Kickstarter: The Travel Line: Versatile Travel Backpack + Packing Tools, by Peak Design

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/peak-design/the-travel-line-versatile-travel-backpack-packing

Peak Design Travel Backpack 45L and internal packing bags and cases.

Commentary

It was inevitable that Peak Design would expand its Everyday bags line into bags more suited to travel, and more power to their arm for doing so.

I am especially impressed that the Peak Design crew has given serious thought to how best to pack and carry photographic equipment and personal gear within larger bags and backpacks, and suspect that not a few of their customers will be using their Camera Cubes, Tech Pouches and Packing Cubes inside other Peak Design bags and backpacks.

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  • Peak DesignB&H
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Peak Design: We’ve Got Something Brewin’ [Pre-announcement of Peak Design’s 2018 Kickstarter campaign, The Ocho]

http://swee.ps/xHbezXqlD

“It’s that time of year again. We’re about to lift the curtain on the biggest product launch in Peak Design history, and we want you to be a part of it. In a way, you already are—our new line of gear is something you’ve been asking us to make for years.

Our 8th Kickstarter begins soon. Enter to be notified the moment it goes live. 3 lucky folks will win one of every new product. Spoiler: that’s a big bundle-o-gear….”

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Peak Design Kickstarter 2018 campaign email teaser graphic

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Peak Design: Anchor Update Program

https://www.peakdesign.com/anchorupdate

“We’re updating our Anchors, the little round connectors that come with Peak Design straps. We’re doing this because the previous version of our Anchors were, in rare instances, wearing out more quickly than they should. If you own the previous version of our Anchors (found in most Peak Design straps purchased after August 2017) we’ll send you updated Anchors for free. To see if you qualify for free replacements, take our Anchor Update Survey….”

peak_design_anchors_v1_v2_v3_v4_1024px
Peak Design Anchors in version 1, version 2, version 3 and version 4. Peak Design is offering free replacement of V1 and V3 to owners of these versions.

Commentary

Good on Peak Design for taking the issue of camera gear safety seriously enough to issue free replacements to owners of V1 and V3 Anchors via an online survey form.

I am still waiting for a dozen V4 Anchors to be sent as replacements for V1 and V3 Anchors that I have purchased over the years either standalone or as part of other Peak Design products, so I cannot personally vouch for the strength and width of the cord in Anchor V4 and whether it will easily slide into all the many and various D-rings, eyelets, mounts, triangles, lugs, strap slots and assorted holes and gaps into which they need to go.

I have accumulated many more V2 Anchors too as I have found that Anchors have proven effective for use well beyond Peak Design’s intended purpose of connecting Peak Design camera straps to cameras.

For example, do you have older or non-Peak Design camera bags or backpacks with conventional cordless zip pullers where your fingers slip off when zipping up in the cold or the rain?

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Peak Design Everyday Key Tether, only available direct as a replacement but these are excellent for attaching to every bag you have so your keys are kept safe and sound and are able to be quickly swapped from bag to backpack and back again regardless of brand.

Attach a Peak Design Anchor to the  zip fastener and problem solved.

Need to attach those oversized collections of keys to every bag you own to make bag last-minute swapping easier and faster?

Attach an Anchor to your key ring, snap the Anchor on to a Peak Design key tether and Anchor Link threaded through a loop on your bag and buy enough Peak Design Everyday Key Tethers to have one on every bag.

Time to do a last minute bag swap? Detach your key ring’s Anchor from the Anchor Link on your current bag’s Key Tether then attach it to the Key Tether on your other bag.

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  • Peak Design AL-3 Anchor LinksB&H
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  • Peak Design camera straps, bags and backpacksB&H

Think Tank Photo: Modular Belt System V3.0 Improves Photography Gear Access Speed While Sized to Accommodate Today’s Gear

https://www.thinktankphoto.com/blogs/news-events/modular-belt-system-v3-0-improves-photography-gear-access-speed-while-sized-to-accommodate-today-s-gear

“We have just released Version 3.0 of our popular Modular Belt System, with improved access speed and ease while accommodating for today’s gear. The Modular Belt System moves weight from your shoulders to your waists for more comfortable all-day carry. Many of the new pouches are expandable to fit pro-sized lenses with hoods in the shooting position….”

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Camera Clip Adapter v3.0, the new essential accessory in Think Tank Photo’s new Modular Belt System V3.0.

Commentary

think_tank_wired_up_intro_1920px
Think Tank Photo’s radically innovative though sadly now long-discontinued Multimedia Wired Up belt and bag system was my practical introduction into the many benefits of modular belt and bag solutions for carrying photography and video equipment in the field. I bought every Multimedia Wired Up product over several years after the system was discontinued from retailers all over the world, so useful is this system even today.

The news earlier this month that Think Tank Photo has updated its Modular Belt System to version 3.0 is welcome indeed here at ‘Untitled: Stories of Creativity, Innovation, Success’ as we are in the throes of refining our equipment carrying system for transporting gear in the field and on planes, trains and automobiles.

I chose Think Tank Photo products some years ago on discovering its Wired Up Multimedia system when getting back into photography and video production while needing an integrated system for carrying audio equipment, cameras, lenses and accessories of all sorts and sizes.

I went on a quest to buy every bag in the Wired Up Multimedia system after it suddenly vanished from Think Tank Photo’s website and the retailers stocking it here, and use its components still, but I have long needed to expand it with newer offerings better designed for more contemporary mirrorless cameras, lenses, audio equipment and other many and various accessories by other equally innovative brands such as 3 Legged Thing, Fujifilm, Olympus, Panasonic, Peak Design, Røde Microphones, Rotolight, Tascam, Zoom and more.

Think Tank Photo's innovative Multimedia Wired Up belt bag system was innovative and released before its time, then was tragically discontinued with no replacement or successor system in sight.
I am seeking to combine elements from Think Tank Photo’s new Modular Belt System V3.0 with elements from the Wired Up Multimedia system in order to make on-location photography and videography easier, faster and more productive.

The core of the broader integrated production system I am putting together for my documentary photography and video work now may well be Think Tank Photo’s Modular Belt System V3.0 along with the company’s Naked Shape Shifter 17 V2.0 (or its possible V3.0 successor).

Integration seems to be name of the game as production gear makers in different countries partner with each other in making their gear work together in ways that never occurred before.

I will be poring over the components within Think Tank Photo’s Modular Belt System V3.0 via its PDF and website in order to work out the best combination for me, in the absence of a local stockist with plenty of Think Tank Photo product on its shelves for a good try before you buy now that professional suppliers L&P Photographics in Artarmon and Foto Riesel in Sydney are sadly no more.

Think Tank Photo Modular Belt System V3.0 and related items

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  • MindShift GearB&H – Think Tank Photo’s range of outdoor adventure backpacks and accessories. Items in both ranges can be used with each other.
  • Peak DesignB&H – The entire range of Peak Design camera clip, strap and Everyday bag products at B&H.
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  • Think Tank PhotoB&H – The entire range of Think Tank Photo products at B&H.

8Sinn to the Rescue: Panasonic Lumix GH5 and GH5S Camera Cage Updated with Wrist Strap Eyelets, Remote Cable Access

I have been preparing for a possible article on the very first feature film to be shot on with the Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5S video camera and have been researching some of the other gear the director used such as an 8Sinn  camera cage, handle, rod and Metabones support. 

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8Sinn GH5/GH5S cage version 2 with Scorpio top handle and new provision for mounting wrist strap and remote cable
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The first version of Polish accessories maker 8Sinn’s cage for the GH5/GH5S did not include two eyelets for wrist straps nor provision for attaching a remote release cable to the cage-clad camera’s remote port.

Until Panasonic officially announced the GH5, I was unaware of 8Sinn, a Polish camera accessories maker, and from what I saw of their products at their website, I was impressed.

I have yet to see or try any 8Sinn accessories in real life, though, so anything I write about their products is tempered with that fact.

The first version of the 8Sinn GH5 camera cage looked intriguing with apparently high quality design and manufacturing, but the reason I did not follow up on that initial impression was it lacked provision for easily attaching camera straps and the Panasonic DMW-RSL1 remote release.

Camera cages fall into either of two camps, body-hugging wrap-around ribbons or squarer protective enclosures with makers of the latter type including Seercam and makers of the former type including 8Sinn, MovCam, SmallRig and a host of other companies around the world.

The prime virtue of body-hugging wrap-around ribbon cage designs is that they allow the cage to be attached 24/7, for use when shooting stills or video, when handheld or tripod-mounted, triggered via shutter release button or remote remote cable.

The ability to attach camera straps helps ensure better grip and security against dropping, and so I always attach two or three Peak Design camera straps to every camera I own or borrow.

Peak Design Clutch and Cuff, and Panasonic DMW-RSL1 Remote Shutter Release

Those three Peak Design camera straps are Clutch, Cuff and Slide Lite, with Clutch and Cuff permanently attached to every camera whether caged or not, and with two Slide Lite straps in reserve when I am covering events in the time-honoured two-camera, two-lenses documentary photographer manner.

I keep two Peak Design Anchor Links attached to each camera’s camera left strap attachment eyelet for when I need to attach a Slide Lite, and have slightly different Anchor Link attachment arrangements depending on the cameras’ and cages’ specific designs.

None of the Motion9, Seercam or SmallRig cages I have currently are equipped with strap eyelets so I sometimes must resort to attaching Anchor Links via the now discontinued and rather oversized predecessor to the slimmer, neater Peak Design Anchor Mount.

8Sinn cage for GH5 and GH5S, version 2, with wrist strap eyelets and remote cable access

The 8Sinn cage for GH5 and GH5S, version 2, with built-in eyelets and CNCed indent for remote release cable access is an elegant solution for attaching Peak Design Clutch and Cuff, and the Panasonic DMW-RSL1 Remote Shutter Release as well as third-party alternatives.

8Sinn cage for GH5 and GH5S, version 2, complete kit

Whether assembled into a complete cage-based rig for GH5 or GH5S, audio adapter and Metabones-adapted non-native lens, or something much smaller, version 2 of 8Sinn’s GH5/GH5S camera cage is an intriguing choice given it has now solved the two problems found in version 1 and I hope to see and try it out for myself sometime soon.

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Image Credit

Header image concept and quick hack by Carmel D. Morris.

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panasonic_dmw-bggh5_battery_grip_on-camera_front_1024px_60%
Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 with Panasonic DMW-BGGH5 Battery Grip, a necessity for photography or moviemaking with the GH5 and GH5S, though most cages are unfortunately not designed to accommodate it.

Clicking on and purchasing through these affiliate links helps us continue our work for ‘Untitled: Stories of Creativity, Innovation, Success’.

  • Panasonic DMW-BGGH5 Battery GripB&H
  • Panasonic DMW-XLR1 XLR Microphone Adapter – B&H
  • Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital CameraB&H
  • Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5S Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital CameraB&H
  • Peak Design AL-3 Anchor LinksB&H
  • Peak Design Anchor MountB&H
  • Peak Design CL-2 Clutch Camera Hand-StrapB&H
  • Peak Design Cuff Camera Wrist Strap (Charcoal)B&H
  • Peak Design SLL-BK-3 SlideLITE Camera Strap (Black)B&H

Luminous Landscape: Peak Design Straps – The Cuff and Leash Review – with COMMENTARY

https://luminous-landscape.com/peak-design-straps-cuff-leash-review/

“Most people are familiar with Peak Design, a company that makes camera bags, packs, and straps. I have been a major fan of the company’s straps for quite some time and have mentioned them on a number of our Toy Shop episodes. Peak Design has, in my opinion, invented one of the best camera strap lines on the market…

… Since using the Peak Design system, I have never been happier with the use of straps. Peak Design offers a variety of straps of varying widths as well as a wrist cuff strap. As soon as I get a new camera or even a review loaner, I insert the Anchor Links. Then, depending on the weight of the camera or how I’ll be using the strap, I decide on which strap to use….”

Commentary:

I have yet to see the new Peak Design Cuff and Leash appear at a camera store, here so please read this commentary bearing that in mind.

The only local camera store that carried the Peak Design brand has now closed and the remaining camera store in our local area has a very limited selection of stock of any brand; Peak Design is not one of those brands.

Like Kevin Raber of Luminous Landscape, as soon as I buy a new camera or receive a review loaner, I attach Anchor Links then a Peak Design Clutch and Peak Design Cuff and never remove them unless a loaner must be returned.

As a result, every single camera in my collection wears its Anchor Links, Clutch and Cuff on a permanent basis, the latter two only coming off when I need to place the camera inside a cage that requires their removal in order to fit.

Camera cages with built-in strap attachment points have only started appearing in the last year, via brands like 8Sinn (latest version not yet on their website), Movcam and SmallRig. I have been looking for an optimum solution for attaching Anchor Straps to other cages, L-Brackets and hand grips but the best so far, Peak Design’s Pro Drive Screw, has its annoyances and limitations.

I have tried many different brands and types of camera straps over the years, made by camera manufacturers and third parties, and none of them has been ideal. Some have failed spectacularly and others have proven to be a real pain to use.

One of the brands that came closest to ideal until I discovered the Peak Design brand through the late Michael Reichmann of Luminous Landscape was Dsptch, and I still have some of their products stored away should I ever need them again.

After buying the Peak Design Capture Pro camera clip, quickly followed by the company’s Clutch, Cuff and Leash camera straps, then trying out Peak Design’s Slide and Slide Lite sling straps for reviews, I have not looked back.

Capture Pro is my most-used Arca-Swiss conversion solution for traditional stills and movie tripod quick release camera plates, until I invest in an Arca-Swiss clamp for each of my current stills and video tripods and monopods.

Slide and Slide Lite live in storage until I need to cover events and documentary subjects demanding a two-camera, two-lens in-depth approach where both cameras must be easily available at all times. Even then, Clutch and Cuff remain in permanent residence on every camera.

Leash, my first Peak Design sling strap, is reserved as a safety strap during urban and bush treks when I am carrying one camera in the hand but run the risk of dropping it in risky terrain.

I am not sure if and when I will have the chance of my first look at the new Cuff and Leash, so must rely on articles by trusted reviewers like Kevin Raber.

I have a couple of cameras at the top of my wishlist, the coming Fujifilm X-E3 mostly for documentary and portrait stills photography and as a backup to my X-Pro2, and the Panasonic DC-GH5 mostly for documentary moviemaking.

I am currently undecided as to whether I will attach the new Cuff and old Clutch to them both, or start searching for old versions of Cuff at online retailers as old Cuff has served me well over the years.

I have a couple of concerns about new Cuff and new Leash. Foremost is the leather component of Peak Design’s Ash colourway, introduced in the company’s Everyday camera bags range.

Now that the effects of climate change and global warming are well set-in here in Sydney, the risk of mould has become a constant concern. When mould attacks leather and certain plastics, its spores set up permanent residence inside and can never be removed.

With a sudden change in the weather, mould’s fruiting bodies can appear on the surface of the leather or plastic then start spreading onto other products inside and nearby.

The idea of susceptible leather and plastics transferring mould infection to cameras, lenses and other expensive objects fills me with horror.

I have asked Peak Design staffers to confirm whether the Ash colourway’s light tan leather trim and the Charcoal colourway’s black Hypalon synthetic are resistant to mould or not, but have not heard back about that yet.

There are other concerns with leather, whether mould-resistant or not. Leather production is part of the global industrialization of agriculture and is inherently cruel as well as environmentally irresponsible. I will not be buying any more leather products or products containing leather, so no Ash colourway Peak Design products for me.

Another concern is the idea of metal parts in close contact with fragile camera parts whether when on the move or at rest. Old Clutch and old Cuff have all-plastic hardware that has not shown signs of mould so far and neither have they rubbed my cameras and lenses up the wrong way.

Slide, Slide Lite and Leash go into their own little fabric bags, other small bags or camera bag internal pockets until needed then go back there or into safe storage when at home.

For now, new Cuff and new Leash’s aluminium hardware is an unknown quantity.

My appeal to stop using leather in camera bags and accessories

I am calling on all makers of camera bags and accessories to stop using leather.

The reasons are clear and well-justified – the extreme cruelty of industrial agriculture, its environmental irresponsibility and the ever-growing problem of mould infection resulting from climate change and global warming.

There is no intrinsic need for leather even in products like shoes and boots. Camera bags and accessories makers like Cosyspeed are leading the way in showing that leather simply is not necessary.

Links:

Peak Design: New Cuff and New Leash

https://www.peakdesign.com/product/straps/cuff

“… The all-new Cuff is the most elegant, unobtrusive way to protect your camera from accidental drops. Quickly and securely connects to any camera, binoculars, or other device using our unique Anchor Link system. Wrist loop magnetically locks in the open position, or comfortably cinches down on your wrist for added security. New all-custom aluminum hardware. When not in use, Cuff stores as a bracelet for quick accessibility….”

https://www.peakdesign.com/product/straps/leash

“The most versatile and quick-connecting camera strap in the world, the all-new Leash packs thoughtful functionality and endless adaptability into an ultra-portable package. Configurable as a sling strap, neck strap, safety tether, and more. Easily adjust length with dual aluminum and Hypalon quick-adjusters, designed to operated with just 1 finger….”

Cosyspeed’s Camslinger Streetomatic+ Camera Hip Bag for Mirrorless Heroes Is Now Available in Cruelty-Free Black

Camera bag maker Cosyspeed has released the black version of its largest hip bag, the Camslinger Streetomatic+. The Camslinger line is, in effect, a distant descendant of a pair of belt packs I relied on during the analog era to protect my beloved Leica rangefinder cameras and lenses but that, in the end, badly let them down. Cosyspeed’s modern styling, anti-cruelty artificial leather, internal and external pockets, and integrated waist belt, go far beyond those now mouldy trad-style leather-trimmed hip bags in the realms of safety and comfort. 

The Cosyspeed Camslinger Streetomatic+ belt pack hip bag for
The Cosyspeed Camslinger Streetomatic+ belt pack hip bag for “mirrorless heroes” is generously-sized enough to carry a DSLR as well as a range of mirrorless hybrid stills/video cameras, and is made with cruelty-free, synthetic materials that should not attract mould as animal leather does, a win on several fronts.

While previous Streetomatic bags have looked promising from their images and descriptions online, the Streetomatic+ looks to be the first large enough to carry my mirrorless still and video bare essentials while still being smaller than my currently smallest cross-shoulder bag, the Peak Design Everyday Messenger 13.

I chose the smaller Everyday Messenger as I must be careful not to over-stress neck and spine permanently damaged by a lifetime of carrying movie and photography equipment starting with the big Zero Halliburton cases I carted about the deserts of Western Australia as a corporate photographer with mining company clients.

Despite the EM13’s small size as a messenger bag, and the small load I carry in it, I still experience shoulder pain in the middle of a long day shooting. A belt pack would be a welcome relief but the only one I have now in two sizes, Think Tank Photo’s innovative Multimedia Wired Up 10 and Multimedia Wired Up 20 proved it wasn’t quite up to the job.

A selection of bags from Think Tank Photo's innovative, pioneering Multimedia Wired Up Collection, now sadly long discontinued. If it had continued to evolve through the mirrorless hybrid camera era this bag design would have been a force to contend with in stills and video production. I collected the complete set and have them in storage.
A subset of bags from Think Tank Photo’s innovative, pioneering Multimedia Wired Up Collection, now sadly long discontinued. If it had continued to evolve through the mirrorless hybrid camera era this bag design would have been a force to contend with in stills and video production. I collected the complete set and have them in storage.

The Multimedia Wired Up Collection was a brilliant response to the needs of the pioneers of DSLR-based multimedia stills and video production but it predated the mirrorless revolution that cemented the hybrid stills/video camera concept. It was a radically new concept released before its time.

Had Think Tank Photo continued developing the collection well into the mirrorless era then it would have had an enduring winner. When the writing was on the wall and Multimedia Wired Up Collection bags began vanishing from foreign online retailers, I set out to collect them all and continue to use some of them to this day.

The Multimedia collection’s centrepieces were the two Wired Up belt packs. Each has a waist belt and each bag’s internal carrying capacity can be enhanced by attaching further bags from the collection or other packs in Think Tank Photo’s Belt Systems.

I like to assume that the two Wired Up bags might have evolved by gaining more dimensional stability, trading too much softness and collapsibility for a much sturdier frame.

As ProVideo Coalition’s review of the Multimedia Wired Up 20 indicates, both belt bags need to be supplemented with one or both of the crossover shoulder straps that come with them. Neither works as a pure belt bag and adding one or two shoulder straps makes my spine and shoulder problems worse.

Cosyspeed Camslinger Steetomatic+

So on to Cosypeed’s Camslinger Streetomatic+. Is it the waist bag I had hoped my two Multimedia Wired Up belt bags might have been, apart from the wired-up cable integration aspect of Think Tank Photo’s underlying concept?

It is hard to tell from the online evidence alone: only a good hands-on tryout can put that possibility to the test. From the photographs above, the Camslinger Streetomatic+ can carry mirrorless and DSLR cameras minus battery grips, with a zoom lens attached or two smaller prime lenses, and I am hoping that a small external microphone like Røde’s VideoMicro with windshield or even its amazing Stereo VideoMic X may fit instead of the second prime lens illustrated above.

Multimedia Wired Up Bags and StuffIt! to supplement the Streetomatic+?

I am also hoping that the Streetomatic+ permits attaching other belt bags from the Multimedia Wired Up collection or contemporary belt bags like Think Tank Photo’s Stuff It! (I have two, as they are so handy for personal items) or either or both of Cosyspeed’s own supplemental belt bags, the LensBag 80 and StuffBag 30.

Despite the uniqueness and utility of its bags, Cosyspeed has yet to find a distributor in Australia so I have not had the chance to examine any of its products and thus my questions remain unanswered for now.

The ultimate bag for the mirrorless hero. … Thomas Leuthard

One thing is for certain, the arrival of advanced stills/video cameras like the Panasonic Lumix GH5, the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II, the Fujifilm X-Pro, X-T2 and X-T20, the Sony Alpha 9, the rest of the Alpha series and other mirrorless hybrids, has shifted the photography and moviemaking landscapes for those of us needing to work alone and light on our feet.

I look forward to camera bag makers keeping pace with camera makers and am hoping that the Cosyspeed Camslinger Streetomatic+ may prove to be a suitable centrepiece for a lightweight carrying solution that other bags and belt systems I have owned or tried out have not.

 Links:

Cages for the Panasonic Lumix GH5: At Least Two Being Designed Right Now – ARTICLE UPDATED

Prescript, as it were

Since I wrote this article near the beginning of 2017, a number of camera cages for the Panasonic Lumix GH5 have appeared on the market and I have been able to take a look online at many of them. In the case of one GH5 cage, Seercam’s Cube GH5, I have been kindly sent one and have had the opportunity of taking a closer look than websites permit. 

Seercam's Cube form-fitting GH5 camera cage with one-touch quick-release Classic Plus top handle, finger support handle and quick-release rod riser.
Seercam’s Cube form-fitting GH5 camera cage with one-touch quick-release Classic Plus top handle, finger support handle (not shown) and quick-release rod riser.

I admit to a degree of well-informed bias. I have a Seercam cage for my GH4 and it has served me and my GH4 well, amply living up to Seercam’s mission of providing the best protection possible. If it were not for that cage, my GH4 might be in pieces due to an accident that occurred shortly after I bought it. The cage took the impact and my GH4 was saved.

Motion9 GH4 cage at left, Seercam GH5 cage at front and SmallRig GX8 cage at rear right.
My current cage collection: Motion9 GH4 cage at left, Seercam GH5 cage at front and SmallRig GX8 cage at rear right.

Seercam, by the way, is the new international trading brand name for the South Korean camera accessories company Motion9 and so my GH4 cage was branded as a Motion9 product.

After buying my GH4 cage, named the CubeMix GH4/3 due to it fitting the GH4 and GH3, Motion9 improved its design with the addition of a quick-release top handle and a quick-release cable clamp under the new product name, CubeMix GH4/3 Pro.

If those accessories were still in production, I would snap them up in a second as they solve the single biggest problem I had with the GH4 cage back then, the need to rapidly remove and reattach the CubeMix GH4/3’s three handles when working fast on location.

Quick release accessories, whether attached via dovetail rails, NATO rails or Arri rosettes, are clearly the way to go for speed and efficiency and permit safely carrying your caged camera about in a backpack or shoulder bag then quickly removing it and snapping on handles and other quick release accessories ready for work.

None of my current shoulder bags or backpacks are dedicated video camera bags permitting carriage of fully assembled video rigs, but Peak Design’s 30-litre Everyday Backpack with its flexible internal space has proven to be a good solution for carrying cage-mounted cameras and other oddly-shaped and sized video equipment.

UK Lumix Luminary Nick Driftwood's anamorphic moviemaking rig. Panasonic's Lumix GH5 is suitable for tripod-mounted big rig moviemaking as well as mobile handheld video cinematography.
UK Lumix Luminary Nick Driftwood’s anamorphic moviemaking rig. Panasonic’s Lumix GH5 is suitable for tripod-mounted big rig moviemaking as well as mobile handheld video cinematography.

Sometimes though, transporting a fully assembled video rig is beyond the capabilities of even the best and biggest bag. Nick Driftwood’s GH5 rig for anamorphic moviemaking above, also depicted further down this page, is a case in point.

Anamorphic lenses aside, big rigs like Mr Diftwood’s are not uncommon when shooting full-length documentaries, the main purpose for which I bought my GH4 then added Motion9’s CubeMix GH4/3 cage followed by a Panasonic DMW-BGGH3 battery grip for stability and added power in handheld video and stills photography.

Seercam's Cube GH5 camera cage, Extension Kit for GH5, rod riser and Classic Plus Handle can accommodate some hefty camera rigs if need be. Alternatively, their Cube GH5 cage is lightweight yet protective enough for stripped-down rigs consisting of camera and lens only.
Seercam’s Cube GH5 camera cage, Extension Kit for GH5, rod riser and Classic Plus Handle can accommodate some hefty camera rigs if need be. Alternatively, their Cube GH5 cage is lightweight yet protective enough for stripped-down rigs consisting of camera and lens only.

Communications with the Seercam team reveal they are working on further GH5 solutions including an international-standard external battery pack, a special longer rod for the Extension Kit for Cube GH5, left and right side handles and an updated quick release rod riser.

Links


The original article

With the March 2017 release of Panasonic’s Lumix GH5 Super 16/Micro Four Thirds looming, my attention turns to the many and various accessories needed to make the most of this revolutionary camera. One essential accessory for filmmakers seriously considering the GH5 is a cage, and at least two cage-makers are known to be working on designs at the moment. 

Camera accessories maker SmallRig is currently working on this lightweight cage for the Panasonic Lumix GH5 and is inviting input from interested parties. I have a SmallRig cage for my Panasonic Lumix GX8 and recommend it. Seercam, formerly Motion9, is also working on a cage for the GH5.

I am most familiar with two brands of cage makers – SmallRig and Seercam, formerly Motion9, links below. I currently own one cage made by each and would definitely consider purchasing from both again.

The folks at SmallRig design their new products via a crowdsourcing process, as it were, seeking input and new ideas from users. Seercam is interested in hearing from potential users and I have, accordingly, sent them the photograph of Nick Driftwood’s GH5 anamorphic rig below.

More images of SmallRig’s GH5 cage currently in development

The Seercam folks tell me that they are waiting to test one of the three GH5s currently available in South Korea and will finish their design at the beginning of March. They will be showing it and other products off at NAB in April.

Nick Driftwood’s GH5 rig for anamorphic moviemaking

UK Panasonic Lumix brand ambassador Nick Driftwood’s anamorphic GH5 rig featuring the GH5, battery grip, XLR1 audio adapter, Atomos Shogun Inferno monitor/recorder for 4K 5pp/60p 10-bit 4:2:2 ProRes, SLR Magic 35mm x2 anamorphic lens, Lanparte matte box, Røde NTG2 microphone phantom-powered from the XLR1 hotshoe. “We need to see a special GH5 cage design for the XLR1 from hardware companies,” Mr Driftwood says. That XLR1-savvy design should allow placing the unit anywhere off-hotshoe via a custom cable.

At the very least a cage must offer protection for the camera within and prevent twisting and damage when accessories are mounted on it.

I am not fond of mounting large or heavy microphones or recorders on hotshoes – I would much prefer to attach them via coldshoes on a cage. If something untoward happens to the coldshoe then it can be replaced. Not so a hotshoe.

I am becoming enamoured of battery grips especially when shooting battery-sucking 10-bit 4:2:2 4K or DCI. I prefer attaching recorders beneath the camera and attaching mics to them via coiled XLR cables.

At present I don’t use a rig like the one in Mr Driftwood’s photograph, but I may well need a rig like that minus the anamorphic lens when shooting a feature-length documentary.

The rest of the time my typical rig will be stripped right down for MOS (without sound) handheld video, or with a recorder beneath camera-plus-battery-grip and a microphone on top of the cage. Plus variations.

If a cage and its accessories can be made to accommodate all the typical scenarios one encounters in the course of a typical working career in stills and video – I often use cages for both applications – then I will be very happy indeed.

Links

Image Credits

Header image concept and production by Carmel D. Morris. Apologies to ELP.

Photograph of Nick Driftwood’s Panasonic Lumix GH5 rig courtesy of Nick Driftwood.

Tech Notes

Hero image of SmallRig cage for the Panasonic Lumix GH5 processed in Alien Skin Exposure X2 using a cyanotype preset.

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Camera, Kits, Battery Grip and V-Log L

  • Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera (Body Only)B&H
  • Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera with 8-18mm Lens KitB&H
  • Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera with 12-35mm Lens Kit – B&H
  • Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera with 12-60mm LensB&H
  • Panasonic DMW-BGGH5 Battery Grip – B&H
  • Panasonic V-Log L Function Activation Code for DMC-GH4, DC-GH5, and DMC-FZ2500B&H

SDXC V90 cards

  • Angelbird 64GB AV Pro UHS-II V90 SDXC Memory CardB&H
  • Angelbird 128GB AV Pro UHS-II V90 SDXC Memory CardB&H
  • Panasonic 128GB UHS-II V90 SDXC Memory CardB&H

L-Plates

  • Really Right Stuff L-Plate Set for Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 Camera Body  – B&H

Camera Cages

  • Movcam Cage for Panasonic GH5B&H
  • Movcam Cage Kit for Panasonic GH5B&H
  • Seercam GH5 CageB&H
  • Seercam Cage for GH5 with Classic HandleB&H
  • Seercam Extension Kit for CUBE GH5 CageB&H