachment for Skid Steers Jib Boom

portable jib crane

Coming up next is the Crane Attachment for skid steers Jib Boom, which is also one of the best portable jib cranes in my list. This crane attachment is a handy tool and allows you to lift heavy objects easily.

The attachment does not tax or overwhelm your fork-lift or skid steer. The mobile crane can support up to 6000 lbs. It has a double fork design, so it fits most pallet forks. The boom extends from a starting length of 84 inches to 138 inches. It gives you the ability to lift higher and place your payload further than you’ve ever been able to do.

This adjustable crane extends from a flat angle up to 45 degrees of tilt to give you more range when you are placing something, such as a truss or beam. The hook points are positioned 9 inches apart from the base of the boom, spanning from 30 inches to 138 inches, allowing you to control the center of mass precisely.

This attachment is powder-coated for increased durability and longevity. You’ll receive two hooks with your purchase.

PRODUCT DETAILS:

  • Titan crane attachment is excellent for lifting heavy loads.
  • It can support and lift 6000 lbs which is an impressive weight capacity.
  • Its double-fork design makes most pallet forks convert to mobile crane.
  • Helps to transform skid steer or fork-lift to an industrial lifting machine.
  • Titan Attachments implements and parts are made from high-quality material.
  • This crane is made from heavy-duty steel which makes it a durable piece of hardware.
  • Can easily handle professional construction and industrial jobs.
  • Crane measures 84 inches in length and can telescope to 138 inches.
  • Hooks position from 30 to 138 inch with an overall width of 26 inches.
  • Weighs approximately 544 lbs.
  • The inside fork pocket measures 6.75 x 2.25 inch.
  • The hook is 8 x 3 – 4 inches long.
  • The distance between the forks is 18 inch from one centre to the other.
  • Steel thickness of 0.5 inch.
  • Powder Coated Finish.
  • Fits Most Pallet Forks.
  • Includes two hooks.
  • Installation can be done in seconds.

Pros

  • Strong, sturdy material.
  • Easy to install.
  • Performs well for skid steers and fork-lifts.
  • Ideal for lifting heavy loads.

Cons

  • Quality and longevity is not reliable.
  • Quality of the accessories are not up to the mark.

CONCLUSION

These were the eight best portable jib crane available in the market today. You’ll notice that I have taken care of all the aspects that I mentioned earlier. All of these cranes have adequate weight capacity and are compact and lightweight.

However, I have also emphasized some other aspects like the length of the arm, ease of use, smoothness of operation, etc.

I hope you have found what you were looking for. Happy recording!

Nicolas Gilli
 

Hi, I'm Nicholas Gilli, I'm a blogger who is very much interested in blogging about film-making gadgets. I have experience as a cinematographer in the film industry for more than 15 years. My blogs would comprise of articles about film making gadgets and guides on how to use them. Even if you are a beginner you will learn a lot about cinematography here. Happy reading.

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