Earlier this year I was visiting a few camera gear factories in Shenzen China. Aside from getting my phone nicked in a cab ride, it was an enlightening experience. One of those factories was the Small Rig factory. If you are following the blog, you know how much we love our A7 cage (and a bunch of other small gadgets from Small Rig). Actually, this is the rig we take on most of our productions.
DIYP has seen its share of interviews, aside our regular work we’ve been to over 10 shows including the latest Photokina. We need a rig that is robust, easy to carry around, and that adapts to various conditions. This rig has gone through many changes over the years, this is what it is now.
Since Nikon introduced video to DSLRs,the biggest complaint has been about the form factor of DSLRs. When Canon released the 5D Mark II, the demand for these cameras for video work surged. I’ve seen reports stating that as high as 40% of 5D Mark II sales were to video production companies. But, the ergonomics are just wrong. Today, there are many companies selling all kinds of cages and doohickies you can bolt onto your cameras to make them more useful.
But what if you could build your own? What if you could customise it to your own specific needs? That’s what Caleb Pike at DSLR Video Shooter wondered, and so he set out to build his own. He used about $240 worth of materials and components to build his rig, but you could probably build it for a lot less depending your needs and what bargains you find.
We got our hands on a SmallRig’ Sony A7x camera cage (its good for the A7II, A7RII & A7SII) , and we love it. I am going to go and break it down and explain the impact it has on my workflow in a second, but first…
Of course to review a cage, I would first have to explain why one would need a cage in the first place. And if you have never done any filming with a DSLR and mirrorless, you may be asking yourself the same question. So before I get to the review let me explain: