A nice piece of engineering is delightful to use. When it is eminently functional, it’s even better. And when setting it up, if that is easy, logical and adaptable, it is a joy.
This first paragraph eminently describes the SmallRig Professional Accessory Kit 3299, otherwise known as a cage for the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Pro.
Some weeks back I asked in various Facebook forums people’s thoughts on using cages, as I had never had the opportunity, or indeed, I surmised, the need to. But after procuring my Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Pro, I thought there may be an advantage in having one.
The response was almost unanimously a yes, go for it, and you’ll never look back. Also almost unanimously was the advice to get a SmallRig unit.
It turned up a couple of days back, so this morning, I decided to assemble it and see for myself.
And so we come back to the elegant engineering. A cursory glance of the instructions is all that is really needed in order to understand what all the various components do and where they go.
The main unit is the cage itself of course, and the camera slotted into this very easily. A couple of screws on the bottom and one on the top lock it securely into place.
Next, a small bracket is added to the top via another pair of screws and then the top mounted handle mounted to that.
The side handle is next, and again, just brackets onto the left side of the cage.
One point needs to be made here.
All the supplied screws use Allen key heads and SmallRig has not only supplied the necessary keys, but they have very cleverly made them magnetic, and engineered locations in the body and handles to accommodate not one or two but THREE keys meaning you can adjust or add components in the field with all the needed tools on board and therefore immediately at hand.
Speaking of adjustments, again going back to the engineering, a plethora of drill holes are made available giving almost infinite possibilities of how the side handle for example is mounted. You also get brackets to act as cable and SD card holders; I’d love to see an adjustable one available to act as an SSD drive holder that could also be mounted to the cage.
(Addendum: after writing this I realised there IS provision on the bottom of the cage to slide in a Samsung T5 drive and lock it in place. Simply brilliant!).
The handles themselves are also adjustable, with provision to slide the side handle up or down and the top handle either forwards or backwards.
Added to this, all the supplied mounting points are either standard ¼” or 3/8” sizes. This makes it easy to add other accessories to the cage such as lights, mics, extra monitors etc with a minimum of fuss, both in handheld mode or when the whole kit and camera are tripod mounted.
In addition to the components I have described, included in the package are a sunhood and a screen protector by the way.
Despite the “pocket” moniker, you’d never call the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Pro as “light”, but the addition of the SmallRig cage doesn’t feel to add any appreciable weight at all, and it makes the camera beautifully balanced.
In fact, at this point, and of course in the future I allow myself to be corrected, I don’t see any reason to take the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Pro out of the cage.
My SmallRig Professional Accessory Kit 3299 came via Videoguys in Melbourne. For the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Pro, it retails for approximately $513.
Models for other cameras of course exist. You can check the full range at www.videoguys.com.au.
(As an adjunct to see if I had assembled everything OK, I used