Bowhunting.com Contributor: Dayne Shuda
For the record this season has been my first attempt at self-filming. It’s been interesting so far and I’ve gotten some good footage. However, it’s been a real learning experience. One area in particular is adjusting the camera in order to make sure you can record footage of the activity in the woods. Obviously, the camera is an important piece of equipment, but I have to say that I underestimated the importance of the camera tree arm. Originally, I got a good tree arm, but one that wasn’t too expensive. It is probably on the low end of the spectrum of camera tree arms. And while it worked pretty well, there were a few issues.
First, if I didn’t tilt the camera for a period of time the tilt function would become stuck. This would happen more often when it was cold; which tends to happen often during late October and early November in Wisconsin. The “sticky” factor was unsettling because I would have to force the camera to move and then worry about it “cracking” forward when a deer was nearby. This movement was usually accompanied by a plastic-sounding noise that a deer would easily notice. Now, I have a new camera arm and while it’s more expensive the arm has been worth it.
The 3rd Arm Bandit Series Camera Arm.
There are three main pieces and a few detachable pieces that ship with the arm. There is the arm itself, which has the tilting camera mount, along with the strap and bracket for attaching the unit to the tree. Overall, the pieces are well made so I expect the arm to last for quite a few years. The arm is lightweight but you don’t have to worry about it bending at all because it is solid. It’s just easy to carry in and out of the woods, is very rigid and attaches to the tree easily.
The 3rd Arm easily fits into my backpack for carrying out to the tree. I could hardly tell there was any additional weight in the pack.
One of the frustrating aspects of using a camera arm is screwing on the camera when you arrive in the tree. I love hunting in the morning and when you arrive at your tree in the pitch black it can be even more difficult to screw the camera onto the tree arm. That is not an issue with the 3rd Arm Bandit. It took me a couple of seconds to realize that the attachment piece on the 3rd Arm can be detached from the arm and screwed onto the camera. Then you can simply slip the attachment in and secure it. This made my life much easier.
Attachment of the Bandit is easy.
This really helps because you can screw on the attachment at your truck or in the house before you leave and then simply clip on the camera once you arrive. It couldn’t be easier to attach the camera and get all setup. No Squeaking. Even a little frost can’t stop this arm. We had some really cold weather in Wisconsin and after arriving in the treestand one morning the camera and the camera arm had frosted over. I moved around the camera a bit and there was absolutely no squeaking or noise of any kind.
Adjustable Tilt Feature
The best feature of the Bandit is this adjustable tilt setup.The first arm I used did not have an adjustable option. With the 3rd Arm you have an ingenious twisting adjustment. You can loosen the tilt with a simple twist of your writs and move the camera to a new angle. You can then twist back and secure the camera at the new angle. This feature is useful when you need to get the camera setup and then reach for your bow.
You can also make repeated treestand visits by simply leaving the arm bracket on the tree.
Overall, this tree arm is awesome. Save your time and get a good camera arm right from the beginning. You’ll save yourself some frustration. You can get away with a cheaper arm, but if you go with this one you’ll be set for quite a few years.