Best Articulating Arm for Camera Monitor [2021 Review]

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Photography requires great lighting, excellent perspective and amazing angles to capture beautiful images. However, your stabilizer or tripod can only cover angles to a certain degree. 

The best articulating arm for a camera monitor will let you reach the angle that you desire while shooting. 

Our Top Articulating Arm Reviews for Camera Monitor 

The best articulating arm for a camera monitor can get the right angle for your shoot thanks to its versatile clamp that can hold your DSLR camera and LCD monitor. 

Below are the top articulating arms that are ideal for professional work. 

Brand
Best Overall
Manfrotto 244 Variable Friction Magic Arm
Best for the Money
Ikan MA211 Articulating Arm
Best Cheap Pick
Arkon Camera Wall Mount
Product
Manfrotto 244 Variable Friction Magic Arm with...
Ikan MA211 11-Inch Articulating Arm (Black)
Arkon Camera Wall Mount for CCTV POV Camcorders...
Item Dimensions
10.83 x 3.15 x 3.46 inches
1 x 3.9 x 9.7 inches
12 x 6 x 2 inches
Special Features
Comes complete with Camera/Umbrella Bracket 143BKT only
1/4"- 20 Threaded ends
Mount uses 4 Hole AMPS pattern to attach to wall
Rating
Best Overall
Brand
Manfrotto 244 Variable Friction Magic Arm
Product
Manfrotto 244 Variable Friction Magic Arm with...
Item Dimensions
10.83 x 3.15 x 3.46 inches
Special Features
Comes complete with Camera/Umbrella Bracket 143BKT only
Rating
Price
Best for the Money
Brand
Ikan MA211 Articulating Arm
Product
Ikan MA211 11-Inch Articulating Arm (Black)
Item Dimensions
1 x 3.9 x 9.7 inches
Special Features
1/4"- 20 Threaded ends
Rating
Price
Best Cheap Pick
Brand
Arkon Camera Wall Mount
Product
Arkon Camera Wall Mount for CCTV POV Camcorders...
Item Dimensions
12 x 6 x 2 inches
Special Features
Mount uses 4 Hole AMPS pattern to attach to wall
Rating
Price

Best Overall Articulating Arm for a Camera Monitor: Manfrotto 244 Variable Friction Magic Arm

The Manfrotto 244 Variable Friction Magic Arm is a light articulating arm that has been the go-to solution for a lot of professional photographers. 

Manfrotto 244 Variable Friction Magic Arm with...

The arm consists of a massive metal pivot joint with a plastic locking knob. It has two thick metal arms attached to the pivot that can rotate 360 degrees on a single axis. At the end of each arm, a ball socket is mounted for smooth rotation. 

You can position the arm as desired, and when you reach the right angle, you can tighten the locking knob to keep it in place. The kit includes a variety of clamps and mounting platforms so you can attach cameras and LCD screens of every size. 

The arm has a stabilization feature, unlike the Ikan MA211. Each movement is not reflected in the video that you take. The build quality is superb as it can withstand harsh conditions. 

However, the arm is challenging to assemble. It has a lot of clamps and other attachments included in the kit, which can be confusing for first-timers. 

Also, it has no wall mount option, unlike the Ikan MA211 Articulating Arm

Pros:

  • Light and sturdy. 
  • It is weather-sealed, great for outdoor use. 
  • The arm can rotate 360 degrees which can cover every angle possible. 

Cons:

  • It can be confusing to assemble as it comes with a lot of clamps, mounts, and accessories. 
  • It can’t be mounted on the wall, you will need to look for other surfaces to mount it on. 
Sale
Manfrotto 244 Variable Friction Magic Arm with...
  • Product Type :Portable Electronic Device Mount
  • Package Dimensions :9.14 Cm L X9.4 Cm W X29.97 Cm H
  • Country Of Origin :Italy

Best Camera Monitor Articulating Arm for the Money: Ikan MA211 Articulating Arm

The Ikan MA211 Articulating Arm can support hefty cameras and monitors. The arm weighs 9.08 ounces, so it can be easily mounted without falling over. 

Ikan MA211 11-Inch Articulating Arm (Black)

The arm is sturdy, and it can be clamped on the desk and on the wall. The arm extends up to 19.5 inches, which is a bit lower than the Manfrotto 244 Variable Friction Magic Arm, which can extend up to 20.8 inches. 

You can use it for landscape and portrait as it can rotate up to 180 degrees. Since the arm is hollow inside, the cable management is neat and tidy, you can just run them through it. 

The arm is also weather-sealed, so it is ideal to use outdoors. The kit comes with different accessories and mounts, so you can place it on any surface to get better angles. 

However, the arm is a bit stiff to rotate. Also, the arm extension is a bit short as it can only go up to 19.5 inches, limiting your coverage, unlike the Manfrotto 196B-2 143BKT Articulated Arm that can reach up to 23.82 inches. 

Pros:

  • The cables can be run though inside neatly when you need to attach the camera to a PC or LCD monitor. 
  • It can support heavy DSLR cameras. 
  • It is weather-sealed and can withstand harsh weather conditions. 

Cons:

  • The arm does not rotate smoothly. 
  • The arm is short, its maximum reach is only 19.5 inches. If you need to cover more angles, you will need to mount it on higher surfaces. 
Sale
Ikan MA211 11-Inch Articulating Arm (Black)
  • Mount Monitor or Camera Accessories
  • 1/4"- 20 Threaded ends
  • Ball Joints at each end

Best Cheap Articulating Arm for a Camera Monitor: Arkon Camera Wall Mount 

The Arkon Camera Wall Mount can be clamped on desks, walls, and other surfaces, even on car dashboards. The arm has three adjustment knobs and two adjustment points that can rotate up to 180 degrees. 

Arkon Camera Wall Mount for CCTV POV Camcorders...

The arm’s base has a 4-Hole AMPS pattern that can be attached to the wall and other surfaces, the screws are already included. This is a feature that the Manfrotto 244 Variable Friction Magic Arm does not have. 

With a 1/4 inch mounting bolt, you can easily attach your camera, CCTV, in-vehicle camera systems, camcorders, LCD screens, POV cameras, point-and-shoot cameras or any device that has a 1/4 inch threaded pattern. 

For easy positioning, it has sturdy knobs that have 2.5-inch intervals on the mount arm. The arm has neat cable management, so it is easy to insert cables inside the arm to attach it to screens and PCs. 

The arm is very smooth to rotate and easy to assemble. Although it has numerous clamps and mounts, the instructions to assemble them are easy to follow. 

However, the arm length is too short as it can only go 8 inches, unlike the Manfrotto 244 Variable Friction Magic Arm that has a length of 20.8 inches. 

Also, it is not weather-sealed, unlike the Ikan MA211 Articulating Arm and the Manfrotto 244 Variable Friction Magic Arm. Exposing the arm to harsh elements may affect its quality. 

Pros:

  • The arm rotates smoothly, and it is easy to assemble. 
  • It can be attached to the wall, so you can put your DSLR or camcorder on a higher position.  
  • The cable management is tidy, it is easy to insert the cables inside the arm. 

Cons:

  • The arm is only 8 inches, which is very short and can limit your reach. 
  • It is not weather-sealed, exposing it to elements can deteriorate the quality.
Sale
Arkon Camera Wall Mount for CCTV POV Camcorders...
  • For mounting a camera to a wall or other surface
  • Mount uses 4 Hole AMPS pattern to attach to wall
  • Multi angle mount arm features three adjustment knobs and two additional adjustment points provide...

Best Single Articulated Arm for a Camera Mount: Manfrotto 196B-2 143BKT Articulated Arm

The Manfrotto 196B-2 143BKT Articulated Arm is a versatile single articulated arm. It has telescopic features that make it compact and easier to store. 

Manfrotto 196B-2 143BKT 2-Section Single...

The camera bracket allows for precise angles. It can be mounted on the wall or connected to the edge of the desk or table. The arm is long as it measures 23.82 inches, unlike the Arkon Camera Wall Mount that has an arm that is only 8 inches long. 

If you need space on your desk or table, you can push the arm back, and it folds over itself. It can support cameras that are up to 32 inches in size. However, it has a weight limit. 

The arm can be tilted up to 180 degrees, so it can cover more angles. 

The arm has a metal pivot joint and a ball sock for easy and smooth rotation. You can easily position the arm, and it is easy to assemble. If you need to secure the camera in place, you can tighten the locking knob. The kit has clamps and mounts of different sizes to support different types of cameras. 

With its stabilization feature, you can confidently film at any angle without having to worry about distorted footage. It is weather-sealed, so it is ideal for outdoor use, unlike the Arkon Camera Wall Mount. 

However, its cable management is limited, and it can only support thin cables. Also, it can’t support all DSLR cameras as it has a size and weight limit.

Pros:

  • It is weather-sealed, it can be used for outdoor photoshoots no matter what the weather situation is.
  • It has a stabilization feature that combats the effects of a camera shake, resulting in clear videos. 
  • The arm, which is 23.82 inches, is long and can cover more areas. 

Cons:

  • The cable management can only support thin cables due to its limited capacity.
  • The arm has a size and weight limit, so it can only support certain DSLR cameras. 
Manfrotto 196B-2 143BKT 2-Section Single...
  • Swiveling arm; each section is separately locked. Length: 23.6".
  • Comes with removable 143BKT Camera Bracket.
  • 2 Section, 5/8" spigot.

Features to Consider in Articulating Arm for Camera Monitor

The best articulating arm for a camera monitor enables you to position your camera anywhere without having to hold it continuously. It lets you get better angles and cover more areas as it can be mounted on walls, desks, tables and other surfaces. 

Aside from its mounting and rotating feature, there are also other things that you need to consider before getting an articulating arm for your camera. 

Product Arm Length Wall Mounting Feature Weather-Sealed
Manfrotto 244 Variable Friction Magic Arm 20.8 inchesNoYes
Ikan MA211 Articulating Arm19.5 inchesYes Yes
Arkon Camera Wall Mount8 inchesYesNo
Manfrotto 196B-2 143BKT Articulated Arm23.82 inchesYesYes

Arm Length

Articulating arms for cameras are mounted on a panel, wall, desk, or other surfaces. The maximum length of adjustment will depend on the arm. 

If the arm is long, you can position the arm higher, giving you more coverage of the view. It will also allow you to add some distance between the arm and the monitor by pushing the arm back and forth, creating more depth. It also allows more flexibility. 

Also, longer arms have better positioning for portraits and landscapes. Since there is enough length, the rotation mostly offered is 360 degrees, so you can rotate your camera at every single angle that you want with ease. It also offers more pivot points. 

The Manfrotto 196B-2 143BKT Articulated Arm has one with the longest arm length as it measures 23.82 inches. 

Wall Mounting Feature

Since articulating arms are used for better positioning, it has the ability to be mounted anywhere. One of the best positions that you can put an articulating arm on is on the wall because it can cover areas that you can’t reach on a regular stabilizer. 

Magic Arm Articulating Friction Arm with Hot Shoe Mounts for DSLR Camera

The Ikan MA211 Articulating Arm, Arkon Camera Wall Mount and Manfrotto 196B-2 143BKT Articulated Arm can be mounted on walls, and the accessories needed for it are included in their respective kits. 

Weather-Sealed

Outdoor photographers use articulating arms too, and they usually mount them on walls, poles, and other flat surfaces. 

If you have plans of using the device outdoors, it is best to get one that is weather-sealed. Articulating arms that are coated against water droplets, dust, dirt, moisture, snow and other elements have longer lives because their quality does not deteriorate quickly. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How is a Single Articulating Arm Different from a Double Articulating Arm?

A single articulating arm and a double articulating arm are both flexible, and they serve the same functionality. The difference between them is their design. 

A double articulating arm has two arms to support the DSLR camera from the back and the side. A single articulating arm has one arm to support the DSLR camera from the back. 

Since double articulating arms have an extra arm, this often results in higher bearing capacity. Also, it can carry more weight compared to the single arm one. 

Single articulating arms can usually rotate up to 360 degrees, while double arms can rotate up to 180 degrees. 

How Do You Set Up an Articulating Arm?

To set up an articulating arm, you will need the center knob of the arm. It controls all of the joints of the arm. Hold the arms and slowly loosen its central knob. 

Once the knob is loose, the joints should also be loose. The arms and the studs at the end of the arm can now be moved into any position that you want. 

As soon as you find the position that you need, tighten the knob to stiffen the arm so you can attach your camera. The platform of the articulating arm needs to be loosened in order to clear the hole. 

Once it is loosened, you can slide the camera in, tighten the knob again to secure the camera in place and position it to where you want it. 

If you wish to change positions, you just need to loosen the knob so you can adjust the arm, then tighten it again once you find a new position. 

As for the cables, most articulating arms have a cable management system. 

The arms are hollow, so you can slide the cables inside it and attach the camera to the LCD monitor or PC. The cable management system lets you have a neat and tidy presentation since there won’t be any cables hanging out. 

You can slowly pull out the cables from the arm if you need to remove them. 

How Does the Lock Mechanism in Articulating Arms Work?

When you adjust an articulating arm to lock it, the cylinder pushes a rod in each arm and applies force to the joint. The force holds the joints in place, squeezing them in and eventually locking them. 

When the articulating arm is unlocked, each rod is positioned into the cylinder, and it releases the force on the joint, letting you rotate the arm again. 

The central pivot joint of the arm can also be locked. Just rotate the handle to squeeze both sides of the arm and it will automatically lock the two together. 

Be careful not to tighten the knob too much because it might become difficult to loosen up again. 

Conclusion

Having the right angle can do wonders on your images. Not only will it give you a different perspective of your subject, it will also allow your viewers to see the subject in a different light. 

The best articulating arm for a camera monitor is an equipment that allows you to position your camera at any angle that you want and at any height that you need. With its help, you can capture beautiful images. 

Jared Bauman has spent more than twenty years in the professional photography profession. He founded Bauman Photographers in 2001, which is a wedding and commercial photography studio in San Diego, California. The company has been in business for 20 years, and has a stellar reputation in the community. In 2007, Jared co-founded ShootDotEdit, the premium post production company for professional wedding photographers worldwide. The company has edited millions of images for photographers around the world. Jared has spoken and presented at the Wedding and Portrait Photographers International Conference 9 years in a row. He has also given several multi-day courses on Creative Live, in addition to two national speaking tours.