The Camera Slider is no more. It was a useful tool for video work but it was also an overly large, heavy, unwieldy tool, especially by today's standards where everything is far lighter and more portable without compromising strength too much. So, wanting to expand my video making skills and the types of shots I can produce, I have decided to embark on a new project to build a DIY Camera Jib. As before there are a huge number of off-the-shelf options that are budget friendly, though looking at the ones I like made me realise it was well within my capabilities to build something very similar for half the cost, or less. So, let's begin...

The following images are not intended as a tutorial in the strictest sense, but they will take us through the process I follow to arrive at my final finished product. Enjoy...

The Plan

I had a good look around and as you might imagine there are a lot of plans and designs for various styles of DIY camera jib, ranging from janky wooden ones, ones made of monopod parts and tripod legs & springs, all the way up to really nicely designed 3D printed and machined ones. Well, janky isn't my style ( be quiet, you... ) and I don't have a cnc mill or 3D printer, so instead I had a look at fairly simple commercially available designs to see if there was anything I could reverse engineer from photos; as it happens, one item in particular caught my eye. The 'Jusino AT-6011' model that retails for around 150 GBP had a very nice and solid design and some clever features- I decided this would make an ideal design for me to base my own project on as the core of the design is just a couple of aluminium extrusions and two short box sections. Simple enough for me...

The Parts List

30x30x1000mm Aluminium square tube

3030 x 1000mm single-slot extrusion

45x50x127mm Aluminium box section x2

10mm x 2mm wall x 1000mm Aluminium tube

M8 Slide-in T-Nut x1

35x20x10mm Thrust Bearing

15x7x5mm Thrust Bearing

16x8x5mm Flanged Bearing x4

20x10x6mm Bushing

M8 Male thread knob x 1

M8 Female thread knob x2

16x8x1mm Washer x8

30x16x1.5mm Washer x2

40x8x2mm Plastic Washer x4

24x8mm Teflon Washer x1

16x8mm Teflon Washer x4

M8x55mm Bolt x4

1/4"-20 Dome bolt x1

1/4"-20 Countersink bolt x1

3/8"-16x2.5" Countersunk bolt x1

1/4"-20 Nyloc nut x1

5KG dumbbell x1

35mm Half-coupler Clamp x1

10mm Hex bolt x1

Arca Swiss mount x1

Arca Swiss plate x1

Optional items:

Tripod Ballhead x1

3/8" button head screw x1


I didn't film myself or take any photos of actually cutting the few pieces I needed for the project- I wasn't really in the mood for messing around setting up my camera and lighting, having to work around it and avoid whacking it with meter-long metal bars. To be honest, all I actually needed to do was cut one piece of box-section aluminium in half, drill a few holes and trim the end off of one piece & round it over as you will see in the photos and video. Nothing at all very complicated or requiring an in-depth explanation- you aren't missing much really. What I did do however was use my new Yi 4K+ action camera to film myself assembling all of the components in a short time-lapse; this is a brilliant little camera for the price and I look forward to using it more from now on- no more ancient keychain cameras.

I will include some shots of the parts laid out all pretty self explanatory and simple to understand, just a load of nuts, bolts, washers and bearings for the most part.

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The main features are fairly simple to explain, starting with the 'camera platform' at the very front of the jib. This is where the camera is mounted ( via a ballhead ), and it pivots on a large bolt with the help of some flanged bearings.

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The camera platform is attached to the front beam which itself pivots on the central tilt & swivel base, which uses thrust bearings to provide smooth side to side movement even with several kilos of weight pressing down on it.

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Below that is the tripod and Arca mounting plate, meaning the whole unit can be removed easily yet is held in place very securely.

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Above the front beam is the rear beam, which slides back and forth to finely balance the front and rear sections resulting in the jib remaining at any position without needing to be held. There is a locking knob at the front of the upper beam.

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At the very rear is the counterweight, a 5KG dumbbell that is clamped in place securely yet easily removed for transport. A large bolt holds the clamp to the bar, and a smaller bolt prevents it from rotating.

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I am extremely happy with how well this turned out- everything moves smoothly, no crunching or grinding or binding up- if anything it's a little too smooth and I could do with finding a way to a lock the up/down axis so that I can swing the jib side to side like a pseudo-camera slider ( dual-purpose ftw ). It is quite heavy and over-built, pretty much par for the course for my designs but that's okay as I was never going to just sling it over my shoulder and go walking for miles with it- transport by car, for certain.

I do hope to test it 'in the wild' fairly soon but as always that's contingent on other people being able to help, so if I only get to use the jib in my workshop, then so be it- I'll still be able to produce better quality video than just sticking a camera on a static tripod so it's a win for me either way.

Finished Pictures

Who doesn't love beauty shots of finished projects- if I am able to take the Camera jib to do some outdoor filming I will add updated pictures below, hopefully.

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Demo video

The project video is now live on Youtube, watch below or on youtube- don't forget to Like, Share & Subscribe if you enjoyed it- it really means a lot and keeps me motivated to continue making new content.