Gopro combat Cage (1 of 3)

I backed the kickstarter campaign for the Gopro Hero 3 Combat Cage awhile back. It’s a nice cage for the Hero 3 and there are lots of mounting points, but I’m feeling a little burned. The kickstarter was for $110 and now that it’s been backed you can find the cage on B&H and on ebay for only $99.

Usually kickstarter projects offer up some kind of discount as a reward for backing a project. In this case, you pay a penalty for backing the kick starter and everyone else gets the discount. The price difference isn’t outrageous, it’s just a bit of a slap in the face.

Regardless, taking a closer look at the Hero 3 combat cage, you can see that the metal frame does a decent job of shielding the front of the unit. However the lens does stick out past the metal housing which could be a problem if you are using a bare frame. The top is open so you have easy access to the waterproof casing latch and recording buttons and they’ve carved the logo into the front for looks.

Gopro combat Cage (3 of 3)

From the back you can see that there are cutouts on both the left and right side of Hero 3 combat cage for button access as well as usb and HDMI port access. The Hero 3 is secured in place by a long allen bolt that slides through the two slits at the bottom of the cage. You also have 4 1/4 20 female threads in the corners for equipment mount and so on. Again the back of the waterproof housing sticks out past the Combat Cage, so there isn’t a lot of “drop protection” at the front or the back of the unit.

Gopro combat Cage (2 of 3)

At this angle you can see the silver allen bolt that secures the hero 3. Above that, you’ll see that I’ve taken a dremel to the case for easier HDMI and USB port access. Using the cage makes it easy to take advantage of the USB to 3.5mm audio adapter and you can keep the cable from putting too much strain on the usb port by using a simple zip tie through the 3/8 inch hole at the top of the cage. Having access to the HDMI port makes it much easier to see what’s being filmed with the Hero 3. A field monitor is a much better viewing screen than the little detachable touch screen. I’ve even been testing the hdmi out with the Ninja 2 for better video recording formats.

For most uses, the plastic casing that comes with the Hero 3 is probably enough, but if you need multiple attachment points and the extra protection that a metal case provides, the Hero 3 combat cage could be worth checking out. Still, with the Hero 3 it seems a little odd to me that it’s easier to spend more money on camera accesories than the camera itself.

There are a few other cages out there in the same price range. If you’re in the market, you might also want to check out the Redrock Micro Cobalt Cage ($99) and the Lensse Aluminum Hero 3 Cage ($109), both of which provide more protection against front and rear impact.

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