My favourite cage for my Panasonic Lumix GH4 camera was made by Motion9, now trading internationally under the Seercam brand name. The only GH4 cage I had ever seen in real life was Motion9’s CubeMix GH4/3 and if the company’s other GH4 cage, the CubeMix GH4/3 Pro had been available at the time, then I would most definitely have bought that model instead, for its NATO sliding handle and one-touch cable clamp.
Now, Seercam has revealed its cage for the Panasonic Lumix GH5 and it looks like it will be the cage I buy for my GH5, when one finally finds its way into the country and into my hands.
I took a well-researched gamble on Motion9’s CubeMix GH4/3 and it paid off handsomely. I will be keeping my GH4 as second camera to my GH5 when it eventually arrives and it will be wearing its cage even more then than it does now.
My GH4 will continue to be equipped with its Cube Cage Round Handle, in my experience the most secure design of the two Motion9 top handles, though it does not have the convenience of fast-on, fast-on via NATO rail or the ability to balance the camera’s weight via sliding to and fro.
I would love an updated round handle in the style of the one on Canon’s Cinema EOS cameras, but Seercam’s NATO rail-mounted CubeCage Classic Plus Handle looks tempting as does its quick-release Rod Riser 1565.
I would consider replacing Seercam’s NATO rail with SmallRig’s Quick Release Safety Rail 7cm 1195 though, for its spring-loaded pins to prevent accidental removal. It is the little things that count.
Pity both items are out of stock. Quick-release mechanisms, so long as they mount tightly and securely, are key to working fast and efficiently as an independent, self-funded documentary moviemaker who cannot afford crews and wasting time screwing and unscrewing camera rigging when needing to move fast.
8Sinn’s GH5 cage and handles, especially its Scorpio top handle that can double as a side handle, was the first custom cage for the GH5 to appear online and it has several attractions including its elegance, small size and camera-right hand grip-hugging design.
I have another camera cage now, SmallRig’s 1844 cage for the Panasonic GX8, and through it have come to appreciate the small size and light weight of minimalist camera cages, but for regular through heavy-duty moviemaking when I need to attach a range of accessories to the rig, Motion9/Seercam’s beautifully conceived, brilliantly designed and expertly manufactured cages are my go-to standard.
You can see why in the photographs below. For your product comparison convenience, links to other current GH5 cages are listed at the base of this article.
Seercam’s Cube GH5 body and handle
Coming soon: extension kit for placing handle over DMW XLR1 audio adapter
Of all the GH5 cages listed below, those by 8Sinn and Seercam remain at the top of my wishlist.
If I were shooting features as part of a small crew alongside a camera assistant and audio recordist then I would choose 8Sinn’s cage along with Veydra or Duclos’ Voigtlaender ciné-modded native M43 prime lenses and follow focus device.
While Veydra cinema primes deliver a more standardized look that gets out of the way of the story, Voigtlaender’s faster optics produce quirkier looks that can enhance certain types of stories.
If shooting documentaries as a doing-it-all-myself one-person crew then hands-down I would chose Seercam’s GH5 cage along with Olympus M.Zuiko Pro zoom and prime lenses though I may add one or two Panasonic lenses for the benefits of extra stabilization and DFD – Depth from Defocus.
I really like M.Zuiko Pro lenses’ repeatable hard-stop manual clutch focus mechanism, build quality, durability and colour consistency across the range, and can sacrifice some stabilization for the sake of all that. They are terrific for video as well as stills photography.
There was some consternation about the Olympus M.Zuiko 7-14mm f/2.8’s inability to accept screw-on filters when it first appeared, as there was about Panasonic’s Lumix 7.14mm f/4.0 lens, but some third-party filter adapter solutions for square or rectangular filters have appeared:
- Fotodiox – WonderPana Filter Holder for Olympus 7-14mm f/2.8 M.ZUIKO Digital ED PRO Lens (Micro-4/3 Format) – Ultra Wide Angle Lens Filter Adapter
- NiSi – NiSi 150mm Filter Holder For Olympus 7-14mm F/2.8 PRO Lens
- Phil Norton Photography – Olympus 7-14 Pro Adapter
- shapeways – Enzojz by Zheng Jiang
- StC Optical & Chemical – Screw-in Lens Adapter For Olympus 7-14mm f/2.8 Pro Lens
- 8Sinn – Accessories for GH5
- CAME-TV – CAME-TV Protective Cage for GH5 Camera Rig
- Chrosziel – SYSTEM 700-GH5
- LockCircle – The Tactile Robot Skin GH5 – Page for this product appears unavailable, perhaps as it is a special order item only.
- Seercam – CUBE GH5(body+handle)
- SmallRig – SMALLRIG DSLR Cage for PANASONIC Lumix GH5 1965
- Varavon – Zeus – GH5 Cage
- Wooden Camera – Panasonic GH4/GH5 Camera Accessory Kit (Advanced) Configuration Guide