Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K Hands on with CEO Grant Petty

No longer only a mysterious billboard outside NAB 2018, the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K is here and it shoots 12-bit RAW cinema 4K 60fps and full HD at up to 120fps — all at an impressive price point. The specs, pricing and more are below including an interview with Blackmagic Design CEO, Grant Petty: 

Unlike its HD-only predecessor, the Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera, the new 4K version shoots full cinema 4K (4096 x 2160 pixels) at up-to 60fps with a newly designed 4/3 (18,96 x 10mm) sensor. You’ll also be able to capture full HD 120 fps cropped (no info on how much of a crop) slow motion in both 12-bit CinemaDNG RAW and 10-bit Apple ProRes 422 (HQ) varieties. Unfortunately you won’t be able to shoot in the newly announced Pro Res RAW  at least not yet.

The company promises a significant performance increase when it comes to low light capabilities and the camera tops out at 25,600 ISO, though time will tell how high you’ll be able to crank the cameras dual native ISO and still achieve “pro-level” shots.

You can record to two slots using SD/UHS-II and CFast cards (they’ll switch over mid-recording if the second slot is fast enough) or record directly to an external drive through USB-C.

The camera features a 5-inch LCD touchscreen (see above photo) that takes up nearly all of the real estate on the back of the body. URSA owners will find the menu system familiar as the pocket 4K runs on the URSA operating system. The camera uses the same lens mount as the original pocket allowing for EF, PL or C mounts to be used with an adapter.

It may no longer truly be “pocket sized”, but the carbon fiber polycarbonate composite body feels solid to the touch.

“Function” buttons on the upper right of the body are all customizable and you’ll be able to map your favorite tools (such as peaking, waveform etc.) to these keys. A high frame rate button on the back also lets you jump right to high speed modes quickly. 1/4″-20 holes are available on the top and bottom of the camera for accessory and tripod mounting.

“If URSA is the camera you go and shoot other people with, this is the camera you shoot yourself with.” – Grant Petty, CEO of Blackmagic Design

Notably, the camera is powered through the popular Canon LP-E6N batteries and not the Blackmagic lithium ion branded batteries of yesteryear. Another interesting power feature: when you remove the battery the camera will automatically safely power down and will power itself up once a new battery is inserted in the battery compartment. No intimidating warning message.

The camera has four internal microphones and a mini xlr audio port for using your favorite external microphone system. You can also power that external mic through provided phantom power.

This isn’t the only NAB 2018 news out of Blackmagic Design — the company has announced a significant update to Da Vinci Resolve which we’ll cover in a separate article and video interview with Grant Petty.

Technical Highlights: 

  • Shoots Cinema 4K at up-to 60fps, Full HD at 120fps
  • Dynamic Range: 13-stops
  • Ports: USB-C and standard sized HDMI
  • Power: Canon LP-E6N or locking DC12 volt power connection
  • Media: SD/UHS-II and CFast
  • Bluetooth wireless camera control
  • 3.5mm audio jack+mini XLR and headphone jack

The camera is priced at $1,295.00 and includes a copy of DaVinci Resolve Studio normally priced at $299.00.,

While it is unfortunately not shipping until September the price point of $1,295.00 keeps the pocket 4K camera in a category of its own and being able to shoot RAW 4K potentially makes the camera an excellent successor to its HD little cousin. We’ll reserve judgement until we are able to do a full field review, but on paper the camera shows a great deal of potential.

Price Point: $1,295.00

Shipping: September, 2018

Grant Petty holding the new BMPC 4K camera

What do you think? Will you be picking up the Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 4K when it ships later this year? Comment below and stay tuned to all of our NAB 2018 coverage throughout the week!

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Vlad Box Rojas

Love it,

Art Sanchez

The only missing feature for me it’s no flip out screen

 Edward Mantle

Some nice functionality but as you point out in the piece, it’s not exactly pocket by comparison to the HD original… in fact it looks more like the size of the BMCC : /

Don’t get me wrong – mini XLR, proper power inputs, great workflow options – all sounds good but it’s not exactly small anymore which is a shame.

 Funky Punky Monkey Junk
Funky Punky Monkey Junk

The bigger shame is not going with an EF mount and APS-sized sensor. WTF, this thing is as big as an SLR, so why gimp it with the small sensor and limited lens selection? Especially when other BM cameras already have EF mounts.

Very disappointing move. Might be done with BMD.


Size is great, not sure what everyone is complaining about. What is the size of the competition that shoots 4K Raw? FS5 with Shogun Inferno hanging off it, Ursa Mini, Red Raven. Uh this thing is tiny compared to any of those.

And the MFT Mount is good because of speedboosters. If it were an EF Mount it would kill any ability to have a speedbooster put on it. Metabones not anyone else makes an EF to EF speedbooster Mount. At least now they’ve guaranteed that you can use a Canon 50 f1.2 and 85 f1.2 speedboosted down to f1.0 or the Sigma 18-35 f1.8 boosted down to f1.2. I would rather take the extra stop of light, bokeh, and wider focal range than be stuck with putting EF glass directly on top of an MFT sensor with no speedbooster which makes NO SENSE.

 Adam Richman
Adam Richman

I believe your understanding of Speedboosters is a bit flawed.

A Speedbooster gives you nearly identical FOV to S35. That means your 18-35mm at a F1.2 working through a Speedbooster on MFT is actually performing just like an 18-35mm at a F1.8 on a S35 sensor. You don’t get “an extra stop,” (when compared to a proper S35 sensor) you get nearly identical FOV and DOF of S35. You’re playing catch-up, and you’re sacrificing image quality because you’re relying on extra glass between the lens and the sensor.

If the sensor and mount was S35 to begin with, you wouldn’t need a Speedbooster to achieve “proper” results. If you added one, you would have an even wider FOV and even shallower DOF, more akin to how the same lens would perform on a FF sensor.

Thus, it can very much be considered a shortcoming of the camera to be stuck at MFT, as it *requires* a Speedbooster to achieve cinematic (read: S35-like) results.

The fact that you can use a speedbooster does not make this camera better, it makes it adequate (assuming your goal is cinematic, read: S35-like, results).

Tim Naylor

His understanding of Speedboosters is spot on. A Speedbooster XL on M43 gives you much more FOV than S 35. The chip on the BMPCC II is the same as the GH5s, so with the Speedbooster XL, it’s crop would be 1.149X (compared to full frame). S 35 crop 1.5X. The M43/XL combo is 24% wider than S 35 and about 15% smaller than Full Frame. The stop gain is 1.33 stops. In fact with a GH5 and any auto EF lens, it automatically recalculates your stop. My 4.0 24-105 reads 2.5 wide open (1.33 stops).

With the Super 16 old BMPCC, the Speedbooster gets you to approximately Super 35 FOV and a gain of almost two stops.

I own both a GH5s and a BMPCC with speed boosters – one is just shy of full frame and the other close to Super 35.

Tim Naylor

Agreed. Another advantage is when you need to go real small, ditch the Speedbooster and just put on a small 12-35 zoom (less than half the size of the equivalent APS-C lens).

 Robert Redfern
Robert Redfern

I agree. Its like a hybrid to the BMCC / BMPC. Though branding, marketing wise it makes sense to call it a BMPCC, as it resembles the original more with the ergonomics being able to hold it in one hand, cross platform features, its colour and marketing perspective to BMPCC owners, fans and the related hype with the models small form factor as a cinema camera. I guess this time the word pocket is metaphorically used opposed it actually fitting in your pocket! haha. As a cinema camera I think the term pocket is still relevant even as a metaphor as at the end of the day it is a cinema camera shooting raw and if you compare it to other cinema cameras on the market its bloody tiny!

A good marketing slogan could be ‘you will need a big pocket to fit this camera in it, but a small pocket to pay for it!’

Either way i’m excited!

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