Building a BMPCC 6K Travel Rig

A small size and incredible image quality have made the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K a prime choice for documentary filmmakers and travel. It’s got great codecs, a respectable Super 35mm sensor, 6K resolution, and tons of other Blackmagic goodness that make people love it. Plus, it’s quite affordable considering the feature set, something that shouldn’t be forgotten if you are trying to get a doc made on a shoestring budget.

A couple filmmakers who make use of the Pocket 6K are Florent Piovesan and Amberly Kramhoft from Of Two Lands and they have built up a very effective rig for documentary work. Today, Florent walks through all the various bits and pieces that make up the rig. Even if you don’t have this exact camera, many of the accessories could be used elsewhere or are available in other versions.

Opting for a compact and mobile kit, he obviously started with the Pocket Cinema Camera 6K. There are a few reasons why: excellent dynamic range, strong codec, easy controls for changing settings, and 6K resolution for flexibility. It’s a solid performer.

Moving on to accessories now, we have the SmallHD Focus 7. Being that the internal codecs are strong Florent appreciates he can go with an ultra-bright monitor that lasts a long time on the batteries.

The sharp Full HD display and high brightness make it great for field recording. It’s not available anymore, but a newer model to look into is the Indie 7.

It shouldn’t be too surprising that a compact camera has a small battery. External batteries can fix that, with the recommended being the Core SWX Powerbase EDGE.

If you run out of juice on a long day then none of the other features matter. It’s nice because it’s large and mounts nicely to the camera’s tripod mount. It also has a display and a couple outputs for powering accessories at the same time.

With manual focus lenses one of the best accessories is a follow focus. It’s not exactly ideal for keeping a kit small, but the Tiltaing FF-T06 Mini Follow Focus is likely the best for this use case.

It’s affordable as well, which is a very nice bonus. Also small and beneficial for lenses is the Tiltaing Mini Matte Box. It supports a single rectangular filter which is a good way to go for most people.

The filter in question is the NiSi IRND. It’s a good filter set, not much more to add here. You will need one for video work and the NiSi filters cut IR light and ensure the best image quality.

Audio! It’s important so make sure you invest here. A common pick for indie productions is the Sennheiser MKE 600. It’s lightweight and high quality.

You’ll need a relatively uncommon cable for the Pocket 6K as it has a mini-XLR input. Blackmagic makes some good ones that are the right length for a small setup like this. For extreme run-and-gun work, he actually keeps a Rode VideoMic NTG on hand.

All of this is built on a SmallRig cage. Seriously, if you are looking to build up a camera you’ll have to get a good cage and SmallRig makes some great options at great prices.

Tons of mounting points and rails will make attaching all your gear easy. Completing the package is a top handle for easier handling. It is a lot more comfortable for longer handheld shooting, especially with added weight.

Storage is simple – just get some CFast 2.0 cards. Florent uses some Wise-branded cards, but any will do. He doesn’t like the external SSD option as it is another point of failure due to its cable being out and able to be bumped on accident.

For lenses there is a good range of Canon zooms. Zooms just beat primes when it comes to doc work where you are moving quickly and don’t want to waste time changing lenses all the time. The core kit is all Canon, with the EF 16-35mm f/4L IS, EF 70-200mm f/4L IS, and EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II.

Supplementing this is the Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8, which has some impressive speed for a zoom. When primes are able to be used, like in some controlled shoots, he has a set of Zeiss Contax primes that get the job done.

The great part of this is the ability to build up and pare down as needed. It helps tune for different shoots and get as light or as feature-packed as that shoot calls for.

Any accessories you think were missed or that you would recommend?

[source: Of Two Lands]

Order Links:

  • Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 6K (B&H, Amazon)
  • SmallHD Indie 7 Monitor (B&H)
  • Core SWX Powerbase EDGE Battery (B&H, Amazon)
  • Tiltaing FF-T06 Mini Follow Focus (B&H, Amazon)
  • Tiltaing Mini Matte Box (B&H, Amazon)
  • NiSi 4 x 5.65” Nano IRND Filters (B&H, Amazon)
  • Sennheiser MKE 600 Shotgun Microphone (B&H, Amazon)
  • Blackmagic Design Mini-XLR to XLR Cables (B&H, Amazon)
  • Rode VideoMic NTG On-Camera Microphone (B&H, Amazon)
  • SmallRig Full Cage for BMPCC6K (B&H, Amazon)
  • SmallRig Top Handle (B&H, Amazon)
  • Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS II USM Lens (B&H, Amazon)
  • Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM Lens (B&H, Amazon)
  • Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM Lens (B&H, Amazon)
  • Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art Lens (B&H, Amazon)

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