Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera Review Part 1: What Are The First Things to Know
Updated: Aug 19, 2021
If you’re looking to get into cinematography and you’ve been eyeing the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Cameras in 4K and 6K, read on.
The first thing you need to consider before even buying these cameras is whether your computer or laptop is powerful enough to handle the files that these cameras will output. In Blackmagic RAW, you’ll be using DaVinci Resolve, and that will require a powerful graphics card.
If your computer is on the older side, or if you’re using a laptop that doesn’t have a dedicated graphics card, you might want to consider upgrading it first before purchasing the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Cameras.
Let’s get down to the cameras. The 4K camera uses a Micro Four Thirds sensor and Micro Four Thirds lens, while the 6K has an EF mount for Canon lenses but both look relatively similar. The 6K has a Super 35 sensor and the 4K has a Micro Four Thirds sensor.
Both cameras are lightweight with a plastic feel to them. It’s not inexpensive or cheap feeling, but we reckon it’s a necessary part because of the heat generated from shooting 4K and 6K, so the material for the camera needs to be one that can dissipate heat effectively. Build quality is still decent, but we’d recommend against dropping it from high heights – it’s plastic after all.
You get a 5″ touchscreen display on the back that’s beautiful, and the buttons on the camera are just enough for what users need. It’s not overly complicated or intimidating for new users. Hybrid shooters who have been using the Sony Alpha series, Canon EOS R or other cameras for videography will be pleased with these cameras.
We should make it clear though, these cameras are nothing like what the Sony Alpha series or Canon offers. These are cinema cameras that focus on one thing – getting the best image quality while shooting video.
While the cameras can take snapshots, you shouldn’t be purchasing these cameras with the intention to use them as a photography camera. They are video cameras, through and through.
A lot of people will talk about how great the user interface on these cameras are, and rightfully so. We feel that Blackmagic and Hasselblad’s X1D are the two best user interfaces on any camera system available.
If you’re new to cinema cameras, Blackmagic has done a great job walking users through the touch menu system and made it easy to understand what to select and such. Even the PDF manual uses layman terms so users will understand the functionalities of the camera.
You get one battery in the box, along with the camera and a strap, but the battery isn’t going to last a long time. Users will want to get extra batteries for long shoot sessions, but thankfully, the cameras use the Canon LP-E6 batteries which are commonly available in the market.
Both the 4K and 6K version have different lens mounts, so if you have EF lenses, you might want to go for the 6K instead as it uses an EF mount. The 4K version uses Micro Four Thirds lenses, but there are adapters available if you’d like to use EF lenses on that model.
There’s no EVF for these cameras, just the touchscreen display which cannot swivel or move, so you’ll most likely want to get an external monitor for shots from above or below. Users might also want a SmallRig cage or any type of cage because of the need to attach microphones, power sources, external drives and more.
Blackmagic does make a battery grip that attaches to the bottom of these cameras, but it’s not available to us in Singapore yet. None of the cameras have image-stabilised sensors, so that’s where the SmallRig comes into play, or you might want to put it on a gimbal.
Next up, we’ll be taking these cameras out to film before putting the footage through DaVinci Resolve to take a look at how they perform.