As more and more filmmakers are getting their hands on the Pocket 4K, some small quirks referring to this otherwise great camera began to emerge. There are not many cameras (if any) that provide so much bang for the buck, but at the same time, this comes with a price.
Users need to adapt to some of the design choices that were needed to keep the price down. One of the first to fall was the hinge for a swiveling screen – the Pocket 4K, in fact, has none. But FlashFilm Academy may have found a workaround for that drawback.
Let’s get straight to it. The cost of this camera-tuning is not cheap being around $300. That’s not even that expensive by itself, but to add to that there’s the problem of time. Yes, time. The company that makes this modification to the camera is based in China as it can be found on the Chinese site Taobao, sort of an eBay-ish website.
They claim that they can upgrade your Blackmagic Pocket 4K in a few business days, three exactly, and send it back. Sounds great, right? Unfortunately, the time to get the job done plus the shipping back and forth adds up to three weeks at least, where you’ll be sitting at your desk waiting for your camera.
But what does this modding consist of? The operation is quite simple. The camera will get disassembled, the screen took apart and placed on a hinge that allows for a complete 180° rotation forward so that it becomes front facing.
The guts of the camera will be covered by a carbon fiber looking enclosure, and a USB-C port can be rewired there to accommodate an SSD in the resulting slot. Quite neat! What’s the catch then?
Well, this is obviously not endorsed or in any way designed by Blackmagic, and that means that you will void your warranty. Yes, the company says that the process can be reverted, but if something goes wrong along the way, or even after that, good luck trying to get anything fixed under warranty!
Not only that, since the LCD is not intended to be flipped, once you go full tilt, the image will not compensate mirroring the screen, so the image you’ll see will be upside-down.
The manufacturer does offer a lifetime warranty for the job and the assembly, granted you lose another three to 6 weeks in the merry-go-round of the camera flying from one side of the world to the other, but at the same time it seems that the trick is efficient and most of the available cages and gear will still be compatible. So it all boils down to one question: Should you do it?
Needless to say, this kind of mod is not for everyone first of all for the warranty risks, and moreover, for the time you will be stranded without the camera itself. Do you really care so much for having a flip screen? Couldn’t be better to have an external monitor strapped to the camera instead? Whatever the case might be, the suggested solution is at least an option worth considering.