Putting the Pocket 4K and 6K cameras side-by-side has been highly requested by many users in the last couple of weeks, so it was just a matter of time before we saw the first tests popping up online. For this particular comparison, Armando Ferreira has teamed up with Dave Maze to figure out are there any significant differences between the two counterparts when it comes to image quality.
Despite the fact that the BMPCC 6K is all the rage now, let’s not forget that the Pocket 4K is still around as well. So, should you think of upgrading or are you better off with the camera that costs almost half the price? Maybe we’ll find the answer in the comparison below.
First, it’s worth mentioning that the 6K footage coming from the Pocket 6K is shot in Blackmagic RAW since that’s the only option you have if you want to take advantage of the full capabilities of this otherwise extremely capable little beast.
The ProRes recording, in fact, tops at 4K resolution, so if you prefer to work in 4K predominantly, you might skip the testing and go straight for the Pocket 4K.
With that out of the way, it’s time to acknowledge the obvious. Downscaling the footage shot in 6K down to 4K gives us incredibly crisp and sharp images.
What’s more, it makes the footage coming from the Pocket 4K look so dull and soft, even if until just a few weeks ago we would have hardly considered the Pocket 4K as a device that falls short of resolution. That’s not to say that the Pocket 4K is suddenly unusable now but the difference is there.
Zooming the 4K footage to match the 1:1 readout of the 6K continues to highlight what we’ve already noted. The advantage in resolution keeps up the 6K image that feels more crisp and rich, while color-wise there aren’t many differences as the color science of both cameras seems to be virtually the same.
It would have been interesting to see how much of a difference there will be in the field of view when using equivalent lenses. Given that the Pocket 4K sensor is slightly bigger than the M4/3 standard and the chip on the Pocket 6K is a bit smaller than S35, the results should be closer than we expect.
Unfortunately, Armando has been using a Speed Booster on the Pocket 4K for this test, so it’s not possible to make a direct comparison whatsoever.
Ultimately, let’s not forget that this is the first look, so it’s too early to draw any solid conclusions. Nevertheless, it’s obvious that the 6K resolution makes a huge difference, especially if you consider yourself as a pixel peeper who wants the crispest image possible.
So, should you upgrade or not? If your workflow can handle the massive dataflow of 6K and you can make use of the larger pixel count to use the extra resolution in post, then yes, the Pocket 6K is the obvious choice. Otherwise, it seems that you can hold your Pocket 4K (at least for now) and wait for better times before taking the leap.