Recently I have availed myself to an interesting item which helps me mount any camera to nearly any object, and I want to describe it for Pevly readers which might find it useful.
It is advertised as [length]-Inch Articulating Magic Arm Super Clamp, which can support a DSLR, and of course, any smaller camera, LCD monitor, LED or other lighting units, remote flash systems, etc.
On eBay, (for instance, here) it is available in two lengths: 7″ or 11″, and sells for anywhere between $10.- and $17.- per unit (including Free International Shipping).
The Clamp has pliers-type jaws that can be fixed to objects sized between 1 and 5 cm. Such jaws can also be bought separately and equipped with any extension that has either ¼” or 3/8″ standard tripod screw, as it has both said bushing sizes at the back end of the clamp. But the unit I have acquired already has an articulated arm which suits my usage perfectly.
The articulating arm has two segments connected by finely toothed “elbow” which is controlled with one large handscrew. Both segments end in small ballheads, and each ballhead has an ¼” tripod screw. Typically, one arm end connects to the clamp, and the other to your camera. There are some added pieces which allow you to fix either male or female ¼” equipped gear, also any action camera, by adding the pronged swivel base to the arm’s end.
The reason the advertisement uses “magic” as a descriptive is the central handscrew. Namely, the articulating arms have internal ballhead-blocking system which is actuated by the same grippy handscrew. This handscrew locks the whole arm in any wanted position!
To use this camera clamp, you should first affix the jaws to any suitable object where you wish the camera to be. Then relax the handscrew slightly to make the arms and ballheads loosely movable. Add your camera to the business end of the arrangement. Bring the camera to proper position, point it to where you want it to look, and just tighten the handscrew. The arm, elbow and both ballheads, are frozen in position. That’s all.
There is absolutely no play in the whole unit; no wobbling, no creeping, no nodding. Nothing of the sort. Your camera sits there solidly for hours if need be. I use my (7″) clamp mostly with action cams, but sometimes I’ll use it with my Nikon which weighs almost one kilogram. As far as this clamp is concerned, “same difference”.
To challenge things even more, I have sprayed the innards of the whole mechanism with WD-40, so as not to worry about corrosion when using the unit underwater. Still haven’t noticed any creeping! When I use it as a dashcam support, it is usually fixed to the car seat’s headrest. It just sits there, stoically enduring all vibrations while it holds the camera on the other end safely and securely.
One single thing that required a change was the pliers padding. Originally there were just two pieces of corrugated rubber, glued to the inner side of the jaws. These pads detached from the metal jaws pretty early from the friction forces at this particular spot. So I simply replaced those with two short pieces of garden hose pulled over the jaws ends. This proved to be one much more durable solution. It costs nothing, and plastic pieces are easily replaced if ever these wear out (which I doubt).
So browse the net for this kind of camera support. It is an accessory well worth its price!