By site editor Dan Chung:
Even though cameras like the GH4, a7S and C100 have become incredibly popular there are still plenty of video shooters using Canon DSLRs daily. Despite this there has have been relatively few custom cage solutions made for the newer models. Korean maker Motionnine clearly think there is a market for these and so last week launched two new cages specifically for the 5D mkIII and 7D mkII. These have a tight form fitting design that hugs the camera body while still giving easy access to the camera’s controls and battery door. Like many other cages out there it has a multitude of screw holes to attach accessories.
At Newsshooter we’ve been testing one of Motionnine’s GH4 cages for a few months and use it for our trade show coverage. We found it to be remarkably solid and well made. The aluminium it is made of is not excessively heavy and the whole package is still hand holdable. The gunmetal finish is nice to the touch and seems to keep its looks well over time.
Clever design features include a metal support rod on the rear of the camera that sits between your thumb and your forefinger (apparently this part of you hand is known as the Perlicue – I had no idea). It also has a sliding support base for lens adapters that importantly adds a second 1/4 20 screw hole to the base of the cage, allowing a tripod plate to be mounted via two screws rather than one. This is a nice touch that prevents the camera from accidentally coming loose from the tripod plate and spinning. On the side of the cage is a cable clamp block that also doubles as a second handgrip – this secures all cables and can be removed if not needed.
For the new Canon cages Motionnine have gone for an all anodised black finish and added a Pro handle option that attached via a NATO rail. This makes the handle much quicker to release and should be compatible with widgets from other manufacturers like Wooden Camera, Movcam, Zacuto and others. The handle itself slides backwards and forwards to the most comfortable position and has a 15mm rod mount at the front for attaching monitors or EVFs with the appropriate rod adapter. The handle can be bought separately and can also be retrofitted to older Motionnine cages.
The GH4 Perlicue support bar is replaced on the Canon versions with a wooden thumb support with buttons that connect to the buttons on the camera body behind – a bit like those on underwater camera housings.
The cable clamp block found on the GH4 cage has been redesigned and can attaches via another NATO rail. This makes it quick to attach and detach. To access the cables themselves there is now a clever one-touch system that looks very quick to use – much better than the older GH4 version that required an allen key to install. It can also work on Motionnine’s a7S and GH4 cages.
The older Motionnive cages have an option rod riser that mounts them at the correct height on rails for matteboxes other accessories. A similar rod riser is promised in the near future for the Canon cages.
The 5D mkIII cage is now on special offer for $331.50 US, the 7DmkII cage is $552.50, the new Classic Pro handle is $178.50 and the NATO cable clamp is $93.50. At almost $600 for the complete system that puts the Motionnine Canon cages at the higher end of the price spectrum and faces stiff competition, but as ever I guess you have to pay for quality.
For more details you can check the Motionnine website.