The Best Sony a7S II Cage / a7R II Cage – 8 Cages Reviewed

December 18th, 2015
The Best Sony a7S II Cage / a7R II Cage - 8 Cages Reviewed

sony-a7s-ii-cages-a7r-ii-featured

The new Sony a7S II and Sony a7R II are currently leading the list of most powerful affordable large sensor cameras (Check out our comparison Review). To make those cameras work with third party accessories, a good camera cage is often a must. Read on to find the best Sony a7S II Cage (and a7R II Cage) out of 8 we tested.

Review by Sebastian Wöber & Johnnie Behiri

In August we reviewed the best cages for the original Sony a7S and now we take a look at cages for the new a7S II and a7R II cameras that share an identical body design. There are more cages out there that we didn’t test. Here we’re reviewing the ones that manufacturers sent to us in time to meet our publication deadline.

We followed the same basic review guidelines of our first test, but also took reader comments into account. In particular Metabones adapter support was one review point that some of you were more interested in. We tried to keep it short, but this review is extensive. That’s why we split the reviews for each single cage into a separate page.

7-sony-a7s-ii-cages

Do you Need a Cage?

In the age of small cinema cameras the camera cage has become the most popular accessory by now. But it is not always a good idea to follow the trend. First here’s a checklist to see if you really need a cage for your application.

  1. Mounting accessories on your camera?
    Cages provide mounting points (standard threads and coldshoes) so you can mount stuff. This is the main purpose of a camera cage, as the Sony a7 cameras by themselves don’t provide any other mouting points, besides one single hotshoe on top.
  2. Protection and Ergonomics.
    Cages protect the camera and can enhance the ergonomics, by offering a more handy form-factor or handle rec-triggers. On the other hand they add weight and some of thembulkyness. So if lightweight and compactness is your #1 concern, think again.
  3. HDMI cable protection.
    The original Sony a7S offered external 4K recording. As the new a7S II and a7R II have internal 4K, HDMI protection is less of a necessity. However if you intend to use HDMI for external screens, EVF or recording, then a cage that protects the HDMI port is essential.
  4. Lens Mount Support.
    If you use larger lenses or rigs with focusing gears, a solid lensport is a good idea. Sony’s native E-Mount is not the most sturdy of mounts and many shooters work with a Metabones adapter to use Canon EF mount lenses on the a7S II and a7R II.

Why this Cage Comparison?

Because there are huge quality differences between cages and you will not be happy with just any of them. Most of them actually are not recommended. Don’t just order a Sony a7S II cage blindly. You should weigh all the pro’s & con’s of the cages we present, so you can decide which of them will tick most or all your boxes.

In our conclusion we will tell you which one we liked best, which ones we recommend and which need improvement.

Structure of Each Review:

  • Ease of assembly and disassembly.
  • How securely is the camera attached to the cage?
  • HDMI cable protector design.
  • Do we have access to other outputs on the side?
  • Is it possible to use the Sony XLR-K2M audio module?
  • Can we easily access the lens release button?
  • 
How well can we attach a tripod plate?
  • How good is the included Rod Support?
  • Metabones Mount Quality.
  • The top-handle design.
  • Overall ergonomics.
  • Conclusion

How We Rate

We rated each point as follows:

a7s-doublegreenDouble-green: In some rare cases we decided to give a double-green rating for outstanding performance/design.

a7s-greenGreen: The product performs as it should.

a7s-orangeOrange: There are some issues, but it’s ok.

a7s-redRed: The product didn’t live up to our expectations.

a7s-doubleredDouble-Red: Something is wrong here and should be addressed by the manufacturer.

The Cages we Reviewed

Simply click on the name of the product to get to the review page or find the conclusion at the end of this article. Products reviewed in alphabetical order.

8Sinn a7RII / a7SII Cage
Came-Tv Rig for a7SII / a7RII
Movcam a7RII / a7SII Cage Kit
Moza Cage for Mirrorless Cameras
Shape Sony a7S II / a7R II Cage
Skier LiteCage for A7RII / A7SII
Tilta for Sony a7 Cage ES-T17
Varavon Cage for a7R II, a7S II

linebreakb

GO TO PAGE 2 →

Links to each Cage Review:

94
Leave a Reply

guest
1
1
- 5
Filter:
all
Sort by:
latest
 Paul Szilard
Paul Szilard
Member
February 28th, 2019

Are there enough alternatives to do a similar round up of cages for the Fujifilm X-T3 and/or X-H1

 Nick Pitcavage
Member
March 20th, 2018

Wow, this was a really great review. So many cages!!

I’ve purchased the Movcam, Tilta and Axler cage. I agree that the Tilta is the best overall. I’m a big fan of the grip with trigger, but it’s also very pricey. And I think the top handles suck on all three of these cages. I’m not a fan of the NATO rail at all. It’s takes up too much space on top and leaves you without many handle position options.

The Movcam cage was too complex and didn’t really offer a lot of protection. Especially for the price.

I really like the Axler cage. It’s very inexpensive, light, accessible and secure. I switch between photo and cine often so I need to take my camera out of the cage often. I didn’t like the top handle at all so I replaced it with a wooden camera top handle (Which is not really an option with the Tilta cage). The rail system is quality, mounts securely to a baseplate. I also removed the wooden grip, as it was completely useless. I will say, I wish it had a rossette mount on the side.

I don’t know about the audio interface compatibility, as I typically hire a sound guy. or shoot mos.

I’m also not sure about the metabones mount. I have to ask tho, why is this a factor? Wouldn’t it would be much better to work with native lenses? I have a metabones adaptor, but only really shoot with e-mount lenses. If I have a telephoto, I use a rail mount lens support.

It would be awesome to her your thoughts on the Axler cage here or in the next round. With the exception of the Metabones, I really think you nailed the baseline requirements for these cages.

 Maik Burghardt
Maik Burghardt
Member
October 18th, 2016

really nice and good comparisons!!! thank you guys for all the product reviews you make – I’m nearly every day at the Cinema5D website. In the comments I read that there will be a second round. Is it still online? I’m very interested what you guys think about the Fotodiox Pro Cinema Sharkcage
One additional question: Next week I’ll get my A7s II and I’m checking what extra tools is good to have. Especially I’m look for a vari ND filter. For my Canon and Nikon lenses I found a perfect solution the FotoDiox ND Throttle with Built-In Variable ND Filter. The built in Variable ND Filter which is between the camera and lenses is great. Now I’m searching for something similar for the Sony g-master lenses, for example G-master 24-70mm F2,8. Do you aware of any solution out there for a vari ND filter which is between camera and lenses. Because of the problem of a strong cross pattern (especially if you rotated the filter to maximum) by most of the vari filters out there I search for a better solution without always carrying the whole range of ND filters with me.

 Dean Cornish
Member
June 12th, 2016

I have a Tilta rig (mostly on this recommendation), XLR-K2M and an A7s ii in front of me… and can guarantee there’s no way of incorporating all three if you use the Tilta top handle. If anyone has any wisdom, please advise. Otherwise, beware of this review.

Member
May 15th, 2016

Hi Sebastian, great article! I have one question about the connector doors on the A7Sii. It seems like you removed them from the camera in the Movcam cage pictures. Is it really necessary to do so?
I’d rather not take them off permanently but would like to use the Movcam cage.

feli reitz
feli reitz
Guest
March 21st, 2016

Hi Sebastian,

thanks for your very detailed review!
Because of using a zacuto z-finder
I am wondering wich cage would make it possible to fix the frame of the zacuto or better: to have enough space to put the camera in the cage with the little zacuto gorilla plate secured?
Thanks a lot
Felix

Member
February 26th, 2016

is there any good one to use with battery grip on ?

 Ho Tat Tsim
Member
January 16th, 2016

nice review!!!

but…

how can u remove the hdmi plastic cover as show in the picture???

Member
January 15th, 2016

I almost pulled the trigger on the Tilta but decided to pick up a Movcam. I realized for gimbal work, I like to leave the cage on and the Tilta can’t release from the 15mm support with the Metabones mount still on. The Movcam can. This is was the deal breaker for me. I had a Movcam before and I never took it off once I put it on.

Greg Latham
Greg Latham
Member
January 15th, 2016

It’s difficult finding some of these in Europe, does anyone know a good place to purchase? Also difficult to track down the CAME-TV cage, all I can find it a cage that looks exactly the same by a company called Hontoo – is it a knock off or is that their EU branding?

Member
January 7th, 2016

Should I go ahead and buy the Tilta or wait for your second round guys?
Thanks for your great reviews!

Member
February 6th, 2016

Hey Sebastian, regarding the Tilta cage: would you still be able to attach an external sub battery to the a7rII while the Tilta handle is plugged into the USB port? In other words, does the handle have a USB input for a battery?

Kaard Bombe
Kaard Bombe
Guest
January 6th, 2016

Thank you guys as always for the great review!

I ended up going the movcam route – love my movcam c300 top handle – but I didn’t want to spend the money on the whole kit, considering all I’d really need was the actual cage around the camera and a handle.

It turns out that b&h sells the cage as a standalone product for $176 – http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1203149-REG/movcam_mov_303_2401_cage_for_sony_a7.html/mode/edu.

Then, I added the movcam Blackmagic Pocket top handle, which is only $38 – http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1041178-REG/movcam_mov_303_2101_top_handle_for_blackmagic.html/mode/edu

The top handle actually comes included with the nato rail (I know there’s some debate on the b&h page about this, but when I ordered mine on 12/22/15 it arrived with the rail), so for just over $200 you now have a full cage and handle system without having to pay for the full kit or the over $100 new movcam twist handle.

With this set up you can then be more flexible with the cage itself – for example, you can leave the right side unattached, which then makes the cage a lot quicker to take on and off, all while still having your handle attached at the top. Even with the one contact point in this set-up I didn’t have any cage wiggle, even when adding my 502 monitor. So far in the last few weeks I still haven’t had to tighten it again.

Another idea would be to get an additional 5″ nato rail that would then give you the entire top area of the camera to move your handle to, or to attach more accessories.

Just wanted to share this set up, I think it’s one of the cheapest ways to enjoy the cage and get a quality top handle without adding unneeded stress to the hotshoe!

Member
January 6th, 2016

Cinema5D forgot to include probably the best cage out there, the Wooden Camera A7S cage! I love it. Expensive, but definitely worth the cost so far.

Jonathan Hess
Jonathan Hess
Guest
January 4th, 2016

Hi, thanks for this awesome review. Because of it I ordered the Tilta Cage without the wooden grip.
I want to use my s7sII with the xlr-k2m.
But unfortunately I got just one mounting solution for the top handle. So I have no change to use the handle with the xlr-adaptor.
Then I searched for the second mounting option (without the nato-rail). But I couldn’t find anything about it. also on the tilta.com website was nothing to find.
Does anyone know how to get this extra mounting solution for the top handle? Or is there an other handle which fits with the xlr-k2m? Thanks for any suggestions.

Re He
Re He
Guest
January 4th, 2016
Reply to  Jonathan Hess

Hi Jonathan

Same problem here – I have no idea where they hide this mounting solution.

Getting it from B&H – there is no addon or something else :-(
Do you get any tipps or ideas to solve???

best regards, Rene

p.s. Cinema5D does a great cage review anyway….

 Re He
Re He
Member
January 4th, 2016

Hi Sebastian

Thanks for your quick answer!
I get it from B&H Tilta ES-T17 without the grip (Order B&H # TIEST17 or MFR # ES-T17) – and now I take a close look to the product pics and is no additional handle in the package – and there is no other option to order with or without handle. Also the Tilta ES-T17A (with the wooden grip) is not with the handle option
(take a look http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1207902-REG/tilta_es_t17_a_handheld_camera_cage_rig.html)

I see in the Rig instruction that the handle is an option (TT-E04 at the last side of the PDF)
http://tilta.com/content/uploads/2015/08/TILTA-For-SONY-A7-Series-Rig-Instruction-001.pdf

 Re He
Re He
Member
January 4th, 2016

I’m ordering the version with the handle, but without the wooden grip.

 Re He
Re He
Member
January 4th, 2016
Reply to  Jonathan Hess

Hi Jonathan

I looks like the adaptor is not part of the package :-( (checking out the tilta support site).

Question to cinema5D:
Was the adapter part of the cage package or do you get it separately???

 Re He
Re He
Member
January 4th, 2016

Ok, I already send the question to the tilta support – I come back asap I have news.

 Jonathan Hess
Jonathan Hess
Member
January 4th, 2016

Yes, it was the one WITHOUT the wooden handle.
@Sebasitan: As far I can see it is also not on the picture on the b+h link you just posted.

I also contacted tilta. They will reply asap. I’ll keep you updated.

 Jonathan Hess
Jonathan Hess
Member
January 7th, 2016

Thanks alot Sebastian for your effort.
I also got a reply from Tilta and got the same answer. Here is what they wrote:

‘We are sending the parts to our UK dealer this week. They will contact you when the parts are arrived. The parts are free,however you will need to pay the delivery cost from UK to your address.’

Greg Latham
Greg Latham
Member
January 13th, 2016
Reply to  Jonathan Hess

Quick question for those that have the Tilta rig, can you still access the C1 and C2 buttons? I use them all the time to punch in for focus and as a record button.

 Re He
Re He
Member
January 13th, 2016
Reply to  Greg Latham

You can still access to C1 and C2 – but with the cage C1/2 are (in my opinion) no longer the most preferred buttons (it’s fiddly) – I put all the “quick access buttons” to the back of the camera. Think the shape cage gives better access to shutter/C1/C2 button

Andrew Lin
Andrew Lin
Guest
December 29th, 2015

Hi, I noticed that you guys are using an eyecup piece, is that the Hoodman? Does anyone know when the glasses version will be available on B&H or where you can find a similar eyecup for the A7 series for folks with glasses?

Cheers and thanks for reviewing the cages, might have to pick one up myself.

Member
December 27th, 2015

Is it possible to get the Tilta wooden handle separate? It looks really good.

Member
December 23rd, 2015

Nino,

Is the cable for the wooden handle long enough to attach the wooden handle to standard hand held rig attached to the 15mm rods. I have Wooden Camera 15mm hand held grips and I’d love to swap out the right hand grip for the wooden grip. Also can the handle be wired to use with other cameras such as Red or Alexa?

Kepano Kekuewa
Kepano Kekuewa
Member
December 23rd, 2015

Thanks for the thorough review – it can be hard to discern some of the smaller details from the manufacturers’ or resellers’ sites. Tilta’s support for old and new body styles was a revelation and seals the deal for me. The K2M comparability and trigger handle were pretty big features, but knowing this will work with my A7s mk1 puts the Tilta far ahead of the competitors in this review. I’m happy to use your affiliate link to make this purchase!

Member
December 22nd, 2015

I don’t really understand the this hype about metabone mount?! I read the text but still don’t get it. Don’t metabone fit every cage like a normal lens? It has the same diametar as many sony FE lenses!!

Admin
December 23rd, 2015

Hi Jonas.

It is about being able to fit the metabones adapter AFTER the the camera is already in the cage. (as one might want to change lets say from a Canon lens to a Sony one), also, in case of using long focal lenses attached to the metabones adapter, you will want the cage to support the adapter in order not to stress the camera bayonet.

Hope it is a bit clearer now.

Thanks!

Johnnie

Member
December 23rd, 2015

I used to have a Movcam cage and the Metabones brace is indispensable. Using MB without a brace not only stresses the mount but will lead to back focus issues as well.

Member
December 22nd, 2015

Anyone thinks this smallrig is better than Tilta es-t17?

Member
December 22nd, 2015

I love these comparisons on gear, they are really really useful, its hard enough making gear choices and you don’t see these reviews very often anymore.

I would also love a review on various run ‘n gun or shoulder rig options (not frankenrigs, but just a complete and balanced product). Too many to choose from.

Nick Braun
Guest
December 22nd, 2015

Sick!

Scott Fraser
Guest
December 22nd, 2015

Tilta is the one I want

Member
December 22nd, 2015

Just to note, the $100 of tax you see on the 8Sinn cage is only for Europe. You only pay shipping if in the US.

Harn Jian Teh
Guest
December 21st, 2015

Awesome

Bruno Fiengo
Guest
December 21st, 2015

Hello there,
Do you know some seller in europe to buy tilta cage?

Admin
December 23rd, 2015
Reply to  Bruno Fiengo

Unfortunately not.

Thomas Walker
Guest
December 23rd, 2015
Reply to  Bruno Fiengo

Aliexpress.com has them

Member
December 20th, 2015

MovCam has 2 additional handles and one of them has a start/stop trigger.

Eric Lake
Guest
December 20th, 2015

Nice review, though i wasn’t able to read page 8 on my iphone for some reason. It kept jumping to page 1. Anyone else have this problem?

 Illya Friedman
Illya Friedman
Member
December 20th, 2015

Frankly the best, most professional, and only American made A7sII/rII cage wasn’t requested for inclusion in this review. It passes all tests, and unlike the cages tested here- if you purchased an A7s you wouldn’t have to buy another cage when you upgrade to an A7sII or A7rII camera, in fact it works with every A7 camera made. It has more features than any cage included in this test. It’s also the only A7 cage system in use on multiple $100M Hollywood features, compatible with all Arri standard studio products and is only available from Hot Rod Cameras in person or by phone. It’s called the Kung Fu Cinema System and the price is $699 for the basic kit.

Admin
December 20th, 2015
Reply to  Illya Friedman

Hi Illya, thanks for your comment but we were not at all aware of this product (which might have to do with the fact that according to you it’s only available in person or by phone …). We really don’t care where something is made as long as it does its job.

We are most likely doing a “round two” of the a7R II / a7S II cage reviews as more keep coming out, and we also want to look at the Lockcircle Birdcage II which didn’t arrive in time, as well as some others.

So please feel free to send us a review unit if you want it to be included, we are looking forward to having a close look at it too! Please get in touch via email if you want that to happen. Thanks.

Anonymous
Anonymous
Guest
December 23rd, 2015
Reply to  Illya Friedman

The tilta system will slide directly onto an arri dovetail

Member
December 23rd, 2015
Reply to  Illya Friedman

Never heard of it. Can’t find anything on on it. How about a link?

Anthony Salerno
Guest
December 20th, 2015

E-17 is in the mail thx

Anand Vyas
Guest
December 19th, 2015

Spellcheck? Its simple guys “Leas”?

cinema5D
Guest
December 20th, 2015
Reply to  Anand Vyas

Amended. Thanks.

Anand Vyas
Guest
December 20th, 2015
Reply to  Anand Vyas

No problem

Anand Vyas
Guest
December 19th, 2015

Lockcircle is #1. And next time buy it… small companies cant just give away stuff

Admin
December 20th, 2015
Reply to  Anand Vyas

And we can’t expected to buy anything we test. Review gear is always sent back upon request by the manufacturers, it remains in their possession.

Stefano Spiti
Guest
December 19th, 2015

For me Birdcage #1

Kyle Zombies
Guest
December 19th, 2015

God damn i want a cage lol

Steven Waldstein
Steven Waldstein
Member
December 19th, 2015

Thanks for the great review. I was just wondering what to get here. I’m new to videography but now that I have a a7RII I want to jump in to it. So this article is a great help.

Member
December 18th, 2015

Thank you for the hard work and informative review. I’d like to add the Fotodiox Shark Cage for two simple reasons (a) it feels very good in the hand and (b) and it is easy to get replacement parts. As a camera rental shop owner for 15 years I can’t tell you how many people lose/break parts and then the purchase becomes useless. SHAPE is good at selling replacement parts but they are not good at thinking things through (so I was not surprised by your review). MOVCAM is pretty good at making things for a good price but you will never be able to get parts. Having a lens support threaded into the Metabones is key…the MOVCAM did that but again, you’re going to lose the parts. I solved that by buying a 50 small rig lens support and unscrewing the cradle and taping straight into the Metabones. Dollar for dollar this combo makes the Fotodiox superior to all the cages mentioned here unless you need to attach a separate XLR module.

 Ken Martini
Ken Martini
Member
December 18th, 2015
Reply to  Chris Edwards

I love the handle on the Photodiox and the cable restraint, plus the included rail system. The only issue I have with that cage is that it covers the hot shoe and the lack of 1/4×20 attratchment points on the sides. I went with the Motionnine and added a home brew handle on the left side.

Member
December 19th, 2015
Reply to  Chris Edwards

I had a Movcam cage for my A7sI and I never had to replace a part. Built was excellent. The only mod I made was I replaced the handle for a NATO mount handle. The only misgiving I have about Movcam is the Metabones mount unless you crank it down with plyers does come loose. Once cranked in, though, I never touched it for a year.

The problem I see with the Foto Diox cage is the lack of mounting points. The whole right side has no real estate to mount accessories. On my gimbal I always used that side on the movcam to mount wireless HD TX. Also, the wooden handle is on the wrong side as most of us pull focus on the left side.

Member
December 18th, 2015

My biggest question about the Tilta cage is – can you still somehow attach an external USB battery to power the camera while the handle is plugged into the miniUSB port?

Member
December 18th, 2015

Great review! Many of the things that work and don’t are definitely not apparent in the specs and ads. Considering their well designed baseplates and rigs, I would’ve never guessed Shape would overlook access to ports. I’m torn between the Tilta and the Movcam. As a user who never takes his camera out of the Cage (my A7s I never left the cage), it becomes what will swing between gimbal and sticks the best.

Thanks for info.

Member
December 18th, 2015

The most important one: SmallRIG!!!!! I believe it’s the most important cage, cause it costs half the price and the quality is outstanding!

Member
December 19th, 2015

I would absolutely love for somebody to do a review on the SmallRIG cage. Can’t find one anywhere.

Tried the Varavon Zeus, it doesn’t work ergonomically. Tried the Motion 9 Cage. It’s big and bulky and meh. I just want to know if the SmallRIG one is awkward and blocky, and if you can access all the controls well.

Member
December 18th, 2015

very nice comparisons of features and detailed photos of actual products. This is why I come to Cinema5D every day to view product reviews.

Admin
December 20th, 2015
Reply to  Derek McCabe

Thanks Derek, the whole team appreciates that.

 Ken Martini
Ken Martini
Member
December 18th, 2015

It is too bad that the Motionnine Cube R2E and the Fotodiox Shark did not make the review. The Motionnine is a superb piece of engineering constructed of one piece of aluminum The Fotodiox is a half cage with a handle on the left side that offers two hand support while keeping the rig lite.

Admin
December 20th, 2015
Reply to  Ken Martini

Ken, we are looking into doing a second round of these reviews. Some products we were not aware of and some others didn’t manage to send the units in time. Anyway, we included 8 different cages, so I think it’s fair to say that this gives a great first overview of what’s available, and in round 2 we will try to get hold of all the ones that we were missing.

Member
March 18th, 2016
Reply to  Ken Martini

Agreed! The MotionNine Cube Cage is by far the smartest engineered cage for the A7 series.

Member
December 18th, 2015

I’ve been using the Smallrig cage with my A7rii and I’ve been pretty pleased with it. I use a 3″ z-rail and Zacuto recoil handle on top and a kessler mini plate on the bottom. It’s a no frills option but only cost me £40.

Randy Panado
Randy Panado
Guest
December 18th, 2015

I use this one too. Great cage for the money!! The new HDMI port protector is great as well. After reading the review, I think small rig would do very well in the round up. Only thing is no metabones mount (that I’m aware of).

Member
December 19th, 2015
Reply to  Randy Panado

On the cage’s only Amazon review, it mentions that the Mode Dial is difficult to turn on the SmallRig Cage. Have you guys had similar experiences? Or is it all good?

Carlos Chiossone
Carlos Chiossone
Guest
December 18th, 2015

As for your HDMI cable support. I love the idea that i can use the support that comes with the camera, main reason, i can move the camera out of the cage onto the MOVI or drone easily and don’t have to deal with reattaching a cable support.
Wish could mount rods with better support.

Williams Antonio Lamattina
Guest
December 18th, 2015
Nino Leitner
Guest
December 18th, 2015

No – we asked several times but didn’t receive a review unit.

Williams Antonio Lamattina
Guest
December 18th, 2015

Nino Leitner I could not know.I hope you will try it as soon as possible ;)

Nino Leitner
Guest
December 18th, 2015

it’s mentioned in the review – yes we will make a second run if enough additional cages show up

cinema5D
Guest
December 18th, 2015

No, we didn’t receive it in time despite asking for it. Might include it in a second run with additional cages.

Williams Antonio Lamattina
Guest
December 18th, 2015

cinema5D Thanks for the answer ;)

Anand Vyas
Guest
December 19th, 2015

Lockcircle is a small company but its the best cage

1
1
- 5
Filter:
all
Sort by:
latest

Take part in the CineD community experience