Magic arms are the quick and easy way to attach accessories to tripods, gimbals and any other camera support you wish.
The PGYTech Magic arm utilises a clamp system, it might be simple, but it works incredibly well.
For something so small, the pricing might seem expensive, but it's not compared with the competition, which makes it a worthwhile purchase.
All metal design
High quality build
Strong fingers needed to torque
What is the PGYTech Handgrip Mount?
The PGYTech Magic Arm is part of a larger product line-up that can be used with the Ronin-S, as well as other photographic supports and accessories.
Its basic function is to enable an accessory such as an audio recorder to be attached to a gimbal or support.
It does this by the means of two small ball heads with 1/4-inch threads at each end that bolt into whatever support and accessory you wish to connect.
The PGYTech Magic arm is part of a modular system that also includes the T2 Tripod and Handgrip mount which can all be bolted together and used alongside the DJI Ronin-S. However, the Magic Arm can also be used with any support that features a 1/4-inch thread.
Product type: Accessory holder
Thread size: 1/4-inch
Look at your tripod’s crown or on the side of most gimbals, and you may see a spare 1/4-inch thread. This thread is there so you can attach accessories.
Of course, accessories can’t be directly mounted, and, so this is where the Magic Arm comes in. The PGYTech’s magic arm is a nice example with simple no-fuss mechanics and a solid build full metal build.
Unlike some magic arms that keep the clever mechanisms internally, the PGYTech utilises a simple clamp system. Two ball heads at either end are clamped between two bits of metal with rubber washers ensuring a good grip.
Each ball head features a 1/4-inch thread that will screw into a standard camera or accessory mount. On the base of each of the heads is an addition 3/8-inch internal thread, not entirely sure if this is needed, but it’s there if you need.
The clamping mechanism works by means of a simple rotation lever, twist it round to secure and release. Likewise, each 1/4-inch thread features a large securing knob. This makes it easy to secure, and a rubber pad ensures that the head grips the accessory tightly once in place.
What stands out is the quality of the construction, it may look simple by design, but real thought has been put into the small extras. The washers, 3/8-inch internal thread, rubber pad, large locking wheels
and an almost full metal construction, that gives the Magic Arm a quality feel.
Build and Handling
That full metal build elevates the PGYTech Magic Arm above some other arms that I have seen. When clamped, the arm is really clamped tight and should be strong enough to carry a good amount of weight.
The finish is also superb with an anodised finish and rubber pads down each side. These pads could be mistaken as purely aesthetic, but actually, these stop the Magic Arm from slipping off surfaces.
In use, the Magic Arm is easy to use. I tested it out by bolting into an accessory port on the 3LT Mike. The large locking wheel does require a bit of finger strength to ensure it was tight, but once there it was good and secure.
Popping on a Tascam DR-40 audio recorder and the large clamp lever was easy to lock and release to get the positioning right.
The design of the PGYTech Magic arm might not be as refined as that of the Manfrotto Magic Arm, and in use, you do notice the difference. But then this is less than half the price.
One of the most noticeable differences is that you only have the 90º angle on two-point on each head, this means a little extra jiggling to get the right position of the accessory. The fact that they’re ball heads means that they’re easy enough to adjust.
It’s not a major issue in the grand scheme of things, and you can position the arm in almost all of the same positions as the Manfrotto Magic Arms; it’s just not as refined.
That refinement aside there’s no doubt that the PGYTech Magic Arm does its job and it does it phenomenally well. It’s easy to use and clamp, and that extra attention to detail throughout the design pays off.
At half the price of the Manfrotto Magic Arm, the PGYTech Magic Arm instantly appeals. The full metal construction and attention to detail set it apart from many other examples.
The large locking knobs make it easy to secure, and the rubber pads that interface with the PGYTech Handgrip Mount for the Ronin-S or tripod accessory port help keep the arm in position.
Once in place, the large clamp lever makes it easy to reposition and secure as needed.
As Magic Arms go, this one is well thought out, as ever the major issue with these devices is getting them to stay in place once fixed.
Here to a point, the large locking knobs do help to give you just enough purchase to torque the bolts in good and tight. Then you have the rubber pads on the end of the head that gives that extra level of grip.
Used with other manufacturers products and the arm grips better than the majority of its competitors and that’s all due to those large locking knobs.
If you need to attach accessories to your Ronin-S or support, then the PGYTech is a good cheaper alternative to the Manfrotto Magic Arm.