Written by: Vadim Sukharevski (16/7/2018).
Today on our arm review series we take a look at two magic arms from Manfrotto which belongs to the 244 line – the larger 244 mini and the somewhat smaller 244 micro arms.
Unlike some of the other designs we have in this series, the 244 are traditional type magic arms although as we will see in a moment, the micro version has an interesting “twist” (pun intended).
Let’s start with the 244 mini arm. It is made from pretty think aluminum, it measures about 27cm (10.5″) tip to tip and weighs just over 430 grams (just above 15 ounces). The unit feels very robust – more so than many other magic arms that we tried and officially it can carry up to 3kg (6.6 pounds) and from our testing, this actually seems like an under-assessment.
The 244 micro arm can easily hold a camera
The arm locks and opens using a wing knob with a built-in ratchet mechanism for easy usage in tight setups.
We got the 244 mini with dual 1/4″ 20 tips and an additional 3/8″ tip which you can use to replace one of the tips using an Allen key (two would have been even nicer).
The 244 micro is a little bit different. It is about 21cm (or just over 8″) long and a bit less beefy than the mini with a ratchet knob that has a single wing. The biggest difference is the anti-rotation mechanism for the tips (there is also a less expensive 244 micro version with normal tips).
This anti-rotation mechanism is a unique design for Manfrotto (at least as far as we know) but from our experience, the title “anti-rotation” is a bit misleading. It will only work in this capacity if you are using it with Manfrotto’s easy link equipped tripods or heads. Otherwise, the arm will twist if enough force will be applied to it like any normal magic arm.
However, we did find a secondary advantage which seems to work regardless of the connecting part and that is the ability to lock the arm by turning the rotation mechanism and not the entire arm (much easier especially in complex rigs when twisting the arm can hit a cage or some other part).
The anti-rotation mechanism only comes with a dual 3/8″ 16 type tips (which you can replace to a regular 1/4″ 20 tip if you like). We would like to see Manfrotto come up with a 1/4″ 20 anti-rotation tip as well and maybe an anti-rotation version of the 244 mini.
It would be even more amazing if Manfrotto could come up with a design for an external/add-on “easy link” attachment which you could connect to any 1/4″ 20 or 3/8″ 16 connection on your rig and turn them into anti-rotation locks with the 244 micro arms (granted, this does require some clever thinking and design).
The 244 Micro anti-rotation design – can Manfrotto come up with a universal anti-rotation as well?
At the end of the day, both the 244 mini and micro magic arms are extremely solid options if you are looking for a high quality short and flexible arms for monitors, LEDs, recorders or mics and they are even strong enough to hold a camera if you need to.
As for pricing, depending on the specific model and kit you are looking at between $90-$110 (see prices on Amazon here – Manfrotto 244 mini, Manfrotto 244 micro (no-anti rotation), Manfrotto 244 micro (with anti-rotation)). These prices seem fair to us, especially for the unique anti-rotation version.
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