One of the greatest benefits of a DSLR is its low price tag (compared to larger cinema cameras), but repair and maintenance costs can render the unprepared filmmaker powerless and unable to start or finish a project. Namely, HDMI ports tend to be a little fussy and vulnerable, and LockCircle's solution to protect against HDMI/USB port damages, the LockPort, has added to its growing family: the LockPort 800 DUAL, designed specifically for the NikonD800/800E. Continue on to find out more about how this tool can help safeguard your relatively-inexpensive-but-still-pretty-expensive camera.
I'm sure we've seen it happen a dozen times: someone moving a camera too far, or tripping over an HDMI cord, watching the loose cable whip back, and then realizing you've lost a video feed (or whatever you were connected to). Not only is this aggravating, but it's also a great way to bend the pins. One way to keep your HDMI/USB ports from getting damaged is to keep cables from being yanked out of them violently. There are other options out there to stop your HDMI/USB ports from getting damaged, like an assortment of HDMI locks that keep cables secured inside the port (kind of like a vice), but I'm a little bit wary of anything being so securely connected to my expensive camera (in most situations) -- any kind of significant tug or trip and your camera will be saying hello to the floor.
That's where the LockPort is different. It doesn't stop cables from being ripped from their ports; it has become the port from which they get ripped, so any damages are incurred by the LockPort, not your expensive to fix camera. The L-shaped device rests on a baseplate that fits to whichever head, baseplate, sliding plate, or support you may be using. Here are a few specs:
- Works with Nikon D800/E cameras.
- Full-Size HDMI and USB 3.0 outputs allows you to use stronger standard cables.
- Standard size HDMI/USB 3.0 plugs locks securely in the socket
- 90˚ REAR output for better cable layout on your rig/studio set-up.
- Gold plated contacts.
- UNIVERSAL ultra-low base clamp, can work on every plate, head, sliding plate, rig, support out there.
- No longer camera screws, use all the camera screws already out there.
- No battery door interference.
- Ready in a few seconds, instant set-up.
Here's a quick video showing the set up of a LockPort designed for the Canon 7D. (Each version is essentially the same as the new 800 model, except that the new one has dual HDMI/USB ports.)
Video is no longer available: vimeo.com/33055213
One thing that may be an annoyance, or maybe even an all-out deal breaker, is the screw on the bottom of the baseplate. Because it's not flush with the plate, it may restrict the rigs you can use with your camera with the LockPort attached. However, it works just fine with tripods, handheld (obviously). Also, I'm not sure if this is just how it operates or if this was just a one-time occurrence with a user, but the LockPort must be plugged into something, a monitor or whatever, in order for your camera to work. In other words, you can't just leave it in without a cable and shoot; you'd have to dismount it before you can shoot cable-free. So, you may not get that set-it-and-forget-it solution, but you will be protecting your HDMI/USB ports, which might be an okay trade-off for you.
The LockPort comes in several different versions that work with different DSLR cameras, including the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera, which is a new addition as well. Here's the list of compatible cameras:
- Canon 5D Mark II
- Canon 5D Mark III
- Canon 6D
- Canon 7D
- Nikon D600/D610
- Nikon D800/800E
- Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera
The prices of the different versions range from about $130 to $170, but the LockPort 800 DUAL is $149 for either the HDMI or the USB accessory, or $169 for both.
What do you think of the LockPort? If you've used one, how did you like it? What similar products do you use? Let us know in the comments below.