Updated Product Review: Genus Mini Jib with MoCo
Truly Compact and Portable Jib for DSLRs and HD Camcorders
By Jeff Foster | June 28, 2014
The new Genus Mini Jib was designed for portability and simple setup/operation on location. It's not meant to be a studio jib but while it can handle a decent payload of about 9lbs, you can manage to get a decent load to balance and maintain control of the operation. I give the Genus Mini Jib a thorough test with different camera configurations and push it to the limits. UPDATED with the Genus MoCo motion control system for the Mini Jib started on the bottom of Page 2.
Genus Mini Jib Features
The Genus Mini Jib was designed for lightweight portability, simple setup and reliable performance. Like most Genus products, the build quality is superb yet quite simple. One personal can easily manage the setup and operation of this jib - if you don't get too carried away with your camera configuration, that is.
The jib comes completely assembled and folds down to fit in its own carrying case. When you add your own weights, they should fit nicely in the bag with the jib assembly and the unit's components always stay together in a case that's similar in size to a small tripod bag.
The unique design of the hinged back arm is magnetized so it doesn't flop around in either the open or closed state. Features like this have the trademark Genustech quality touch with a design and construction being very robust, it will withstand a lot of use.
As with any jib, you will need to purchase your own weights to counter your camera gear. Luckily, since this is a small jib with limited capacity, we're not talking about having to lug around a lot of weights. I found you can get free weights at Sears for about $1/lb. I selected two 5lb and two 2-1/2lb weights so I could balance about any configuration I may need.
The Genus Mini Jib also has these quick release adjustable weight clamps that allow you balance out your rig and hold it tightly in place. Again, a brilliant design for the solo shooter!
For a simple small camera setup, the Genus Mini Jib allows you to mount to any sturdy tripod, as long as you factor in the weight capacity of the tripod head to accommodate both the camera and the jib + weights. If you've only got a stripped-down DSLR and about 7lbs of weight, then a basic video head tripod may work as a support base.
However, for my tests, I decided to use my old steel tube Bogen tripod with a heavy-duty pan/tilt head I use for timelapse/lock-off shots because it's a tank! The Genus Mini Jib easily attached to the quick-release plate and was secured by the plate's inset screw as well.
The jib head is designed to mount to the top plate or with the drilled/tapped mounting holes on either side, depending on your mounting bracket preference, and has a built-in spirit level to make sure the camera is mounted to a level base, regardless what your tripod is set to. The base mount also has additional drilled/tapped holes to accommodate acccesories as well.
Dimensions as listed on the Genus website:
- Collapsed 84 cm (33.078")
- Extended 180.5 cm (71.0625")
- Weight 1.58 Kg (3lb 7.7oz)
- Maximum Camera Weight 4.25 Kg (9lb 5.9oz)
- Height range 1.87 m (6'-1.625")
The Genus Mini Jib sells on their website for only $395 US
Here's a quick video of the Genus Mini Jib in action from their website:
Testing Setups & Configurations
I wanted to test the Genus Mini Jib under conditions I might find myself shooting with the available gear I currently have. A Sony EX3 and a Canon 60D (with the Genus Matte Box/Rails I'll be reviewing shortly).
Here's a shot from the Genus website of their designer's DSLR setup for comparison:
While the suggested use as illustrated on the Genus website indicate that a stripped-down DSLR rig (DSLR, short prime lens and a matte box) can be mounted directly to the jib head (preferably with a quick release plate of some kind) mounted forward on the head as shown above - my cameras and gear stick out past the back of the head mount and are more balanced on the mount, so I elected to use an offset mounting plate. This allows uninterrupted movement in the lowest position and protects both the jib arm and the camera from damage caused by the back of the camera/rig from hitting the jib arm.
Starting with the Sony EX3, I stripped it down to the bare essentials for weight and connected to my monitor via the video cable. I could chose to use the wireless remote to control the operation of the camera if I chose to using this configuration.
I was able to mount the monitor on a clamp with an arm just behind the pivot point of the jib mount to help balance out the camera and weights without affecting weight distribution too much. Typically, the monitor may be mounted to a non-moving position for the DP to be able to see it but as a solo operator, you'll need to be able to watch your movement closely right behind the jib as you move it (and depending on how long the cables are that you have with you on location).
Here's an example of the extreme movement of the Genus Mini Jib with the EX3 and monitor mounted with this configuration.
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