Review of the Tiltaing Pocket 6K cage system

Tilta BMPCM6K Featured

Tilta has a new line of cages and accessories called Tiltaing. It’s a very modular approach, and Tilta is trying to make it easier to rig up a few different cameras with the same accessories. For now, the BMPCC 4K/6K, DJI Osmo Action, Panasonic GH-Series. Sony A6, A7, A9. Z Cam E2C, E2G, E2-S6, E2-F6, and E2-F8. Other cameras that are also now releasing is the Fujifilm X-T3. Panasonic S1H and Nikon Z7.

Building up a Cage

It’s not a simple process getting all the accessories to work with so many different cameras. Mainly the power cables and data cables, and the way the camera connects to the accessories can be different. It’s important to double-check and buy the right ones for the camera you want to use. Tilta does make this easier with the Tiltaing Build a Rig website. Pick a cage that matches your camera and add accessories. It’s very helpful and will also give you ideas on what could work best plus avoid buying the wrong pieces that might not be compatible with your camera and cage choice.

The Camera that needs a Cage

blackmagic pocket cinema camera 6k sm

If ever there was a camera that needed a cage, the Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 6K and 4K for that matter are on the top of the list. Poor battery life and a less than stellar LCD screen make you want to look for external options, and with the 6K BRAW recording, you might want to consider an external SSD drive. External battery and SSD need a way to mount to the camera securely. Especially the SSD drive and cable. You don’t want to have a failure while shooting because the cable came unplugged, or the drive falls off the camera. The same goes for power.

Tilta has come up with an extensive cage system for the Pocket 4K camera. The Pocket 6K won’t fit into the 4K cage due to the lens mount being a little longer since it’s an S35 sensor and EF Mount.

blackmagic pocket cinema 6K upgrade

The good news is with only a simple free modification on the Tilta nameplate the cage is fully compatible with the Pocket 6K. Tilta is now shipping the cage with the modification, so no need to pick one over the other. The system is fully compatible with both models. Worth mentioning is Tilta is branding cages and accessories as Tiltaing products.

Options, Lots of Options

The Tilta Pocket cage system comes in a few prebuilt setups, or you can just pick up the cage alone for $99.

Tiltaing Pocket 6K/4K cage

  • Top Cage Section
  • Left-Side Cage Section, Bottom Cage Section
  • Right-Side Top Cage Section, Cage Section & Bottom Cage Section
  • Top Screw
  • Bottom Screw
  • Locking Pin (Bottom)
  • 4 x Hex Screw (Left Side)
  • 2 x Bottom Right-Side Screw
  • Top Right-side Screw
  • Right-Side Top Section Screw
  • Limited 2-Year Warranty

Tiltaing BMPCC 4K/6K Cage Fit

Tilta BMPCM6K Cage solo

The first thing I noticed when I was building out the cage is there are very few screws that require a hex wrench. The main cage attaches to the bottom with a 1/4 20″ and utilizes the two small holes on the camera with pins on each side. This prevents any twisting. Get this one tight! The second point of mounting is on top. Again the tighter, the better. With these two screws attached, the Tilta cage feels very secure and ready to be built out.

Tilta BMPCM6K cage not ARRI standard top of cage
1/4″-20 not 3/8″-16 for ARRI accessory mount

The cage has a lot of mounting points all over it as it should. Unfortunately, the top ARRI style accessory mount is 1/4″-20, unlike the standard ARRI that is 3/8″-16 with pins on each side. This appears to be a Tilta-standard. That makes sense if you intend to stay in the Tilta ecosystem. If you have accessories and want to use them make sure they will work with the Tilta cage.

The Basic Tiltaing Pocket 4K, 6K Cage Kit

tilta ta t01 b tactical assault armor camera 1564413748 1490896

Tilta Camera Cage for Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 4K/6K Basic Kit, Tactical Gray. $224.00

An excellent way to start building out the cage is with the Tilta Camera Cage for Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 4K/6K Basic Kit ($224). The Tactical Gray is pretty sweet, in my opinion. This kit includes the following.

Basic Kit

  • Full Camera Cage for BMPCC 4K/6K
  • SSD Drive Holder for Samsung T5
  • Quick Release Top Handle
  • 90-Degree USB-C Cable (20cm)
  • HDMI 90-Degree Adapter

It is bare-bones, and I think the included SSD holder would be a popular choice for an add-on. This is a good start. Powering the Pocket 4K/6K is also something many will want to explore. — more on that in a minute.

Tiltaing BMPCC 4K/6K Advanced kit

1564414830 1490894

Tilta also has an advanced kit that retails for $464. The Camera Cage for BMPCC 4K/6K Advanced Kit includes these extras.

Advanced Kit includes

  • Full Camera Cage for BMPCC 4K
  • SSD Drive Holder for Samsung T5
  • Quick Release Top Handle
  • Rubber Side Handle (no battery power or focus control)
  • 90-Degree USB-C Cable (20cm)
  • 15mm LWS Baseplate
  • (2) 15x200mm Rods – Black
  • Partial Sunhood for BMPCC 4K

As for this kit, I’m not too sure I would go with it. Mainly because of the Rubber Handle included in this configuration. Tiltaing has several handles that supply power to the Pocket Camera and can also control a Tilta NANO follow focus motor. When comparing the price, the Rubber Handle retails for $89 while the same handle with a Sony NP-F570 option is $119. That’s an extra $30 well spent. The handle with focus control also added is $199. In for review is the larger Side Focus Handle Type I ($229) that uses, the larger capacity Sony NP-F970 Battery power plus focus side handle.

All these pieces can be individually purchased, so you can fully customize the Tiltaing Pocket 4K/6K cage to your liking. The “build your kit” section is very helpful in finding the best options you need. I highly recommend at least browsing since the possibilities are extensive and will give you good ideas you might not have thought of.

Almost Toolless

Outside of the main mounting points for the cage, all of the accessories use either a nice wide tightening knob or small screw that can be finger tightened. I like this a lot as stripping it down and build it up is so much faster. How many hex wrenches are at the bottom of your camera bag? 😀

Tilta BMPCM6K handle attachemnt
Nice big locking knob on Side Handle

A good example of easy mounting is the top handle and battery grip with an SSD holder built into it. The top handle attaches with a toolless knob, and the battery grip with SSD holder has an extension that slides into a slot on the bottom of the cage with a knob. When tightened, it expands the two sides and secures the handle. It works extremely well and again. No hex wrench needed. I’ve never seen this type of locking system before. The fewer hex wrenches I have to carry, the better. None. Even better!

Tiltaing Quick Release Top Handle for BMPCC 4K Cage $79.00

Quick Release Top Handle for BMPCC4K Tactical TA QRTH legacy2 800x450

Tiltaing Quick Release Top Handle for BMPCC 4K Cage

  • Cage Screw with Spring
  • Rod-Locking Screw
  • Limited 2-Year Warranty
Tilta BMPCM6K cage Handle tightening screw 2

The handle slides into the front cold shoe slot and is secured with a spring-loaded thumbscrew. No tools needed. If you really want it super tight stick a hex wrench in the side of the tightening knob and crank it down.

The handle is peppered with 1/4″-20 and 3/8″-16 mounting points, plus two cold shoe mounts on front, and back. A 15mm rail mount is also on the front.

Tiltaing Samsung T5 SSD Holder for BMPCC 4K Cages

Tilta BMPCM6K SSD Holder on cage

Samsung T5 SSD Holder

  • Cage Mounting Screw
  • 2 x Partial Sun Hood Mounting Screw
  • Cage Mounting Screw for Partial Sun Hood
  • Limited 2-Year Warranty
  • USB-C cable not included with holder
Tilta BMPCM6K SSD Holder

Like many of the Tiltaing accessories, the SSD Holder uses a thumbscrew design to mount. Again, no tools required. The SSD I use is Samsung T5. When purchasing this, make sure to pick the proper holder. As of now, Tiltaing offers holders for Samsung T5, Anglebird, and Wise SSD. The SSD holder can be attached on the top or over the sun hood.

Locking SSD Cable

Tilta BMPCM6K SSD Lock

The 90-Degree USB Type-C Cable (7.87″) braided cable has locking screws on each end. This is a very nice secure cable for an SSD. I like the design a lot as clamps that screw into the cage always come loose or don’t hold the cable very securely. When you are just a cable tug away from losing a shot. It has to be secure. I feel this setup is very solid.

15mm LWS Baseplate Type I

Tilta BMPCM6K Baseplate front

To get the proper distance to the sensor using rails, the 15mm LWS Baseplate Type I is included in the Advanced Kit; however, it can also, like all the parts in the Tiltaing line be purchased separately for $119. The baseplate offers two 15mm rod slots that allow the rods to go all the way through so you can have more kit attached on the back of the camera as well.

The cage slides into the baseplate and locks with a clamp. The camera can easily be detached for a smaller package. For me, this isn’t fast since I use an Arca/Swiss camera QR system. I would have to take the QR plate off first.

Tilta BMPCM6K Baseplate bottom

The baseplate uses the Tilta -standard dovetail to attach to a camera support plate. Note that the Tilta-standard isn’t compatible with the popular ARRI standard dovetail. The baseplate Dovetail has several 1/4″-20 taps for mounting other types of plates like Manfrotto and Arca/Swiss.

Tiltaing Side Focus Handle Type I 

Tilta BMPCM6K Handle with NP F Battery

Supplies Power

The Tiltaing Side Focus Handle Type I isn’t included in a kit. However, it’s one of many handle options in the Tiltaing line up. The Side Focus Handle Type I powers the camera with a Sony type NP-F970 series battery. These are the biggest NP-F versions.

Tilta BMPCM6K Handle power

The handle uses a Micro-power cable with a 2-pin connector that plugs into the Pocket 6K. This gives a lot more run time than a Canon LPE-6 battery. This cable isn’t included with the Side Handle.

Compatible with Tilta NANO Follow Focus

Tilta BMPCM6K focus knob

If you have a Tilat NANO wireless follow focus kit, then the handle is even handier. It also has a focus wheel, and USB input for powering and controlling the NANO focus motor. A lot of nice features in this handle.

Tilta BMPCM6K cage NANO

No pairing is necessary. Just plug the USB cable to the handle and the NANO, and it comes alive ready to go. To calibrate the range of the lens, push the Calibrate button on the Side Focus Handle. When it reaches the macro stop, it sets and then goes to infinity and sets — done and done.

If using stills lenses, I grabbed the lens and stopped the rotation when at both macro and infinity. It isn’t perfect, but it works just fine. Since you can’t program in and out points on the handle or change the rotation of the motor, the focus is limited to just focusing on the fly. It works very well and is easy to dial in tack-sharp focus.

You can’t use the NANO wheel controller at the same time as the Tiltaing Handle

Record Stop/Start

Tilta BMPCM6K NANO Record cable

The Handle also has a record start/stop button however until today the feature was for future use. Tilta just released a new dedicated USB-C cable for the Pocket 4K/6K camera.

Tilta BMPCM6K NANO Record cable in NANO

This cable goes from the NANO motor to the camera giving you focus and start and stop for a full-featured handle when using the Pocket 4K/6K. This works excellent. If you have the NANO the Tiltaing Side Focus Handle Type I is the best option.

Built-In SSD Holder

Tilta BMPCM6K SSD in handle and cable lock

The handle has a slot for a Samsung T5, and it fits like a glove. On the bottom of the handle is another finger tightening screw to secure the drive. On top is a screw lock to fasten the USB-C cable with for a tight fit.

Tilta BMPCM6K SSD Holder with SSD in handle

The kit comes with a braided USB-C cable that includes the screw locks on both ends.

Sun hood

What can I say? It’s a sun hood. 😀 The Pocket camera LCD screen is usable in the shade, but when you go outside on a bright sunny day, you will have a very tough time using the built-in screen.

Tilta BMPCM6K cage Sun Hood

The sunshade helps, but the camera has to be at eye level or the sun hood gets in the way of the screen. It’s helpful since you won’t have to put your hand over the top, but it certainly doesn’t make the Pocket LCD screen that much more sunny day friendly.

Usability & Conclusion

As I mentioned, the BMPCC 4K/6K cameras need a cage of some kind if you want to add a few upgrades. The Tilta cage fits nice and snug without impeding any buttons or inputs. Adding a cage shouldn’t, but I’ve used some that make it a little tough to get to those small function buttons.

Tilta BMPCM6K Rail Mount not fitting

I did find the 15mm Side Single Rod Holder to be hard to work with as it didn’t fit right if I wanted to use the anti-twist pin to mount into the cage. I had to have more clearance from the front of the lens for a Bright Tangerine Misfit Atom matte box. The rod was to close to the lens and hitting the ring where the Misfit Atom secures to. Since not a lot of torque is going down with the NANO motor, the offset mounting worked just fine. It’s really great to have such a tight package without adding a baseplate and rails.

Tilta BMPCM6K Nice Handle

The Handle with battery, SSD slot, and Focus control is the best part of this system. Not only is it very functional it fits in my hand fine. It could be a little big for smaller hands. The good news is it will work on other cameras in the Tiltaing lineup. I can’t wait for the Fujifilm X-T3 version to come out. One thing to remember is powering the camera with the Handle will probably be different if at all possible depending on each model and how it can receive external power.

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K Mini XLR
HDMI, 12v power, Mini XLR, USB-C

The BMD camera has a 2-pin locking barrel connector while other cameras get power from the USB input. The output from the Micro 12v connector can also be used to power other devices. All it takes is the right cable combination. As for triggering record start/stop, this will also depend on the camera, and the NANO motor must be used as the interface between the handle and the camera.

Coming at the end of November, a new handle with record trigger only will be available. It will the option for the appropriate cable for the camera you choose to use it for.

Tilta BMPCM6K Setup 2 1

All in all, I like the Tiltaing Pocket 4K/6K cage and accessories. It solves issues and makes the camera more usable. That’s pretty much what I look for in a cage. The added advantage of the accessories working on future Tiltaing cages is a big plus as well.

Other Options

You have a lot of options when it comes to cages. The best thing to look for is how well it will work with what you have already. For example, if you use an EVF will the mounting system you purchased work with the new cage? Or how you like to mount a monitor. Do you need to buy more kit to work with the new cage? For the most part, I think using different brands together works fine but it’s worth making sure so you don’t waste that hard-earned cash.

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