Want to transform your Sony camera to a full fledged video set up?
When I first purchase the Sony A7r3, my intention was to use it as the workhorse for this website. It will be the camera I would use to capture images to be shared here. During the course of using it, I realized that this camera could be use for another function.
As they say, a photo tells a thousand words. A video on the other hand, will bring an experience to life. It is with this notion that I decided to invest and venture into video with the Sony A7r3.
In honesty, the videos made are a little too shaky for my liking. After all, I am just a novice videographer learning the ropes. I know I have to get extra equipment to do a proper video. To counter the shakiness , I could either invest in a stabilizer like the new Zhiyun Weebill lab or go for a SmallRig camera cage. I choose the latter for it's size and ease of use. A cage would make video work easier due to its handling and accessory mounting. It can turn your normal camera to a video powerhouse. Comparatively, it may not produce shake free videos like a stabilizer but it does make videos less Blair Witch like.
here are a few cage makers in the market. After extensive research , SmallRig stood out in terms of quality and flexibity. Small is a Chinese company that produces cages and accessories for various camera makes. The cages are reasonable in price and quality is top notch.
The SmallRig 2096 comes with 4 separate components for the set up. You could opt for individual purchase or purchase as a set. There are cost savings when it comes to getting it as a set.
The package contains the following:
1 X A7R III / A7 III Cage 2087
1 X NATO Rail 1409
1 X NATO Handle( Rubber) 2005
Product Dimensions: 145 x 186,5 x 157.5 mn
Net Weight: 482g
Material: Aluminium Alloy
The most important item in this setup is the SmallRig A7RIII Cage (2087). This is a one piece lightweight cage made of aluminium alloy.
The cage is a perfect fit for the Sony A7RIII. Secured to the camera with a single bolt, it does attached firmly to the camera. Do note you need your own screw to secure the camera.
The cage fit the profile of the Sony A7RIII, Although it increased the size by a little, you could still fit it into a camera bag with ease. Access to the dials and functions are not block by the cage.
The cage also has cutout for access to battery, SD cards and HDMI / USB slots. You can also add an ACRA plate at the base for quick connection to tripod.
In terms of weight, it only add a mere 270g to your camera setup. In addition, the cage comes with cold shoe on the top right for microphone, monitor or other accessories. It also comes with eyelets for shoulder straps and wrist straps . For those who has Peak design accessories, you would be please to know it fits the cage just fine. If you have heavier lens, there are also 2 lens adapter ports that fits the Lens Adapter Support 1764 to better balance the weigh. There are plenty of 1/4"-20 and 3/8 "-16 threaded holes to attached equipment on the cage.
The good thing about a cage is that it also acts as a protection to your camera. Having a cage makes me feel more at ease hanging this camera around my shoulder.
You can get the SmallRig 2087 at this link (SGD 125)
The NATO Handle 2005 is a great addition. It is used to hold your camera easier when handling low shots. It comes together with the NATO Rail 1409 that makes for easy clamping and removal.
Unlike other handles, it comes with a rubber grip that makes it comfortable to hold. Do note that you should get both the NATO Handle 2005 and NATO Rail 1409 in order to attach to the cage.
The SmallRig 2096 set comes with a SmallRig HDMI Lock 1679 , This clamp is for your HDMI cable. This is to protect your cables from being accidental dropping when connected to a monitor. An essential for the pro so you would not miss a shot. It is attached to the cage with 2 1/4"-20 screws. It comes with additional w M5 threaded holes to lock USB cable with screws.
As you probably figure out, getting the accessories separately cost SGD236 . Getting the Smallrig 2096 at a set cost only SGD 180 . It will be more worth it if you get it as a set
Extra Accessory : SmallRig NATO Side Handle 2187
I went ahead to purchase an additional handle for the rig. This is by far a great purchase. The SmallRig NATO side handle 2187 fits into the cage with a NATO Rail. It allows quick release without using tools. In addition, there is mounting holes and cold shoe on top of the handle for more accessories. You would need an additional NATO Rail to attach to the cage.
I got this because of the flexibility to change to left or right side. Compared to the wooden grip with Arri Rosette option, this is relatively cheaper and more flexible in use.
In addition to the accessories, I had also taken the liberty to match other existing accessories . For the budget videographer, the phone works well for me as an external monitor.
Add an external mic and I got a full fledge Video powerhouse on the go. You could choose to load your SmallRig, or keep it simple with the cage and handle for quick on the go videos. Either case, it is a must have accessory for those who intend to use your camera as a video rig.
SmallRig cage for Sony A7r3 turns out much better than I anticipated. Size wise, it does not add much more bulk to the camera. In fact with the cage, it is easier to hold the camera steady even for still shots. With the added potential of add on to turn the camera to a video powerhouse, it is a must get for videographers out there.