Kickstarter Effect: The Portable Jib Showdown – Trapezist vs The Aviator

Posted on July 4, 2012

Update: Zeke from The Aviator offered useful feedback on the differences between the two in the comments. I sum it up at the end of the post.

If there’s one thing people love more than their DSLRs, it’s putting Kickstarter campaigns for accessories for said DSLR astronomically over their goal. Take The Aviator Travel Jib. It’s a portable, low-cost jib that seemed like a clever design and a good price, at $399, US shipping included. So I backed it.

Yesterday, I stumbled on this pretty handy camera accessory blog called CheesyCam. Digging through the archives, one of the posts was about another, identical looking jib called Trapezist, priced $100 less at $299. No Kickstarter campaign waiting period, just a slight 2 week backorder. And unlike The Aviator, Trapezist has mounting points on the fulcrum and includes a magic arm for mounting a monitor. Sorry Aviator, but I had to jump ship. Even with the $50 shipping, Trepezist remains a really good deal.

I’d be curious to know if the Trapezist’s sales have come anywhere near the pre-sales of The Aviator, which is currently at $140,000. Is there some sort of Kickstarter Effect? Do people equate Kickstarter with a good bargain, even though there’s obviously better deals out there if you just do some research (which I will now be doing from now on). On the flip side, if you have a product that’s just been sitting around on the web, would launching a Kickstarter campaign give your sales a boost?

As Zeke pointed out, there are a few differences. The Aviator will have monitor mounts, their picture is just of an older prototype. It also includes a fluid head build in, so you don’t have to mount it to a tripod head. Plus, The Aviator has an additional foot of reach. I actually think these features are well worth the extra $50. But is it worth the nearly $200 extra when it retails for $525?

Here’s the videos for both:

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Written by Joey Daoud

Joey Daoud is an award-winning documentary filmmaker. His past films have appeared on Netflix, The New York Times, and National Geographic. He is also a YouTube creator across multiple channels with videos garnering millions of views. In his free time, he likes to climb mountains, scuba dive, and brew unique coffees.

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  1. Zeke

    Hi Joey,
    Thanks for posting about our jib. No problem with you opting for the Trap, but I do want to let you know, you posted a photo of our prototype. If you look at the description on our kickstarter page you can see it does include monitor mounts. You’ll need to supply your own articulated arm, but we do offer those mounts in our bracket as well.

    More importantly, you didn’t mention the differences. These jibs do not offer the same features. Ours includes a fluid pan base, so you won’t need to supply your own fluid camera head (which, btw, using a jib on a camera head is not a very efficient way to get professional shots with a jib). And our weight of under 3.75lbs includes that fluid pan base. We also have integrated bubble levels, a very high end padded case, and more.

    The biggest difference other than the integrated fluid pan base is our reach. We have nearly an entire foot of additional reach (higher up). That means we get you nearly 20% more reach. That’s huge.

    Also, ours is one unit that slides open to full extension. There’s is multiple parts that have to be snapped together each time as well as slid open to their full (shorter) extension.

    Yes, theirs is less money, (like a golf cart costs less a real car) but ours is a much better value. IMO.

    Feel free to get in touch if you have questions.


  2. Joey Daoud

    Thanks Zeke for the info. I do wish I knew about these features and I think they are well worth the extra $50. Are you still planning on retailing for $525?