I thank Ivan Joshua Loh from Fujifanboys for lending me this handheld cage for a short review. Before I begin, allow me to clarify, I am not a videographer so I cannot speak about how good the handling of this product is while filming. What I will share is my first impression of it, my apologies.
What’s in the box
It comes with many things in this package and I will list them below:
- Top handler
- HDMI & USB-C cable clamp
- Hot shoe cover (with leveling)
- Shutter button adapter
- Side lock adapter
- M2 screw (1 x short and 1 x long)
- M3 screws x 2
- Allen wrench
- Tapered screw
From its first look, it gives a compact and very strong retro steampunk vibe design (hence, the name). While the overall cage design is very much the same as the usual handheld cage design, this retro design set it apart from the norm. The brass-like cage with the brushed-off finished texture is so beautiful. Not forgetting the stitched leather handgrip is so beautifully curved along the grip.
Being a cage, it has to include several accessory mounting points right? So it comes with ARRI 3/8″-16 locating hole, a 1/4″-20 threaded hole, a 3/8″-16 threaded hole, a NATO rail, and also a cold shoe mount. And of course, this cage also comes with Arca-Swiss quick-release plate at the bottom.
Build Quality & Handling
The materials used here are mainly aluminum alloy, silicone, leather, and stainless steel. Overall, it gives a very sturdy and strong build. (I mean no one is expecting to have flimsy parts for a cage, right?)
It comes with a top handle, which gives a very good texture look and is comfortable in holding it.
The grip has a very deep contour and is very comfortable to hold for big hands like mine. With this huge grip design, SmallRig has even included a shutter button adapter to overcome the problem of reaching out to the shutter release button comfortably. How thoughtful they are. (But my long finger is still able to reach out for the shutter button.)
There is a press-and-flip mechanism on the screw-on HDMI & USB-C cable clamp. This allows the videographer easily access to the camera interface cover without the need to remove the clamp.
If there are videographers who wish to wrist strap the camera, the cage comes with a wrist strap hole too.
At the base of the cage, there is a magnetic wrench/key which saves us a lot of time finding the right tool to loosen/tighten the screws.
In my own words
At 199 USD, it is the most expensive cage ever sold in SmallRig but I think it is totally worth it. I am sold by its retro design. It probably will seek some attention from the surrounding. But I feel that this retro cage does fuse well with the beautiful X-T5 too. Not only do they blend so well with each other, but the cage does also hold comfortably well. Thanks to its look, I might even consider getting this without the top handle. (Yes, SmallRig also sells without the top handle and cable clamp.) If you are looking for a beautifully crafted cage and do not mind spending a bit more, I think you can consider this.
Thank you for reading.
1. All the shots taken here are shot by me.
2. Most of the shots are straight out of the camera with some shots edited via In-Camera Raw Processing or Capture One.
3. The opinions are based on my experience. If there is any mistake, please kindly drop me a message and I will gladly make the amendment.
4. I reserve ownership of these images, if you wish to use my images, please notify me.
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