February 9, 2014

Think a 30+ Foot Camera Crane is Completely Out of Your Budget? Maybe Not

Video thumbnail for youtube video Can Huge Camera Cranes Be Affordable & Functional? Luke Neumann Says Yes - No Film SchoolGetting a large crane shot can be nearly impossible on a budget. Very often crane operators are not cheap, and the equipment is also expensive to rent. But what options do lower-budget folks have? Turns out there is some cheaper gear out there that should perform admirably and give you big-budget results. Luke Neumann of Neumann Films reviews one such piece of gear below, the Came-TV 33 ft. crane:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9IohzUv9xmU

If you're doing lots of big, sweeping shots it may be worth it to look into a crane like this -- or something smaller that might be more manageable (this company makes plenty of smaller gear for cheaper). You can't replace what a trained person can do on day one, but with a bit of practice, Luke shows just how fantastic the results can be. Over $3,000 for one of these might seem like a lot to some, but the fact that it comes with so much makes this a bargain, and it could be one of those pieces of gear that ends up paying for itself by owning instead of renting.

You can see more of their products, including the one featured here, over on their website.

Links:

Your Comment

37 Comments

Thanks for the review! I was waiting for one. The price seemed too good to be true so I am happy to see that it does the job.

I own the ABC Traveler crane with V5 remote head but even though it's light and 10-12ft long it is too short not to notice the rotation for big moves. It is a great quality product but the whole kit cost me 5500€... Will definitely get this Came-TV crane this year.

February 9, 2014 at 1:44PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Haroun Souirji

From the short video looks included it looks pretty decent. The small shake wasn't all that noticeable. Never heard of this company before, any idea how quality their other products are?

February 9, 2014 at 1:52PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Tim

We will be doing some more reviews on their stuff. They are sending us their version of the "Movi", LED lights, and then their HMI lights (kind of excited for that one).

February 9, 2014 at 2:01PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Nice. Will you be posting on NFS? When will you be reviewing these? Looking at their site they seem to have a wide range or products.

February 9, 2014 at 2:10PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Tim

That's up to NFS! They will be sending some of it out after the Chinese New Year.

February 9, 2014 at 2:37PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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yes, please post it here on NFS !!!
love this place.. it's my daily read

February 9, 2014 at 7:22PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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nofilmfan

+1!

February 10, 2014 at 3:42AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Luke, their stabilizers are almost absurdly low priced.
[ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SyPIDvXewek ]
Not the most exciting pitchman but, for a GH4 type of a cam, this thing should be a pretty net gizmo to have.
Of course, even CAME has competition. eBay has 3-Axis rigs listed for as little as $600.

February 9, 2014 at 9:10PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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DLD

I was thinking the same thing! GH4 with one of their stabilizers on this crane would be pretty cool.

February 9, 2014 at 9:29PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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GH4 is also advertising its new auto focus system called BFD ... I mean, DFD. On a smaller/shorter crane, you won't even need another monitor.

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

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DLD

I have been using the Nebula 5000 from came tv with good results using Nikon d800 w 24-70 and great results using the Black magic pocket camera with a variety of MFT lenses. It also comes with roadcase and remote all for under 2k US. Well worth checking out!

February 11, 2014 at 5:34AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Josh Papp

i'm sold.

February 9, 2014 at 3:52PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Juan Lindo

Thanks for the review Luke!

February 9, 2014 at 6:03PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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+1. Shots look great.

February 9, 2014 at 7:16PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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ADC

Any idea how this thing would fare in windy conditions? Where I live (Iceland) anything under 10m/s is considered an anomaly...

February 9, 2014 at 8:11PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Einar

I don't think it would affect it that much. You get small bumps with or without wind so that's why suggest shooting wide and at 30-60fps. But I don't think a little wind would make the results any different.

February 9, 2014 at 8:37PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Definitely nice, i remember pricing a big rig for a kevin hart comedy show right before he blew up and the rental for something similar was around $800 for a day but required a two day rental for transportation and also pricey insurance. This crane would pay for its self in the right hands in less than a month.

Would be great for concert venues, comedy shows etc

February 9, 2014 at 8:44PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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JAYE

I agree! If you use it enough it's a no brainer.

February 9, 2014 at 8:59PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Man, Luke could make a good shot with a camera on the end of a broom stick.

February 10, 2014 at 2:09AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Chris

Whats the major differences in the 2k, 3.6k and 3.9k versions? just the weight difference?

February 10, 2014 at 5:37AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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I honestly don't know. Someone said it looks like the crane pieces have a wider diameter?

February 10, 2014 at 12:41PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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There are a couple things that seems to effect the price- one is the type of connector for the camera controller, you will notice that on one of the smaller rigs, they list an added amount for EX3 or DSLR type connectors. And the second thing I see is the type or Remote head 5kg vs 10kg. Best I can tell.

February 12, 2014 at 11:39AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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tbonemain

Great review - thanks!

February 10, 2014 at 12:29PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Nice. Now that's quality positing. Much better than the jump rope handle.

February 10, 2014 at 3:19PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Earnest reply

I wonder how the Came led lights are.

February 10, 2014 at 7:29PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Bryan

Should be testing those out soon as well! They were happy with this review so they're sending us quite a bit of stuff...

February 10, 2014 at 8:08PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Look forward to hearing how those go ....

February 11, 2014 at 5:58AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Josh Papp

Agreed. Would love to see what Luke thinks of the LED lights. They are very reasonably priced.

February 13, 2014 at 6:58PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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CAME have been producing gear for quite some time. I believe that they use to be manufacturers for other companies, don't quote me on it.

They also make pretty defend steadicam gear as well. They seem pretty committed to producing quality items at entry level prices.

February 10, 2014 at 8:42PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Judith

Sorry - (auto correct error) They also make pretty "decent" steadicam gear as well.

February 10, 2014 at 8:43PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Judith

I don't comment here often but I thought I am obligated to post my review with the company -CAME-TV. They have questionable customer service, although gears are good for the price. Here's the story:

I purchased a steadicam from them directly and was sent a lower grade item after numerous shipping issues on their end with Fedex that took weeks to resolve. On initial contact they asked for pictures of the problems, which was fine. Once pictures were sent it is now taking the company a couple of days to respond to my emails/messages, and even then they haven't agreed on shipping me the correct item yet.

I can update as the issue comes to a resolution (if it will come to a resolution), but be wary of their business practice. They responded really quickly pre-sales, and to very simple questions post-sales.

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

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JL

If this is a recent incident it's probably because they were on Chinese New Year. They weren't responding to anyone and their website was even down.

February 11, 2014 at 12:32PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Why on earth would any one want to cart a lump like this around instead of using an octocopter?

February 13, 2014 at 6:05PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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An octocopter would give you even more versatility but they are very expensive. I've seen them for $10,000 and more. Plus you must have two operators, one to fly the copter and one to pan/tilt the camera stabilizer. One guy can operate a jib arm. These days you also might find some communities very sensitive to the use of what they call "drones" but they wouldn't even blink at a jib arm. I like this unit. A lot cheaper than the one we have and longer too.

February 13, 2014 at 6:54PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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The "30 foot" is actually about 24'. The 30' measurement is the length from end to end. To accurately compare jib arms, you should compare the reach, from the pivot point to the front end of the arm.

February 13, 2014 at 7:54PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Scott Staton

Hi I went to their site at www.came-tv.com and comparing their 24ft & 27.5ft crane. The longer 27.5ft crane is actually 1k cheaper than the 24ft. It didn't say much on their web and I've been asking for their difference but get no solid answer. Can anyone help?

March 14, 2014 at 4:35AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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Andy

The best part of this mobile is that even if you are
not carrying your headset for connecting your phoe tto FM, then your Blue
tooth headset will make you do so. Simply touching the screen gives you a wider landscape view.
Once you get a bad product, you may not even be able to return it
or ask for a refund.

July 11, 2014 at 1:20PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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