Myself and Rob both have the Sony a7s. But, we have 2 different camera cages.
This week we are going head to head to see which is a better cage: The Movcam, or the Tilta.
We recently upgraded from shooting on Canon T3i’s to the Sony a7s. Big upgrade; both in terms of quality and cost. We wanted to add extra protection to them, as well as more functionality, so this is where the camera cage comes in!
I went with the Sony a7s cage from MovCam and Rob went with one from Tilta. Both great cages; if you purchased either of these, you’ll be happy with your purchase. But which one is better?
For this battle, we aren’t comparing like for like versions of each camera cage. We thought it would be better to compare what we consider the best value version of each product. The MovCam base model, and the Tilta with wooden handle grip.
So, we’ve created this chart. It’s a list of all the functionality, pros, and cons of the cages that we can think of which we are able to compare.
Let’s start off with build quality: Both the MovCam and the Tilta are made really solid. From using these cages for a few months now, they are both just as tough as each other.
Top Handle: Both points go to the Tilta for this one. The top handle on the Tilta is better in several ways. It’s generally just more comfortable, it’s really easy to take off, and you are even able to rotate it. This is perfect if you need extra space in your camera bag. The MovCam is not as great. It’s certainly not uncomfortable, but it does require a screw driver to remove. It’s a good solid handle, but that’s about it.
Cold Shoe Placement: both are in the exact same place and work just as identically. So we’ve given a point to both.
Cable socket protectors: Both do a good job of protecting your doors from getting bashed as well as holding your cables in place to stop them from snagging. The MovCam wins just barely with this one, as compared to the Tilta, you can add grip to your sockets with these hand tightening nuts, whereas on the Tilta you do need an alan key. Not a major difference, but being able to function without tools is always a better choice in our opinion.
Size: Both cages are almost identical in size. The Tilta is a bit bigger because of the handle, but you can take it off. A point to both.
Speaking about assembly, let’s talk a bit about it: We’ve got a little contest here. We raced to see who can disassemble the camera and put it back together the quickest. As you can see, the Tilta is faster to put together. This is because it’s just one solid bit of metal, whereas the MovCam is connected using 3 separate parts.
Purchase options: We’ve given both points to the MovCam for this one, as you can get the basic cage just on its own, or buy it with the riser block. Unfortunately, the Tilta has to be bought with the riser block, which adds to its cost. The wooden handle is an optional choice for the Tilta, but if you are not planning on getting the wooden side handle, it’s worth just getting the MovCam instead as it’s a fair bit cheaper to what is practically the same product.
Future Proofing: Unfortunately, for the MovCam it’s lost out on both points here because you can only fit the Mark 1 Sony A7s to it. MovCam does sell an a7sII version, but what’s good about the Tilta is that you can fit The a7s, a7sII, a7r, and a7rII into this single cage. So if you are planning on upgrading to a mark II at some point, you can add this to your price justification.
Comfort: The Tilta wins this time. Because of its wooden side grip, it’s just a lot more comfortable to use over a long space of time. It also has a record button which plugs into the USB slot so you don’t need to find the awkward record button that we all hate on the Sony Alpha camera range. As we said before, the top handle is also a bit more comfortable.
15mm Rod Mount: And the Tilta wins again. Both cages have a 15mm rod mount, but we had to give the points to the Tilta because unfortunately, the MovCam’s rod mount is attached to the top handle. So you can only use the mount if the top handle is attached. On the Tilta, this isn’t an issue as it’s mounted to the main cage. We use the 15mm rod mount for attaching an external battery, so this feature is really handy.
Weight: The weight difference between these cages is negligible. The MovCam comes in at 840 grams, and the Tilta comes in at 656 grams. But lighter is better, so the Tilta wins.
Colour: We contemplated not adding this because it’s a bit of a daft one, but I suppose the MovCam wins this time. You can get the MovCam in black and silver, whereas with the Tilta, it’s just silver. It’s really not a big deal, but it might be for someone else.
So from the date of upload of this video, the prices are: $520 for the Tilta (this includes the wooden side grip), and $400 for the MovCam (which is the base model).
So if we divide the cost of the cage by the number of points it scored, we will get a number which represents the price performance. The lower the better.
The Tilta got 15 points, so $520 divided by 15 scores the Tilta: 34.7
The MovCam got 13 points, so $400 divided by 13 scores the MovCam: 30.8
So the MovCam is the winner!
So basically, both of these cages are solid. If you want the extra features of the Tilta, go for it. If not, it just depends on your budget.
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