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The 3rd Arm Camera Arm Upgrade

by John Mueller 18. August 2010 15:32
John Mueller

Since I upgraded my camera from last year I needed to also upgrade my camera arm. I chose the 3rd Arm Adventure Series Camera Arm. It is highly adjustable and gives me a full 36" range away from the tree. More than enough to reach around and film a buck that comes in from the cameras offside. But it’s still compact enough to allow me to carry all of my gear in myself. The whole unit only weighs in at about 8 pounds and will support up to a 7 pound camera.

The arm attaches to the tree with a very secure 1” ratchet strap. The aluminum bracket bites sharply into the tree and is super adjustable both up and down and also side to side. This lets you level out the camera arm in case the tree isn’t perfectly straight.

Loosen the levers to level out the arm.

The arm itself attaches to the bracket with a sturdy ½” pin, held in place by a spring clip. The pivot points are all insulated with Teflon washers. The first arm section is curved to allow the arm to reach further around the tree or in front of you as you sit in the stand. The movement of the arm is very fluid and smooth. No shaky or choppy video when moving the camera into position with this set up. The tension on the pivot points can be easily adjusted so the camera stays in position for the shot.

A full 36" of travel away from the tree.

Teflon pivot points will not squeek.

I also opted for the kit which included the Manfrotto 701 HDV Camera Head. This is a big jump in quality as far as heads go for me. I was used to the cheap head on my old tripod. Man is this thing smooth and rock steady once you have it adjusted to your camera weight. Panning or tilting the camera smoothly is a breeze with this set up.

I went with the kit to include the Manfrotto 701 head.

I have had my arm in a tree twice so far trying to get some good velvet footage. But so far only does and fawns have showed up. But I am very impressed with the 3rd Arm/Manfrotto set up. It is lightweight, rock solid, easy to set up and super smooth to operate. Now all I need is a little cooperation from the deer. I am hoping to supply some awesome footage to this seasons Bowhunting.com DVD.


My new set up.




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