We caught up with TILTA at NAB to check out some of their new products. Here is the very interesting TILTA Red Dragon Weapon Cage, adding remote control and a plethora of cable-less power and display ports to the camera. Third party cages are usually pretty formulaic nowadays. Most do a great job in adding stability and connection points to your camera; some even add additional start/stop functionality. All come at a cost of weight, size and in some cases additional cables. This TILTA cage is something different. Boasting the form of almost a second skin to the RED Dragon Weapon, you can barely see where the camera ends and the cage begins. This is the advanced version; it’s presented in the above video with a rear in/out module, top in/out plate, top handle, side panel and baseplate. The rear in/out module provides the majority of peripherals: dual XLR with phantom power, DC in, HDMI, headphone out, Genlock, Trigger to name a few. Not to mention throughput power for your battery, presented here with a V-lock plate. The side panel communicates directly with TILTA’s wireless follow focus module, meaning you can control the camera completely wirelessly without the need for an additional transmitter. The top handle provides X3 14.8v lemo power outputs that can be re-assigned to the front, rear and side of the handle; it also has an array of 1/4″ threads (Arri-style where each thread has 4 lug holes for single thread stability) as well as dual forward-facing rod receivers and one 19mm single side-facing rod receiver. The top plate is also covered with outputs. A further 7, 2 & 3 pin Lemo 14.8v power outputs as well as D-tap and 3x SDI outputs (from a single source) to give you an array of options for powering and displaying multiple monitors and accessories like FIZ motors. Finally, the offset arm serves to relocate the RED DSMC2 LCD. This, like all parts of the system is cable-less and allows the native screen to operate without getting in the way of the top handle. Whilst great credit should go to TILTA for making such a pretty-looking streamline cage, the biggest merit should go to RED for their modular and expandable DSMC2 system. DSMC2 (Digital Stills Motion Camera) is REDs new modular system that benefits from a host of contact points on their three new bodies (Weapon, Scarlet-W and Raven). It’s this system that the TILTA cage taps into, allowing for this cable-less, skin-like design. TILTA has done a fantastic job of turning this technology into a working system, but the foundations of the design must be applauded and we can only expect more third party companies to get on board with the protocol. TILTA are trying to push production to get units shipping out as early as May, but pricing has still not been announced.Read more
Redrock Micro are renowned for being a very innovative manufacturer of gear. Well, they proved their status again last year with this very interesting looking device, known as the “Scout” active camera cage. Now it’s finally shipping. The idea is to include everything that is needed for manual focus control into a small and lightweight handheld camera cage. The result looks really promising. There are two versions available, the Scout HS and the Scout HX. The main difference between both models is the lack of the built-in microRemote base station in the HS version. If you already own such a base station and a respective torque motor, this is for you. The HX version is the far more sophisticated one, as the base station is already included (built-in) as well as a torque motor. All you need is your camera to be ready to go out and shoot. The built-in fingerwheel communicates directly with the torque motor attached to the rig. So you can use both hands to comfortably hold your camera while maintaining the ability to nail the focus. With the microRemote base station built-in, you can let your AC pull focus with the microRemote Handheld Controller. The cage can accommodate a wide range of mirrorless and DSLR cameras ranging from 91mm to 125mm tall and the camera can slide left to right in order to keep perfect balance. With the optional rail clamp, it’s easy to swap the whole rig from handheld to studio or shoulder mount. A neat feature for that is the external fingerwheel port which allows you to switch from the built-in fingerwheel to a remote one really quickly. When using a DJI Ronin gimbal, you can pop the Scout right on, no adapters needed. The unit itself is powered with a standard Canon LP-E6 battery. The active camera cage gives you one additional cold-show mount for accessories while the other one is used to accommodate the 4″ Rhino Mount for the torque motor. The built-in base station is capable of calibrating both cine lenses with hard stops and photo lenses without these hard stops. Watch this video for an idea of how easy it is to set everything up. Please make sure to switch off the audio, it’s pretty nerve-wracking! Pricing and comparison Pricing is $595 for the HS version and $2,199 for the HX version for the intro period. After that, the regular pricing will be $200 more for the HS and $300 more for the HX version. It’s nice to see how Redrock Micro listens to their customers and have a good sense of what might be useful in the field. The fact that they have used this feedback to improve their active camera cage range is much appreciated. For additional information, please check this quick start guide by Redrock Micro.Read more
The new Sony a7S II and Sony a7R II are currently leading the list of most powerful affordable large sensor cameras (Check out our comparison Review). To make those cameras work with third party accessories, a good camera cage is often a must. Read on to find the best Sony a7S II Cage (and a7R II Cage) out of 8 we tested. Review by Sebastian Wöber & Johnnie Behiri In August we reviewed the best cages for the original Sony a7S and now we take a look at cages for the new a7S II and a7R II cameras that share an identical body design. There are more cages out there that we didn’t test. Here we’re reviewing the ones that manufacturers sent to us in time to meet our publication deadline. We followed the same basic review guidelines of our first test, but also took reader comments into account. In particular Metabones adapter support was one review point that some of you were more interested in. We tried to keep it short, but this review is extensive. That’s why we split the reviews for each single cage into a separate page. Do you Need a Cage? In the age of small cinema cameras the camera cage has become the most popular accessory by now. But it is not always a good idea to follow the trend. First here’s a checklist to see if you really need a cage for your application. Mounting accessories on your camera? Cages provide mounting points (standard threads and coldshoes) so you can mount stuff. This is the main purpose of a camera cage, as the Sony a7 cameras by themselves don’t provide any other mouting points, besides one single hotshoe on top. Protection and Ergonomics. Cages protect the camera and can enhance the ergonomics, by offering a more handy form-factor or handle rec-triggers. On the other hand they add weight and some of thembulkyness. So if lightweight and compactness is your #1 concern, think again. HDMI cable protection. The original Sony a7S offered external 4K recording. As the new a7S II and a7R II have internal 4K, HDMI protection is less of a necessity. However if you intend to use HDMI for external screens, EVF or recording, then a cage that protects the HDMI port is essential. Lens Mount Support. If you use larger lenses or rigs with focusing gears, a solid lensport is a good idea. Sony’s native E-Mount is not the most sturdy of mounts and many shooters work with a Metabones adapter to use Canon EF mount lenses on the a7S II and a7R II. Why this Cage Comparison? Because there are huge quality differences between cages and you will not be happy with just any of them. Most of them actually are not recommended. Don’t just order a Sony a7S II cage blindly. You should weigh all the pro’s & con’s of the cages we present, so you can decide which of them will tick most or all your boxes. In our conclusion we will tell you which one we liked best, which ones we recommend and which need improvement. Structure of Each Review: Ease of assembly and disassembly. How securely is the camera attached to the cage? HDMI cable protector design. Do we have access to other outputs on the side? Is it possible to use the Sony XLR-K2M audio module? Can we easily access the lens release button? How well can we attach a tripod plate? How good is the included Rod Support? Metabones Mount Quality. The top-handle design. Overall ergonomics. Conclusion How We Rate We rated each point as follows: Double-green: In some rare cases we decided to give a double-green rating for outstanding performance/design. Green: The product performs as it should. Orange: There are some issues, but it’s ok. Red: The product didn’t live up to our expectations. Double-Red: Something is wrong here and should be addressed by the manufacturer. The Cages we Reviewed Simply click on the name of the product to get to the review page or find the conclusion at the end of this article. Products reviewed in alphabetical order. 8Sinn a7RII / a7SII Cage Came-Tv Rig for a7SII / a7RII Movcam a7RII / a7SII Cage Kit Moza Cage for Mirrorless Cameras Shape Sony a7S II / a7R II Cage Skier LiteCage for A7RII / A7SII Tilta for Sony a7 Cage ES-T17 Varavon Cage for a7R II, a7S II GO TO PAGE 2 → Links to each Cage Review: Page 1: Introduction Page 2: 8Sinn a7RII / a7SII Cage Page 3: Came-Tv Rig for a7SII / a7RII Page 4: Movcam a7RII / a7SII Cage Kit Page 5: Moza Cage for Mirrorless Cameras Page 6: Shape Sony a7S II / a7R II Cage Page 7: Skier LiteCage for A7RII / A7SII Page 8: Tilta for Sony a7 Cage ES-T17 Page 9: Varavon Cage for a7R II, a7S II Page 10: WinnerRead more
[UPDATE]: Check out our extensive Sony a7S II / a7R II Cage Review At IBC 2015 we saw a lot of camera cages made specifically for the Sony A7R II and Sony A7S II. The Varavon Zeus caught our eye with its very modular design, snug fit and cable clamp options. If you’re looking for a Sony A7S II cage you’ll soon have a lot of choice. Many manufacturers are designing Sony A7R II and Sony A7S II cages. At cinema5D we recently looked at the best cages for the Sony A7S and Varavon’s Armor II a7S Cage was our favourite. We’ll soon undertake a similar comparison for A7S II cages. For now the Varavon Zeus looks like a great option. It is very modular, felt very robust yet lightweight and the new cable clamp system looks promising as well. The Varavon Zeus is available for pre-order for $312 or $367 with a second handle at HERERead more
LOKI is a pocket-sized multi-purpose rig that transforms into a Shoulder Rig, Cage, Underslung Rig and Dolly. UK based creators Scratch Ideas are hosting a Kickstarter campaign to get the project off the ground. The base unit of LOKI folds down to a size similar to that of a DSLR battery grip; this is grounds to make up the majority of the LOKI shoulder rig & underslung rig and with a couple more components you can build the cage and 4-wheeled dolly. LOKI as a shoulder rig has a 20kg weight limit, and all joints are made from aluminium rosettes for ease of adjustment: “We included serrated steel locking plates on all the joints to offer loads of articulation, but more importantly, to ensure that once your rig is set-up, it will not move or slip. “ The shoulder rig module offers two 15mm rods for standard accessories and the cage offers an array of additional 1/4 20″ threads for further mounting. The dolly configuration requires two wheeled axles and takes advantage of LOKIs quick release rosette system. Here’s a look at all the available components and pricing for the LOKI: Personally, I’ve never been a huge fan of an all-in-one rig; they often fall short in most departments as a subsequent of attempting to do everything. Stability is always on my mind with these kind of things, especially with something that folds so small; a 20kg payload is re-assuring however. Having said that, LOKI will no doubt appeal to a certain kind of filmmaker; one that packs very light and perhaps more budget conscious. The latter is perhaps surprising as the LOKI isn’t exactly cheap on first review, however when considering the costs of each individual configuration the cost starts to make sense. Check out the Kickstarter campaign here.Read more
If there is one thing that filmmakers need on top of a great camera and lens, then it is great camera accessories. The first step is a camera cage. Especially a photo-style camera-body like the famous Sony A7s deserves an appropriate housing to become a perfect tool. But what is the best Sony A7s cage? We reviewed 6 A7s cages and will fill you in on the good, the bad and the ugly. Review by Johnnie Behiri & Sebastian Wöber Why a camera cage? In the age of small cinema cameras the camera cage has become the most popular accessory by now. Matteboxes, handheld rigs, follow focus units, it’s all passé. Now the camera cage is what’s trendy and there are several good reasons why it’s the first thing to get: Cages provide mounting points (standard threads and coldshoes) so you can mount accessories They securely lock the micro-HDMI cable in place when you use the HDMI feed (for external 4K recording) They protect the camera They usually come with a handle, so it’s easier to carry your rig They make you feel more professional :) Why this A7s cage comparison? Because not every cage is equally useful. Actually the differences between cages and their functionality is huge. We wanted to know what the best Sony A7s cage is for our own work and we wanted to let our readers in on the pro’s & con’s of all the cages. So now there will be no reason to order a Sony A7s cage blindly. Here are the best cages for the A7s reviewed. The way we did it The cinema5D team (Johnnie, Nino and Seb) worked with all the cages (a few each) over the course of several months. At the end we sat together and went through all the cages, made remarks, tried them again and rated each aspect that we found important according to our experiences with them. The aspects we rate: HDMI cable protector quality Access to other outputs on the side Ease of assembly and disassembly How securely is the camera attached to the cage? Possible to use the Sony XLR-K2M audio module? Access to the lens release button Baseplate mount quality Rod support quality Handle design Overall ergonomics Conclusion The ratings we give: This is pretty straight forward. Basically we used the traffic-lights system and gave a rating to each aspect. Double-green: In some rare cases we decided to give a double-green rating for outstanding performance. Green: The product performs as it should. Orange: There are some issues, but it’s ok. Red: The product didn’t live up to our expectations. Double-Red: Something is wrong here and should be addressed by the manufacturer. The cages we reviewed Simply click on the name of the product to get to the review page or find the conclusion at the end of this article. Products reviewed in alphabetical order. IndiPRO Tools Thor a7S Cage LockCircle BirdCage A7 Movcam Cage for Sony a7S Motionnine CubeCage for Sony a7S Skier LiteCage for A7 Varavon Armor II a7S Cage GO TO PAGE 2 → Links to each A7s Cage Review: Page 1: Introduction Page 2: IndiPRO Tools Thor a7S Cage Page 3: LockCircle BirdCage A7 Page 4: Movcam Cage for Sony a7S Page 5: Motionnine CubeCage for Sony a7S Page 6: Skier LiteCage for A7 Page 7: Varavon Armor II a7S Cage Page 8: WinnersRead more
Wooden Camera announced several new products, one of which is a new Director’s Monitor Cage. A new Recorder Slide and a nifty Sony Cable Protector that fits the Sony F55 and F5 camera with, or without top plate is also among the list of new releases. The new Director’s cage allows any LCD to be attached (see list below). Foam grips on the side allow secure and comfortable holding and a battery mounting bracket for attachment of V-Mount or Gold Mount plates is also included. There are also offset adapters which will allow you to attach the Monitor Cage to C-Stands via a baby pin (not included). The Director’s Monitor Cage works with the following monitors: SmallHD DP4, DP6, AC7 TVLogic VFM-056W/WP, VFM-058W Ikan D5, VK7i, VH8, VL5, VX9e Odyssey 7, 7Q Atomos Samurai, Ninja, Shogun And many more according to Wooden Camera Click here to see all the screws and accessories included as well. The new Recorder Slide allows for attaching the power plate on one side and an on-board recorder on the other. Hole patterns are available for the following: Ki Pro Hyperdeck, Codex Odyssey 7Q, pix240 V-Mount and Gold Mount Audio wireless receiver boxes 1/4-20 threaded and pass through holes Another cool gadget to take the edge off all your cable headaches is the Sony F55 and F5 Cable Protector. It can attach directly to the camera while the original Sony handle is installed by using the 1/4-20 hole and M2.6 tape hook hole making it extremely secure. Wooden Camera are showcasing all their new products at IBC this weekend. Current pricing for the Director’s Monitor Cage is $299, the Recorder Slide $399 and the Cable Protector $95.Read more
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