The Best Sony a7S II Cage / a7R II Cage – 8 Cages Reviewed

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Came-Tv Rig for a7SII / a7RII

Came-Tv is mostly known for their competitive brushless gimbal stabilizers. Their gear is affordable and some of the gimbals are pretty advanced by now. We especially like the new Came Single they introduced at IBC 2015.

The Came-Tv Rig for a7SII optionally comes with side handles and / or a rod support. We are reviewing the deluxe edition of the cage, that includes all parts as seen below.

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Ease of Assembly and Disassembly

a7s-greenIt is very easy to assemble and disassemble the Came-Tv a7S II Cage. Basically you tighten the single slotted screw at the base of the cage. On the downside the screw can easily fall out and be lost when the cage is not in use.

Note: Before you attach the camera make sure you open the side doors. Once the camera is inside the Came-Tv Cage the side doors are blocked.

How Securely is the Camera Attached to the Cage?

a7s-greenThe camera is very securely locked to the Came-Tv Rig for a7S II and is not moving.

HDMI Cable Protector Design

a7s-greenThe HDMI Cable Protector’s design on the Came-Tv a7S II Cage reminds us of the first Movcam Cage for a7S. There is a narrow slot where only  thin HDMI cables will fit. We managed to get our cable in with force. A direct adapter from micro to normal HDMI will not fit.

The good thing about this solution is that the HDMI cable sits on the cage very securely. The not so good thing is that this makes it harder to get the camera in and out of the cage which can be a concern for people who need to uncage their cameras often and quickly.

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Do we Have Access to Other Outputs on the Side?

a7s-orangeAccess to the mic input and headphone output on the side of the camera is possible, unless you intend to use the side handles, as the NATO rail used to attach the handle will either block the mic input or the headphone output. There is no way to get access to both ports while the rail is attached. If you don’t intend to use the side handles, consider this point as getting a green light as well.

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Is it Possible to use the Sony XLR-K2M Audio Module?

a7s-greenYes, this cage can be used with the Sony XLR-K2M audio module as there is sufficient space above and around the camera’s hotshoe. However you can not use the top-handle at the same time.

Can we Easily Access the Lens Release Button?

a7s-greenYes, the lens-release button is freely accessible.


How Well Can we Attach a Tripod Plate?

a7s-greenThere is an optional rod support solution provided with the Came-Tv Cage, but many users will want to use their own tripod plates directly on the cage itself. The cage features a small quick release plate. It provides only a small surface and a single 1/4″ thread to attach a tripod plate. Alternatively it is possible to take off the quickrelease plate and mount a tripod plate on the cage directly for a stronger fit.

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How Good is the Included Rod Support?

a7s-greenThe Came-Tv Cage comes with an optional rod support that also includes a Metabones mount and has a quick release system on top and bottom, just like most other a7S II rod supports nowadays.

The support sets your lens at the correct height to attach an industry standard Mattebox on 15mm rails. A single wingscrew on the side locks both rails in place. This screw needs a bit more force to actually lock both rails. Also it can get in the way of a second wingscrew that lets you lock the rod support on a dovetail plate.

best-a7s-ii-cage-007Metabones Mount Quality

a7s-doubleredThe Metabones Mount is part of the optional rod support. Unfortunately this didn’t work so well for us. In theory the way it’s designed the mount should work fine, but the small rod that attaches to the mount base didn’t fit the rail it sits in and got stuck. We had to fight it in with the help of a Leatherman. Eventually we couldn’t get it fully into the Metabones base. This seems like a machining flaw. Hopefully this point will be improved by Came-Tv soon.

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The Top-handle Design

a7s-greenThe Came-Tv Cage’s top-handle has a wooden finish that feels comfortable and warm on the hand. Unfortunately there are no mounting points on the sides, but then again we rarely need those. On top there are 3x 1/4″ and 2x 3/8″ threads as well as a coldshoe on the front.

On the side of the top-handle there is a 15mm rod mount that lets you install an EVF. It sits at a very good position, but as it is part of the top-handle, this also means that you cannot use an EVF and the Sony XLR-K2M at the same time.

It is very easy to mount and unmount the top-handle due to the two thumbscrews that are also locked to the handle-itself and cannot fall out. A nice touch. The top-handle is reversible with a single allen screw on top.

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Overall Ergonomics

a7s-greenOverall the Came-Tv version of an a7S II / a7R II cage works absolutely fine and there is not much to critisize. It is simple and effective, easy to attach to your camera and lightweight. We’re missing more mounting points though. There are only a few 1/4″ threads on the top of the cage and a coldshoe on the right-hand side. If you want to be flexible in terms of attaching your gear this cage might not be ideal for you.

In terms of quality the Came-Tv cage is good. We mentioned the issue with the Metabones Mount which is not so good. One thing we are missing though: There are no safety pins on the NATO rails for the handles. If this gets loose you might drop your camera. Just like on the Varavon cage there’s room for improvement here.

Cage weight without top-handle: 233g
Cage weight with top-handle: 398g

(without rod support and side handles)

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Conclusion

The Came-Tv Rig for a7S II / a7R II convinced us as a good overall solution. Using the optional side handles is not our favourite shooting style as we want to control the lens and camera while shooting. You can always get the cage with or without these handles.

If Came-Tv can fix the issue with the Metabones Mount, then this cage is a good solution for those who don’t want to spend too much money, yet need a Metabones Mount and Rod Support on their cage. Among all of the 7 cages the Came-Tv Rig for a7S II / a7R II is our #4 and still makes it on the list of our favourite cages for the Sony a7S II.

Price: $368

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

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Links to each Cage Review:

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Williams Antonio Lamattina
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Nino Leitner
Guest

No – we asked several times but didn’t receive a review unit.

Williams Antonio Lamattina
Guest

Nino Leitner I could not know.I hope you will try it as soon as possible ;)

Nino Leitner
Guest

it’s mentioned in the review – yes we will make a second run if enough additional cages show up

cinema5D
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No, we didn’t receive it in time despite asking for it. Might include it in a second run with additional cages.

Williams Antonio Lamattina
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cinema5D Thanks for the answer ;)

Anand Vyas
Guest

Lockcircle is a small company but its the best cage

Carlos Chiossone
Guest
Carlos Chiossone

As for your HDMI cable support. I love the idea that i can use the support that comes with the camera, main reason, i can move the camera out of the cage onto the MOVI or drone easily and don’t have to deal with reattaching a cable support.
Wish could mount rods with better support.

Ollie Kenchington
Member

I’ve been using the Smallrig cage with my A7rii and I’ve been pretty pleased with it. I use a 3″ z-rail and Zacuto recoil handle on top and a kessler mini plate on the bottom. It’s a no frills option but only cost me £40.

Randy Panado
Guest
Randy Panado

I use this one too. Great cage for the money!! The new HDMI port protector is great as well. After reading the review, I think small rig would do very well in the round up. Only thing is no metabones mount (that I’m aware of).

 Matt Eldridge
Member

On the cage’s only Amazon review, it mentions that the Mode Dial is difficult to turn on the SmallRig Cage. Have you guys had similar experiences? Or is it all good?

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