A while ago, we were all taken aback when Blackmagic Design announced that the Ursa Mini Pro, a camera that had been around for a few months at that point had a Bluetooth module on board enabled via a firmware update. On top of that, the technology was opened up for third-party developers to create what they wanted as a camera controlling app.
After a similar surprise, no one was shocked when they announced that the Pocket 4K would sport a Bluetooth chip for camera control as well. Some developers are now publishing their apps for that and Tom Antos has been testing one in particular recently called Blackmagic BMPCC 4K Controller.
The app in question has been released lately, and it’s the first one aimed particularly to the Pocket 4K. The pairing is quite simple, you enable the Bluetooth on both your camera and phone and in a few moments, they will pair and sync.
Once the sync is done, you’ll have a home screen on the app where you can see the recap of all the settings on the camera at the moment.
Entering inside each setting makes it very easy to change any of those. The app reminds the camera menu design, and with a swipe, you can easily adjust shutter angle, ISO or any other setting.
If you prefer you can even tap the auto-exposure letting the camera decide based on your priority preference. Through the navigation bar on the top, you can quickly jump to the main areas of the menus, and that would be Codec, Exposure, White Balance, Lens, and Other.
The first three tabs are quite self-explanatory, but in the lens tab instead, you have two sliders, one is for the zoom and the other is for the focus, meaning that if you have a native M4/3 zoom lens, you can control it directly from the app and zoom in or out the frame and most of all, pull focus.
The most amazing function, or maybe the more useful, is the ability to save two focus points in the app, and then simply rack focus from one to the other with just a tap on the screen.
The last tab is for some miscellaneous, like playback, screen overlays like guides, zebras and frame ratio. There is also a small audio control and a digital slate.
In the bottom part of the interface you get your slot and card selection, remaining time on each card and rec/stop trigger. The latter can be a lifesaver if you need to rig the camera on a crane or in a tight or not easily accessible spot.
Downsides? The app is a one time purchase around $6, and that’s actually more than fair to the developer, but it is Android only at the moment, so for the Apple users there are some similar alternatives, just not so tailor-made for the Pocket 4K. So, for the time being, you’ll have to make do with that.