Ten days ago, many of us jumped off their chair when a notification for a live stream by Blackmagic Design popped up on Twitter. Almost no one expected any announcements from the land down under, and the usual whispers and rumors have been missing. So, out of the blue, Blackmagic Design unveiled a brand new camera – the BMPCC 6K.
Now, as the whole filmmaking community is trying to make its mind up about the newcomer while peeping at the sample files and waiting for the first production units to come out, Carl Yates at ProAV TV has done a great job at highlighting three details that possibly went unnoticed in the excitement.
The live stream with Grant Petty, the CEO of Blackmagic Design, was quite straightforward as usual. Other than the Pocket 6K, a few other announcements were made, and all of those are available on their website and on this blog as well.
So, we won’t dwell too much in that and will go straight to the three main details that you may have missed while watching the presentation.
#1 – Sensor Size
The Pocket 6K is labeled as an S35 camera. This is a little bit vague definition, since many camera makers have been using the term even when the sensors did not match exactly the specs of the S35 film roll, and Blackmagic makes no exception. Why is it worth mentioning, though?
Well, the 6K is, in fact, a little bit smaller than the average S35 sensor, but that’s not too bad. The reason this is interesting becomes clear when we look back at the Pocket 4K. In fact, although being labeled as an M4/3 camera, the sensor of the 4K camera was a little bit bigger than most M4/3 sensors.
That means that once we get the two sensors from the two Pocket cameras side to side, there is actually less difference than what we could expect. Again, nothing bad per se, but if you’re thinking of upgrading to have wider angles, well, don’t hold your breath, they won’t be as wide as you’d like them to be.
#2 – Blackmagic Raw
It hasn’t been a mystery that the Blackmagic Raw was born out of necessity. This raw format was made to get out of possible patent infringement quarrels that would come from keeping the Cinema DNG format. But Blackmagic seems to have been digging in this almost-raw codec and aims to make it one of the jewels of their crown.
Delivering amazing performances inside DaVinci Resolve, holding a lot of information while at the same time being easy on the CPU, it’s clear that this will be the choice for the future of Blackmagic if we look at the resolutions the Pocket 6K shoots at.
In fact, the 6K res we find straight up in the name is possible only if using the BRaw format, and not ProRes. We saw something similar in the URSA Mini G2, where all resolutions are available in ProRes, but not all the framerates. The higher ones are BRaw-only – a clean sign we’ll hear more of that.
#3 – Dynamic Range
It has been said that the dynamic range of the two cameras is the same, but that’s not completely true. If we look at the charts that have been distributed by Blackmagic themselves, we can see that there are certain differences between the two counterparts when moving from an ISO value to another.
The 6K seems to have a wider range in the highlights, meaning it’s going to perform even better than the already fantastic Pocket 4K, giving us an even better highlight roll-off. Let’s keep our finger crossed until we see some real-world tests.
So, there we go, these are three minor details you may have missed along the way, now we can all wait to see some of these cameras in action. Blackmagic Design promised that there won’t be any backorder issues this time, and we’d like to believe them.