We Review SmallRig’s V2 Rotating Camera Mounts With Expanded Compatibility

We Review SmallRig’s V2 Rotating Camera Mounts With Expanded Compatibility

SmallRig's new version of the rotating camera mount has definitely addressed the issues we had with the first version. In addition to making it compatible with most, if not all, cameras, they went the extra mile that some might think is too far.

The first version of SmallRig’s rotating camera mount plate, which we reviewed last year, was a significantly good start. However, it had one non-negotiable flaw for most users, which was the limited compatibility. The first version was tailored to a specific line of Sony cameras that shared the same form factor, which were the Sony a7 IV, a7R IV, a7R V, and the a7S III. Any other Sony camera and, of course, other camera brands were incompatible with the first version because it had a bottom mounting plate that followed the exact mold of the bottom of the camera body with specific holes to make way for the battery door. This was an absolutely good factor for users of the compatible cameras but was eventually a disappointment for other camera users.

The first version also made use of a simpler assembly. It consisted of the bottom plate that mounts on the 1/4-inch thread and connects to the main rotating collar using two screws. Installing the mount requires removing the lens because the inner diameter of the collar accommodates the thinnest part of the barrel of the lens, which is usually the section near the mount. The first one was a straightforward design that was just a little too specific to the camera body.

(L) First version rotating bracket 
(R) New version

The new version was certainly designed to have more universal compatibility, and it seems that SmallRig wanted to go beyond just the typical rectangular bottom plate and give it a unique mounting feature. The main lens collar follows the same form as the first version; however, it has a longer stem, which gives the collar more height from the Arca-Swiss type quick release plate. Instead of the friction knob on the old version, this one has a simpler lever that takes just one flick to lock.

On the side of the camera, it uses a sliding platform that resembles a quick release clamp. This platform has an inner section that slides out to meet the screw thread behind the collar in order to adjust to whatever width is necessary between the lens mount and the mounting point on the body. Instead of directly mounting on the camera, the top part is a quick release clamp that takes in any Arca-Swiss type plate.

The default configuration uses a supplied camera mounting plate that resembles the usual Arca-Swiss plate used by most tripod heads. However, the reason why it uses a more complicated assembly is that this plate can be replaced by the bottom groove of a camera cage, which opens it up to more potential uses for both photography and videography.

A Tricky and Crucial First Step

One of the biggest notable differences is the installation process of the camera mount. Just like the first version, this step requires the lens to be removed in order to mount and adjust the distance between the lens collar and the main mounting plate accordingly. However, for the second version, it has a few extra steps depending on whether you are using the supplied Arca-Swiss plate or a compatible Arca-Swiss mount camera cage.

The first step is to attach the plate or cage onto the camera to get it ready to mount onto the rest of the bracket assembly. Once that is done, the next step is to put together the other two parts in order to mount it onto the camera and adjust the lens distance. Here you would have to loosen the two screws on the back of the collar to allow the sliding platform to accommodate the necessary distance from the plate to the lens collar. Then the quick release clamp is mounted onto the lens collar using two screws. Once they are loosely connected and the collar is placed on top of the lens mount, the sliding platform can then be adjusted to meet the mounting plate (or camera cage) and rotated to mount them all together, adjust finely, and lock in place before the lens can be mounted again.


Rotating camera mounts have been popular in the past couple of years because of the convenience they offer for both photographers and videographers. It may be trivial to some, but this spares the user from having to tilt the tripod head to the side to shoot vertically, which always just puts the entire setup in a less balanced state. These rotating brackets also became good alternatives to L-brackets because they don’t require removing the camera from being mounted on the tripod and fixed the longstanding flaw of L-brackets, which was that they usually obstructed the ports on the side of the camera and hindered the range of motion of the articulating screen.

Just like all other rotating brackets that we’ve taken a look at, this particular one offers the same solution but widened the compatibility. In my opinion, though, they widened it a little too much, which made the assembly a little too complicated for users who don’t use camera cages. It is, of course, great that there’s an option for these accessories to be cross-compatible with camera cages, which would make them helpful for more people; however, it might be better if there were two versions, one that would be compatible with bare cameras and another that can accommodate the adjustments for camera cages. The design, of course, absolutely makes sense for users that want to mount the accessory on a cage; however, it is also valid that a lot of other users who don’t fall into that category would find it too complicated compared to other alternatives. We’ve narrowed down the compatibility concerns and potential preferences to this based on what SmallRig currently offers:

New Version

  • Any camera, except for those compatible with the first version (a7S III, a7 IV, a7R IV, a7R V, Canon, and Nikon mirrorless cameras).
  • Any camera (including the a7S III, a7 IV, a7R IV, a7R V) that will be used with an Arca-Swiss type compatible cage.

Old Version

  • Users of compatible cameras who do not foresee the need to use a cage and prefer a simpler tool.

This new version is available for Sony, Canon, Nikon, and Fujifilm GFX cameras.

What I Liked

  • Expanded compatibility to more brands and models
  • Cage compatibility

What Can Be Improved:

  • Complicated assembly process
  • May be improved by having cage and non-cage compatible versions
  • Protruding locks
Nicco Valenzuela's picture

Nicco Valenzuela is a photographer from Quezon City, Philippines. Nicco shoots skyscrapers and cityscapes professionally as an architectural photographer and Landscape and travel photographs as a hobby.

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I have both A7RV and A7SM3 the first model I love for it gives plenty use of the twisty screen. I have panorama rig that has a mounting plate that attaches to the post everything holds even with the FE 12-24mm f/2.8. But I just received the new 10mm f/2.8 it does not fit in the hole for lenses.

Is this the Laowa 10mm f2.8? Some lenses really do have incompatibilities with the collar especially the Tamron lenses that have a USB-C port on the barrel

Yes, I just put an older L-Bracket on the camera the one with a flippy side L the side that you would use for portrait view. I was out testing the lens for pinpoint stars in corners and sides. After years '15 ago getting the Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 that all reviewers were say a great lens. I spent a long night in July '15 capturing the Milky Way but when I got on the computer in post there was so many problems like mustache distortion and elongated stars in corners and many coma problems and with no LC's anywhere I had to wait a year for LR to get one but still elongated stars but the mustache distortion was fixed. After that I stayed with the FE 16-35mm f/4 but discovered the APS-C E 10-18mm (15-27mm (35mm) that worked great for several years at 12mm and two years before the FE 12-24mm f/4. But I still used it finding both the 12-24mm f/4 and 2.8 very heavy. Funny Sony never went 12mm prime like the new 10mm f/2.8. The reason for the 10mm is in portrait view you get great height to capture of the MW ARC/Rainbow so no need for a second row.
You can test lenses with a chart but not till a capture of stars do you find the problems, I test all my lenses with stars, the Sigma 14mm f/2.8 really only worked f/4 or higher so much distortion also.
1. Finally a '15 capture processed, also learned a bracketed 3 at +/- 1 EV (NR is off and dead/hot pixels) BUT somehow a HDR program got rid of them. In '15 not much info so I was trying anything.
2. This march using the heavy FE 12-24mm f/2.8 with A7SM3 on a lightweight pano rig but everything held for 13 images (15 degree steps).
3. The E 10-18mm in Full Frame mode 12mm, added the sparkle with ON1