The Best Sony A7s Cage of them All? – 6 Cages Reviewed

best-sony-a7s-cage

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LockCircle BirdCage A7

LockCircle is most famous for their LockPort that offers a very secure solution to permanently keep the HDMI port on many cameras locked. We reviewed their Lockport A7 and now they built a cage around it.

best-sony-a7s-cage

best-sony-a7s-cage

HDMI cable protector quality

a7s-doublegreenThe unique HDMI locking solution of the LockCircle BirdCage A7 definitely deserves a double-green light. It transforms the mini HDMI port of the Sony A7s into a standard HDMI port that seamlessly integrates with the cage. This is by far the most ergonomic and intelligent HDMI solution in a cage.

The HDMI port is absolutely locked and very convenient to use as instead of locking the HDMI cable itself, it simply provides a secure HDMI port. Also this is the only solution where the cable doesn’t stick out to the side of the cage, but to the back, which can be handy in some situations and makes the package more ergonomic.

best-sony-a7s-cage

Access to other outputs on the side

a7s-greenAll other ports on the side of the camera are easily accessible.

best-sony-a7s-cage

Ease of assembly and disassembly

a7s-orangeThis is where the BirdCage A7 falls short. Assembling and disassembling this one requires a bit of patience and skills with small parts. Also 2 different allen keys and 1 screwdriver is needed. This cage is clearly not made to be assembled or disassembled frequently.

On the positive side the cage feels a lot like a “skin” for the camera, so it’s usually not in the way and can hopefully be left “on” for good. But if you’re in a shoot and you have to take it off it can be a problem.

best-sony-a7s-cage

How securely is the camera attached to the cage?

a7s-doublegreenThe camera and cage are so jammed together it almost feels as though they merged. There is no way the camera can move in this cage. It’s an absolutely reliable solution, no parts are moving or bending. It sits perfectly.

best-sony-a7s-cage

Possible to use the Sony XLR-K2M audio module?

a7s-redUnfortunately this is the biggest downside of the BirdCage A7. The Sony XLR-K2M cannot be used, because the hotshoe is blocked by the cage.

Access to the lens release button

a7s-greenThere is nothing in the way.


Baseplate mount quality

a7s-greenThe base of this cage is just as nicely crafted as the rest. There is a 1/4″ and a 3/8″ thread and a large mounting surface.

best-sony-a7s-cage

Rod support quality

There is no rod support available with this cage.

Handle design

a7s-orangeThe handle of the BirdCage A7 is mounted with two titanium thumbscrews. Unfortunately when tightened by hand we found the handle gets loose easily. In order to lock it they have to be tightened with an allen key. But this is not the reason for the orange light. We’re missing coldshoes and an EVF rod mount.

Otherwise this is a rock solid handle that has many mounting points including 3/8″ threads.

best-sony-a7s-cage

Overall Ergonomics

a7s-greenAs mentioned before the BirdCage A7 feels like a second skin to the Sony A7s. It is quite perfect in its design and makes for a very ergonomic package.

It has the highest build quality out of all tested cages and there is attention to detail everywhere. One thing to notice: This cage is also a half-cage, meaning it will not protect the camera very well due to its open design. But this also means the CinEasy Touch mod (helps trigger the rec button) can be used with this cage.

The materials used for the cage design and the minimalistic construction make it by far the lightest cage out of all the cages we tested. The fact that it is at the same time the most tightly locked cage is impressive.

We had the A7 Metaplate that attaches to the Metabones Adapter and provided for an extra tight fit.

There are less mounting points than on other cages and we’re missing a coldshoe.

best-sony-a7s-cage

best-sony-a7s-cage

best-sony-a7s-cage

Conclusion

Dante Cecchin, the man behind LockCircle is taking the tradition of Italian design seriously: This is a flawless cage in terms of design and ergonomics and it is our favourite cage whenever the audio module is not needed.

It received 8 green lights and two orange ones, because there is no coldshoe and it is not made to be assembled or disassembled on the run. If you intend to leave your camera inside the cage and don’t use the audio module then this cage might be the one for you.

The Birdcage A7 is the most expensive of the cages we reviewed. The basic version is $329 but comes without the Metabones baseplate, without the handle and without the thicker top. We reviewed the Birdcage A7P Bundle with the Metaplate T Riser Low.

 

Price: $498

Please consider getting your gear through the link above. Thank you

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Links to each A7s Cage Review:

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Dan Buck Joyce
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I bought this cheap Small Rig one from eBay, added my Wooden Camera handle, works a treat http://pages.ebay.com/link/?nav=item.view&alt=web&id=252029583313&globalID=EBAY-GB

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