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

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Movcam a7RII / a7SII Cage Kit

We’ve tested the Movcam Cage for the original a7S and while we liked the overall simple design, we also found some major issues. The first cage was very hard to assemble and disassemble and it was the only cage where the camera was not securely locked in, unless the Metabones Adapter Mount was attached. Let’s see how the Movcam a7RII / a7SII Cage Kit works for us.

Ease of Assembly and Disassembly

a7s-orangeThe cage is much easier to assemble and disassemble than the original a7S cage, but you still have to loosen several screws in order to get the camera inside. Most other cages we reviewed can be mounted quicker and easier. If you detach the cage from your camera frequently this one might not be the ideal choice.

Also the screw that attaches the camera body to the cage can easily fall out and be lost when the cage is not in use. We wish it was locked into the base like we saw on some other cages.

How Securely is the Camera Attached to the Cage?

a7s-greenThe camera sits very tightly inside the cage and doesn’t move. Big improvement compared to the cage for the original a7S we tested earlier this year.

HDMI Cable Protector Design

a7s-greenJust like in the first version the HDMI cable protector on this cage is simple but works well. The HDMI cable is locked in place with a thumbscrew which is another improvement over the first cage where an allen key was needed.

Note: Just like on the Came-Tv Cage, some cables might not fit the width of the HDMI protector.

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Do we Have Access to Other Outputs on the Side?

a7s-greenThere is good access to the other ports on the side.

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

a7s-greenIt is possible to use the Sony XLR-K2M, but the handle cannot be used at the same time.

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Can we Easily Access the Lens Release Button?

a7s-greenYes, there’s nothing blocking access to the lens release button.


How Well Can we Attach a Tripod Plate?

a7s-redHere we’re having the same problem as with the first Movcam a7S cage. The design is identical. The base of the cage offers only a very small surface and there is only a single 1/4″ thread at the edge. This makes it hard to lock any tripod plate securely.

The base has a built-in dovetail plate that mounts to the optional riser accessory and will provide sufficient stability, but if you don’t have that accessory the problem mentioned above remains. It is not ideal that we have to buy an extra accessory to put our camera on a tripod properly.

On a side note, the base is so narrow that it makes the camera fall to the front when no lens is attached. This is not a big problem, but inconvenient.

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How Good is the Included Rod Support?

a7s-doublegreenThe rod support is very well machined and has the same design as Movcam’s first a7S cage. Just like the Came-Tv version it attaches to the cage via a quick lock and can be mounted on a dovetail plate, tightened via a wingscrew. Additionally it is possible to separate the camera including Metabones Mount from the rod support itself. This is a very very nice touch and can be extremely useful for people often working with a Metabones adapter and larger rigs for easy separation of the two elements of their rig. Double green.
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Metabones Mount Quality

a7s-greenThe Metabones Mount integration works very well due to the feature mentioned above. As a mount itself it is well executed as attaching the support is straight forward. The downside about this solution is that it requires tightening three separate screws. That makes the process long-winded and time-consuming. The Tilta solution is much more ergonomic.

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The Top-handle Design

a7s-greenThe top-handle is the same as version 1 as well. It offers an EVF mount at just the right height, several 1/4″ and 3/8″ mounting points and a coldshoe at the front. It is well made and sits securely. Unlike version 1, on this one the hex socket screws have been replaced with slotted head screws. That’s a good change as most other screws on the cage are also slotted, but unlike many of the other cages’ top-handles you still need a screw driver to remove the Movcam top-handle. It cannot be used when the Sony XLR-K2M audio module is on the camera.

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Overall Ergonomics

a7s-greenThe overall ergonomics of the cage have certainly been improved over version 1. Movcam have replaced all hex screws on the cage for slotted screws, including the screw at the base of the camera. That way you don’t need to carry a specific allen key with you for adjustments, as it is much more likely you’ll have a slotted driver on set.

Also the assembly speed has improved and the cage benefits from the many mounting points it offers all around. This cage will work well for people who intend to leave the cage on their camera and often use the Metabones adapter with bigger setups as well as the rod support Movcam provides.

We still don’t like that the cage is falling forward when no lens is attached to it. Any other cage will stand straight.

Cage weight without top-handle: 250g
Cage weight with top-handle: 430g

(without rod support)

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Conclusion

Though sharing a similar design to its predecessor, the Movcam a7RII / a7SII Cage Kit addresses the two main problems we had with version 1. The camera will not pivot sideways anymore and it is much easier to assemble and disassemble the cage.

Also in this review we took the rod support into account, which is very well made. The unique Metabones / Rod Support quicklock mechanism received a double green rating and should be incorporated on all a7S cages.

The small tripod mounting surface at the base is still a concern and some of the adjustments are still time-consuming which is why the cage only made it to rank #3 on our favourites list.

If you want a cage that stays on the camera for good and you’re used to working with larger setups and use the rod support often, then this cage may be the right one for you as you will rarely have to adjust anything. The cage is clearly made with the professional cinematographer in mind, and not the run-and-gun shooter. For us the ergonomics for quick adjustments are still a key element about filming with mirrorless cameras and this is where this cage falls behind.

Price: $437

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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