BMPCC 6K vs. BMPCC 4K – Which one is for you?

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The new Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K has landed. It offers (up to) 6K resolution, a Super 35 sensor, and a Canon EF mount. Aside from those changes, what are the main differences (or similarities) between this one and the older Pocket Cinema 4K? In case you are already a proud owner of the 4K version, will it make sense to upgrade? In the above video and in this article I’ve tried to answer this question. 

BMPCC 6K (Left) VS BMPCC 4K (Right)

Blackmagic Design, the company who engraved on its flag to cater us, the filmmakers, with high quality “on the budget” tools for filming/editing and postproduction, has done it again by delivering a camera that obviously managed to stir our swamp. Personally, in all my cinema5D years, I haven’t seen such a phenomenon where people endorse a camera so fast. Probably Blackmagic Design did something right. Apparently, when it comes to “value for money”, people are more forgiving when some (important) features are missing. But for now, let’s leave usability aside as this is not the essence of this article.

8Sinn cage. Perfect fit

Stay Tune – Three Parts Continues Coverage

As this camera proved to be of great interest for many, we’ve decided to dedicate the extra time to review it inside out. Here in part one, I’m talking about how the new camera compares to the older BMPCC 4K. The second part, which I took the new BMPCC 6K for a short spin and shot a short documentary with it, will see the day of light early next week.  The third part is a bit more technical. Gunther, my colleague, will conduct aDynamic Range, Latitude and Rolling shutter tests during next week. Of course, we will share our results with you guys as soon as we have them ready.

EF Mount VS Micro Forth Third Mount

BMPCC 6K vs. BMPCC 4K – The Differences

6K Resolution:

Let me start from the obvious… Unlike its 4K brother (or is it sister?), the new 6K camera can be used for filming in up to 6K resolution in different frame rates. The nice thing is, that even when filming in the highest resolution and codec, a fast SD card can still be used for convenient internal recording. (BM RAW 3:1, 6144 x 3456. We heartily recommend using Angelbird V90 cards. They are fast and reliable). Mind you that this will work when filming in 24/25p. If your wish is to film in 50/60p, CFast 2.0 cards will become your best friend. Both cards options are rather limited when it comes to capacity, so a feasible solution will be to use an external SSD. Again, I can recommend using Angelbird as I’m yet to be disappointed with their media quality or, customer service. (Wish the same could have been said about Lexar. What a horrible customer service experience. NEVER again!).

By the way, speaking of resolution, mind you that recording in 6K is available in Blackmagic RAW codec only. (4K can be recorded in ProRes). I guess Blackmagic design wanting people to convert and use their DaVinci resolve platform for the purpose of editing.

S35 sensor:

Unlike its sister (or is it brother?), the sensor inside this camera is larger than the one found inside its 4K sibling. (Super 35 vs. Micro Four Third). In fact, it is a little bit smaller than other S35 sensors, especially those made by Canon, but who are we be too so picky…

In general, the advantages of having a larger sensor are a wider field of view, easily manipulating depth of filed and, depending on the sensor pixel count (and pixels size), better lowlight capability.

Active Canon EF Mount:

BMPCC 4K has a Micro Four Third lens mount. The new BMPCC 6K is now equipped with an EF lens mount. It’s absolutely legit to ask if Blackmagic did the right choice here, but in all honesty, I do understand why they went this way. The good thing, it’s time to air brush some dusty EF mount lenses. I thought I’ll never use them again… The less good thing, any other modern mount could have taken this camera to a different level when it comes to lens usage flexibility (shorter flange, bigger chance for adaptivity). In a way, that’s where the older BMPCC 4K shines. The MFT mount is very adaptable. Throw a Metabones Speed Booster EF to MFT ULTRA  0.71X on it and bang, your field of view becomes wider (even more than the one found in the new camera), and on top, you gain one stop of light.

As a result of using the EF mount on the new BMPCC 6K camera, NOT all cages suited to the 4K model will fit. We can confirm that 8Sin and SmallRig cages will. In regards to Tilta’s cage, “as is”, the cage WILL NOT fit. With a little adjustment that forces one to move the front nose part (“Tilta’s logo”) and the very small rubber band under it, it will fit, BUT it will also be VERY tight and can cause some scratches to the camera body itself.

Photo capabilities: 

Up to 21.2MP still image capture. This is an improvement over the 8MP the BMPCC 4K offered. Will test this feature when in the field.


BMPCC 6K is $2,495 and the BMPCC 4K is $1,295. No doubt that both camera prices are fair, yet, it is a difference that should be mentioned.

Same Inputs and Outputs

BMPCC 6K vs. BMPCC 4K – The Similarities

Where to start. Both cameras share so much together. Excellent OS (The best in the industry to my taste), color science, 1920 x 1080 touchscreen 5″ LCD, buttons layout, general camera body structure (but the upper EF mount and lower ventilation ribs). Inputs/outputs, power options. Even the battery life is almost the same. The advantage goes to the new 6K camera as it was running about 6 minutes longer… (Yehhh). When it comes to autofocus performance, both cameras showed inconsistency, so each did a bit better on a different round (long story short, both behaved the same). Weight-wise, the BMCC 6K is 168g heavier. I guess I can live with this… When it comes to low light, I’ll try and take a closer look, but for now, it looks as if both are performing in a similar way. Dual native ISO values are the same, the cleanest image should be obtained when using ISO 400 and ISO 3200. Last but not least, even the rolling shutter effect seems to be visually similar. As I wrote before, we will test and come up with a number soon.


Both, the old BMPCC 4K and new BMPCC 6K are very efficient filming devices. At the end of the day, it really depends on your needs and budget. I guess if I was a BMPCC 4K owner, I wouldn’t rush to replace my camera, while if I was in the market for purchasing a new capable device, the BMPCC 6K would certainly be a candidate to capture the top of my list.

Music for the above video is courtesy of MusicVine. Get 25% off your next music license with code C5D25 (valid for one use per customer).

If you are an owner of the BMPCC 4K, please share with us your thoughts. Did it cross your mind to change your beloved 4K camera? If yes, did you pull the trigger? I’m genuinely interested to know why. 

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Damien MolineauxRostislav AlexandrovThe Kino CornerOttersam broggs Recent comment authors
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Apostolos Nikolaidis

As a Pocket owner since the HD model and now a Pocket 4K user (& Fuji XT3) I am
not tempted to switch for the 6K model at the moment for the following reasons:

– Crop factor.
Metabones just released the XL Cine Speedbooster which means 1.22 crop and super tight fit.
The 6K model will give a 1.6 crop and no way to make it wider.

– From MFT mount I can easily jump to many different lenses and mounts.
From EF you are stuck.

– I do not need 6K resolution.
The biggest productions I shoot with the Pocket 4K are either broadcast or Web.
No theater screen & projection so 6K is
not necessary.

– I do not edit 6K.
My old MacPro will struggle with the 6K files.

– I cannot monitor 6K anywhere at the moment.

– If you film in 4K resolution with the 6ak model crop factor is even bigger (1.65 I think?)

– I do not get paid to shoot 6K.
My clients hardly need 4K and are not willing to pay extra fees for more resolution
(that includes well known international brands as well).

– Costs.
Although both models are really cheap for what they do I also enjoy my XT-3.
A Pocket 4K and an XT-3 will cost you around 500€ more than the Pocket 6K model and you end up with two different tools for different needs.


Eugenia L

Exactly my thoughts too. No reason for the 6k model if you already have the 4k one, or if you want to adapt more kinds of lenses.

Damien Molineaux

Hi Nikolaidis,
Although I agree with most of your points, and I own a BMPCC4K and am quite happy with it, for now, as I finish in 2K. There is one thing you seem to be confusing. In camera 4K does not equate to a 4K finished product. A sensor is composed of photosites, photosites are sensitive to light but not color, therefore they have color filters on them, either Red, Green or Blue, placed in a Bayer array, to record color. This means your 4K recorded image is composed of 4K monochrome information, while your 4K finished image, is composed 4K pixels EACH containing R, G AND B color information, that’s 3x as much information. To make it short, you need 3 photosites (each having a Red, a Green and a Blue information) to create a pixel. The BMPCC4K has 8,8M photosites while the 6K has 21,2M, divide that by 3 and you’re just a tad short (7,08M) from 8’8M pixels (that being the nmber of pixels of a 4K RGB image). Because the color filters are not spread evenly in a Bayer array, the complex calculations implied in “debayering” make up for the lack of really having 3 photosites per pixel, and a 6K sensor pretty much gives you a real 4K image. Now because it is a heavy calculation process, many people encourage 8k shooting for faster and easier calculations to have real 4K. So even if 8K makes for much larger file sizes, it actually makes for much simpler (aka faster) rendering.

 George Nathanson
George Nathanson

Can some please tell me where Black Magic guys buy their clothes. They must have enormous pockets for either one of these units to warrant “pocket” in their names

 Rostislav Alexandrov
Rostislav Alexandrov

Great comment

Florent Piovesan

I have the BMPCC 4K and pre ordered the 6K. A few reasons for that:
– I own a C200 and 5D4 as well as a lot of EF lenses so the mount makes sense.
– I love the S35
– I can use the 6K as B cam for the C200 more than the 4K
– More future proof
– Anamorphic in 3.7 k
– 120fps in 2.8.

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