An animator has created a new low-cost camera cage that will be produced if prospective purchasers pledge the $20,000 he needs.
The CamCage Mini is a softly rounded aluminium camera bracket that securely surrounds your camera on three sides with handles and is joined by two brackets that can carry the camera and accessories.
The initial $20,000 needed for the first production run of 125 units is being gathered through the new US-based Kickstarter project (www.kickstarter.com), which requires prospective users to pledge money – they will then be the first to get their hands on the units (although nothing is paid over until the full amount is reached, which has to be before the cut-off deadline of December 14).
The $160 CamCage Mini can fit any camera that is 12.5cm high (plus the quick release plate), which includes many compact camcorders and almost all DSLRs, such as the Canon 5D Mark II. It weighs 660g.
Its maker, Bryan Evans, who works in the animation business in Los Angeles, believes that it will be ideal for extreme sports, such as skating, diving, surfing or any action filming with camera movement, which it helps stabilize. "The curved handles have incredible strength and great grip feel to inspire confidence in the field or studio," he claimed.
"When I shoot video I like to move the camera and get a variety of angles, and this lead me to look at camera holders of all kinds. I did quite a bit of research and was struck by two things: first, almost all of them are really expensive; and, second, they weren't really designed for the human hand. So I decided to build my own," he explained. "It gives your camera more handle area than any other camera rig in existence at a lower cost."
Evans built prototypes out of inexpensive PVC pipe and has put a DIY CamCage video on his site if anyone wants to build their own – for about $30 in materials (http://camcagesystems.com/diy). "In the end, I wanted something stronger, with larger diameter tubes for better handgrip," so he turned to metal, which lead to "an entirely new bracket design, which is an open accessory platform. You can put microphones, lights, monitors, audio recorders (I've used the Zoom H4 and H1 both); anything that attaches to a quarter-inch thread or a one-inch tube works great on this." He envisages versions for larger cameras if this one is a success.