When a new camera is released there are two ways the battery system can go. First, it can use the same battery as previous models, which makes upgrading a lower investment. Second, it can use a new battery that can improve performance, battery life, or both. The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Pro falls into the second camp, using bigger Sony L-series (NP-F) battery packs over the Canon LP-E6 series of its predecessors.
Digging into the new battery and shooting times is Carl from ProAV TV. Doing some comparisons between it and the standard 6K as well as checking out the Battery Grip there is some excellent information if you are interested in picking up a 6K Pro or already have one.
To put things in perspective, a standard Pocket 6K will get around 30 minutes with a basic LP-E6 battery pack and around 45 minutes with the latest Canon LP-E6NH packs. Not bad, but not great. Common alternatives meant rigs with bigger V-mount battery or using the battery grip.
The Pocket 6K Pro now uses an NP-F570 (and similar) battery. The early tests put it at 1 hour of recording in 6K Raw at the most compressed setting with the screen set to half brightness. That’s what Blackmagic says, so it is at least good to see that.
Even with the screen set to max brightness – which is great with the new 1500-nit screen – you’ll get more than 50 minutes of recording.
There’s a new battery grip, which is okay for most people unless you always use heavy lenses since that can mess with the balance of the camera. It’s a huge benefit as it keeps the battery inside the camera while adding on another two in the grip for a total of 3 batteries. In theory that’s triple the record time.
Other benefits of the grip design include hot swapping. Since there is still a battery inside the camera, you can be in the middle of recording, pop out the grip’s battery tray, replace the batteries, and keep on rolling. That’s great and an option if you absolutely need to keep rolling. And, the mains cable will charge up all the batteries, including those in the attached grip.
For such a compact “Pocket” camera, this battery situation is quite good and a notable improvement over the earlier Pocket 6K. It is the small things that make the biggest difference.
If you want to know more about the Pocket 6K Pro, ProAV TV is planning a series of shorter videos about different aspects of the camera – so stay tuned.
[source: ProAV TV]
- Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Pro (B&H, Amazon)
- Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Pro Battery Grip (B&H)
- Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera Pro EVF (B&H, Amazon)
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