Blackmagic Design’s new Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K is highly capable Super35 cinema camera “hiding” in a DSLM body (Digital Single Lens Mirrorless). There are many things to like. For many, it is the new, larger, 6144 x 3456 Super35 sensor. The effective image area is 23.10mm x 12.99mm. It has an EF lens mount.
How does the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K compare to the Pocket Cinema Camera 4K? The 4K model, shown below, was introduced last year. It has a Micro Four Thirds (MFT) size 18.96 x 10 mm sensor. The MFT lens mount’s Flange Focal Depth is 19.25mm and its inside diameter is 21.64 mm Ø.
The original Pocket Cinema Camera was introduced in 2013. Shown below, it also has an MFT lens mount. Its sensor is 1920×1080 HD, 16mm motion picture format size size (7.02 x 12.48 mm). By comparison, an Arriflex 16SR3 gate is 7.5 x 12.5 mm.
The EF lens mount of the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K will be applauded by the hundreds of millions of Canon, ZEISS, SIGMA and Schneider EF lens owners worldwide. Almost any EF lens on the planet will fit the Pocket Cinema Camera 6K’s industry-standard 44mm Flange Focal Depth and 54mm inside diameter EF lens mount.
There is a significant difference in look between Super35 and MFT format sensors. Super35 has a shallower depth of field that renders pleasingly softer backgrounds and bigger bokeh.
The new 6K model records onto internal CFast 2.0 cards and SD cards up to 50 fps at 6144 x 3456 16:9, up to 60 fps at 6144 x 2560 2.4:1, or up to 60 fps at 5744 x 3024 17:9. You can shoot with S35 anamorphic lenses with a windowed 6:5 sensor area of 3.7K 3728 x 3104 up to 60 fps. For higher frame rates, you can go up to 120 fps in 2.8K 2868 x 1512 17:9.
The camera records industry-standard 10-bit Apple ProRes files in all formats up to 4K or 12-bit Blackmagic RAW in all formats up to 6K. Media files are compatible with all operating systems. You can format media cards and disks in HFS+ for Mac and ExFAT for Windows.
Files are recorded to internal, removable CFast and SD UHS-II media cards. You can use regular SD cards for HD. Higher performance UHS-II and CFast cards are required for native 4K or 6K when using Blackmagic RAW. A USB-C connector enables recording directly to an external hard drive, such as an SSD.
Blackmagic RAW is a new format. It is somewhat like a film camera negative, preserving the original sensor data. The files are nimble and small. Blackmagic RAW avoids the noise, artifacts and baked-in looks of highly compressed formats such as H.264. Blackmagic RAW saves camera settings as metadata. This ensures that while you can set ISO, white balance and exposure in camera, you can also override and adjust these settings in post. DaVinci Resolve Studio, which comes free with the 4K and 6K models, has great tools for working with Blackmagic RAW files.
The rear of the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K, like the 4K model, has a large, bright 5-inch touchscreen. Touch to focus. It also displays camera settings and menus. Display overlays show status, histogram, focus and peaking indicators, audio levels, frame guides, playback controls and more. Tap and swipe gestures navigate the intuitive screens to adjust settings, add metadata and view recording status. Advanced camera features provide access to focus and exposure tools, 3D LUTs, HDR, metadata entry, timecode, Blackmagic RAW settings and more.
The Pocket Cinema Camera 6K works with industry standard 17 and 33 point 3D LUT files, or you can use the camera’s built-in LUTs such as Extended Video, Film to Video, Film to Rec.2020 and more.
Here’s one of the best explanations of LUTS, directly from Blackmagic Design: “Digital cine cameras can shoot logarithmic colorspace (LOG) to preserve dynamic range, which is great for later post production. However when these files are viewed with an on-set monitor or in-camera, they can look flat and washed out. 3D LUTs solve this problem because they apply a “look” to the monitor so you get an idea of how the finished images will look in post-production.”
The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K can be jam-synced by an external source, such as an audio recorder, Denecke or Ambient timecode slate, Lockit or Tentacle Sync device. Plug the external timecode source into the camera’s 3.5 mm audio jack. The camera will detect timecode and lock its “clock.” Multiple Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Cameras are popular for car shots, action sequences, stunts, and music videos. We’ve seen dozens of them shooting simultaneously. Timecode syncs them all together, and they maintain sync with the same matched timecode after many start-stops.
By the way, the new DaVinci Resolve 16.1 can automatically find and sync shots from all cameras in a multiple camera setup. This saves an enormous amount of time. Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K (and 4K) includes a full version of DaVinci Resolve Studio.
Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Main Features
• Carbon fiber polycarbonate composite construction.
• Multifunction handgrip controls start/stop, ISO, WB and shutter angle.
• 6K 6144 x 3456.
• EF lens mount.
• 13 stops of dynamic range.
• Dual ISO of 400 and 3200. Selectable to 25,600.
• Records full resolution up to 60 fps or 120 fps windowed.
• SD, UHS-II and CFast internal media slots.
• 5″ LCD touchscreen.
• Blackmagic OS as used in URSA Mini and URSA Broadcast cameras.
• Full size HDMI connector for HDR and 10-bit output.
• Mini XLR audio input with 48 volt phantom power.
• 3D LUTs can be applied for both monitoring and recording.
• USB-C port to record directly to external SSD.
• Timecode generator.
• Still frame capture up to 21.2 megapixel.
• Remote camera control via Bluetooth.
• Onboard LP-E6 7.2V Battery. Recharge via USB-C.
• 12V DC ext. power connector.
• Includes full DaVinci Resolve Studio.
Availability and Price
Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K is available now at US $2,495, excluding duties, from Blackmagic Design resellers worldwide.
Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Specs