SmallRig Cage for Sony A7r3 / A73 review - Transform your camera to a video rig with SmallRig 2096 - - Singapore Lifestyle Portal

SmallRig Cage for Sony A7r3 / A73 review - Transform your camera to a video rig with SmallRig 2096

Want to transform your Sony camera to a full-fledged video set up?

When I first purchase the Sony A7r3, my intention was to use it as the workhorse for this website. It will be the camera I would use to capture images to be shared here. During the course of using it, I realised that this camera could be used for another function... videos.

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As they say, a photo tells a thousand words. A video, on the other hand, will bring experience to life. It is with this notion that I decided to invest and venture into a video with the Sony A7r3.

In honesty, the videos made are a little too shaky for my liking. After all, I am just a novice videographer learning the ropes. I know I have to get extra equipment to do a proper video. To counter the shakiness, I could either invest in a stabilizer like the new Zhiyun Weebill lab or go for a SmallRig camera cage. I choose the latter for its size and ease of use. A cage would make video work easier due to its handling and accessory mounting. It can turn your normal camera to a video powerhouse. Comparatively, it may not produce shake-free videos like a stabilizer but it does make videos less Blair Witch like.

SmallRig 2096

There are a few cage makers in the market. After extensive research, SmallRig stood out in terms of quality and flexibility. Small is a Chinese company that produces cages and accessories for the various camera makes. The cages are reasonable in price and quality is top-notch. 

The SmallRig 2096 comes with 4 separate components for the setup.  You could opt for individual purchase or purchase as a set. There are cost savings when it comes to getting it as a set. My set was obtained from Aliexpress 

The package contains the following
1 X A7R III  / A7 III Cage 2087
1 X NATO Rail 1409
1 X NATO Handle( Rubber) 2005

Product Dimensions : 145 x 186,5 x 157.5 mn
Net Weight: 482g
Material: Aluminium Alloy

SmallRig 2087
SmallRig 2087
The most important item in this setup is the SmallRig A7RIII Cage (2087). This is a one-piece lightweight cage made of aluminium alloy.

The cage is a perfect fit for the Sony A7RIII. Secured to the camera with a single bolt, it does attached firmly to the camera. Do note you need your own screw to secure the camera.

The cage fit the profile of the Sony A7RIII, Although it increased the size by a little, you could still fit it into a camera bag with ease. Access to the dials and functions are not blocked by the cage.
Smallrig 2087 Battery Slots
The cage also has a cutout for access to the battery, SD cards and HDMI / USB slots. You can also add an ACRA plate at the base for quick connection to a tripod.

In terms of weight, it only adds a mere 270g to your camera setup. In addition, the cage comes with a cold shoe on the top right for the microphone, monitor or other accessories. It also comes with eyelets for shoulder straps and wrist straps. For those who have Peak design accessories, you would be pleased to know it fits the cage just fine. If you have a heavier lens, there are also 2 lens adapter ports that fit the Lens Adapter Support 1764 to better balance the weigh. There are plenty of 1/4"-20 and 3/8 "-16 threaded holes to attached equipment on the cage.

The good thing about a cage is that it also acts as a protection to your camera. Having a cage makes me feel more at ease hanging this camera around my shoulder.

You can get the SmallRig 2087 at this link (SGD 125)*
Accessible Port Smallrig 2087
SmallRig NATO Rail 1409 and NATO Handle (Rubber) 2005

SmallRig Nato Rail 1409
The NATO Handle 2005 is a great addition. It is used to hold your camera easier when handling low shots. It comes together with the NATO Rail 1409 that makes for easy clamping and removal.
SamllRig Nato Handle 2005

Unlike other handles, it comes with a rubber grip that makes it comfortable to hold. Do note that you should get both the NATO Handle 2005 and NATO Rail 1409 in order to attach to the cage.

Get the SmallRig NATO Rail 1409 here (SGD 14)*

SmallRig HDMI Lock 1679
SmallRig 1679

The SmallRig 2096 set comes with a SmallRig HDMI Lock 1679, This clamp is for your HDMI cable. This is to protect your cables from being accidental dropping when connected to a monitor. An essential for the pro so you would not miss a shot. It is attached to the cage with 2 1/4"-20 screws. It comes with additional w M5 threaded holes to lock  USB cable with screws.

Get you SmallRig HDMI Lock 1679 here (SGD35)

As you probably figure out, getting the accessories separately cost SGD236. Getting the Smallrig 2096 at a set cost only SGD 180. It will be more worth it if you get it as a set

Get your Smallrig 2096 here

Extra Accessory: Smallrig NATO Side Handle 2187
SmallRig 2187
I went ahead to purchase an additional handle for the rig. This is by far a great purchase. The SmallRig NATO side handle 2187 fits into the cage with a NATO rail. It allows for quick release without using tools. In addition, there is mounting holes and cold shoe on top of the handle for more accessories. You would need an additional NATO Rail to attach to the cage.

I got this because of the flexibility to change to the left or right side. Compared to the wooden grip with Arri Rosette option, this is relatively cheaper and more flexible in use.

Get the SmallRig NATO Side Handle 2187 here (SGD129)

The Setup - SmallRig 2096

 In addition to the accessories, I had also taken the liberty to match other existing accessories. For the budget videographer, the phone works well for me as an external monitor.
Sony A7R3 with SmallRig Cage
 Add an external mic and I got a full-fledge Video powerhouse on the go.  You could choose to load your SmallRig, or keep it simple with the cage and handle for quick on the go videos. Either case, it is a must-have accessory for those who intend to use your camera as a video rig.
Sony A7R3 with SmallRig Cage

Final thoughts
SmallRig cage for Sony A7r3 turns out much better than I anticipated. Size-wise, it does not add much more bulk to the camera. In fact with the cage, it is easier to hold the camera steady even for still shots. With the added potential of add on to turn the camera to a video powerhouse, it is a must get for videographers out there.

Want one?
The accessories are from Aliexpress. Most items came carefully wrapped in a box. Delivery to Singapore takes about 1 week from others.

You can get the items from the following links

*Price correct as of 1 Nov 2018
The above review was done at my own expenses. This post contained affiliate links. Purchase from the link would be the same price as purchased directly. We do earn a small commission from the links to keep the lights on. Do support if you find this review helpful.

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