I recently became a big fan of camera cages, so today I would like to share my experiences with another SmallRig cage kit, this time for Sony A7 III or A7R III. This is the cage kit reference 2096 and we will also take a look at some other accessories.
Just like all other SmallRig products that I have used so far, this cage is very well made, the material is aluminum alloy, the weight of this cage is 270 grams, the frame is also quite thick, which enables you to use long screws to securely mount accessories onto the cage, except for the grip side of the cage, where the frame is thinner for more comfortable grip. The CNC machining is very precise, the edges are nicely rounded, the coating on these cages is very durable as well, so overall, the build quality and finishing on this cage is on very high level.
Mounting the camera into the cage is very straight forward, you just need to secure it using the 1/4-inch thread on the bottom of your camera and you also need to push it forward to prevent it from twisting. All of the buttons on the camera are perfectly accessible, including the buttons and dials the top of the camera, since there is enough clearance. The SD card compartment is fully accessible, the battery compartment is accessible as well and the same is true about all of the ports on the left side of the camera, including the HDMI port, USB ports and microphone in and out ports. Besides that the case lets you mount accessories, it also provides protection for camera, which may come very handy.
The quarter inch and 3/8-inch threads are everywhere on this cage, which provides you endless options for mounting whether you want onto the cage. On the top you also have two mounts with ARRI locating pins. The cold shoe mount is located on the right side of the cage. Since there is enough space between the control elements and the case construction, the microphone won’t be blocking anything. If this positioning is not suitable for you, you can mount cold shoe adapter anywhere on the cage, or you can even use cold shoe extension.
The strap mounts are also placed in three corners of the cage, so the strap mounting options are excellent and these will make carrying of the cage much more comfortable. One very important detail is the groove the grip side of the cage, because this makes holding the camera by the grip while the cage is attached much easier, so you can hold the whole setup quite comfortably even without extra handle.
This particular cage is made for maximal flexibility and it provides you with as many mounting options as possible, so there aren’t functional elements like NATO rails or ARCA Swiss rails. This cage is meant to be built up, so if you use Manfrotto plates for example, you can just attach those, or any other plates.
In 2096 package, the handle is included as well, it is rubberized handle with NATO quick release mount and additional threads and also another cold shoe mount. The grip on this handle is great, it attaches to the cage using the NATO rail which is included in this kit as well and it can be mounter wherever you want. I have also ordered one extra rail, if I don’t use the HDMI clamp, I have it mounted in its place, and I use that one for mounting the handle on the left side, which gives me great control of the camera and it makes me able to easily get super smooth footage, so for filmmaking this is my most favorite option and it will also significantly decrease the number of situations where I need to use the gimbal.
Alternative to this handle is handle 1955. I have talked about that one in my review of the cage for Sony A6500, and I will also use that handle to mount Atomos Ninja V once it is available.
HDMI clamp is also included in this package, I like that it is mounted inside of the cage, Sony A7 III unfortunately only has micro HDMI cable, which unplugs very easily, so having it securely mounted to the camera using the HDMI clamp is definitely very useful. I also really like that you can loosen the clamp without using any tools.
Overall, this accessory kit is very well made, the finishing is on very high level, it gives you a ton options for mounting whatever want to, it definitely enhances the capabilities of your A7 III or A7R III, there is also added protection, so overall, I like this cage a lot and I will continue building this rig in upcoming weeks.