So-called “Pocket Cinema Cameras” were the domain of Blackmagic and DSLR – now even RED has come to play in the ultra-compact space. Super recently, the extreme focus on smaller cine cameras has led to a few notable releases, including the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Pro and the RED KOMODO 6K. Different price points, very similar goals.
Filmmaker Brandon Washington got his hands on both the Pocket 6K Pro and the KOMODO and does a nice video at how they stack up against one another. Sharing features like raw video, 6K resolution, Super 35mm sensors, and plenty more it is worth comparing these two models to find which might be better suited to your workflow.
We touched on this briefly, but there is a lot that is the same between the RED and Blackmagic.
- 6K Super 35mm sensor
- Raw formats (KOMODO: REDCODE; Blackmagic: Blackmagic RAW)
- Ultra-compact form factor
- Variable frame rates (up to 120 fps)
- Built-in touchscreens
A lot of the core features are solid between the two cameras.
RED KOMODO Pros
The killer feature of the KOMODO is the global shutter. There isn’t any competition in this bracket with a true global shutter. Rolling shutter is gone. This may not be a game changer for everyone, but for action shots or use in crash cam scenarios the removal of that wobble could be a huge benefit.
As for size, both are small cameras, however, RED went for a more modular design. It’s a 4 x 4 x 4” box that can be built up or shrank down as needed. It can fit on a drone just as well as you can use it in the studio.
Rare in cinema cameras is the Canon RF mount. The KOMODO uses it to great effect. First, it helps gets the size down. Second, it allows you to use Canon’s latest RF lenses in addition to legacy EF lenses via an adapter. The various adapters even add functionality, like a built-in ND filter. And, other adapters will allow the use of practically any other major lens system (that isn’t mirrorless).
Another RED benefit is the REDCODE RAW (R3D). It’s been out in the wild for a good long while and workflows are fairly well developed and supported. Practically every major NLE supports it and its features. Plus, it’s super powerful and has ton of versatility in post.
Pocket 6K Pro Pros
It’s hard to deny that much of Blackmagic’s appeal is the price. The Pocket 6K Pro comes in at $2,500 and has features of cameras costing multiple times that. One feature it beats RED at is the ability to record 6K at up to 50 fps. Also, it has built-in ND filters – probably the biggest missing feature of compact or more affordable cinema cameras, including the KOMODO.
A selling point for the 6K Pro was its new brighter, tilting screen. It’s much larger than the KOMODO at 5” and its increased brightness makes it a lot more usable out on location. This touches on the fact that the Pocket 6K Pro is a very functional camera right out of the box. It has a decent screen, grip, and button design that means you aren’t spending a ton on accessories right out of the gate.
Washington points out that beyond the specs, the actual most important thing about a camera is how it works in your workflow. Basically, how it feels to use. For him, he just loves the imagery he can get from the RED. There isn’t a scientific explanation for it he just likes the footage every time. However, the workflow is about 3-4 times the length as shooting with practically any other camera.
The KOMODO is designed for a more careful workflow and setup. It slows you down but can result in better overall imagery.
On the other hand, the Blackmagic is super quick to use. This can be a huge advantage. However, Washington seems to find he can get lazy with it and not take as much time to perfect each shot before hitting record. Maybe not a huge problem for you.
Looking at the footage the two cameras look remarkably similar. Makes sense, both are shooting with 6K Super 35mm sensors. It’s very hard to tell the difference after editing. You really shouldn’t be afraid to use either camera on your next shoot.
Washington end by going over why someone should pick one camera over the other.
Reasons to Buy RED KOMODO:
- Entryway to RED Ecosystem
- REDCODE RAW Workflow
- The RED Appeal (a.k.a. you just want it)
Reasons to Buy Pocket 6K Pro:
- Price ($2,500 vs $6,000+)
- Faster Operation and Workflow
- Better Fit for Most Purchaser’s Workflow
Not gonna lie, I find it really hard to recommend the KOMODO unless people are super into the idea of going for RED. It’s a solid camera with some unique benefits, but for the money there are plenty of other options that are likely a better value.
What’s your pick out of these two cinema cameras?
[source: Brandon Washington]
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