Joby recently premiered the Action Clamp and Locking Arm for the sports cam market. Designed for the GoPro, Contour, Sony and other micro action video cameras, the Action Clamp can be used for a variety of applications making it a versatile and useful tool for your kit.
The sliding arm on the base of the Action Clamp features a padded surface to securely mount on a multitude of surfaces. The clamp locks into place on the ribbed body with a few quick turns on the large tightening bold and one of the pads contains a trough for attaching to pipes, railings and/or other rounded surfaces.
Just above, the locking arm articulates on two ball joints, allowing you to position your camera in an abundance of positions. The Action Clamps comes with a removable GoPro mount, as well as a tripod 1/4″-20 screw mount for other action cams. We found the inclusion of the industry-standard 1/4″ screw to be a welcome addition when the need arises to mount lights, audio recorders and other lightweight accessories.
Although, JOBY showcases the Action Clamp mounted on a skateboard for visceral, low-angle action shots, our reviewers found that the unit had a tough time keeping this sort of vibration in check. The good news was that our reviewers never encountered an “unscheduled Action Clamp dismount,” however, during intense action, the vibration rendered extended action clips to be unwatchable. That said, some future filmmakers may find showing a vibration-inducing impact to be the tactile punchline to a particularly vigorous sequence. Whatever your application, it should be noted that the Action Clamp is not intended to absorb intense vibrations, so attaching it to a particularly “buzzy” ATV or motorcycle, in addition to the aforementioned skateboard, may yield undesired results. In that case, a chest, helmet or backpack mount may be a better solution.
What our reviewers loved about the Action Clamp was it’s ability to mount your action cam in places you’d never expect, facilitating creative camera angles and innovative compositions. In side a car wheel well? No problem. On a water-skiing barefoot boom? Easy. With it’s plastic and stainless steel construction, the Action Clamp can even take direct water hits without fanfare.
Finally, the Action Clamp makes for an excellent accessory mount. Our evaluators found it to be the perfect answer to mount a LED microlight and our Technology Editor feels that it’s the perfect solution to mount a lightweight field recorder to augment the GoPro Hero’s lackluster sound recording capability. Enhancing accessory applications, the articulating arm can be mounted on either end of the Clamp’s body. Nice!
The Action Clamp and Locking Arm combo is a great addition to the JOBY lineup and a great addition to the kit bag of any action camera filmmaker. Highly Recommended.
FutureFilmmaking Rating: 90%
The Joby Action Clamp and Locking Arm costs $39.95 and is available now.
The Future: We’d love to see JOBY come out with an articulating arm that has the ability to “telescope” into longer lengths. The 4″ arm (including ball joints) is a great start, but if JOBY could design an arm that could extend to 8″-12″ without increasing the starting length, it would be even more versatile. A tethering accessory should also be included for securing the Action Clamp around railings and other precarious scenarios where one major, unforeseen jolt could send the Action Clamp and camera on a path to destruction.