Zacuto has started shipping their Sony a7 III, a7R III and a9 Cage. Initially announced back in the Spring, the cage is a compact & ergonomic design with recessed Nato rails, more robust HDMI elbow as well as a low profile & sturdy friction mount for Atomos Shogun recorders.
Due to popularity of these types of cameras, there is naturally a ton of cage options out there.
Zacutos take on the Sony Alpha cage is one that retains the ergonomics of the camera, keeping a low profile whilst stabilizing ports & accessories.
The cage is trimmed down to fit your camera snugly. It has an array of ¼” 20 threads on top for accessories, the side & top have low-lying Nato rails for the handles.
Said low Nato rails are useful in keeping the top handle low to the body, adding stability.
Speaking of stability, Zacuto utilize the neck strap eyelets as further anchoring points. This cage is designed as more of an exoskeleton for your camera; you can’t quickly take your camera in & out.
You can get a firm grip of your Sony camera with both hands with this cage. An ENG style hand strap is added to one side that works directly with the existing grip. On the opposite side is an adjustable height Nato handle with cold shoe on top.
The included HDMI lock port serves a few purposes – it secures the connection, angles the cable 90 degrees (good for getting out the way in on-shoulder configurations) and converts micro to full size HDMI.
The design of the cage enables the foot of metabones adaptors to slot into a non-twist nook. There is also thread holes for optional further support that don’t require the use of any 15mm baseplate.
Its nice to see metabones support on the case side, meaning you can strip the system down (sans rods) without losing this feature.
One of the most notable features is perhaps the non-swivel friction mount for Atomos Shogun recorders.
Most Sony Alpha cameras rely on external recorders for optimal output. The problem is the 7” display is absolute overkill for a camera this size.
This size mismatch has lead to some highly questionable, top-heavy rigs.
Zacuto to their credit has addressed this well, offering a low profile friction mount (move with one hand) that has lugs on the camera side to avoid swiveling, whilst on the recorder side, attaching via the stock ¼” 20 thread as well as the 4 smaller body screws.
The standard top handle is a simply Nato rail based design with wooden grip. It can face forward or backwards and has ¼” 20 and 3/8” threads on top as well as a cold shoe and further low nato.
An optional, side facing rod mount is available for EVF mounting.
There’s also a tall, angled insertion piece that enables use of the K2M XLR adaptor.
Here’s a live stream recording of typical Zacuto bods eulogizing about their Sony a7 III, a7R III and a9 Cage:
The base package is available now and includes the cage with side strap, side handle and HDMI lock port. Top handle is separate (I guess you pick the one that works best for you) so is the Atomos Inferno Mount.
What do you look for in a cage? If you are already using a Zacuto cage, please share with us your thoughts in the comment section below?