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Video review: Movcam cage for Sony a7S – the best yet?

By site editor Dan Chung:

Movcam are well known for making high quality cages and rigs for DSLRs and cinema cameras. I’ve used their Sony FS700 and F5 setups for some time now and found them to be extremely durable and much better made than most.

The Movcam a7S cage integrates perfectly with Sony's XLR-K1M audio pack
The Movcam a7S cage integrates perfectly with Sony’s XLR-K1M audio pack

I was excited to receive a pre-production version of their new Sony a7S cage for testing. It seems very nicely made but more importantly Movcam have really thought about how the cage will be used by shooters. Instead of an overly bulky or unwieldy design they have created a very close fitting cage that still gives good access to all the necessary controls. The have left the a7S hotshoe exposed so that the Sony XLR-K1M XLR audio pack or other accessories can be mounted – pure genius.

The Movcam a7S cage with Red Pro Prime PL lens attached
The Movcam a7S cage with Red Pro Prime PL lens attached

It can be configured as a full cage or a half cage (well closer to 2/3rds cage actually). The latter being useful if you want totally unimpeded access to all the controls. The full cage has the benefit of an extra coldshoe mount which is the perfect place to mount the Sony audio pack. The removable top handle is sturdy and yet not too heavy and has another coldshoe with optional 15mm rails adapter for adding monitors, recorders or EVFs.

The cage can be used in full or half cage configurations
The cage can be used in full or half cage configurations

On the downside the cage does take a few minutes to install and it is not a screwless operation. This is a cage that is designed for the camera to be left it – not taken in and out of while shooting. The only issue I had was how to attach a strap. The Sony’s strap lugs are covered by the cage and make fitting a normal strap hard. My simple solution was to attach a BlackRapid strap instead.

The cage is light enough that the a7S is still hand holdable with the cage attached – something that can’t be said for some other out there. If you do want to build it out into a bigger rig there is a rod adapter that simply clamps to the base of the cage allowing the easy addition of rails or Movcam’s own dovetail plate system accessories. There is also a handy 1/4-20 mounting attachment to secure a lens adapter such as the Metabones to the front of the a7S.

The cage gives access to all the main controls
The cage gives access to all the main controls

There is no pricing yet on the cage but if other Movcam products are a guide then it should be competitive.

In Europe Movcam products can be purchased from BandPro. In the USA they are available from 16x9inc.

Video shot by CY Xu.

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