Updated March 2022
- Can record in pro video formats
- XLR audio inputs
- Big, easy-to-use touchscreen
- Dual native ISO
- Short battery life (around 40 minutes)
- No electronic viewfinder
- Very large file sizes
- No in-body stabilisation
The 4K BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera looks really useful for creative filmmakers who want high quality images at an affordable price. At $1295 body only (around £1200) it’s significantly cheaper than the Panasonic GH5S, its nearest competitor.
It can record 4K at up to 60fps in high-quality RAW and ProRes video formats. (These formats capture more information than consumer video formats so they’re easier to correct and ‘grade’.) It uses the same MFT lens mount as Panasonic and Olympus. It’s better in low light than the older Cinema Cameras, with a maximum ISO of 25600 and a Dual ISO option. Dynamic range is a claimed 13 stops.
You can use a choice of SD, UHS II and CFast 2.0 cards. Usefully (as 4K RAW files are huge) you can also output direct to an external USB-C SSD drive.There’s a mini-XLR input for pro microphones, a full sized HDMI output, and a big fixed 5 inch touchscreen with user-friendly menus. You can power it from standard Canon LP-E6 format batteries, portable battery packs or a mains adapter. It doesn’t have in-body image stabilisation.
The camera also comes bundled with the Studio version of BlackMagic’s DaVinci Resolve editing and colour correction software, which normally retails at $300/£229.
There’s now a 6K version of the Pocket Cinema Camera. It has a larger Super 35 Sensor (like the Canon C series) and an EF lens mount. It can shoot 6K at up to 50fps, and cropped 2.8K or HD at 120fps. But it’s almost twice the price of the 4K version.