My rig did not look as bad as that, but… close.
Canon C300 and Atomos Samurai on Chrosziel cage and rod support. The rest are Vocas parts.
Color-coded spacers make it easy to adjust the cage’s width and height.
The camera is mounted to the very nice Chrosziel lightweight support baseplate, that also sports 15mm rods that can extend front and back to support a follow-focus, matte-box, handgrips, shoulder pad and other 15mm accessories.
The Chrosziel Lighweight-Support Baseplate.
The cage itself is mounted underneath the Baseplate. Here I ran into two problems: The way the cage is mounted to the baseplate is a little fiddly and the screws are tricky to place and tighten. Not very nice when you are on set and in a hurry to convert the camera from cage-mode to nakend-body-mode. The tripod-plate is then mounted to screwholes that are part of the cage. These holes are quite a way to the back of the center of gravity of my C300 rig, which meant that I had to use almost all the way my tripod-head would let me slide the camera to the back in order to balance it correctly on the head.
Two screws to mount the cage to the baseplate are a bit fiddly to get in.
Holes for tripod plate are very far to the back of the center of gravity. At least on the C300.
All the components of the cage - including the heavy-duty handle have lots of 1/4” and 3/8” screwholes to mount every possible accessory you can think of securely to the cage. The Handgrip itself has a 15mm hole down its length that can be used to put in a 15mm rod to extend the grip and/or mount stuff to.
Even the handgrip has lots of 3/8” and 1/4” threads and a 15mm hole down the length of it.
All the components of the cage - including the heavy-duty handle have LOTS of 1/4” and 3/8” screwholes to mount every possible accessory you can think of securely to the cage. The Handgrip itself has a 15mm hole down it’s length that can be used to put in a 15mm rod to extend the grip and/or mount stuff to. The myriad of attachment-points even allow you to mount the camera underslung on a crane or remote head securely.
Chrosziel also sent me one of their newly developed cold shoe-mounts that can be attached to various points on the cage. These are extremely useful, as most of the accessories I use have a cold shoe for fixation. So if I order the cage I hope a handful of those are included. They get attached with twin screws to prevent them from twisting. The shoes are seriously heavy-duty and I would trust them to hold even the heaviest LED light or external recorder.
Heavy duty cold shoe mount. Note the little screws that prevent the mounted accessory from slipping out the back of the shoe.
Via a 15mm rod bracket, additional pairs of 15mm rods can be attached on both sides or on top of the cage for mounting stuff or to extend the rods back to a second cage to build an even more rugged double-cage. I have not tried this because I only had one cage element at my disposal.
15mm Rod braced added to the left side of the cage...
…and on top between cage and Handgrip
Like I mentioned earlier I shot a feature using the Canon C300. There was a lot of handheld work there, so there were mattebox, remote follow-focus, batteries, shoulder pad, counter-weights, atmo-microphone a monitor and the Atomos Samurai attached to the rig. It naturally was very heavy. Although we tried to always grab the camera by the rails or handgrips, inevitably we sometimes handled it with the standard canon-handgrip screwed to the camera. That meant the whole weight of the rig not only to hang from the camera’s tripod screws, but also apply a lot of force to the camera-body itself, which definitely is not a good idea.
With a cage like the Chrosziel cage the camera-body itself does not support any weight, so the cage/handgrip combination not only puts a layer of protection around the camera, but also takes a lot of mechanical strain off the camera body.
C300’s handle removed. Weight does not hang from the camera anymore.
Overall I have been very impressed with the Chrosziel Cage. Build-quality is excellent and the ability to adapt the cage to any future camera makes it very interesting for me. If something like the handheld-centric feature of 2012 comes up I’ll definitely pick up one of those Cages. If the price of the kit is reasonable I will even get myself one of those as soon as they are released.
A little disclaimer at the end of this review: I am in no way affiliated with Chrosziel and I don’t get paid for this review. The cage is a work in progress and details might change in the final released product.
For more information and pricing go to www.chrosziel.com. To watch my filmed review go here.