DV Crane Hype

There are some very well designed light weight cranes available with unique remote camera control systems. They cost a lot. There are also some Mickey Mouse ™ cranes out there too. Look at the long 30 lb. arms attached to tripod head rated for 18 lbs. Then to top it off the tripod under the head is sitting on a triangle dolly with caster wheels. Making a smooth move with a crane on a dolly with caster wheels is a joke. It is even difficult to make a good move with a camera on a tripod on a caster dolly without a crane on top.

While fluid head resistance is important at the camera end of an arm, it is unnecessary at the pivot (post) in the middle. The mass of the arm (inertia) acts to give smooth moves.

Crane moves are not at all like tripod or dolly moves. The camera moves closer or farther from the post with every move of the arm. The operator must compensate for these undesired moves. Operating a camera on a crane while standing on the ground with a remote control panel is no simple skill either. It's like learning to back up a trailer looking through the rear view mirror. It takes practice, lots of practice. Video game skills would help the remote control operator.

We believe that the best way to learn how a crane moves and how to operate a crane is to first operate the camera with hands the camera at the end of the arm. Once the operator moves away from the camera on the end of the arm to remote control it becomes a whole different game.

The operator will soon find that there are some skills that are nothing like operating a camera on a fixed tripod.

It's like learning the reflexes to drive or hit a ball without practice. Once you learn the reflexes you will find that the camera goes where you want to without thinking about what way to move the controls. It's like driving. You don't think about what way to turn the wheel, the car goes where you want it to go by reflex. It does take practice as any skill does. We highly recommend that you learn how to use this crane or any camera tool before going out on the job where your reputation or ego is at stake.

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