ProMediaGear GKJr Katana Pro Overview
The ProMediaGear GKJr Katana Pro gimbal head was created to provide the ultimate marriage between size, weight, and functionality. The Katana Pro supports any lens. Yet, it is portable enough to be carried through any jungle. It only weighs 2.4 lbs which is perfect for any travel.
ProMediaGear manufactures the Katana Pro out of aircraft-grade T6061 aluminum. The engineers designed the tripod to be durable for all kinds of shoots. With precision in mind, the product is precision sealed and maintenance-free. The bearings are long-lasting, making them perfect for long-term use.
This gimbal head features an independent pan and tilt knob. The knob is large enough for easy adjustment. Photographers can quickly lock and unlock the knob at all times, even when wearing gloves. The included Arca-compatible cradle is perfect for long telephoto lenses up to 600mm. It easily attaches to the camera with precision and security.
Besides that, the smooth fluid movement allows you to quickly control the camera. Once attached, the camera and lenses would feel like it is an extension of your body.
The ProMediaGear GKJr Katana Pro connects to any tripod with a standard 3/8-16 thread. But it is better suited with ProMediaGear carbon fiber tripods.
- Length: 8.48 inches
- Width: 3.10 inches (including knob)
- Height: 9.75 inches
- Weight: 2.40 pounds
- Load Capacity: 50 lbs
- Mount Thread: 3/8-16
- Mounting Base: 2.36 inches
- GKJr. Katana Junior Gimbal Head with Arca Type Cradle
- PX6 Lens Plate
The gimbal is worth every dollar spent, and I have owned it for years. It has experienced weather conditions - from blowing sand in Botswana, to freezing rain in Minnesota, to frigid cold and snow in Northern Ontario, Canada. It has traveled to Africa, Alaska, Florida, New Jersey, Maryland, South Carolina, and many other places from the East Coast to the West Coast of the US. So with this travel record, and facing extremes in weather, it still performs like new. It is built extremely well, and even is stylish in craftsmanship. I could not get the images I do without this fine gimbal. I now have accessories from PMG for it, like the GF2 Gimbal Head Flash Doubler. I especially love how their other products work so well together.
I have had the opportunity to use several gimbal heads including the Wimberley V1, V2, a cheap gimbal from Amazon and the Katana Jr. Of all of these, the Katana Jr is my favorite. The Wimberley products are outstanding, they are as smooth as silk and built like a tank. The Katana Jr are also as smooth as silk and built like a tank but 1 pound lighter. That weight savings is great in the field.
I have to admit to having some vanity and as such, I find the Katana Jr is a better looking product. I know as a photographer it should not matter what the gimbal looks like if it gets the job done but if the Wimberley and the ProMediaGear products both work the same and one looks better than the other...
The only negative I have encountered with the Katana Jr is the "grainy" feel of the tension knobs as apposed to a Wimberley. The Katana Jr is not as smooth when tightening down the tension. This, to me, is especially true of the lower tension knob. It just isn't as smooth as the Wimberley. This is not a fatal flaw and certainy not a negative that would preclude me from choosing the Katana Jr a second time if I had to.
The Katana Jr is an outstanding product for anyone with a long lens who has occasion to stand for long periods of time waiting for the perfect wildlife or sports shot.
Update: Previously in my review I indicated that the adjustment knobs had a "grainy" feeling to them, especially the lower adjustment knob. As time has passed and I have had more opportunities to use the Katana Jr, the grainy feeling has smoothed out. The Katana Jr really has been a pleasure to use. I have had more than one person ask me about it while it sat on my tripod.
Sold my Wimberley for the Katana Jr. By far the best gimbal on the market..its light, looks awesome and has the smoothest bearings there is...absolutely zero regrets.
Pairs perfectly with my Promediagear TR423 tripod and the Promediagear 75mm bowl for leveling my gimbal.
Well built with the right features and for less money than you'd expect to pay for such a great gimbal. Very strong yet pretty light so it's easy to take into the field. Well thought out design that was obviously designed by pros for both pros and advanced enthusiasts.
I am completely satisfied with the product.
All rotation axes run perfectly and are perfectly backlash-free beared