NITSAN SIMANTOV. PHOTOGRAPHER. FILMMAKER.

East Grinstead photographer and filmmaker Nitsan Simantov. Wedding photography and commercial video production in London and West Sussex.

Varavon's Sony A7s series Armor Cage review

The Varavon A7-series Armor Cage is a nice medium-cost option for those enjoying shooting on Sony's cameras (or maybe not enjoying it so much).

The cage is made very well and has some nice features, although with a few small design mistakes.

Pros:

  • Decent quality. 
  • Lightweight.
  • Holds camera very well with some metal "holdy bits" to prevent twisting, although it does take a minute or two to fit the camera into the cage.
  • Lots of mounting points.
  • Two cold shoe connections. One on the cage and one on the handle.
  • The top handle is very nice. It has a tiny bit of wiggle at the connection but that's easily fixed in about 10 seconds by adding a second 1/4" screw in the second connection hole.
  • Very nice quality leather hand strap, although there is a bit too much space between the camera's own grip and the cage which makes the total grip size a little too large for me, although should be fine for people with large hands. If you leave the strap a little loose it's not too bad but still not as comfortable as just holding the camera's own grip.

Cons:

  • The port protector cable holders are a bit awkward to adjust, take your Leatherman or other needle-nosed pliers because you will need them to adjust the little black screws, because the camera's port cover doors prevent you from using a hex key to adjust them. Otherwise just remove them all and rely on the large cable clamp next to them. (Be careful if you use any tools, obviously you wouldn't want to scratch the camera.)
  • Some larger connectors might not fit into the port protector. The Rode VideoMic Pro's cable plug was the maximum width that could fit in there. A simple fix for this is to use short adapter cables (well technically they would just be very very short extension cables) that just stay plugged into the camera's ports, and then you plug everything into the extensions when needed.
  • The 1/4" screw at the bottom of the camera is bloody awful. Replace it with a D-ring screw as soon as you get this. Luckily this is a very cheap and easy fix. The two 1/4" screws that close that cable clamp in place will also be nicer if you swap them for some thumb screws or any screw that's a little less smooth so you can easily turn them. Varavon are great with listening to customers, so I'll send them this and maybe they'll start selling them with some better screws.
Links:
eBay UK
eBay USA
B&H
Amazon USA
Amazon UK

At some point soon I need to borrow a Panasonic camera to review this GH3/GH4 cage from Varavon, which I received by accident. As you can see it doesn't fit the A7s very well: