The Best Sony A7s Cage of them All? – 6 Cages Reviewed

August 10th, 2015
The Best Sony A7s Cage of them All? - 6 Cages Reviewed

best-sony-a7s-cage

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IndiPRO Tools Thor a7S Cage

IndiPRO Tools has been around for a while. They make some handy powering accessories for different cameras. Their Thor a7S Cage is rather new and also quite unique in terms of its design in comparison to other cages.

best-sony-a7s-cage

best-sony-a7s-cage

HDMI cable protector quality

a7s-greenThe HDMI cable protector on the Thor cage is simple and functional. It is designed so it protects the door and after setting up the right position and locking the two large screws it allows for a quick locking of the HDMI cable.

best-sony-a7s-cage

Access to other outputs on the side

a7s-greenAll other ports on the side of the camera are easily accessible.

best-sony-a7s-cage

Ease of assembly and disassembly

a7s-greenAssembly and disassembly is easy. With the help of a single screw driver or coin the cage is mounted in 5-10 seconds.

best-sony-a7s-cage

How securely is the camera attached to the cage?

a7s-greenThe camera sits tightly in the Thor a7S Cage. The two fittings on the front help to stabilise and lock it to the cage.

best-sony-a7s-cage

Possible to use the Sony XLR-K2M audio module?

a7s-greenYes the Sony XLR-K2M can be used via the Sony A7s’ digital hotshoe. The cage is not interfering. However the handle has to be taken off and cannot be used at the same time like on the Skier LiteCage.

Access to the lens release button

a7s-greenThe lens port is freely accessible.


Baseplate mount quality

a7s-doublegreenThis aspect of the Thor a7S Cage receives a double-green rating from us. It is the only cage that incorporates a baseplate built into the cage. The baseplate fits standard Sachtler and Manfrotto heads and other accessories that go with the standard. This can be really handy and means you never have to mount or look for your tripod baseplate.

Alternatively, if you are working with a different system there are two 1/4″ threads at the bottom.

best-sony-a7s-cage

Rod support quality

a7s-greenThe rod support can be bought separately, but is not yet available. It has an easy to use quick release system, but feels a bit bulky and is quite high which can be a problem for tilting shots. The rod height can be adjusted separately. We give it a green light because we like the built in Manfrotto plate so much.

best-sony-a7s-cage
best-sony-a7s-cage

Handle design

a7s-orangeThe handle mounts securely via a railclamp on a minirail that locks to the top of the cage via two 1/4″ screws. There are several mounting points on the handle itself including 3/8″ threads. We’re missing an additional cold-shoe and also we wish there was a rod mount for our external viewfinder as we could find it on the Movcam Cage.

best-sony-a7s-cage

Overall Ergonomics

a7s-orangeAlthough this cage looks more bulky than others it is a half cage, which means it is open to the right side. This gives you the advantage of easy access to stuff on the right hand side, but also means we’re lacking mounting points on the right and additional protection.

The CinEasy Touch mod (helps trigger the rec button) can be installed easily which is convenient and overall we only need 1 type of allen key to use the cage. Also there is a large surface on the top with plenty of mounting points for accessories.

On the downside we must admit the looks of this cage are “less sexy”, it feels a tad bulky and the fact that there is no additional cold shoe at all lets us rate its overall ergonomics orange.

best-sony-a7s-cage

Conclusion

The Thor a7S Cage wins second place in our A7s cage review. It received 9 green lights for its overall ease of use and because it ticks most boxes on our list. We only gave it 2 orange lights because there is no viewfinder mount and there is no additional coldshoe.

The cage is a simple and straight forward solution. It is effective and fast to use. Also it is the most affordable cage out of all tested cages.

 

Price: $230

Please consider getting your gear through the link above. Thank you

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Links to each A7s Cage Review:

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malik NejmiJames LaytonNathan JungPaul Mor Recent comment authors
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Nicholas Lam
Nicholas Lam
MemberAugust 12th, 2015

I would have added SmallRIG who sells mainly on Ebay.

I have their 1633 cage for the A7S and it is super light weight and low profile.

Their accessories totally rock too. You can add 15mm rail holders, shoes…etc and are extremely low profile and light weight.

I had to modify the base plate to fir the LockPort HDMI for my A7S though. Took it to a metal work shop and they trimmed the corner closest to the HDMI port. Works great!

Gerbert Floor
MemberAugust 10th, 2015

I love my motionnine cage, it looks great as well and it handles it fine. But it needs improving, their design with attaching the camera is stupid and cumbersome, I lost the screw once and I was literally screwed :P. You just can’t use another screw since it won’t fit.

Also I like a quick release on the handle as well. I replaced it with a small rig one and a small rail.

JohnGon Eune
MemberAugust 12th, 2015

Excellent!
How do I order…

JohnGon Eune
MemberAugust 12th, 2015

contact me on facebook or text message over +82-10-3495-8823

T F
T F
MemberAugust 12th, 2015

You guys may have used an older version of the Movcam cage. Mine has distinct metal tabs that lock the camera in place, both on the baseplate and the upper side of the camera (near the “a7s” logo). It’s not possible for me to move/slide my camera in the cage the way you show in your pictures, so they must have updated their design – you might want to follow up on this.

Tim Naylor
MemberAugust 24th, 2015

Same here.

Bruce Hyer
MemberAugust 17th, 2015

I looked at every one I could find (online) and thought the Varavon was the best setup (and value) for what I wanted. I especially like the handgrip. The two rod holes on the handle come in handy (see pics linked below) to mount a monitor, AND, the best part, to support long lenses. Also, I saw this rig as ideal for using a XLR-K1M and not the newer XLR-K2M, as with this setup there’s no interference with the handle.
A7s, 24mm f2.8 Zuiko, SmallHD AC7, Lectrosonics UCR401 and Ikan detachable shoulder rig. VERY light weight, no more than 6 or 7 pounds.
comment image?dl=0
Same camera. etc., with Sony 70-200 2.8.
comment image?dl=0

Jacques Albrecht
Jacques Albrecht
MemberAugust 21st, 2015

So sorry that your pictured Varavon Armor II a7S Cage does not have the dual mounting holes for a tri-pod baseplate… instead of the open space that you show near your thumb, my unit ( purchased this June in Los Angeles ) has a second mounting hole so the tri-pod baseplate can be secured without twisting.

Steven Herman
MemberAugust 23rd, 2015

I use the movcam, and my model uses standard flat bit screws, not allan keys, and it doesn’t shift at all once tightened. Newer model maybe?

Paul Mor
Paul Mor
MemberOctober 1st, 2015

Great artikel!
My problem with the a7s is the small size. I have big hands and that makes the a7s hard to hold. The motionnine cage looks like it gives the best handgrip. The Ikan Tilta cage also looks good for that. The winner cage Varavon Armor II dosent make the handel any bigger but that hand strap could make a differents .

Any experiens with the size of the handgrip and how to best improve it?

P.s the a7r II is also to small for me as my pinky finger doesn’t reach the handle.

 Nathan Jung
Nathan Jung
MemberDecember 3rd, 2015

I have recently changed my old Sony A7S cage and got a7s from eBay with reasonable price. And I am pretty much satisfied with sturdy metalic frame and woonden hand grip.

 James Layton
James Layton
MemberJanuary 6th, 2017

Just wondering what your recommendation would be if having a matte box and follow focus is a requirement? The Varavon seems to have got it right in many ways, but if disassembling the rig was not that important as the camera would be left built up nearly all the time, which rig do you thing is best?

Thanks.

 malik Nejmi
malik Nejmi
MemberDecember 21st, 2017

hello, this ergonomy is awesome, is it possible for bmpcc ( i just bought the cage and a battery) thanks to help me to fing accessories for mic and viewfinder :-) best

Dan Buck Joyce
Dan Buck Joyce
GuestAugust 10th, 2015

I bought this cheap Small Rig one from eBay, added my Wooden Camera handle, works a treat http://pages.ebay.com/link/?nav=item.view&alt=web&id=252029583313&globalID=EBAY-GB

Alex Pasquini
Alex Pasquini
MemberAugust 10th, 2015

Obviously you can’t get around to reviewing EVERY cage on the market, but shame there is no mention of the Tilta rig, looks pretty good, a friend of mine has one:

http://www.cinegearpro.com/tilta-es-t16-sony-alpha-a7s-lightweight-cage-rig-kit.html

I’m looking for a cage for the a7rII at the moment but I guess we’ll have to wait a little longer for confirmation as to what rigs will fit, or when dedicated rigs come out!

Either way thanks for the helpful reviews Cinema5d!

Marcel van Leeuwen
MemberAugust 10th, 2015

i love my Lanparte MCK-01 cage. It works for both the GH4 and the a7s. unfortunately the A7R II doesn’t fit by a very small margin, and Lanparte were a bit late to the game, but it’s a nice addition.
http://www.cinegearpro.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/650×650/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/i/m/img_8637b_2.jpg

Marcel van Leeuwen
MemberAugust 10th, 2015

p.s. although no K2 support on this one.

Johnnie Behiri
Johnnie Behiri
AdminAugust 11th, 2015

Hi Marcel, thanks for sharing!

Looks like a nice cage and most important, it fits your needs!

Thanks!

Johnnie

Carl Rohumaa
Carl Rohumaa
MemberAugust 18th, 2015

Sorry really confused now. The one where you can’t put a matte box on wins? Ok if you don’t want one but if you did want to put on a matte box which do you think would then be the most useful?
Are they are actually for different users and not like for like? They are cages I know but they must be aimed at totally different users?

Lightweight cages
Half cages
Cinema Rig Cages

Illya Friedman
MemberAugust 19th, 2015

A shame also Hot Rod Cameras wasn’t asked to participate. We make the only A7s & A7r II cage here (also 100% compatible with GH4 and Blackmagic Pocket) and have several major feature advantages none of the other cages offer.

Our cage is word of mouth only and about $199 more expensive then the most expensive on this list, but we are also the only cage system being used on multiple $100M Hollywood features, something I don’t believe any other cage on this list can boast.

Illya Friedman
President
Hot Rod Cameras

Eric Young
Eric Young
MemberAugust 30th, 2015

Why isn’t it available on the Hot Rod Cameras website, with photos & prices?

Tim Naylor
MemberAugust 24th, 2015

Good reviews but a little incomplete concerning the the Movcam. You’ve seemed to have skipped the movcam 15mm rod support. It’s quite solid and allows you to quick release the camera from the rod support which is quite helpful.

Also, regarding the camera mount onto the cage, if you use it with with an adaptor (as most A7s owners do), the Movcam has an excellent mount of the adaptor. When you screw that into a metabones, your camera is not moving. Also, in terms of mounting the cage to your A7s as being a hassle, keep in mind, the movcam is so small and snug you won’t be taking it off once mounted.

The last oversight is the movcam has 1/4 20’s both sides which is crucial if you’re using a gimbal for mounting transmitters and motor control.

My biggest gripe with movcam is the handle doesn’t have a quick release which would be helpful when packing into to small bags. I replaced mine with a movcam nato rail handle.

Tim Naylor
MemberAugust 24th, 2015

One aspect that seems to missing from your reviews is a mount for lens adaptors (metabones). Movcam and Tilta have them on their models (though not the one you reviewed for some reason). This is crucial for larger lenses. My movcam mount is so secure I can mount a canon 70-200 without an additional lens brace, something you do not want to do with just the adaptor and no adaptor mount.

Also quick release systems for 15mm rod support. Again this is a tilta and movcam feature which is highly convenient when you have to free your camera quickly from you rod support.

Paweł Korona
MemberNovember 9th, 2015

What shoulder mount is this?

Paweł Korona
MemberNovember 9th, 2015

Specifically referring to the one in the motionnine photos! Sorry for not being specific. Thanks!

Jeremy Freedberg
MemberMay 3rd, 2016

What on earth is that shoulder mount??

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