Tilta announced Canon R5/R6 Camera Cages and Accessories earlier in the year and finally I have one in for review. These kits range from a Full cage, to a Camera Cage Kit, as well as a multitude of accessories that can be purchased separately.
The kit I will be looking at is the Camera Cage for Canon R5/R6 Kit B.
One of the appeals of the Canon R5, like most mirrorless cameras, is that it is relatively small and compact. However, if you do want to mount some basic accessories it is extremely hard because you are pretty much stuck to just attaching something to the cold shoe.
My personal view when it comes to mirrorless cameras is that the last thing you want to do is to make them larger and heavier. This always presents challenges if you want to use a mirrorless camera for professional video applications. If you want to add some accessories you don’t want to make the camera twice the size to do so.
The Canon EOS R5 doesn’t have a ton of buttons, but like almost all mirrorless cameras it does have quite a few connectors on the left hand side. With a cage you want to make sure that it doesn’t interfere with the way you use and operate the camera.
What do you get?
In the kit I was reviewing you get the following items:
- Tilta Full Camera Cage for Canon R5/R6 (Black)
- Multi-Head Screwdriver
- ES-T57 Quick Release Plate
- 1/4″-20 Tie-Down Screw
- Tilta Quick Release Top Handle (Black)
- Tilta Arca-Swiss Quick Release Plate for Sony a7S III Cages (Black)
- 2 x Screw
- Tilta Manfrotto Quick Release Plate for Sony a7S III Cages (Black)
- 2 x Screw
- Tilta HDMI Cable Clamp Attachment for Canon R5/R6 Full Cage (Black)
- Set of Attachment/Clamp Screws
- Allen Key
- Tilta HDMI-01-M HDMI to Micro-HDMI Adapter
The build quality of the Tilta Camera Cage for Canon R5/R6 Kit B is pretty good.
The camera secures down reasonably tightly, however it is only held in place by a single screw. On some of the SmallRig cages for this camera, they have little indents on the bottom of the cage that go into the base of the camera so it won’t move or twist around.
I didn’t find anything in regards to build quality that raised any concerns.
Based around a cage
The Tilta Camera Cage for Canon R5/R6 Kit is based around a streamlined protective lightweight cage. The concept behind the cage is to improve the functionality of the Eos R5/R6 while not dramatically increasing its size.
The cage is made out of Aluminum Alloy and it weighs 242g / 8.53 oz. It actually feels fairly lightweight and you are not going to notice a massive difference in weight once the cage is fitted.
The sides of the cage feature multiple 1/4”-20 threaded holes for mounting accessories. There is also a cable clamp attachment mounting hole for protecting the port while mounting an HDMI cable.
On top of the cage, there are a few more 1/4”-20 threaded holes and two cold shoe mounts, one of which doubles as a place where you can attach the top handle.
You may also notice that there is a little dial on the top right-hand side of the cage. This actually sits directly on top of the scroll dial for the R5 and lets you still make adjustments.
The whole concept behind how the top part of the Tilta cage has been designed is so that the user has easy access to all of the controls. As the top of the cage is slightly offset back from where the camera body is you don’t have to go digging under cage parts to access any controls.
I personally would have liked to have seen at least a couple of 3/8″-16 threads on the top or side of the cage.
The base of the cage provides several mounting holes which is handy for attaching your camera to gimbals to more easily fine tune the balance of your setup.
The quick release top handle attaches to the top of the cage. You slide it into the cold shoe and then lock it down using the included Allen key.
The handle has multiple 1/4-20″ and 3/8″ mounting holes. There is a space for a 15mm rod insert, and the handle also features dual cold shoe mounts.
You can also reverse the handle around to place it in a different configuration.
It is reasonably nice to hold onto and use.
Advanced Power Handle (optional)
The Advanced Power Handle mounts to the left side of the cage via a NATO Rail connection.
This handle features a 12V Micro DC Port (3.5/1.35mm) and an 8V USB-C port for powering your camera body or other accessories like the Tilta Nucleus Nano Wireless Lens Control System.
The handle is also able to start/stop recording on the Eos R5/R6 by using the included Run Stop Cable.
Once you add the Advanced Power Handle the footprint of the Eos R5/R6 does increase quite substantially.
Is it easy to put together?
Yes, it is. You just slide your R5 or R6 into the cage and then insert one screw and you are done. This does make it reasonably quick to take your camera out of the cage or put it in.
Once it is in you can either put the included Arca Swiss or Manfrotto bottom plates onto the cage.
Cages need to not only provide the ability to protect the camera and add additional mounting points but they also shouldn’t obstruct how you operate and use them.
As I already mentioned, all of the ket buttons and dials are very easy to access.
Even though the cage is offset slightly from the camera body, you may find that it may be a little difficult to access the 3.5mm mic input and headphone jack. You really need to remove the plastic port covers completely if you want to easily access these inputs.
Tilta does provide an HDMI protector in the kit that you are onto the cage.
Now, this does have a very thin opening so it is probably advisable to use the included HDMI Micro to full-sized HDMI adapter that comes in the kit.
The issue with most HDMI protectors on mirrorless cameras is that you then end up limiting how much the screen can rotate, and that holds true for this HDMI protector as well.
I found that usability really depends on your requirements and needs. The cage and the handle are easy enough to use and they don’t make a big difference to the weight or usability of the camera (unless you use the HDMI protector!).
I like the streamlined nature of the cage as it doesn’t really increase the size of the camera.
Price & Availability
The Tilta Camera Cage for Canon R5/R6 Kit B retails for $149 USD.
Tilta also has a bunch of other accessories and you can also order most of the parts from these kits À la carte. You can see everything that is available here.
There are quite a few cage solutions out there for the EOS R5/R6. Below are some of the other options that are available:
- Tilta Full Camera Cage for Canon R5/R6 $99 USD
- SmallRig Camera Cage for Canon EOS R5 and R6 $59.90 USD
- SmallRig “Black Mamba” Camera Cage Kit for EOS R5 & R6 $169 USD
- SmallRig “Black Mamba” Camera Cage for Canon EOS R5 & R6 $99 USD
- SmallRig Camera Cage and Side Handle Kit for Canon EOS R5 and R6 $150 USD
- Kondor Blue Full Cage with Top Handle for Canon R5/R6/R $199 USD
- Kondor Blue Canon R5/R6 Full Cage $125 USD
- Leofoto Camera Cage for Canon EOS R5 $59 USD
- 8Sinn Cage for Canon EOS R5/R6 $149 USD
- 8Sinn Cage for Canon EOS R5/R6 with Top Handle Scorpio and Removable ARRI Rosette $288 USD
- Niceyrig Camera Cage for Canon EOS R5/R6 $56.53 USD
- Wooden Camera Unified DSLR Cage (Small) $299 USD
- Zacuto Universal Cage for DSLR and DSLM Cameras $379.05 USD
I don’t think there is any such thing as the perfect cage, because different cages are going to suit different people’s requirements. The Tilta cage is a solid offering that doesn’t drastically increase the size or weight of your camera.
All of the controls are easy to access and use, but if you do want to use the HDMI protector then you are going to have to lose the ability to flip your screen around to some angles.
The R5 is inherently a difficult camera to put in a cage because of the way it has been designed. For me personally, less is more, and I don’t want to make the camera any larger than it needs to be.
I think most R5/R6 owners will be happy with what Tilta has done and it is nice that they offer a wide range of options depending on what your needs may be.
You can also buy a range of separate accessories for your Canon R5 or R6. These include: