With less than a month before its official release, the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K continues to generate a lot of buzz around the filmmaking community. Equipped with a Micro 4/3” HDR-capable sensor, DCI 4K 60fps shooting capabilities, and a Dual Native ISO up to 25,600, the newcomer has sparked a considerable amount of interest for those looking for a relatively affordable, high-quality 4K cinema camera with a compact form factor.
Even though the moment when the BMPCC 4K will hit the shelves is fast approaching, Blackmagic has been keeping many camera-related details heavily on the down low, creating curiosity among consumers as to how good it actually will be.
Thankfully, Andrew Colton from Colton Visuals reveals some additional bits of information regarding the highly-anticipated device that he was able to attain at the Blackmagic Design Conference and Expo held in Miami recently.
It seems that as of now, Blackmagic cannot confirm officially whether or not the Pocket Cinema Camera 4K will fit the Zhiyun Crane 2 or Ronin-S. The only gimbal that’s currently supporting the camera is the Tilta Gravity G2X. Colton notes, however, that DJI has consistently adapted to the changing camera landscape.
Something similar had already happened when the company rolled out the Ronin mounting plates after the URSA Mini Camera initial release. With that in mind, odds are that the Chinese filmmaking gear maker or some other third-party manufacturer will develop adapters/mounting plates that will make the Pocket Cinema Camera 4K compatible with popular gimbals soon after the early adopters get their hands on the unit.
Many original Pocket Cinema Camera users commonly utilized a Metabones Speedbooster to adapt various lenses to their camera. With the release of the new Pocket 4K, Blackmagic has confirmed that the Speedbooster will work with the latest camera model, however, the image may look slightly wider due to the difference in sensor size between the old and new BMPCCs.
As for those hoping to shoot in the vastly-popular ProRes RAW, Blackmagic has not yet integrated support for the codec in the Pocket Cinema Camera 4K. However, adding this feature down the line is still on the radar.
When it comes to powering the Pocket Cinema Camera 4K, Blackmagic has opted to use Canon LP-E6 style batteries. According to Colton, using those batteries will give you a one-hour runtime on the camera, meaning that you’re definitely going to need to buy extra batteries for a full day’s worth of shooting.
At the Blackmagic Design Conference and Expo, Colton also had the opportunity to interact with the pre-production model of the BMPCC 4K and test out its shooting capabilities and form factor. According to him, the ergonomics of the Pocket Cinema Camera 4K are very well designed. Handling the unit, the camera felt light and easy to hold. In fact, Blackmagic revealed that the final production model would be even lighter.
One of the best features of the new Pocket Cinema Camera is its 5-inch touchscreen display which seems pretty bright and provides a decent level of detail. Unfortunately, there’s no word on how well the screen will hold up when using the camera outdoors under harsh sunlight conditions.
When it came to low-light shooting, Colton was surprised with the camera’s ability to shoot clean footage. Even at a high ISO of 6400, the video was impressively crisp and clean without any noise whatsoever. Going even further to ISO 25,600, the footage still seemed usable with fewer artifacts than expected at such high ISO.
With a confirmed September release date, the filmmaking community is eager to see what the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K is truly capable of. With impressive 4K video features at an extremely affordable price, those looking for the perfect B-Roll/starter camera definitely have their eyes set on Blackmagic’s latest release. However, only time can tell whether or not this camera will prove to be a success amongst video shooters.
Meanwhile, you can download and play around with a selection of camera original media files from Mark Wyatt, John Brawley, and Andreas Neumann’s test shoots via this link here.