Cages are very useful. Why? Because they give you multiple mount points for accessories. Accessories like proper mics, sound recording devices, monitors etc…The Canon DSLR as it is has just a hot shoe mount that I wouldn’t mount much on at all. If you are operating one band especially these cages are incredible useful due to these multiple mount points.
The Zacuto cage (pimped up beyond practicality but for fun above!) is different from the other two here as it is less box like and more grip like. Instead of using threaded mount points it uses the standard Zacuto connection system and the advantage of that over threads is they simply grip really securely, release a lot faster and don’t have threads. I hate threads as they go bad and also come loose very easily. With the Zacuto system you can add as many mounting points as you want by simply adding more fixings onto it. That is what I like about Zacuto is the modular concept of their gear making their gear completely expandable. The Zacuto cage works in tandem with the new lightweight DSLR plate. It’s a great piece of gear and for Zacuto pretty affordable at just over $800. Like all Zacuto gear it’s incredible well made and is guaranteed for life. Check out the below video to see it pimped out to the max! The iphone cradle on it is nuts but great for those long boring interviews when you want to play Angry Birds!
Below is me using the cage on the set of Lucasfilm’s “Red Tails” with the 5Dmk2. This is a much more practical set up! Obviously I am a big fan of Zacuto products and of course I am an affiliate but like all gear I recommend, I will only do so if I rate it. This is great, it’s also nice and lightweight.
made by me great friends the Garcias down in CA is a great budget option, the basic cage is $150 but you need to add on the price of bars and other stuff for it be totally usable. For all the trimmings expect to pay around $500-600, this will get you a handle, top and bottom rods and the cage itself. Like all their stuff it’s nice and they have awesome customer service. Don’t overload it too much though as it is not as rugged as the other two here.
Last but not least is the View Factor cage.
Much more like the Jag35 one. This is very well made, heavy and robust. It comes completely apart and surrounds your camera exactly like an er…cage…It has multiple thread mounts so you can screw just about anything into it! There is also a powered cage coming but I have not seen it. Click on the image to be taken to the website.