The Best Compact Sony A7SIII Cinema Rig

atomos ninja v
camera cage
camera rig
cinema rig
Cinema Rig
field monitor
ninja 5
ninja v
ninja V
Sony a7siii
top handle
v mount battery

Gear Focus

Oct 11, 2021

blog image
Gear Focus built a compact A7SIII Cinema Rig because we often times found ourselves needing more out of our camera. Here is our rig breakdown and tips on how you can build one as well.


A "cinema rig" just means anything that you need to attach to your camera in order to make it more functional while filming. Usually centered around a high end camera with a metal cage attached. The metal cages have threaded holes all over them so things like handles and tension arms can be screwed into them. The vast majority of cinema rigs have a handful of attachments in common which are:


As video projects get larger and more involved more is needed out of a camera. Monitoring your exposure and image becomes increasingly important and an external monitor is useful. Longer set days means that an external power source is crucial in order to record for longer durations. As well as powering your camera and monitor with one system instead of multiple batteries to worry about. Cinema rigs are also useful when working in one person or small production crews because they allow you to attach everything you need onto your camera and is quickly accessible.


The camera of choice for our A7SIII Cinema Rig is of course a Sony A7SIII. This is because without anything attached the camera can record in 10-bit 4K video and when paired with the right lens has reliable autofocus. This means the need for a follow focus is diminished for our productions.


While Gear Focus does have access to many lenses in our kit, often times the Zeiss 35mm f/1.4 is found on our cinema rig. 35mm is a good all-around focal length that can be used for sit down interviews, close-up b-roll segments, and works great for handheld shots. The lens has a good weight to it and this helps eliminate micro shakes from your hands when filming. It can be a fine line but usually when it comes to cinema rigs, more weight is a good thing.


The Sony A7SIII creates pretty large file sizes and this means media and storage can quickly become an issue. This is where our field monitor and storage system comes into play; the Atomos Ninja V. The Atomos Ninja V is a 5 inch external monitor that lets the camera operator have complete control over exposure, color balance, and critical focus. And even better is that this monitor also allows the filmmaker to record straight to a portable SSD instead of a SD card in the camera. SSD's are cheaper than SD cards and can usually store a lot more information.


All of these accessories need power and for some extra juice for the Gear Focus cinema rig we use a Core Powerbase Edge battery. This is a V-Mount style battery than mounts directly under the camera or cage via a standard 1/4 20 screw. The Powerbase has 2 D-Tap ports and 2 USB ports so plugging in your camera, monitor and anything else is extremely easy. The Powerbase Edge has a runtime of around 3 hours on one charge and if you power off your camera in between takes that runtime can double or more.

Own one like this?

Make room for new gear in minutes.