One of the nice things about smaller trade shows is that you get the chance to see things you might have overlooked at one of the bigger events. Exactly that happened with the Shape Revolt push button magic arm at the Media Production Show in London’s Olympia last week.
The Atomos stand was packed with their monitors on various cameras, and they were all mounted on these little magic arms I’d not seen before.
Pop it, lock it
They’re made by Canadian manufacturer Shape, and feature locking push buttons, the same as have been cropping up on Shape’s other rig components. You push them down when you want to make adjustments and when you’re happy you let them go and they lock into place.
The magic arms are part of Shape’s Revolt range of camera accessories. Check out the, um, unconventional way of carrying a C700 at 01:40…The action felt nice and positive, and more importantly the arms seemed happy to stay locked in place, even when supporting a Shogun recorder (which weighs just over 1kg with batteries and media).
When are two axes better than four?
There were two models of the arm in use – a two-axis one and a four-axis one. I had a brief play with both and actually preferred the two-axis arm. It was easier to wrangle into position and it’s very obvious without having to look which button releases which part. It’s more limited in terms of the range of adjustment that’s possible, and if you absolutely have to have your monitor angled just so then perhaps the four-axis version might suit you better.
The arms mount to your rig via 1/4″ 20 thread screws or Shape also make a 15mm rod adapter that will do the job. The screws feature thumb handles so you don’t need a screwdriver to tighten or release them, and they’re also captive so they won’t fall out while you’re adjusting them. The four-axis version has a fixed arm length of 6.5″ (16.51cm), while the two-axis model is 3.5″ (8.89 cm) long.
Shape Revolt push button magic arm: price and availability
They’re not a budget option but if you’re after a robust alternative to a traditional (read: not very good) magic arm they’re definitely worth a look. Other alternatives include the Matthews Infinity Arm and the Bright Tangerine Titan. They’re shipping now and start at around €160 for the two-axis arm, rising to €287 for the four-axis version.