​SmallRig : 6 solutions for mounting your external screen

1.Introduction

2. SmallRig EVF Mount with NATO Rail 1903

3. SmallRig Monitor Mount with Arri Locating Pins 2174

4. SmallRig Cold Shoe to 1/4″ Threaded Adapter 761 with ball head

5. SmallRig Rod Clamp for Zhiyun Crane2-Crane v2 2119: for Gimbal

6.Conclusion

1 Introduction

1.1 Using an external screen with a Sony A7RIII

In this article I will review the various options SmallRig offers to mount “EVF” (Electronic View finder) on a Sony A7RIII and by EVF I mean mainly either an external recorder like the Atomos Ninja V or a external 5″ screen like the Feelworld Master MA5

When mounting a screen or an external recorder key importants points are

  • Ease of mount
  • Flexibility to orient the screen
  • Sturdiness of the whole set camera + screen
  • Weight and balance of the whole set
  • Possibility to add additional accessories like a microphone on your cage set

1.2 EVF mounting options

So what are the various items we will review

Those will be used together with some accessories

Those allow some extensions to be able to combine screen and microphone without any conflicts

We will use them mainly on the

1.3 Overview of the various systems

In the below video you will get a 360° view on each item mounted with an A7RIII + an Atomos Ninja V + a Rode video mic pro

We will review each item in detail in dedicated sections

1.4 SmallRig: Choice & quality

As usual with SmallRig , the choice is very large and the various cage, L grip, plate, accessories… can be combined to fit all your needs and dreams

Quality is very good with very well designed items , quality aluminium alloy and perfect measurement

1.5 Screens used

I have 2 external screens

  • Atomos Ninja V : which is an external recorded with a SSD disk of 512Go.Official specifications are 5″ screen , but in reality we are at 6,14″
  • Weight without battery : 435g
  • Can be fixed from top or bottom but not from the side
  • 1000 nits (very bright)
  • 151 x 91.5 x 31.5mm
  • Feelword Master MA5 : 5″ monitoring screen ,Very light = 142g
  • 450 nits
  • 136 x 75 x 25mm
  • Delivered with a L support but
  • Can also be fixed from bottom or right
  • Sunhood included
  • Transport case included

Both accept NP-F Sony compatible batteries or some Canon ones

  • NP-F550 : 90g
  • NP-F750 : 203g
  • NP-F970 : 285g

HDMI Cable : 30g

2 SmallRig EVF Mount with NATO Rail 1903

The SmallRig EVF mount with Nato Rail 1903 is maybe the most robust and advanced Screen support proposed by Smallrig

It's aim is to be fixed on a Top handle , itself fixed on a cage

The cage kit includes

The 1903 EVF mount give a great flexibility in term of distance vs the top handle , orientation of the screen

It is really sturdy when fixed, the screen is positioned with sufficient space from the cage to allow to fix a microphone on the cage without having it in conflict with the screen

This combinaison will be ideal when used for low height video carrying the camera by the top handle or on a tripod to have space between all elements

However it will be a little bit too big , heavy and unbalanced is it just hold the cage in your hands , in this case the SmallRig 2174 Monitor Mount with Arri Locating Pins, will be more appropriate

Below setup is : cage (270 + 38 + 183g) + support (263g) + Atomos (30 + 435 + 203g) = 1422g + the camera and lens

The microphone can not be fixed to the standard cold shoe on the cage that is on the right as it enter in conflict with the SmallRig 1903 EVF mount. I had therefore to use the  SmallRig Cold Shoe Extension 2044 to put the microphone on the left

If you mount the SmallRig 1903 with the Nato rail on the left instead of the right , this should free up the space and you can then use the cage cold shoe

The SmallRig 1903 without the Atomos recorder

3 SmallRig Monitor Mount with Arri Locating Pins 2174

The Smallrig 2174 monitor mount with Arri locating pins is both very small, light ans very sturdy

It is very versatile and can be combined with various cage or even L bracket as you will see below

3.1 With SmallRig 2087 cage for A7RIII

The Smallrig 2087 cage for A7III/A7RIII offers 2possible positions for ARRI accessories : central or left

Cage (270g) + support (70g) + Atomos (30g + 435 + 200g) = 1005g + SonyA7RIII +lens + microphone,

Cage (270g) + support (70g) + Feelworld MA5 (30g + 145 + 90g) = 605g (with smallest EV battery) + Sony A7RIII+ lens + microphone

On the left

Putting the EVF support on the left allow to fix easily a microphone on the right, but then the weight is a little bit unbalanced if you hold an accessories like an Atomos recorder with medium battery (665g) . If you mount the Feelworkd screen (265g) , the balance is right

If you fix it centrally you have a better balance but you can’t fix anymore directly the microphone you need to use some articulated arm or cold shoe extension to fix a microphone

3.2 SmallRig 2238 Arca QR Half Cage for Sony A7R III-A7 III-A7 II-A7R II-A7S II

The Smallrig 2238 Half cage for A7RIII (330g) is the very good comprise between ease of handling and expansion capabilities

  • It allow to fix sturdily many accessories thanks to 2 Arri places
  • 1 nato rail on the left
  • Numerous holes
  • 1 Arca Swiss plate is built in to easily remove the body from the cage and fix it directly on a tripod with Arca Swiss fixation
  • You don’t need to unmount the lens to slot the camera + lens into the cage (you need to do so for the full cage)
  • You can use the camera right grip

Like for the full cage , the  SmallRig monitor mount with Arri locating pins 2174 can be fixed centrally or on the left

3.3  SmallRig Left Side Grip for L-bracket 2218

The Smallrig 2218 left side grip is a complement to the  SmallRig L-bracket for A7RIII 2122 that I had tested here

If you don’t need to put a lot of accessories the Left side grip for the L-Bracket of A7RIII is a very good option

It adds a very nice and ergonomic grip on the left and you can hold your cameras with 2 hands without adding cage , wooden handle etc, so a very light option

The grip has a ARRI rosette mount so you can fix the ARRI EVF mount holder

With an Atomos Ninja V, the width is too large to allow to fix a mic on the camera hot shoe, you need to use the  SmallRig Double End Ball Head with Cold Shoe and Thumb Screw 1135, to put the mic a little bit on the right

If you use the Feelworld Master MA5 you can fix directly your ic on the hotshoe

Pay also attention that a rigid micro HDMI cable can not be plugged to the camera and get sufficient space in the hole of the left grip. I had to order a angled micro HDMI cable (90° left oriented) or 270 down oriented to get it through and fix the left grip

4 SmallRig Cold Shoe to 1/4″ Threaded Adapter 761

The  SmallRig Cold Shoe to 1/4″ Threaded Adapter 761, is very inexpensive (6 euros) and allow to easily fix on the flash hotshoe of your camera a screen or an external recorder

Sturdyness is there but the balance when using the external recorder and an intermediate battery like the NP-F750 was not ideal

For this setup I prefer to use the lightest battery NP-F550 (90g), even if I need to change the battery more often

No possibility to add a microphone here

  • Support (70g) + Atomos (30g + 435 + 90g) = 895g + A7RIII+ lens
  • Support (70g) + Atomos (30g + 145 + 90g) = 335g + A7RIII+ lens

5 SmallRig 2119 Rod Clamp for Zhiyun Crane2/Crane v2

The Smallrig 2119 Rod clamp is a very flexible plate for the Zhiyun Crane 2 that can be positioned at 4 different places

When using a external screen/ recorder with a gimbal it is best to fix this one to the gimbal and not to the camera, not to add an extra weight to compensate

When fixed in the intermediate position below the Crane controls you can fix the external screen on the left of the plate

The SmallRig double End Ball Head with cold shoe screw 1135 , that you can see on the picture above is a little bit short and just OK to support the Atomos Ninja V

The  SmallRig Articaliting Rosette Arm (7″) 1497 is definitely too weak for the weight of the Atomos, with the Feelword Master MA5 is is OK

However for best stability I think I will order the  SmallRig Magic Arm with double ballheads (Arri locating pins and 1/4″ screw) 2115

I also realized that my HDMI to micro HDMI cable of 30cm that was perfect for the cage was too short and rigid for the Gimbal. I will therefore order a 50 cm version

There are plenty of holes to fix additional accessory but I preferred to add an additional handle at the base of the Crane 2 to have a better stability and hold the gimbal with 2 hands

This additional handle allowed to add the microphone

I directly connected the mic to the input in the Atomos to avoid a 2nd cable to the camera

6 Conclusion

For each configuration (with top handle, with cage, with L bracket, with only the camera, with a Gimbal…) , Smallrig has the right EVF mount accessory that combine very good quality, usability & sturdiness

My preferred one is the SmallRig 2174 Ari locating pin for its versatility (can be used with Cage, half cage, L bracket) and it stays compact and light