September 5, 2013

Turn Your Tripod Into a Versatile Camera Movement System with Hipjib

HipJibFor the past few years, Kickstarter has been rife with all sorts of campaigns for gadgets and gizmos aimed at budget filmmakers. Oftentimes, these new inventions are just slightly modified versions of classic designs offered at a cheaper price. Other times, these crowdfunding products are unlike anything else out there, like the SnapFocus. And then there are times when a product comes along that is so simply brilliant that it makes you wonder why you hadn't thought of it first. The hipjib, a small device that turns any basic tripod into a versatile camera movement system, falls into the latter category. Check out the campaign video for the hipjib below:

The beauty of the hipjib lies in its simplicity. Through combining the various creative uses for a tripod with a device that allows the weight of your camera to rest entirely on your hips, hipjib becomes a system of camera movement that is both highly versatile and relatively easy on your body (depending on the weight of your tripod/camera.)

Here's what the creators of hipjib say the device can accomplish:

  1. Replacing a conventional camera shoulder rig by offering even more stability and flexibility, at a fraction of the weight and cost.
  2. Enabling extremely smooth vertical camera movements reaching from the ground up to approximately 2.5 meters (6.5 feet) or higher, depending on the type of videohead used. This feature outperforms any expensive and bulky jibarm and its assembly on location. 
  3.  Smooth multi-directional camera movements in a combination of tripod or monopod, tripod head, and body action. In short: hipJib's strengths come into play in situations where speed, improvisation, and flexibility are crucial. 

HipJib 1

While the hipjib certainly isn't a replacement for traditional methods of camera movement such as dollies and jibs, it does offer something that those movement systems can't: the freedom and ability to move the camera in just about any conceivable way with a level of stability that is nearly impossible when shooting handheld.

In my eyes, many of the moves possible with the hipjib look to be difficult to accomplish and awkward for the operator. However, it also appears that, with a little bit (or a lot) of practice, that hipjib operating might become a skill unto itself, much like operating a steadicam.

I can see the hipjib being an excellent tool for videographers looking to spice up their shots and add instantaneous production value at a reasonable price. As a narrative filmmaking tool, it might be able to bridge the gap between the freedom of handheld and the precision of other movement systems, although I have a hard time imagining myself using this in a narrative context.

Check out the Kickstarter campaign for the hipjib here.

What do you guys think? Is the hipjib a revolutionary device for both filmmakers and videographers alike? In what circumstances do you think this device would come in handy? Let us know in the comments!

Link: hipjib - unchaining your camera - Kickstarter

Your Comment

45 Comments

Is it just me or are they trying to pass of a HDV-Z96 toplight as a camera monitor...

September 5, 2013 at 9:44AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

9
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Chris Lambert

most people ive talked to agree that while it may be handy, it's WAY overpriced and way over-manufactured for what it does. the same general functionality can be had for about $25 in pvc, a spade bit and a nylon strap from home depot.

September 5, 2013 at 9:57AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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I'm with Wayne. DIY and save your cash!

September 5, 2013 at 6:15PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

9
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Oh my goodness. Ive been doing this for ages with my fluid heads central staff, and a fishing pole hip holder. Could have gotten $20000 if I ever thought it could be made commercially. Dammit

September 6, 2013 at 5:15AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Rean

Ha, ha...

September 6, 2013 at 6:49AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Looks OK. Don't see how you could actively focus while using this. Maybe they are counting on you to use auto focus - or simply limiting your shots and blocking.

September 5, 2013 at 10:03AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

33
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You mean... same as a jib?

September 5, 2013 at 1:29PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Steve

You can stand and operate a jib from the camera end.

September 5, 2013 at 4:31PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

2
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Tyler

Professional cranes have zoom and focus controls.

September 5, 2013 at 8:33PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Add a SnapFocus handle to one of the legs? And for monitoring, something like this:
http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2010/04/tv-hat-the-dork-tastic-head-mount... or http://hackaday.com/2012/03/21/heads-up-display-mounts-on-brim-of-your-cap/

Now we're talking!

Just need to get the video feed from camera to iPhone... hmm.. any ideas?

I really can't see this being a viable option for... well for anything.

September 6, 2013 at 7:56AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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I am no engineer but there seems to be a workable solution for a Swiss Army knife type of a rig that is a combination of a jib, tripod, tripod dolly, stabilizer and slider. And that's because tripods have been used as stabilizers and, with wheels, as dollies. For the rest, you just need a few additional parts.
.
WRT to the cello player video - get two sturdy tripods (with sandbags, if necessary), run a clothesline in between them and, voila, there's your cable cam. That way, you can switch angles from adjusting the tripods heights and positions. And there's very little physical demand on the operator.

September 5, 2013 at 10:05AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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DLD

So woman cam ops only for this piece of equipment? I can't even imagine after a long shoot...

September 5, 2013 at 10:08AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Austin Mace

Don't worry, Mr. Macho, you can use it too. Maybe you should watch the video before making silly comments.

September 5, 2013 at 1:35PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Charlie

Elizabeth Ziegler SOC http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0956093/ was one of the best stedicam opereators I'd ever seen. Good enough to work on Eyes Wide Shut (1999), Tombstone (1993), Wayne's World (1992) and Ghost (1990).

September 5, 2013 at 3:23PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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c.d.embrey

women are ideal for steadicams....... they train their whole lives for it (shopping bags!!!)

September 6, 2013 at 4:31PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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john

Charlie, I watched the video, it just does not look very comfortable. C.D.Embrey, only drawing attention to the anatomy of human beings, not discrediting the female gender as cam ops. If you must now know, my mentor is female and could only dream to achieve half of what she's gone on to do!

September 6, 2013 at 4:15PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Austin Mace

Not for me , thank you.
Looks like strain on your shoulders, lower back and a lot of discomfort in general.
When the plastic buckle fails, you can have fun picking up the pieces of your camera.:o)

September 5, 2013 at 10:36AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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ben

Wondering why they never show the girl or the old man using it...

September 5, 2013 at 10:40AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Michael Hawk

Great idea. Portable, effective and good value. Sold.

September 5, 2013 at 10:50AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Darren Wolff

OFF TOPIC

There's three days i'm writing to this site email address for a question related The Tao of Color (discount code).
No answers yet, are you all people in holyday?
I stop writing, anyway.

September 5, 2013 at 11:04AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Jean Di Lorenzo

Another thing, its advertised as being ideal for DSLR. There's this thing called a neck strap that I've been using for years to get similar moves that have been pretty slim.

September 5, 2013 at 11:08AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Austin Mace

Nice idea but 140$???
want to make money? take a piece of metal, write on it photo, video, jib, dolly, or follow focus!

September 5, 2013 at 11:25AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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lightbender

$140 is not that outrageous for camera support equipment... this is the industry we're in, everyone.

September 5, 2013 at 12:16PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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alex

Neat idea but the Kickstarter page didn't convince me.

They're using photography tripods whose heads can raise up, not video tripods which most of their customers likely own. Also, while pretty smooth, the movements in their videos weren't $225 smooth; though I wouldn't really expect them to be with a simple design such as that.

September 5, 2013 at 12:31PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Nick

Great idea, so small yet so versatile. But also super easy to build with thin wall emt or even pvc pipe, web strap buckle from the home depot, a few strips of 1/8" aluminum and some small bolts.

September 5, 2013 at 12:38PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Patrick

im going to try to throw together a DIY version as a proof of point.
so far i have:
$9 in 1.5" and 2" schedule40 pvc - lowes
$4 in a web strap - academy (sporting/outdoors store)

all i have to do is cut the tubes to length. drill the tripod holes with my 1.25" spade bit. and access channels in the big tube and MAYBE velcro a pad or rubber strip on the back to keep it from sliding on my clothes and it'll be done.

if the materials (aside from required tools) end up being more than $25 i'll be HUGELY surprised...

http://understandinc.com/samples/hula/rawpcs.jpg

September 5, 2013 at 12:44PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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haha - kickstart that - ask for $125. that would be hilarious

September 5, 2013 at 5:46PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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September 5, 2013 at 1:32PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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hansd

Yeah, I just tucked the tripod feet into the top of my belt buckle and walked around for the same effect as the hipjib. The cord is a great idea. I'll have to try that next time.

September 5, 2013 at 2:41PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Christopher Siler

hey man don't take away from his business! keep that DIY trick a secret. Poor fella on kickstarter

September 5, 2013 at 5:47PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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"poor fella" has met his goal and still has the better part of a month to go.
just proves the old saying that there is a sucker born every minute...

September 5, 2013 at 8:43PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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kickstarter is great.
people who buy into stupid stuff like this are idiots.

September 6, 2013 at 10:26AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Joe

My old bag hanging will do the same thing

September 5, 2013 at 1:45PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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ray

I have a manfrotto tripod that Ive been resting on my hips for years, do I really need a strap-on tube to help me do this?

September 5, 2013 at 5:37PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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jmayo

LOL

September 5, 2013 at 6:16PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Even if everyone doesn't DIY this, the Chinese will make one that costs $75 pretty quickly...

September 5, 2013 at 6:34PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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honestly i'm unimpressed with the shots after viewing all the highlight reels. I've seen/done equivalent hand held shots, or with just a camera strap or mono pod. Most the shots looked shaky, not like a jib at all. I guess the idea is it's a light weight handy tool that works with your other equipment your already carrying, but really estimated 225 msrp!? DIY that s with PVC for sure.

Though that german guy is so convincing...

September 5, 2013 at 8:54PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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the thing about the video is he sounds so deep about the whole thing. but there wasnt a single good quality jib-type move in the whole thing...

September 5, 2013 at 9:44PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

8
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Oh my goodness. Ive been doing this for ages with my fluid heads central staff, and a fishing pole hip holder. Could have gotten $20000 if I ever thought it could be made commercially. Dammit

September 6, 2013 at 5:15AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

5
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Rean

I guess, it would be easier to learn to be a Trapeze Artist, than use one of these. Its dangerous. The kind of acrobats that is expected of one, to be able to use one of these.
I recommend the Edelkrone Slider Plus V2. I think it will save you a lot of equipment, time and cost. And save you hundreds, maybe, thousands (for not breaking your equipment).
On a more serious note, this thing isn't very sturdy looking, and also doesn't appear to be safe, for equipment. It needs to go back to the drawing board.

September 6, 2013 at 9:06AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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sanveer

You all sound like unhappy, bitter people.

What's wrong with just saying, ''it's not for me, good luck''?

Regards,

Rachael

September 11, 2013 at 6:36AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Rachael

ok, so here it is:

http://understandinc.com/samples/hula/huladone.jpg

materials:
- $9: 1.5" and 2"" pre-cut 2', schedule 40 PVC
- $4: 48" web strap

tools:
- drill
- 1.5" hole saw bit
- 1.75" hole saw bit (i used a 2". but thats really more clearance than you need and eats up too much material from the 2" pipe)
- hacksaw. to cut the pipes to length and clean the channel in the outside pipe.
- roll of tape to transfer measurements from one hole to the next on the outside tube
- ruler
- pencil

it will help IMMENSELY to have a worktable / saw horses, clamps or an extra set of hands to do this CLEANLY.

i had to buy the two hole saw bits. so my total price was just under $30

from what i can see this should work as well as the hipjib. the only thing id add to it is connecting (clamps, glue, whatever) the outside tube to a flat surface or pad of sort to keep it from rolling up and down on your body.

from the limited time ive played with it. i can see a few uses where it might be handy. primarilly in places were you need a lift shot but absolutely could not get a tripod into. but them selling this concept as a "fully functioning jib-arm" - i'd disagree. i'd call it more of a "desperation jib" which does have value. but not at the price they're asking. at least not in my opinion...

September 12, 2013 at 1:42PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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