LockCircle got its start making exceptionally secure body caps to seal DSLRs when no lens was mounted on them, which explains a lot about their design philosophy. Cinema cameras, because of their PL or PV mounts, tend to lock up pretty tightly when a port cap is on. The port cap for a still camera isn't usually as secure, since the mount itself doesn't usually offer much protection, and since still photographers don't spend nearly as much time as motion picture makers with their port cover on; it's more typical in the stills world to store the camera with a lens attached.

However, if you are working in windy, sandy, or wet conditions, a strong, secure port cover is a very useful tool that is easy to overlook. LockCircle didn't. In fact, it designed and manufactured one to meet the needs of film crews increasingly using still cameras on set, and their business has been built on that level of attention to the needs of end users.

5d_mark_ii_body_cover_0LookCircle Body CapCredit: LookCircle

The marquee feature of their latest product, a cage for Sony's new a6500, is lens adapter integration. The LockCircle cage allows for a more secure mounting position for either the Metabones adapter or the P+S Technik IMS mounts, allowing for a wide variety of lenses to be adapted to the Sony E-Mount native to the camera. This secure mounting is the real key, since the E-mount, while good, can occasionally have a bit of slip with aggressive focus-pulling. This isn't a problem only of the E-mount, but something you see in many still photo mounts that weren't designed with the heavier weight and greater torque of cine lenses in mind. By securing the adapter to the cage, which then holds the camera body steady and attaches to the camera mount, more dramatic lens pulls and heavier lenses can be used with confidence. 

The cage also allows for the use of the native camera grip, full access to all the camera body controls, and easy integration of the XLR-K2M audio adapter from Sony, allowing for full XLR audio input.

Lockcircle-a6500-e1477008437294LookCircle A6500Credit: LookCircle

Someday, we won't need camera cages; cameras will come from the factory with all the mounting points and rod mounts we could possibly need. However, solid accessory mounts largely remain out of the design spec for most affordable cameras. To make the 5D or the A7S or the a6500 really functional as a cinema cameras—with follow focus and rods and matte box and monitor/recorder—you need a cage. Generic camera cages are available, but since security and protection are features we want in a cage, it's generally preferable to have one that is custom designed for your camera body. This often leads to a slower adoption process with newer gear, as we wait for customized accessories to be released before we upgrade our kits. Considering the furious upgrade cycle of the Sony a6000 series, with updates coming in less than a year after each other, it's good to see accessory makers keeping up the pace. LockCircle is first out of the gate with this dedicated a6500 cage, built on their 6300NY design.

6300ny_with_metabone6300NY with Meta-Block mount for MetabonesCredit: LookCircle

Tech Specs:

  • Right-hand camera grip/control with original Sony ergonomics
  • 200g / 7oz 
  • Birdcage Top Grip handle and Boombooster compatible accessories
  • CNC machined from billet aluminum
  • Genuine titanium screws
  • Nine Brick threaded module for mounting expansion
  • MicroPort and LockPort Flex HDMI/USB port savers
  • Meta-Block mount (adjustable) for Metabones monolithic mounting
  • IMS-Block for IMS- Mounts for serious cinematographers needs
  • MicroMega ultra compact modular expandable BasePlate
  • Sony XLR-K2M / K1M compatible
  • Focal Plain thread for AC measurement hook
  • Designed by cinematographers and manufactured in Italy