SmallRig Atomos monitor cage hands-on review

The SmallRig Atomos 7″ Monitor Cage is designed to fit the Atomos Ninja Flame, Shogun Flame, Shogun Inferno and Ninja Inferno perfectly.

The cage is one piece of aluminium alloy and is mounted to the Atomos monitor via the top and bottom 1/4″-20 taps. Very easy to install and fits like a glove. The cage itself comes in at 418 grams or just under 1lb. It’s relatively lightweight, but compared to the 1.4 lb / 0.6 kg weight of the Inferno it does add substantial weight. If you add on extra accessories as well it starts to get a little heavy.

The cage has a lot of options, with multiple 1/4″-20 and 3/8″ taps peppered throughout. You can go from a simple one piece cage to protect the recorder to a built-out director’s monitor with handles. SmallRig has a lot of pieces of kit you can add on to make the cage work the way you want. The basic $149 US kit includes:

Monitor cage

HDMI clamp

Sunhood

2 x 1/4″-20 screw

2 x M4 screw

2 x Hex spanner

SMALLRIG ATOMOS MONITOR CAGE: A BRIEF TOUR

The monitor cage comes with two built in coldshoe mounts on top which are compatible with most devices that use a cold- or hotshoe.

The SmallRig cage has dedicated ports on the top to attach the sunhood. It’s a little tight but once mounted it holds it in place. Just left of the sunhood port is another one for a neck strap when used as a director’s monitor.

The sunhood is very nice. It’s stiff and stays in place when mounted.

The cage has integrated NATO rails on all sides. This is convenient since you can quickly add different pieces, like handgrips, that attach securely with NATO clamps.

SmallRig has these that work very well. Here is the model.

15mm Rod Clamp (Parallel) 1254

15mm Rod 1049

Rubber Handle 1616

With these three pieces of kit you can turn the Atomos 7″ Monitor Cage into a handheld configuration.

For safety the cage has spring loaded pins on all for corners to prevent the NATO rail clamp from sliding off accidentally. This is a very good feature.

If you go with the rail and handles I would add a SmallRig M12 Threaded Rod Cap on the end as well.

This will prevent the rail from sliding off the clamp. Can never be too safe right?

Since the SSD on the Atomos Inferno doesn’t lock in SmallRig added a spring loaded safety pin design here as well to keep it in place.

The last piece of safety is the locking HDMI clamp. It has two spring loaded screws that gives the clamp some resistance for a nice tight fit. The added screws are great for doubling up on securing that HDMI cable or for cables with a very small base. The lock works for both HDMI ports.

On the back of the cage is a plate that can be used for adding different pieces of kit like a V-mount battery plate or other accessories. I have the V-Mount add on and tried a few different configurations. It’s nice to have options. I do wish a Gold Mount option was available but I fixed that with an adapter.

In this setup the Inferno is ready for handheld use. It’s much heavier with the added battery but the portability is very good and the handles can be adjusted to make it comfortable to use.

The Atomos Ninja Inferno is power hungry so adding a larger battery will get you much longer run times while not adding that much weight compared to two large Sony L batteries.

What makes it heavy is the hardware to attach it. It adds up. Again it’s all about customizing the cage for your needs.

Stripped down it works great on my GH5 rig. Yes it looks huge on such a small camera but it sure makes shooting a better experience if you’re on a tripod.

SMALLRIG ATOMOS MONITOR CAGE: FINAL THOUGHTS

I like this cage a lot. At $149 US it’s affordable, and the ability to customize is great. Having the option to go from mounting to a camera rig to going into a handheld directors monitor is easy and toolless with the integrated NATO rails that surround the cage. Everything is solid and feels secure. Need a long run time? The optional V-Lock battery plate is a good solution. All in all a good investment for your Ninja Flame, Shogun Flame, Shogun Inferno or Ninja Inferno.