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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First Footage from the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K - TodaytellsSteve WeissClayton MooreAnthony Pierre Recent comment authors
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Vlad Box Rojas
Member

Love it,

Art Sanchez
Member

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

 Edward Mantle
Member

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
Member
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.

Member

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… Read more »

 Adam Richman
Member
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… Read more »

Tim Naylor
Member

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). https://www.43rumors.com/exact-crop-factors-caluclated-new-gh5s-multiaspect-sensor/ With the Super… Read more »

Tim Naylor
Member

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
Member
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… Read more »

Member

Wow – it does stills(does it offer full still camera features? Like long exposure as well?) and all the other stuff. But it’s not the pocket anymore, more like the initial Cinema but smaller.

Price and date make me not to worry about it for some time and real reviews to point out it flaws.

no flip screen, no Super16 sensor for c mount(maybe crop recording 1080p?) Not proresRAW – yet.

 Christopher Irion
Member
Christopher Irion

weight?

Member

It reminds me of the Fiat Multipla..

Member

LOL, I see what you mean

RG Kissoon
Member
RG Kissoon

Comes across more like an updated production camera than a pocket camera.

 Funky Punky Monkey Junk
Member
Funky Punky Monkey Junk

Exactly, so the 4/3 mount and sensor are DUMB.

 alexandre Prod'homme
Member
alexandre Prod'homme

Your opinion mate.
It appeal to me and surely a lot more. For a start I don’t swear by sensor size. I have an original BMPCC and a selection of lens, native MFT and c-mount (for which this camera shoot up to 120fps windowed in HD).
Finally, even if bigger, this camera is actually SMALLER to use because it needs even less rigging than the original BMPCC. Having a fatass glass would ruin it for ME.
To each is own. People who can splash £1500 on a single FF glass, have other options –starting with the URSA range.

 Gregory Gillaspie
Member
Gregory Gillaspie

“A newly designed M4/3 (21.60 x 17.30mm) sensor.”
I just pity you guys sometimes.
First of all, that’s not a micro four thirds sized sensor.
Secondly Blackmagic’s own site says it’s 18.96x10mm.

 Steven Guyot
Member

I’ll consider if they’ve fixed the fixed noise pattern and low light performance.

Eduardo Gonzalez
Member

I just wanted to know if they improved battery life and if so to what?

 Christopher Irion
Member
Christopher Irion

Battery time on the micro cinema camera using the same LP6 battery is 1.5+ hours, which should mean it’s far superior to the BMPCC.

Clayton Moore
Member

As a GH5, owner, it looks like an intriguing possible add-on to the kit. Until field testing and video samples we really don’t know enough to judge it right now. But seriously $1,295? How could you go wrong. Flaws not withstanding, If this was from any other manufacture it would be $1,000 more. I would bet ProRes Raw (which is not part. or this now) will be included when it ships, or soon thereafter.

 Erkki Juurus
Member
Erkki Juurus

As a BMPCC V1 owner, it looks like an intriguing possible add-on to the mobile kit, a one that makes considering (let alone buying) something like the GH5/GH5s totally unnecessary, and for half the price. ;) With that said, I agree that the proof of the pudding is in the eating, but on paper it looks like good value for money. Now that you get the full Resolve Studio with it, too. Even with some usual quirks, which it no doubt will have. I also like the fact that it has the same OS as the Ursa Mini. Oh and… Read more »

Jamie LeJeune
Member
Jamie LeJeune

Atomos helped develop ProResRAW with Apple, and as part of the deal they got exclusivity for an unspecified time period. So, it might be awhile before you see ProResRAW built into any device by another company.

 mathan g
Member
mathan g

can this one accept meatbones pocket speed booster? can see full frame right

 Erkki Juurus
Member
Erkki Juurus

No, the Speed Booster for BMPCC won’t work. It won’t cover the entire sensor of the new model.

The new model has a four thirds sensor (albeit with a slightly different aspect ratio), which is somewhat larger. So if you want to use a Speed Booster, you’ll need something like the Speed Booster XL version that works with GH4/GH5, too.

Nick Lam
Member

It looks like this may suffer from the thumb rest syndrome of the GH5/GH5S because there are two buttons where the thumb rests.

Why do manufactures do stupid designs like that?

Clayton Moore
Member

I feel your pain .. look at the marketing image above with the external Samsung drive …….. sarcastic look on face.

 Luke Wen
Member
Luke Wen

It uses the same sensor as GH5S, IMX294CJK supplied by Sony Semicon.

 Erkki Juurus
Member
Erkki Juurus

Is that a fact or just your opinion?
If it is a fact, could you please add a link to the source where the fact is stated. I didn’t find any mention about it in the Blackmagic press release or their website.
Not that the origin of the sensor really matters one way or another, but just out of curiosity.

 nigel walker
Member
nigel walker

Big screen is great, unuseable for me 80% of the time without flip. This goes against the pocket concept as needs to be useable without extra gear.

Member
David Tembleque

Does it have Internal stabilization?
Autofocus?
Does it take pictures? Grab stills from the video at least?

Right now is hard to compete with GH5 or future A7S3. Even a6500 has lower price and amazing advantages… of course you can make a movie on Netflix with 4K raw 12 bits… I’m having mixed feelings right now…

 Kevin Almodovar
Member
Kevin Almodovar

Curious as to which color science they will be using?

Antonucci Mannheimer
Member

I hope they can up the battery time to at least 2 hrs. 20 min on the low side is scary bad. You would need to carry around 10 batteries and still run into an issue.

 Anthony Pierre
Member
Anthony Pierre

Interesting? For sure! Would I personally buy one? At this price, it’s hard to resist. BUT… like others, I’ll wait until it’s released to see what it actually can and can not do.
But it does look great on paper. Still some unanswered questions, like IBIS…

Member
Ari Kirschenbaum

This is very tempting.

Member

I was prepared to not be excited about this camera but the fact that BMD put a freaking mini XLR input on this camera is huge! Instantly makes all other mirrorless and DSLRs life feel like amateur hour with audio. Props to BMD, it’s about time someone did this!

 Dave Phillips
Member
Dave Phillips

I have super 16 lenses. What am I supposed to do with this thing?

Member
Ari Kirschenbaum

Learn to love Vignetting?

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[…] シネマ5DのBPCC 4K関連ページ […]

 William Tuke
Member

I love the look and design of this camera. Much prefer it to the ‘angular’ traditional DSLR style currently in vogue. The capabilities look good on paper. As others have said, the proof will be when C5D and others carry out thorough tests. I do wish that it had an EVF. Some filmmakers don’t need it, but shooting in bright sunlight can be difficult for run-n-gun, event and doc. work. Maybe the screen is super-bright like the newly announced Atamos – 1,000 nits, which may work. Otherwise, possibly Blackmagic could produce a low-cost EVF for those of us who need… Read more »

Vlad Box Rojas
Member

For those who feel confused and maligned by the decisions of this company, I can suggest a good shrink to help you overcome your fears.

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[…] seen in a nice in-depth preview on Cinema5D, Blackmagic is saying that “If URSA is the camera you go and shoot other people with, this is the […]

BrunoSlam Compte A Rebours
Member

Hate how it looks, hate micro four thirds, but 12 bits 4K/60P RAW 13 stops of dynamic range at this price….i will definitely get one !

David Anderegg
Member

Is there any Auto focus capability? Phase detection/contrast? Or all manual?

 William Tuke
Member

Good question. Heard only push-to-focus with appropriate m4/3 lenses, on another forum. So does need clarification.

Member

This camera is a NO BRAINER. Already pre-ordered.

 Jason Knight
Member
Jason Knight

Two things I’m curious about. Will the colour science and look/feel match the Ursa so it could be used as a b-cam. And will it take the Metabones M4/3 to EF mount adapter I have for the old BMPCC so I can mount all my Canon glass on it?

Member

According to other interviews and the release presentation, if your Ursa is updated to the latest firmware, it should be in the 4th gen of the colour science, the same this one has, so matching up should be a no-brainer… As for the Metabones, if yours is the generic M43 one, that could be used in a GH5 for example, yes. If it’s the BMPCC exclusive one which was designed for the smaller s16 sensor, then no, you need the regular M43 one….

 Jason Knight
Member
Jason Knight

Thanks Fernando – that’s really helpful. Fortunately I have both adapters because I have both cameras (BMPCC and GH5) – apparently I have an addiction to buying cameras… And mounts…

 Randy Johnston
Member
Randy Johnston

This to me is the new pocket URSA mini, I think the camera looks great and the features for the price are just killer, very excited for September, hopefully the crop factor is 2.00x the indie filmmakers cinema camera has arrived:) cheers

 Andreas Paleologos
Member
Andreas Paleologos

Wow they did it. I’m super impressed with the specs, especially at this price point. I agree it’s not truly mini anymore, it’s what the URSA mini should’ve been, but it’s still a great little package. What’s the weight again? If I didn’t have the GH5, I would’ve got it. However.. 1. I’ve become so used with ibis on the GH5 though, so it’ll be hard to give that up. But for a cinema camera photographers are using gimbals. 2. I’m also wondering how the auto focus is performing. The old cinema camera blows in this department. Any info there… Read more »

 Charlie Barkowski
Member
Charlie Barkowski

Very strange that Grant specifically says that this is the camera you shoot yourself yet does not include a flip screen.

 Paul Prinz
Member

Put it on the new DJI Roni-S , hmmm that sounds great for me

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[…] Cinema 5D (de aquí viene el primer video) […]

Member

I sill have not clear if it can record RAW 60fps internally.
Also, can record to SD/Cfast/SSD at same time?

Member

This thread is proof that there is no possible win when it comes to imager size and lens mount these days for manufacturers. No matter what BMD chooses for either, they instantly piss off 2/3 of the potential buying audience. Makes you just slightly miss the old days of three 2/3 imagers in B4 mount pro cameras, period. #ridiculousness #peoplehavetoomanychoices

Tim Naylor
Member

Just may force Panasonic to add RAW to the GH5s at some point.

 roger nelson
Member
roger nelson

This is the type of camera that a micro four thirds hater like myself would actually HIGHLY consider buying. Dam its already the number one seller at B and H that was quick

 Anthony Pierre
Member
Anthony Pierre

Wow… #1 seller on B&H and it isn’t scheduled for release until September?

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[…] on 4/11/18: Johnnie Behiri of cinema5d posted a great 7.5-minute exclusive interview with Blackmagic CEO Grant Petty about the […]

Member

Does anyone else think that they missed a key beat? If they’d made that screen flip out, they’d clean house for the vlogger market; hand’s down.

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[…] on 4/11/18: Johnnie Behiri of cinema5d posted a great 7.5-minute exclusive interview with Blackmagic CEO Grant Petty about the […]

 Steve Weiss
Member
Steve Weiss

I don’t really ever comment but I’m going to put a few suggestions out there from someone who has been using cameras from 1974. 1. What’s with the big screens? If you need a big screen, that’s what a monitor is for. It’s crazy to scale up a camera to get a larger monitor. Also, we learned from the 5D not being able to tilt it makes it worthless. I’m tired of lying on the ground for a shot and feeling like I want to dig a hole to get lower. I can’t see anything if I’m holding the camera… Read more »

 alexandre Prod'homme
Member
alexandre Prod'homme

While you make valid point, this is YOU and YOUR type of shoot. This camera is clearly not for you, but the indie filmmaker who just love to do short-film with their friend at a pro summer level. All your point are completely irrelevant to me: 1. I don’t want a monitor, nor can’t afford one. Especially the fancy ones who can record prores and tutti-quanti. I shoot run and gun, with minimum equipement. I would have welcome a flip screen, but currently, when I want a shot very low, I lay on the ground and that’s fine. 2. Again,… Read more »

Clayton Moore
Member

The very first thing that struck me badly was that fact that the screen was fixed. I really love my GH5, and I have to say it would have been interesting to see BMD release something more head to head with that kind of physical form factor.

Member

As a GH4 user I love this new cam and it fits all my lenses and batteries. Half the price of a GH5…go figure Panasonic.
One question, I take lots of stills, so what are the specs for the stills component. Is it a 4K raw/DNG frame grab or a seperate image ? I know there is a seperate button.

 Anthony Pierre
Member
Anthony Pierre

That is my dilemma. I shoot a lot of stills more so than video. I was looking at the Pana G9, which has IBIS, I’ll wait to see what happens when this camera actually hits the hands of reviewers. The price is amazing…..

Member
Abid Prguda

To make Cinema DNG Raw available to authorial masses is a revolution – but to put it on 4/3 senzor is destruction of the camera’s dignity and producer’s glory in this revolution. Producer was wise enough not to declare this set of superb features as final, so there is an option to preserve the marketing capital of this revolution – by keeping the dignity of their majestic RAW on senzor that is distinguished enough, like, at least, APS-C. The new BM Pocket camera is biggest imaginable leap in one industry, and if neatly executed it will grant to producer a… Read more »

 Steve Weiss
Member
Steve Weiss

Guys/gals, Don’t get so hung up in the numbers. 1080, 2K, 4K, doesn’t really matter that much. Winning projects are never winning because on what they are shot on. Hell, I can tolerate a bad picture but bad sound is intolerable. We need much more discussion on sound. Especially for the majority of the people reading on this website that will most likely make the web or streaming on the web their final display medium. Most of the numbers fall to the wayside with that. It was like producing for VHS when I was in my 20’s. Find something that… Read more »

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[…] from the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K. While a lot of media outlets have had hands-on time (including ourselves), no actual footage from the camera had previously been […]