SmallRig sent their new cage for the Panasonic USA GH5 over for testing and I've been shooting with it since this past weekend. I usually don't go for camera-specific cages because it's a hassle to get a new cage every time you get a new camera body, but I was really surprised by how light and compact this cage was when I took it out of the box.
At 178g, it's the lightest cage I've used by far, even compared to other camera-specific cages. The next lightest cage I have on hand is Fhugen's Honu GH4 cage, which is almost 2x heavier at 308g.
Thanks to its light weight, I didn't feel weighed down while the cage was mounted on the camera, and I was able to shoot comfortably all day.
Here's a clearer look at the anti-twist functionality of SmallRig's Lumix #GH5 cage. The blocks that straddle the lens mount create a wall that braces against the front of the camera, so that when it is mounted in the cage, there is zero twisting. It works well, and unlike some other cages, this anti-twist implementation does not mar the camera.
You can also see the mounting holes for SmallRig's Metabones lens adapter support right below the anti-twist wall. If you use a Speed Booster, using the support will give you a completely rigid setup from lens to camera without any flexing.
Like the rest of SmallRig's #GH5 cage, the top is minimal, but well thought out. Right above the lens, you have two rows of 1/4-20 holes (with a single 3/8-16 hole in the middle), as well as a couple 1/4-20 holes on the front for additional mounting options.
The GH5's hot shoe is still fully accessible when mounted in this cage, allowing you to use accessories like Lumix's XLR1 audio unit.
To the left is a cold shoe for mounting mics, lights, monitors, etc. The cold shoe's placement is important because a cold shoe to the right of the hot shoe would be blocked by XLR plugs when using the XLR1 unit.
Still, SmallRig also included a couple 1/4-20 holes for attaching accessories such as an additional cold shoe, allowing you to make good use of the entire top of the cage if you don't plan on using the XLR1 audio unit.
You can also see that the cage straddles the front dial and the WB/ISO buttons. All controls are accessible, though you'll have to "hop" over the cage when moving between the front dial and the WB/ISO buttons. It takes a minute to get used to, but it's not a problem after shooting with it for a bit.
The sides of SmallRig's Lumix #GH5 cage are packed with functionality. Aside from the column of 1/4-20 and 3/8-16 mounting points, each side is also a fully functional #NATO rail, making it compatible with a wide range of accessories from hand grips, ARRI rosettes, 15mm rod clamps, cold shoe adapters, and more. Any compatible NATO accessory can quickly slide on and lock down anywhere along the sides of this cage.
That's pretty slick.
While there are no spring-loaded safety stops common to bolt-on NATO rails, the left side of the cage has a stop built in at the top. This will prevent the cage from dropping if you grab the rig by a loose hand grip, for example.
The right side of the cage does not have any safety stops, but that's because the top and bottom of this side have slots built-in for attaching a strap. By attaching a strap to one end or the other, you effectively also add a safety stop to prevent loose accessories from sliding off. If you want additional protection on the other side, you can always add a 1/4-20 thumbscrew to act as a safety stop.