Do you work with a few different camera bodies and need a universal cage to fit them all? Perhaps you've upgraded camera bodies and your old Cages is no longer compatible with the new camera body? Or maybe you just have one of those camera bodies that don't third-party companies choose not to make dedicated cages for (i.e. Sony RX10MKII, Panasonic G7, etc.).
Situations like these are probably good reason to look at the new Varavon Zeus UNI C-Type Half Cage. It's designed to fit around most camera bodies giving you a proper Top Handle and dozens of mounting points for your EVFs, Monitors, Microphones, LED Lighting, etc. The video below offers a look at the Varavon Zeus UNI and a general idea how it works.
The Varavon Zeus UNI seems to be versatile enough to work with many different camera bodies, but there could be times when the cage blocks the top dials. This is mainly an issue with cameras that are very flat at the top. But with cameras that have slightly raised hotshoes (GH4, A7sII, Canon 5D, etc) this will provide additional clearance to access those top dials and menu buttons.
I believe most people would rather choose a custom designed form fitting Cage for their camera bodies. But if you can't seem to find one available for your unique camera model, this simple C-Type Half Cage could be a great option. For more information visit the Zeus UNI product page (here).
SHAPE Product Overview
Designed for the Alpha series from Sony: Sony A7SII, Sony A7R II and Sony A7 II.
The cage is designed to give easy access to the control buttons, the side outputs and the battery compartment; which is an important thing when you are shooting. You will not waste any time removing the camera from the cage to access the memory card or to change the battery. An important feature of this cage is the micro-HDMI cable protector lock on the side to secure the use of your HDMI 4K cable.
By leaving access open to the hot shoe on top of the camera, you can mount different accessories. This cage is compatible with the Sony XLR-K2M audio unit, so you can have great sound for your videos. To install it, simply turn the top handle towards the front of the cage.
Integrated in the cage, we designed a Metabones® adapter support bracket. When there is no Metabones® adapter, the ¼-20 screw is captive so you don’t have to remove it from the cage and simply slide the bracket from under the cage.
The SHAPE Cage is easy to assemble and disassemble; you don’t need to remove any parts of it when you want to install the camera, it’s easy and fast. The camera is fixed with a ¼-20 screw with the threaded hole under it, and the position is secured with the back and the sides of the cage so it will not move forward when equipped with a heavier lens.
In addition to having access to all camera controls, you also have easy access to the lens release button. The support between the lens and the camera grip is designed to anticipate a clearing for the fingers when the camera is handheld, for an ergonomic grip. The cage features several ¼-20 and 3/8-16 threaded holes for attachments and is made from CNC machined aluminium.
As with all our other products, we also included in the design our red push button technology with 360 degree rotation where you can make adjustments by one press of your thumb. The simplest way to adjust handle! When you release the button, the handle locks in place. It’s solid and durable. You can remove the top handle from the cage to reveal a hot shoe adapter for other accessory attachments.
We proudly make our products in Canada, and we offer a lifetime warranty on all CNC machined parts. Our products are solid and durable.
One thing to note is that this cage design blocks access to the Sony Multi-function hotshoe just in case you're working with the Sony XLR adapter (seen here). The Shark Cage comes with a Top Handle, 15mm Base, (2) 15mm Aluminum Rods, locks for HDMI and audio cables, and enough room to support various lens adapters.
The Varavon Zeus Cage is available with one handle (standard model), or two handles (premium model), and an extra handle can be purchased separately. Each handle has a modular design that allows it to rotate in 4 different directions, has two cold shoes built in, dozens of threaded mounting options, and incorporates a 15mm rod clamp.
The Zeus cage itself allows full access to all ports and doors and instead of dedicated HDMI or Audio cable locks, Varavon has designed a modular Cable Clamp that can be attached to any threaded mount on the cage or handles.
Well look at what has arrived today on my desk. The latest updated (again) version of the CAME-TV 7800 Gimbal.
These changes are so new that at the time of this writing, the images for the CAME-TV 7800 Gimbal have not yet been updated on their website. If you plan on ordering one, I would double check with them about these new parts being available, since it's not yet posted on their website.
The system I have here has received a much needed aesthetic and functional overhaul. Finally they have professional looking side handles (not fond of the old yellow foam ones). These side handles require no tools to remove, and they have also updated to a matching new Top Handle. The biggest change of course is the addition of tool-less adjustments for the rear Roll Bar and YAW Motor and a slightly modified QR baseplate.
Previously they had only tool-less adjustments on the Pitch, and making adjustments to the Roll and YAW was a tedious task - but not any longer. The system now comes with a semi-hard travel case with a Gimbal Stand. The 7800 has certainly stood the test of time to be one of the most affordable entry level gimbal systems, and it seems like it's just getting better.
The cage fits fairly snug around the camera body, wrapping around menu buttons for easy access, and is cut out to allow full articulation of the LCD screen, access to battery door, and media slot. For keeping the HDMI in place, there is a small bracket to pinch the the HDMI cable from being accidentally pulled off. A removable top handle and hand strap are also included in the kit.
Varavon is also offering optional accessories such as an external battery pack, and 15mm Rail Base that attaches under the cage. Available now for $270 and more information at the Varavon website (here).
Varavon Armor Cage for Panasonic GH3 / GH4 Cameras
When it comes to the #BMPCC, there's a few accessories you may want to add-on, and so a solid cage is a good starting point to carry these extras. Adding on a pair of 15mm rails will get you even further when it comes to mounting video accessories. I've shared a few BMPCC cages on this blog, but here's an actual look at the parts and assembly of the new Tilta BMPCC Cage [BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera Cage].
Tilta is well known for their build quality and finish in products, typically targeting high end camera models. This new Titla BMPCC Cage is no exception. Optionally the Tilta Cage can be purchased with a Top Handle and a set of Rails. The rails are mounted through a quick release system under the main cage, and you still have full access to all ports, battery, and sdxc card slot. An HDMI Lock is included to keep your cable in place and to prevent damage to your camera. [Note: using this lock can block access to your DC input]
The only things I've found to be of small concern is the low profile Top Handle that gets in the way of my RedRock Micro Live Lens adapter. I'm unable to attach or remove the RRM adapter when the Tilta Top handle is mounted. The silver-ish finish on the rails look great, but one pass and they are easily scratched up. This doesn't affect any functionality of course. Overall a solid product for mounting accessories to your BMPCC.
Here's a closer look at that universal Top Handle posted a few weeks ago. The handle fits perfectly on a BlackMagic Design Cinema Camera or attached to a variety of other systems. The original article and other comments about this product can be found (here), or can be purchased online through the link below (found here).
QR Top Handle for BlackMagic Design Cinema or 4K, RED Scarlet, EPIC, Cages