ProMediaGear Universal L-Cage & Port Protector Review
As some of you might remember we have reviewed ProMediaGear products in the past including their extremely well made motorized slider and their innovative plates. Since then the company continued to release novel products and this time around we have with us an L-shaped cage and a number of interesting accessories.
You can see the kit that we received from ProMediaGear late last year, but it is important to note that what we are going to look at is not a typical L-shaped bracket for stills shooting (ProMediaGear has those as well if you are interested) but rather an L-shaped universal cage for video work.
The cage, if we can call it that, is made out of two main components – a base plate – in our case the PBX3 which should fit most cameras on the market and the BP2 vertical attachment.
The “cage” made from the PBX3 and the BP2
These two metal pieces are extremely modular and you can use them to connect to most cameras including pro DSLRs and more or less all mirrorless bodies as long as they don’t come with a grip (ProMediaGear is working on a version that will work with gripped cameras as well).
The L-cage that you create by combining the PBX3 and BP2 doesn’t have as many connecting options as a traditional cage, however, ProMediaGear developed several accessories for it that we feel, make it a very interesting proposition.
The first is the A10 port protector. This tiny unassuming accessory is a stroke of genius and actually the main reason why we wanted to test this kit. If you are working with camera cables (HDMI/USB/mic etc.) on a regular basis you know how annoying they can be and how often cables can be detached by accident.
We actually had an incident where a mic cable attached to a Canon 5D Mark II damaged the camera’s port which we had to replaced after the cable connector got hit during a trade show which cost us several hundred dollars to fix.
Over the years we tried many different port protectors. They all have serious drawbacks and none seem to work well with 3 cables at the same time. The A10, however, solves all of this in a brilliantly simple way as you can see and it is strong enough that with the right cable your entire camera could hang from it.
The ingenious A10 port protector – ProMediaGear please make us a universal one!
Really the only drawback that we can think about is that you can’t seem to use the A10 on other cages because of the distance between the 1/4″ 20 holes. We really hope ProMediaGear will come up with a version of this port protector that has some play with the screw holes so you can mount it on any type of cage.
The second accessory that we got is also interesting – it is called the CS2 cold shoe and it has a built-in anti-rotation mechanism – nice although cold shoe rarely twists in our experience.
The CS2 cold shoe with anti-rotation mechanism
The third accessory is a really nice 7″ magic arm with built-in rosettes for extra locking force. If you ask us, ProMediaGear should have included the anti-rotation mechanism in the arm instead of the cold shoe unit which seems to make more sense.
Finally, we also got a “present”, a tiny two-sided screw heads that you can put on your keychain – this thing is much more useful than looking for a coin or a screwdriver which you always seem to lose when you need it. We suggested to ProMediaGear to make an entire line of these tiny things with different heads – they can be fantastic gifts not just for photographers.
The perfect gift for Photographers – the ProMediaGear multitool
Now let’s talk pricing. The two-part Universal L-Cage & A10 Port Protector cost just shy of $100 (if it is unavailable on Amazon you can also find it on B&H). If you are looking for a very well made minimalist universal cage and you need a secure way to hold those passkey cables – look no further. The Arm and the CS2 cold shoe will add $33 and around $15 respectively and you can even get a side padded handle as well for $60. The A13 Photographers Multi-Tool cost just under $13.
If you already own a cage that you like but want the cool A10 port protector – maybe you can help us convince Pro Media Gear that they need to make a universal version by writing to them.
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