January 10, 2014

A Jib & Handheld Stabilizer All in One: Digital Juice Introduces the Transformable Gemini

Something as simple as moving your camera will add not only the kinetic energy you may need to keep your work from being boring, but the sophistication you may desire for your professional career as well. The tools we use to do this are often big, heavy, and only serve one purpose, but Digital Juice has announced their light and versatile Gemini Dual-Action Jib, the industry's "first transformable jib". Not only can you utilize the Gemini from the back for a number of different crane shots, but you can also move to the front and operate it like a handheld stabilizer.

Nice crane shots really increase your production value, because a lot of clients and film-goers tend to associate them with Hollywood movies and top dollar commercials. In reality, jibs don't have to be all that expensive -- as long as we're talking about either DIY jibs or tripod mounted ones. But, the issues that you might run into with these jibs are that they're too big and heavy to transport and store easily, and they only serve to get you a certain kind of shot.

The Gemini is able to mount onto a tripod with a 100mm head.  Its telescopic design allows it to collapse down to 49" (about 4') and extend out to 12', making it not only really transportable, but effective for quick counter-balancing and obtaining fairly tall crane shots. The Gemini comes with the jib body, tie-rod (which can be repositioned for different shots), cradle, and fluid head mount. It's made out of black electro-coat high-strength aluminum and stainless steel, and weighs in at about 14 lbs. (That's just with the body -- the tie rod, cradle, and mount add about 6 lbs to that.) It can handle a payload of 10 to 24 lbs, though only 11 to 20 lbs if you're utilizing the fluid head adapter at the front of the jib.

Gemini 2

Gemini 2

And again, the Gemini has a dual-purpose -- it's both a jib and a handheld stabilizer. By switching from the camera cradle to fluid head mount, you can control your camera from the front the jib like you would a handheld stabilizer. The versatility doesn't stop there. PVC explains how users can, by repositioning the tie-rod, achieve a wide array of shots while your camera is in the cradle:

Using the standard camera cradle, operators can reposition the jib’s tie-rod to in one of three positions to allow for three different style shots. Set the control rod to normal, to lock the cameras tilt to the desired inclination throughout the move. Or, move the control rod to the fixed position, to force the camera lens to stay locked throughout the jib’s vertical arch. Manual movement allows the operator to lock down the camera at any position or allows for the operator to decide what the camera sees while it dips and sweeps.

Check out Digital Juice's promo video for the Gemini below:

Digital Juice is selling the Gemini bundle, which includes the body, tie-rod, camera cradle, and fluid head mount, for $2,026, however it's currently running for $1,299 on their website. Each part is also sold separately, and Digital Juice also offers several accessories, like a carrying case and several mounting stands.

What are your thoughts on the Gemini Dual-Action Jib? Does its dual-purpose sound like something you'd find helpful or hindering on projects? Let us know in the comments below.

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29 Comments

Well, personally, I will not purchase from Digital Juice. They have bad business practices and there is direct proof of them literally stealing other peoples content. Shame.

January 10, 2014 at 7:51PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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I'll second this comment. Avoid Digital Juice. They don't invent anything. They just steal, copy and re-package.

January 12, 2014 at 3:25PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Yeah, my wife bought some budget stuff from them for work. She's not a pro (not even an amateur) and nobody she works with is in that class, so they didn't need elaborate gear. What they got was ill-treated returned items, some partially functional and some not functional at all. I believe there may have been a missing power cable for one light. The best she could wrangle out of them was a replacement of the items that weren't functional. As for the scratched and dinged stuff, tough luck.

January 16, 2014 at 8:40PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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This just looks too Shaky-Baky...

January 10, 2014 at 8:50PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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sammy

This review is based off of first hand experience, very shaky when extended, and very cheap base, I far prefer my proAm Jib for DSLR Jib movement (Double the accessories at half the cost, and far more sturdy then the Gemini Jib) The booming idea is a nice idea, but thats as far as it goes.

I will say that it is quick to setup, but at a cost...

The Ball head mount for the jib has no point of friction, so when working well within the weight limit, it would still slip out of level. no thanks.

Also, then Legs that you can buy for it can't support the weight, so over a short period of time the legs will start sliding down into themselves... not acceptable.

And if you're actually looking for real value in a jib check out Came-tv.com thats all I'm saying.

And I will agree with D.L. Watson very shady business practice in my personal interactions and seemingly everyone elses, just look them up on Yelp:
http://www.yelp.com/biz/digital-juice-lake-mary-2

Sorry Nofilmschool.com I love your articles, but this ones a no go.

January 10, 2014 at 10:43PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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L

Thanks for the heads up, L.

Much appreciated :)

January 11, 2014 at 12:02AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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V Renée
Nights & Weekends Editor
Writer/Director

Please fellow filmmakers.. Stay away from Digital Juice.. very shady people.. You've be warned.

January 11, 2014 at 3:24AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Henrovee

Handheld Stabilizer ??? WTF ?! Even the title is misleading.

January 11, 2014 at 5:31AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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palisady

I wish my aviator jib had a control arm but then again it was only $399.

January 11, 2014 at 5:40AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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I don't see how this is a novelty.

This is in spanish, but it's from a couple of years ago. I don't really see much of a difference.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQmpLj_1r2o&list=PL856242658EA1438D

January 11, 2014 at 7:57AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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maghoxfr

wrong link. This is the video I was making reference to.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQmpLj_1r2o

January 11, 2014 at 8:03AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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maghoxfr

I have their "slyder". It's very noisy, no bueno for sync sound shots.

January 11, 2014 at 10:17AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Chris H

no opinion on digital juice ... (except that i've had a pre-amp that i use in my mklll set up which has worked fine for three years) ..... but i have to say: you can't do better than aviator's travel jib. i've had mine for a couple years, it sets up easily, works great, and i can just about pack it down into a laptop bag. no, i have no stake in the company, just a satisfied customer.

January 11, 2014 at 11:31AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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sjk

Considering their bad reputation NoFilmSchool really needs to stop talking about these people. I don't know anyone who is happy with them. Their products fail, pure and simple.

January 11, 2014 at 11:33AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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The Rising

I think you're confusing the pre-amp maker with juicedLink, which makes good products. Digital Juice doesn't make audio equipment, as far as I know.

January 13, 2014 at 8:48AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Matt V.

Oops. That was supposed to be in response to the comment above this one, from sjk. Sorry.

January 13, 2014 at 8:49AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Matt V.

I find it hard to sit back and watch this gear go into the hands of filmmakers.

First and foremost, this is a company that has NO video professionals or even people who have worked in the industry working for them. Their fabricator in FL, even reaffirmed that. Told me that they appreciated feedback from real world filmmakers as they didn't have anyone with those skill sets employed there.

Practically everything they sell in their gear line, is an cheap India-made knock off of someone else's product, or just a relabel of already knocked off gear. What they do "design" themselves is typically overthought and underproduced because of the lack of real world experience they have. Why make ANOTHER slider... why make ANOTHER jib... Unless what you're making is out the door revolutionary, these fields have been covered well by many other much more reputable companies.

The Gemini is hardly revolutionary. It's tube steel with bicycle clamps at the extension points. Put a fluid head on any jib head and it becomes operational from the front. These guys act like they've invented the process of running a jib from the jib head. It is simply not a well designed or built product and I wouldn't trust more than a dslr on it safely.

Touting it as a handheld stabilizer? LOL - This just shows you that they don't work in this business and have a clue as to the other products already out that do exactly what this jib does. I guess I can sell my Stedicam now because this, according to their site will replace it.

There is a reason you don't find DJ gear on a rental truck, in a rental house or on a real set. There is a reason why most film guys have never even heard of DJ. Buyer beware.

January 11, 2014 at 12:25PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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S

I liked it until I saw the price the control arm is about the only thing it has going for it. My company owns the orbit dolly and we do use it quite a bit for product shots that in our case rocks.

January 13, 2014 at 4:14PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Carlos

There are other jibs with better thought out control arms. Funny is on the site, they offer the jib as an option w/o the control arm. You can't use it w/o it.

Orbit dolly is nice but for the cost, it's nothing spectacular. The CamDolly is a lot better thought out.

I will tell you that having had the Gemini in hand, there is nothing it offers over anything else. It was not designed by anyone in this businesses and the advertising is very, very misleading.

Kessler Pocket jib blows this thing out of the water.

January 13, 2014 at 8:09PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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S

I ordered filters, carrying cases and stands from them and they work just fine. Not sure why everyone is complaining about the company as a whole unless you have purchased everything they offer. Obviously for the more expensive equipment like: Monitors, Jibs, Dollies, Sliders and Steadicams you want to stick with the tried and true products recommended by your fellow filmmakers.

January 11, 2014 at 1:33PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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PayDro

I ordered a green screen set from them...non-returnable...absolutely worst quality gear I've ever purchased. I would highly advise AGAINST Digital Juice products like this. Even the carrying case doesn't work. Come on.

January 11, 2014 at 2:33PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Chase

“First transformable jib”? Are they referring to the fact that you can control the jib from the front and from the rear? Isn't that inherent in the design of any jib? I am so confused by this claim. Maybe I missed something.

January 11, 2014 at 6:25PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Casey

Casey - Yes. This is their claim.

January 11, 2014 at 8:04PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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S

Sleeze bags. I've purchased many of their effects and music discs, flag kit etc. in the past but no more. Very poor customer service. Mostly rebranded bits from others, and most are poorly made. What I don't get is how NFS (V) does not get this. This article reads like a press release from DJ. Oooo. Ahhh. Wow. "The versatility doesn't stop there" Huh? Is this an infomercial? We expect a little more objectivity from NFS.

January 12, 2014 at 11:11AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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ronn

Digital Juice are best avoided. They have exhibited questionable business practices in the past (look on YouTube for evidence of their thefts from Rampant), and they merely take others' ideas and get cheap knockoffs made overseas. They used to be a great, innovative company, but of late they've really gone downhill.

http://robertbryantwriter.blogspot.com/2013/08/why-im-through-with-digit...

January 12, 2014 at 3:28PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Kinda stupid when they talk about able to achieve steadicam shots as steadicam you can achieve more distance than this jib as a jib is mostly to move above things. Its not even handheld stabiliser as then I could say my tripod is a handheld stabiliser compared to that Jib. I can show you how to build one for way less including the tilt function. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=auHp0J_3Ac4

January 14, 2014 at 10:08AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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This product is a joke. However, we purchased sandbags from them. They were a much cheaper price than buying from Matthews and they have held up well. We beat them up pretty good and they don't leak sand. But I agree with other comments, for more high end equipment, look to the names you know and trust.

January 16, 2014 at 5:30PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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I have to chime in here! I am not sure about this product but I sure about Digital Juice. I am a struggling film maker and have been for many years. I have been doing competitions and festival work as well as some industrial film making. I am no pro, in fact I have taught myself how to make movies. I have worked with several actors and crew members over the years who have worked with the so called "pro's". They all tell me that they cant believe how professional and organized I am. That said I have been shopping with Digital Juice for several years and own many of their products. I have found them to be of good quality, sturdy, and a great value on my limited budget. I have only had one problem with them ever. I ordered a butterfly kit and the day after it arrived they started a sale on the same item but included a green screen with it at the same price I paid without the green screen. I inquired with them about getting the green screen for the kit i had just received and i was told they couldn't help me but would be glad the sale me a green screen for mine. Personally I think they could have handled that better from a customer relations stand point. However i am still a customer I would recommend them to anyone and have never had a issue with any of the products I have from them. Sorry If I rambled on but that's my two cents!

January 20, 2014 at 7:45PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Frank

Shooting with that kind of camera in the demo, with a Tamron lens. Doesn't make sense.

January 24, 2014 at 4:22AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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UndergroundMovie