Looks like we have another camera comparison involving a very affordable option against an industry titan. It’s a great sign of the times – there are too many excellent cameras. Anyway, this video puts the new Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Pro up next to the ARRI AMIRA. Very different cameras in practice, but both have excellent image quality.
Filmmaker Sjoerd Wess takes both of the cameras to find out a few things. Namely, whether they compare in terms of image quality and, perhaps more importantly, whether the Pocket 6K Pro can serve as a B camera in an ARRI workflow. With Blackmagic’s size advantage, this is a reasonable question for even the most die-hard ARRI users.
The first couple of comparisons are simple blind tests with similar test footage using the same lenses. At first glance, it’s a very close battle. Things like color and overall dynamic range are close and very good. When you take a step back and check out the exact shots side-by-side you can pinpoint some differences.
Some of the differences pointed out include the handling of highlight roll-off. ARRI just does this so smoothly and that is a big advantage for ARRI and why they are as popular as they are today. Blackmagic does an amazing job with dynamic range and with some slight differences in color rendering (a bit more saturated and a little less neutral).
With action, ARRI is a clear winner since the rolling shutter is a bit more controlled. This is likely due to more advanced processing and lower sensor resolution. If you often shoot action or even just handheld and you are annoyed by rolling shutter it’s something to think about before you toss up the BMPCC6KP as a B cam.
Up next as a compare point is the high frame rate shooting. ARRI will reach up to 200 fps in 2K with Blackmagic up to 120 fps and with a mandatory crop. ARRI wins very clearly here.
Finally, let’s look at color and contrast. ARRI has a very highly regarded color science and nails skintones. The goal here is more to see how close you can match the Blackmagic to the ARRI colors. With the ARRI footage it’s a simple grade, just add some contrast and you are basically there. With Blackmagic, you will need to do a bit more work.
There is a bit of magenta shift that would need to be adjusted on the Blackmagic in the side-by-side footage. Still, in a real sequence and with a proper grading workflow there’s no reason you couldn’t easily fit it into the workflow.
In the end, it’s easy to see that Blackmagic has something incredible with their Pocket series. The 6K Pro is punch way above its weight class. This is huge for indie filmmakers and also for professionals who need a smaller or cheaper B camera.
What was your take on the comparison?
[source: Sjoerd Wess]
- Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Pro (B&H, Amazon, Adorama)
- ARRI AMIRA Cinema Camera Set (B&H)
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