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Review: Photography & Cinema GearBox

by Peter Walkowiak on 11/11/2012

I started with the Rode VideoMic Pro and then moved to the Carry Speed ViewFinder. I began to take video seriously and starting looking into the JuicedLink Preamp for better audio. The dilemma was that I had no place to put the JuicedLink box and I knew that in the future I would be looking into a HDMI recorder or a LCD display. Then the GearBox entered the scene offering a professional way to mount all of my video related accessories.

The GearBox is simple but it does the job very well. I have spent some time with the cage and have wrote down my thoughts to share with you.

Build

The unit is made mostly out of black anodized metal with the exception of the two hard plastic grips on the sides. It is quite light and very well made, as one would assume the metal frame is very tough and durable.

On the bottom there is a quarter inch mount for attaching directly to your camera, rail system or viewfinder. There are two rubber strips lining the quarter inch screw that help keep a tight seal with your camera and the cage.

There is a gap along the right side of the bottom which allows complete battery access to the Canon line of DSLRs as well as my Nikon D800.

Along the right and left of the cage below the hand grips are two metal extenders that allow you to fit a larger full frame DLSR or a smaller DSLR with a grip attached. These were required for my camera but can be removed for smaller DSLRs.

Features

There isn’t much as far as gadgets or features on a metal cage but there are plenty of ways you can add them to the GearBox. Starting with the bottom of the cage there are five quarter inch threaded mounts and fourteen threaded quarter inch holes on the top of the cage. These threaded holes allow you to accessorize and adapt a large amount of gear to the GearBox. On the top of mine I have my JuicedLink and Rode mic with room to spare. There is no place to seat a mic on top so I had to purchase a cheap cold shoe to quarter inch adapter online for the Rode. It should also be mentioned that there are 9 pass through quarter inch holes for adding adapters or friction arms.

Usage

I love being able to hold the entire kit, moving from tripod to handheld is easy and quick. A side note I have noticed that my kit draws a lot of attention on the streets, its definitely not a covert affair when I am out recording video. It’s something that needs to be said, the rig plus accessories makes you look professional which draws eyes in.

I am still confused on how or when you would want to use the grips on the side of the GearBox. In real world use I tend to have my right hand on the record button and my left racking focus. So I do not expect to see people carrying around their rig holding both handles with a viewfinder mushed into their eye. The handles are just for comfortable carrying when not on a tripod and thats about it. If you look at other cages they are just a metal square, so I appreciate the handles but they are meant for comfort not use while recording.

GearBox Accessories

Photography & Cinema sell quite a few accessories for the GearBox. They sell a rod adapter with 15mm rails, quick release plates and friction arms which can be added to your kit. Attaching your camera to the cage can be a bit of a hassle so I would recommend some kind of release plate, this will be the next addition to my kit. This will make the jump from video to photo mode and back an easier one. One accessory that I would love to see in the future from P&C is a top handle for the GearBox so I can do some easy one handed pans or more easily carry my kit.

Conclusion

A cage can be made my various companies but there is no replacement for it. The GearBox does its simple job very well, it has plenty of ways to accessorize and keeps these items locked in and safe. Your kit can be very heavy but the cage gives you a very sturdy light start.

There are few things to be said about the Photography & Cinema GB-1 GearBox but none of them are negative. The GearBox is currently on sale for $90 down from $110 over at P&C’s website here.

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