Photo/video equipment: this very affordable articulated arm has what it takes to change the game

Estimated read time 3 min read

Photo/video equipment: this very affordable articulated arm has what it takes to change the game

Forget the mini-tripods that fall at the slightest gust of wind. The best way to attach your small camera, your smartphone or your action cam to get the photo you want is to use an articulated arm clamp.

For years I used an Ulanzi clamp to attach my action cameras and smartphones (and sometimes much larger cameras, like my Sony A7IV), but there was a problem: sometimes it wasn’t long enough.

I tried a few other clamps with longer articulated arms, but none had the strength and stability I required if I wanted to hang something expensive on them – until I came across the Smallrig Super Clamp and “Articulated magic Arm” (9.8″ long).

Smallrig Super Clamp and Articulated Magic Arm (9.8″) : technical specifications

  • Total Length: 10 inches
  • Maximum payload: 1.5kg
  • Weight: 345 g
  • Material: Aluminum alloy
  • Fittings: 1/4″ on the arm and 3/8″ on the clamp

  • Size of the jaw of the clamp: attaches to supports from 15mm to 40mm wide

The SmallRig 9.8″ adjustable (at the bottom) with the Ulanzi Super Clamp. Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

What I am looking for above all with this type of clamp is stability. I want the jaws of the pliers to lock tightly and the arm to hinge as easily as it locks securely. And this clamp meets these criteria.

The SmallRig articulating arm holding a smartphone

The SmallRig articulated arm holds a smartphone without problems. Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

With the right accessory, you can grab your smartphone or action camera to the clip.

I really like this mount for my GoPro Hero11 Black, whether I’m using it in static mode, like capturing timelapses, or taking action photos.

The SmallRig attached to a GoPro

This is the most versatile clamp for my GoPro. Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

What I really like about this clamp is that it allows you to tighten all the joints using a simple wing nut.

Closeup of wingnut

This wing nut is great! Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

Closure of wingnut locking entire articulated arm

The wing nut locks the entire articulated arm. Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

Once the wing nut is tightened, everything is locked: the elbow, the joint at the end of the clamp and the end that connects to the camera.

The SmallRig locked in place

Everything is locked in place. Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

The arm is very flexible, which allows you to frame exactly the shot you want, then lock the arm so that everything stays in place, without sagging.

The arm is strong and stable and can withstand a load of 1.5 kg. Since a camera such as the Sony A7IV weighs about 700 g, this arm can support much more than just an action cam.

I love the Smallrig Super Clamp and the “Articulated Magic Arm” and I have used them to make all kinds of videos, from timelapses to product stories. The set is super versatile, solid and costs €30, so it is perfect for the photographer, the action cam user, the Instagrammer and the TikToker looking for perfect framing.

For me, the 9.8-inch version is ideal, but if you want a smaller format, with all the same characteristics, take a look at the SmallRig 5.8″ kit.

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