Aviator Travel Jib vs. Kessler Pocket Jib Traveler
The Aviator seems more well known, costs $100 less, comes with a carrying case (The Kessler charges an extra $60), and weighs over 1lb less.
The Kessler is easier to adjust the counterbalance, plus offers drag control and locks (I am wondering how much importance others place on this). If this is significant and worth it, I am willing to cough up the extra $100.
One other characteristic I've noticed with the Kessler is its center mounted camera platform. Since I want to use it with a camcorder though and there is about 3.75" from the mounting hole to the back of the battery, I wonder if the distance you can lower the camera will be hindered.
They both are 1 piece units, easy to set up and well made.
I own Kessler Traveler Jib, and before buying it (was one of the first to get it) had a chance to work with Aviator. So,
1. Both suck as jibs, you cannot do anything serious with them. Because of this, you need to look at most important features when you use a jib for traveling, in remote locations and/or in limited space.
2. The first is load. Kessler Traveler supports 10lb vs. 6.5lb Aviator (carbon fiber version supports 7.5lb but costs more). 6.6/7.5 vs 10 Does not seem like a big difference - believe me it's huge for this type of equipment. Even with small cameras when you start adding extras your load suddenly becomes higher. Plus, alas, you change cameras these days more frequently than jibs. Plus, higher load capacity means more stability - see #3.
3. The most vulnerable part of both is that their arms are very much susceptible to lateral forces. Because of this, the arm is not stable and can easily sway in both cases. It happens in windy conditions or even because of the inertial forces. Keeping in mind #1 above, Kessler is significantly more stable. It seems it relies on a prestressed design (though I am not a specialist in such things).
4. One of the big flaws of Aviator is the type of counter balance it offers - a bag hooked to the opposite side of the arm. With Kessler you can also use bags but you will not want to do that. Instead, you buy one or two 2.5lb weights (in any store that sells sport equipment - I bought mine for $2.50 each). The problem with bags is that they amplify many times the problem described above in #3.
5. Higher capacity and stability offered by Kessler comes at a price - figuratively and literally. Up to you to decide if you are willing to pay it.
6. I am not sure how you come to the conclusion that Aviator is more well known. It is true that Kessler Traveler Jib was released not long ago, but Kessler's reputation in the industry is well known as a manufacture of the highest quality equipment used by pros all over the world as well as its excellent service and support. Nice Industries (that the name of the company which manufactures Aviator) does not come even close in this respect to Kessler Crane.
7. You mentioned some other minor things - they do not seem important and can be easily solved.
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