We recently were approached by a company selling photo and video accessories on Amazon and they have asked if we would like to review one of their mini arms. Typically we turn down most of these requests (we get so much stuff for review anyway that we are struggling to keep up) but this arm looked cool so we said yes and as you will see in this video it turned out to be a good call.
The Viper arm is 12cm or just over 4.5 inches tip to tip, it is fully metal and the design is actually pretty interesting. It is made out of two balls locked inside a metal clamp that you tighten using a large and very handy wingnut.
Maybe the nicest feature of this arm is the swivel locks that can tighten the two 1/4″ 20 screws with a single hand. The design is pretty clever since the wingnut actually holds two 1/4″ 20 to 3/8″ adaptors so you can connect the two arm tips to any type gear that you want.
The compact Viper Articulating Magic Arm
We do want to mention the useful design of the 1/4″ 20 connectors – you can either twist them to lock them from the inside or the outside and sometimes it is best to just start from the outside and complete the lock with a little twist from the inside. The real advantage here is that you don’t have to rotate the entire arm (and everything connected to it like a huge monitor) just the tip.
You also get 4 replacement rubber rings in case the ones that you have are broken – we are not sure if this is extraordinarily generous or is it saying something about the longevity of those rubbers but we have yet to run into any trouble.
Maybe the most surprising part is the case this arm comes in – it is small but very rugged – we definitely didn’t expect this for this price.
Dual 3/8″ adaptors in the arm
Officially the arm can hold up to 1.5kg (or 3.3 lbs), we tried it our 7″ Swit monitor with a V-mount battery weighing over 1.1kg and it worked well both vertically and horizontally. We only had an issue when we had to use the 3/8″ adaptor which when horizontal tend to cause the arm to twist (but honestly our only luck with that one was using the anti-twist mechanism Manfrotto has, but that one only works on specific Manfrotto gear so it is hardly universal).
We have seen identical arm designs under several brands, we can’t really be sure of the quality control of the other units but the one that we have tested worked very well. As for pricing this unit cost just under $37 and for this price if you are looking for a short but strong magic arm it is just a steal.
Useful head locking design
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