MC Tested: Ram Mounts Camera Mount

An excellent camera mounting system, but mostly for smaller cameras.

Ram Mounts Camera mount two arm extensions
With two sections on the Ram Mounts camera mount, there was too much movement to feel secure with the camera mounted.Photo: Julia LaPalme

If you’ve ever needed to mount something to your vehicle, Ram Mounts makes a variety of mounting hardware to hold everything from an [iphone][] to fishing pole, laptop, and cameras. Their wide variety of components can be used in a car, on a bicycle, motorcycle, ATV, boat, plane, or performance stage. Their products reach far and wide through many industries.

Ram Mounts claims on their website that they have mounting gear for cameras from GoPro size to DSLR size, so I decided to test their claim. Having worked with camera rigs for vehicles in my past job, I wanted to see if I could put together a viable solution for shooting selfie-style or bike-to-bike photos with a full size DSLR camera. Admittedly, this was an ambitious goal, but I was curious to see if I could put together something that would work.

For this purpose, I ordered a Large Tough Claw with 1” diameter ball, a Medium Double Socket Arm and Long Double Socket Arm, and 2.5” Round Base with a 1” diameter ball and ¼-20 stud to thread directly into the base of the camera. Each component connects to its adjacent component by a 1” ball joint, which is clamped down on by each arm, tightened by a knob. The large claw is big enough to grab ahold of things like motorcycle fork legs, which are too large for the smaller claw that’s used elsewhere among the staff for GoPro setups.

Ram Mounts camera mount pieces
The Ram Mounts pieces I ordered for this set up included a long arm section with ball mounts, short arm section with ball mounts, large claw, and 2.5" base plate.Photo: Julia LaPalme

Once the components arrived, I pieced them all together, and the setup looked promising, though I was surprised how soft and squishy the ball joints were. It’s great that they have some give, which allow me to really crank down on the knob of each extension arm tightly onto each ball joint. I also understand the squishiness of the ball joints are designed to absorb vibrations, which helps keep cameras from being impacted by those vibrations, doing damage to lens elements or causing blurry images or warbled video clips.

When I threaded the ¼-20 stud into my DSLR, and clamped the Ram Mount onto the fork leg of one of our fleet bikes, I could tell this was a precarious setup. There is just far too much movement to rely solely on this singular articulating arm setup to support a full size DSLR, with all its weight.

Ram Mounts Large Tough Claw
The Ram Mounts Large Tough Claw has a large enough grip to grab the fork leg of a motorcycle.Photo: Julia LaPalme

I decided to remove one of the arm elements, and just stick with the shorter one of the two to test that out. The downside is: the shorter the arm, the less likely I am to get any selfie-style photos of anything other than a handlebar, tank, and pilot of the bike. I was hoping to see more of the bike, but that will require a different solution. The single arm setup is certainly more stable. But the amount of give in each ball, even with the knob clamped down as hard as I could get it, allowed too much movement with my DSLR attached to get a sharp photo, let alone be safe for the camera. My conclusion for this is, the Ram Mounts camera mount didn’t work the way I was hoping it would, but with the understanding that I was asking a lot of this setup, given my camera with a medium lens weighs about 3.6 lbs. This setup would work great for a smaller camera, like a GoPro, or a small mirrorless camera. But I will need a secondary arm or a couple cinch straps to help stabilize this setup for a full size DSLR.

Ram Mounts Camera Mount short arm
With just the shorter arm segment, the rig was more stable, but still gave too much movement from the soft rubber ball joints.Photo: Julia LaPalme

The Large Tough Claw with 1” diameter rubber ball ($48.49), Medium Double Socket Arm and Large Double Socket Arm ($46.99), and 2.5” Round Base ($11.49) add up to $106.97. That’s not terribly expensive in the world of (professional and semi-professional) camera mounts. For a full size DSLR I would just stick with the Large Tough Claw and shortest double socket arm with the 2.5” Round Base to provide the most stable setup for that large of a camera. Otherwise, with the longer, multiple arms, this setup is better suited for a GoPro or small mirrorless camera. Ram Mount carries a variety of components for camera mounts, including a dedicated connector for GoPro’s cases. Check out their website, rammount.com, to see the plethora of options to choose from to build your own setup, and let us know what you come up with. We’d love to hear what works and what hasn’t worked for you!

Ram Mounts Camera Mount
PRICE: $107
CONTACT: rammount.com
MC GRADE: B-
Verdict: Great versatility in available components, but not ideal for DSLR cameras. Better suited for smaller mirrorless cameras or a GoPro.

Ram Mounts camera mount vertical
The most stable way to use the arm mount set up was to position the arm vertically, even with the shortest segment.Photo: Julia LaPalme