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My 7 Favourite Sony A7S Accessories

My 7 Favourite Sony A7S Accessories

As working professionals we at cinema5D are occasionally being asked about &# 8220 ; our favorite working gear &# 8221 ;, so I &# 8217 ; ve decided to compile a list of my &# 8220 ; must have &# 8221 ; Sony a7S accessories which I frequently use   in the field .

Day in day out and the Sony A7s continues to be my daily work horse . It is truly a remarkable piece of equipment for what it does and how much   it costs .

I &# 8217 ; m sure many users have their own &# 8220 ; favorite accessories list &# 8221 ; ( Please share with us ), but for now I &# 8217 ; ve decided to share my list with the community .

1 . Cage

For me , a   good cage is one that can seamlessly &# 8220 ; blend &# 8221 ; into the camera without interrupting when using it . Furthermore , it should enhance some of the camera functionalities and compensate   on its weaknesses . ( securing an HDMI cable is a good example ).

My preferred cage at the moment comes from a Korean company named  Motion9. In such a crowded market , this cage  does a good job supporting the camera . ( mind you that we at cinema5D are working on a comprehensive Sony A7s cage review that will be published later this year ).

Strengths :

  • Easy and secure attachment of Sony &# 8217 ; s XLR K2m ,   K1m or   Sony &# 8217 ; s UWP - D11 wireless receiver
  • Securing HDMI and audio cables is excellent with adjustable clamp .
  • Removable top handle
  • Support button   on the cage to help removing   lenses

Weaknesses : 

  • All cage adjustments require tools ( Allen keys )
  • The cage is very tight on the camera and removing it requires a great amount of time
  • Attaching / detaching motion9 &# 8217 ; s &# 8220 ; ROD   RISER &# 8221 ; ( a 15mm rods support attachment ) is a very painful process

2 . Variable neutral density filter

In this category I would like to point out 2 outstanding products / solutions . The Vizelex ND Throttle Adapter for   Canon EF / EF - S   Lenses to Sony NEX Cameras from Fotodiox and XUME lens adapter .

The Vizelex ND Throttle Adapter is simply a genius   solution !. Forget screwing / unscrewing   a   variable ND filter in - front of your lens   every time you change one . With this solution the variable ND filter is behind your lens so managing the filter between different lenses is not an issue .

The XUME on the other hand , is a great solution if you have a   good variable ND filter and several electronic / manual lenses . With the XUME you just screw a magnetic ring onto your ND filter and another magnetic lens adapter ring on all of your lenses and voila !, you can move your ND filter between lenses in a fast , convenient and secure way . Note :   Be sure to choose the correct lens diameter , otherwise you won &# 8217 ; t be able to use the wide angle side of the lens as it will appear in your frame

Vizelex ND Throttle Adapter :

Strengths : 

  • Modestly priced
  • No &# 8220 ; cross &# 8221 ; effect
  • Very easy to use
  • Well built

Weakness : 

  • Works with manual lenses only

3 . XUME lens adapter

Strengths : 

  • Modestly priced
  • Excellent magnetic power

Weakness : 

  • Nothing I could find

4 . Sound

One of the great   things with the Sony A7s is its audio capability . After years of using external audio recorders and later syncing audio in post , there comes this camera and changes it all . Its   general audio quality is good but if you are really looking for a way to take your sound set - up   one step further , use one of Sony &# 8217 ; s audio XLR adapters . ( XLR - K1M , XLR - K2M ). For my documentary work I use the XLR - K2M . It is cheaper and gets   the same results as its more expensive brother .

Strengths : 

  • Easy to use
  • Significantly expands the camera audio capability
  • &# 8220 ; Wireless &# 8221 ; solution
  • Allows &# 8220 ; Auto audio level &# 8221 ; when needed . ( not possible without the attachment )

Weaknesses : 

  • Expensive
  • When connected to the camera , you probably won &# 8217 ; t be able to attach a cage handle to your cage ( XLR - K2M )
  • Because of the nature of direct hot - shoe connectivity , time will tell if it &# 8217 ; s becomes faulty after extensive usage

5 . Powering

The supplied Sony A7s camera batteries are just OK . ( I guess this is why Sony decided to ship the camera with 2 original ones ). The batteries weakness becomes more obvious when the XLR - K1M or K2M sound attachment is connected to the camera especially when &# 8220 ; Phantom power &# 8221 ; is turned &# 8220 ; on &# 8221 ;. The way I solved this problem is by using &# 8220 ;IndiPRO Tools&# 8221 ; powering solution and in particular the  IndiPRO Tools POWER POD Quad.  If you are like me and also have many unused Canon LP - 6 batteries lying around , then this is the perfect modestly priced solution for you too . Together with the  IndiPRO Tools 69SA7  ( A7s dummy battery ), your camera will run forever .

Strengths : 

  • Can fit on the camera , on a cage or the back of your rig
  • Buy the battery solution once and then according to the camera   you want to   power , choose the &# 8220 ; dummy battery &# 8221 ; you need
  • Lasts forever
  • A smaller dual battery version exists . (IndiPRO Tools POWER POD Dual)

Weaknesses : 

  • With any of those battery solution ,   you are defeating in a way the purpose of a small sized camera

The following two categories are not specifically related to the Sony A7s but I decided to include them   anyway ! 

6 . Slider

I travel a lot for work , so for me the most important thing when it comes to choosing a slider is a lightweight design , portability , length and its travel   smoothness   that should have some   resistance . After testing many different models , I went back to my simple slider from Glidetrack . It &# 8217 ; s 60cm long ( 25 &# 8221 ;), very durable and extremely easy to use . Somehow , the rubber parts on the carriage ( the ones who are touching the slider ), probably got dry so the result   is more   resistance during travel &# 8230 ;

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Strengths : 

  • Cheap
  • Small
  • Portable
  • Lightweight
  • Fast and easy set - up ( no belts or other moving parts )

Weaknesses :

  • No fancy motor
  • Limited load capacity
  • Only good   for basic slider   movements

7 .  Tripod legs and fluid head

I &# 8217 ; m not sure how many of you have heard the name  &# 8220 ;Really Right Stuff&# 8220 ;. It is a US based family company which produces very high quality tripods , sliders and such . I can best describe their products as the &# 8220 ; Apple equivalent &# 8221 ; of the tripod world .  Expensive , desirable and   it simply works .

For a long time   I was looking for a small high quality tripod that could   accompany me in my journeys without sacrificing   flexibility . It had to be lightweight , strong , go high / low enough if needed and most importantly , the fluid head must   be perfect . I was very happy to see that most of my wishes got   fulfilled with the &# 8220 ; Really Right Stuff &# 8221 ; tripod .   Please note , that their quickset / tripod adapter plate is not the common market standard . It will require adjusting to the new system and that can be costly .

The tripod legs I &# 8217 ; m currently using are  TVC-34 Versa Series 3.  The fluid head   is  FH 350.

The video above shows the   TVC - 33 tripod which is similar to the TVC - 34 in many ways .

Strengths : 

  • The ability to move the fluid head to lets say slider , in a flip of a knob
  • Robust yet lightweight and very portable
  • Tilt rang - 90 to + 90 degris
  • Great easy to use secure clamp lever

Weaknesses :  

  • Expensive
  • Not a standard tripod plate
  • No illuminated balance bulb
  • Vertical movement tension ( tilt damping )  is located in the &# 8220 ; wrong &# 8221 ; right hand side .

Final Words

Sony a7S accessories are currently in high demand and sales are   booming . Video   equipment of course always is the   personal preference of a    cameraman . Let us know in the comments : What are   your favourite Sony A7S Accessories ?

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