A lot of my projects and style of work require a more down to downs style rig, something small, easy and reliable. This landed me with the Sony A7IV, which for my line of work has been the best of both worlds for both video and still projects. Now, with such a small package I am able to pack my gear down into bags, great for travel, and with some stellar accessories from SHAPE, I have been able to bring some luxury and advantages from the film world to my small rig.
My Sony A7IV Rig
Shooting with the A7IV allows me to move around with a small and non-invasive camera package. This is great for run-and-gun filmmaking, but also great for interviews and clients who may not be so confident in front of a camera. The small package, even with the entire SHAPE rig, feels less intimidating to sit in front of, while still giving us filmmakers a confidence boost because it all makes your camera look sick!
I have my Sony A7IV rigged up with the Matte Box and Follow Focus Kit, which has been the perfect setup for my camera. I have partnered this setup with the J-Box Battery Kit being powered by the Two Shape Full Play V Mount Battery, which keeps my camera and crew rolling throughout the entire day. Because the Sony A7IV is not as power-hungry as full cinema cameras, a single Full Play V Mount battery, kept me rolling through an entire day of shooting, without even making a dent in the charge. Whereas if I was shooting with the basic battery for photography, I would have burned through 4-6 fully charged batteries. In the long run, this made an incredible difference on our day, plus it’s never a bad thing to have a couple of V Mounts in your kit on set.
What Is Included In The Matte Box and Follow Focus Kit
• (1) Camera Cage
• (1) Wooden Push-Button Top Handle
• (1) 15 mm Lw Quick Release Rod Base System
• (1 Pair) 15 mm Rods 10″ (15tube10)
• (1) Kit Focus Single Rod Follow Focus 15 mm Lws (FA123)
• (1) Matte Box 4×5.6
Review of the Shape Sony A7IV
My first impression of the products is how well-built and durable it is. This was a huge plus for me as I am constantly on the go in many different environments, and knowing that I had accessories and a cage that can hold up under stress, but actually add an additional layer of safety to my camera, allows me to be a bit more at ease in sketchy conditions and focus more on getting the shot. Additionally, I have added the V Mount battery adapter to the mix, which has allowed me to have continuous filming though the day. In short, this setup has really made my life outshooting that much easier and more efficient. Plus it just makes this little mirrorless camera look like a beast. Which is always a nice confidence boost with clients.
I have also paired this setup with the SHAPE 75mm Bowl Fluid Head Video Tripod, and hands down these sticks are great for smaller productions. I have had a plethora of photography tripods and time on set with big brand tripods which are bulky and hard to pack around with you as a one-man production team, and these sticks have proven to be a great in-between in size, functionality and cost. On my last weekend shoot, we used these sticks and I was pleasantly impressed with how functional and fluent this tripod and head performed. At first, I was concerned with how it would perform compared to a higher-end head, however, you can rest your mind as this was not the case with these, and I couldn’t have been happier with them.
Perfect Sony A7IV setup from SHAPE
In summary, this setup for my Sony A7IV from SHAPE has added another level of efficiency and performance to a package that is easy to lug around and gave me all the accessories to deliver high-end budget-style work. Now of course you can’t say that the gear directly made me a better filmmaker, but what I can say is it brought the high-end levels of a cinema setup to my small package which has allowed me to bring that knowledge/ skillset to my personal projects. As a bonus, this entire setup fits perfectly into the SHAPE Camera Bag, making my time of set up on set that much more efficient.
About the author
Rylan McCarthy is a filmmaker and photographer from Alberta, Canada who studied film at Vancouver Film School. He loves the outdoors and has a passion for documentary filmmaking, photography and community-driven projects. Rylan loves to use his art and skills to share stories and connect with people on a more personal level.
Connect with Rylan
www.rylansphotolife.com Instagram: @rylansphotolife