Camera Cages are just for videographers, right? In this review I am going to show you why I love a cage for my hybrid work between architectural photography and videography.
From day one I put my Canon R5 into a camera cage and only let it out of there for trips with the family, where I want to carry minimal equipment. Let me give you some reasons why. As an example for a camera cage, I will review the SmallRig Camera Cage 2982 for Canon EOS R5 and R6.
Disclaimer: I am not sponsored by SmallRig in any way and purchased all the gear myself. I just love the versatility that the SmallRig system is offering to me and hope I can optimize your workflow as well with this.
Have you ever taken pictures on a construction site, climbing up the tight ladders of the scaffolding? That’s when I scratched the top display for my backup Canon R camera. For my free Project Modern Alpine Architecture I climbed through pretty rugged terrain to reach the buildings, that I wanted to capture. Contact between my camera and the rocks was inevitable during the climb. My camera cage gives me a lot more peace of mind in these situations. The sturdy metal frame gives my camera a nice protection in every direction. This doesn’t mean that nothing will ever happen to the camera, but the cage has protected my camera body from a lot of hits over the last two years. Additionally, when my camera dangles around my back while I carry it on a shoulder strap, the cage prevents accidental button presses and useless captures of the pavement. With around 300g I definitely feel the weight difference that I carry, but usually, the benefits of this cage outweigh the added weight.
Oh, I’m lovin it! As a tech nerd I can’t stop rigging up my gear to find the perfect combination of tools to make my life as an architectural photographer easier. Take for example our beloved CamRanger. It is always in the way, dangling somewhere on your tripod.
My Small Rig camera cage has a cold shoe mount on the left side. Combining that with the SmallRig Swivel and Tilt Adjustable Monitor Mount 2905 and I have a sturdy mounting point for the CamRanger that fits perfectly next to my Profoto Air-TTL flash remote and is just close enough to connect the proprietary USB-C cable to my camera.
Then I added a tiny Arca Swiss plate BPnS-S from ReallyRightStuff to the left side of the cage to make an L-Bracket out of it. Ok, it is not perfect. The space between the ports and the tripod head is now pretty tight and I have to turn the head 90° to get the same composition. But for its size this plate is a phenomenal solution.
To capture behind the scenes video from a first person perspective I attached a SmallRig Mini Ball Head to a 1/4″ hole of the cage and mounted the Peak Design Mobile Creator Kit to it. Now I have a flexible base to mount my phone to.
Do you fear breaking cables on your camera? The cage has you covered. There is an optional SmallRig HDMI and USB-C Cable Clamp 2981, that is made specifically for the cage and prevents USB-C and HDMI cables from gettin loose or getting buckled.
Of course you can also add your favorite camera strap to the cage.
Do you like to use these little flags to prevent sunflares on the ultra wideangle lenses? Small Rig has you covered with the Simple Shade 3199, that you can mount either via cold shoe or 1/4″ thread.
When I finish my photography and want to switch to video, all I have to do is adding the SmallRig NATO Top Handle HTN2439B to the cage. Here my microphone is attached to a SmallRig Shotgun Microphone Holder BSM2352 via an additional SmallRig Cold Shote 1960 and the video monitor is attached to another Monitor Mount 2905 and I only have to plug in the cables. It’s as easy as that.
With its anti twist pins the SmallRig camera cage is tightly connected to the camera and with the magnetically attached screwdriver (at the bottom of the cage) I can detach the camera within seconds and shoot with it, without all the gear attached.
Ok, these were a lot of connection options and I have to admit to you will see me very rarely using all these accessories simultaneously. The great thing is, this cage serves as a base to make your workflow dreams come true. You just have to research a bit in the video rigging segment to find a solution for your needs.
This leaves me with just one more advantage of a camera cage: It looks really bad ass. Arriving to a job with such a camera rig, no one will question that you are a professional that knows what to do. Have you ever heard from your clients, that they use the same camera as you do for their holiday trips? These times are over now.
As with everything, this camera cage is not perfect. It adds weight and bulk to my camera and sometimes I don’t want that. But if you ask me, there is always a right tool for every job and for my hotel and architectural photoshoots I really love using this cage. Cheers!