Cage for Atomos Shogun: PV Gear KavalCage

In my ongoing quest to find a solid cage for my Atomos Shogun 4K recorder, I came across the PV Gear KavalCage. As I’ve mentioned before, I love the Shogun for the beautiful ProRes footage it captures but I have worried about its durability with its plastic casing and glass face. This thoughtfully designed, aluminum cage provides solid protection for your Shogun and includes retention systems for both the HDMI input and output as well as the DC power and audio Lemo cables. It is also the most aggressively priced aluminum cage for Shogun that I’ve encountered so far. Let’s take a closer look!

For a limited time, PV Gear has offered a discount to our little community here if you use coupon code "CJP" at checkout (use the link above).

I've got this mounted to my Varavon Armor II cage for Panasonic GH4 via the Manfrotto 492LCD cold shoe ball head which has been rock solid. Not the cheapest ballhead available but after one of the cheap heads dropped my Atomos Ninja II to the ground, I decided to step up my rigging game.

Cage for Atomos Shogun: Varavon Armor

I really like the Atomos Shogun for a lot of reasons. It is a great monitor, the files it records to ProRes are buttery smooth in edit so I don’t have to transcode my 4K footage, and it has a whole series of valuable exposure, color, and focusing tools.

But there are a couple of things I don’t love: The case is plastic, and not a super high density, really tough plastic. Also, the microphone lemo cable puts a lot of strain on the lemo input, so much so, that I don’t like using it for fear that I’ll tear the port right out of the Shogun. So I was interested in cages for the Shogun and it just so happens that several have become available on the market just recently.

In this episode we’ll take a close look at the Varavon Armor cage for Shogun. Overall, the cage fits my needs quite nicely, protects the Shogun so that I no longer worry about falls, and provides some solid rigging for the audio lemo, dc power, and HDMI inputs.

Varavon Armor II Camera Cage for GH4, a7S, NX1

We reviewed the Varavon Armor GH4K camera cage in late 2014 and found it to be a more ergonomic cage than the Fhugen Honu 2.0 cage. I stopped by Varavon’s booth at NAB back in April and was interested to see a couple of prototypes with updates to the original Armor cages. So here we take a closer look at the Armor II for the Panasonic GH4 and GH3. There are also versions specifically designed for Sony a7S, Samsung NX1, and the Canon 5DIII and 7DII.

The updates include a new 15mm carbon fiber rod with an interesting mount (as well as two additional mount points on the cage’s handle) that allows you to mount a follow focus, a shoulder stock for an ultra compact and lightweight should rig, or to attach additional accessories. Gone is the HDMI retaining clamp (which didn’t work all that well anyway) and the pro rotating handle.

Overall, this is a nice, thoughtful update from Varavon to the Armor cage that makes it an even better camera cage for mirrorless and DLSR shooters.

Varavon Armor GH4K Pro Camera Cage

Let's me attach all my stuff and then it stays out of my way. Varavon has been producing some surprisingly quality gear in the last little while. Their Armor GH4K Pro camera cage was not the first cage dedicated to the GH4 (and GH3) to market, but in my tests, strikes a very good balance between price, quality, and features.

The unibody aluminum cage is very thoughtfully laid out with cutouts for all the critical controls and doors, includes an HDMI and mic cable retaining systems, and stays out of the way so you can focus on shooting.

Yes, I like it and am happy to make it my new cage for my Panasonic GH4.

Fhugen Honu Camera Cage V2.0 for Panasonic GH4, GH3, and Sony A7s

Finally, the Fhugen Honu V2.0 camera cage for the Panasonic GH4, GH3, and Sony A7s was in stock! I quickly put down less than $200 USD for the kit with the cage, the HDMI retainer clip, and the handle and put it to the test. Overall, this cage works well for me. Great build quality (except the handle does have a little bit of play in it) and lots of mounting points. Convenient cutouts for the battery and memory card doors. Way less expensive than cages from makers like Wooden Camera and Zacuto, with one main trade-off that I was able to find - that handle has just a little play in it. Not a ton - it does not wobble or anything like that. Since I don’t shoot by holding the handle, that’s not an issue for me and a great way to save several hundred dollars.