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Wooden Camera Set to Make Your Blackmagic Cinema Camera Battle Ready

08.6.12 @ 7:00PM Tags : , , , ,

There are a few schools of thought in camera design, and I’ve gone over my personal preference in some detail. If a camera isn’t designed to be put on your shoulder, it can be extremely helpful if it can at least be rigged in a sensible way to work in whatever capacity you need it to. Quite a few people have been worried about the ergonomics of the Blackmagic Cinema Camera, but like most cameras of this size and general shape, you’ll probably want to add some sort of rigging if you’re doing anything other than using it on a tripod. Thankfully, the popularity of the Cinema Camera means we are going to get quite a few third party solutions to satisfy any shooting need.

Wooden Camera, a third party manufacturer of camera accessories, is now coming out with a line designed to work specifically with the Blackmagic Cinema Camera. While they’re famous for their RED accessories, they also make rigs for most small cameras out there. Good rigs get out of your way when you need them to and have mounting points literally everywhere possible. Specifically, the cage looks like it’s going to be helpful for adding on any accessories you need, like external monitors and external batteries. At $400, it’s not going to kill your wallet either.


The top handle that they make could be an essential accessory for anyone who doesn’t want to use the straps to carry the camera. I had the opportunity to use a Sony F3 over the weekend, and I had forgotten how much I enjoy simple things like having a handle and being able to physically pick up a camera in order to position it properly on a tripod or on a shoulder mount. Another complaint about the camera has been the lack of XLR inputs, and Wooden Camera is addressing this with a $200 balanced XLR to 1/4″ adapter.

Wooden Camera has most of the accessories you would need to kit out your camera, but it’s always better to buy only what you need first, than to get a whole rig that might actually not fit your shooting style. My philosophy has always been to wait until not a piece of gear is actually hindering me or slowing me down, and then I know if I need it or not.

What do you guys think? If you already pre-ordered a BMCC, will you be reusing gear you already have, or thinking about getting something new?

Link: Wooden Camera

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  • Just thought I’d give an opinion on Wooden Camera products – I own the A-Box and can vouch that it is infinitely more useful having those XLRs available (the Scarlet has a similar audio output deal as the BMC). Build quality is very solid BUT it does add some additional weight to your rig. This is negligible on a fully kitted out RED for example, but on a camera the size (and weight) of the BMC it may prove to be a bit unwieldy.
    All in all, cages and other similar additional components may seem unnecessary at first, but once acquired and installed they really do make a significant and noticeable difference in terms of the overall usability of the camera – ie mounting articulating arms, mics, external audio recorders (eg H4n) etc.

  • Why not just buy xlr cables with 1/4 plugs on the other end?

    • Kevin Marshall on 08.6.12 @ 7:57PM

      You certainly could get Balanced 1/4″ to XLR cables. Some people, however, prefer the solidity and mountability of something like the A-Box. It’s a little cleaner than adapter cables hanging off, and is easier to have it live on the camera, reducing the insertion cycles and the associated wear on the 1/4″ jacks.

      Again – not for everyone, but certainly appealing to many users.

      • Sorry that’s FUD. 1/4″ jacks were developed for telephone switchboards and will have working lifetimes well over that of the camera’s other components. They are easily repaired and replaced if they used the cheapest available which I doubt (the wholesale cost savings would be under $1, since I imagine these have a warranty period the manu wouldn’t find that a wise idea).

        And that $200 gewgaw introduces another point of failure in your setup if FUD is your thing.

        • Joe Marine on 08.6.12 @ 8:13PM

          Well the bigger issue with just using adapters is that 1/4″ cables can be pulled out fairly easily if they get tugged on, while XLR will stay locked if it is working correctly. I personally like the piece of mind that I know a cable is secure – similar to BNC in relation to monitoring.

          • Yes the Cannon (and not Canon) design has the locking latch, but you can also argue that something like Apple’s magsafe design, where it falls out intentionally, is a better idea should all your normal and necessary efforts to strain relief your cables fail. If someone trips over your mic cable, you might prefer the cable fly out of the camera than the whole rig plummet to the floor. But moreover, this gadget only would defend the audio cables; a general crimping strain relief for whatever cables you have emerging from the unit might be a better idea and cheaper as well.

            Carrying extra commodity XLR-to-TRS is economical and essential; having multiples of these as backup? I think the BMCC ecosystem is just getting started and I like that 3rd parties are jumping in but patience and prudence may be a virtue.

    • Zactly. And the crucial issue with BMCC is battery…who knows if you’ll still want the cage after seeing the winning battery rig.

    • Eric Rodriguez on 08.10.12 @ 2:26PM

      1/4″ plugs can too easily be pulled out accidentally while recording.

  • I’m really liking this a lot. I’m going to be doing most of my filming of musicians while they play their shows, and having a caged bmc seems the way to go

  • The BMC already has 3 1/4″ mounting points on the top so you can mount your monitors, EVF’s, mics and the like there. I think it is great they have provided these really solid mounts on camera instead of a hot/cold shoe.
    Surely that reduces the need for a cage in most instances!

    When somebody else makes third party grips, that is another matter entirely.

    • Joe Marine on 08.6.12 @ 8:10PM

      It is great, I absolutely applaud them for that, hot shoes are mostly terrible – but for some situations it’s nice to have mounting points on all sides of the camera.

  • john jeffreys on 08.6.12 @ 8:08PM

    I love cages. Its great for mounting evf’s, monitors, etc. Shame that this one does not have integrated holes for iris rods, like the trusmt ones do.

  • nd I’m not particularly worried about the ergonomics and I’m still thinking about getting a BMCC, but I plan to use my existing rig without a cage. I prefer mounting a small monitor and other things off the rods – then mounting the whole rig on a tripod so I can quickly pull it off and go hand held.

  • Wooden camera is the best, they produce simple and efficiently designed gear for an affordable price. Why is no one else selling a shoulder mount that is also a dovetail that can be mounted to a tripod. Also vmount battery plate counter balance is so much better then the rip off counterbalance weight with cheese plate systems. Only Oconnor and WC have a universal baseplate where you don’t have to buy stupid riser adapters to raise separate cameras. I think WC accessories will be used on a lot of pro BMC applications.

  • This looks great. Been doing a bit of homework recently, and found that another cage on offer for the BMC is from viewfactor. http://www.viewfactor.net/new-releases/contineo-bmc.html

    Looks like they are also offering powering options.

    • This looks pretty cool, I like the rod 15mm rod integration. Question: when looking at their images with the rod clamp mounted at the bottom, I see one hole there as well but also a grove for a mounting plate. Would I need to buy a mounting plate to fit the BMCC on it? Does the BMCC come with a mounting plate?

  • i’m just wondering… i don’t know audio very well but i’m trying to understand. can i get a xlr to 1/4 adaptor to use for a boom mic and maybe a 1/8″ to 1/4″ to use for a lav or on camera mic?

    if so is there a special kind to look for?

    • These 1/4″ to XLR adapters pretty much got consigned to the dustbin one it was revealed the BMCC audio inputs do not support phantom power. You will need to use either dynamic mics (for which we don’t know the noise performance of the onboard preamps yet) or self-powered condensers, or phantom supply boxes or external preamps just like you would on the Canon DSLRs. In which case it’s probably best to just buy short 1/4″ TRS to XLRF cables rather than these overpriced adapters, as you will need to mount whatever phantom power provider you are using regardless.

      Not to mention, now we know the BMCC has 3 1/4-20 mount points on the top already, I’m not sure why you would need a cheese cage. How many things do you want to mount exactly? These were rushed to market to try to sell to people before they knew what they needed with the camera in their hands.

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