September 14, 2023. The new Blackmagic Cinema Camera 6K was announced today, one day ahead of IBC and two days too late to appear in the FDTimes IBC edition. So here’s the news:
- Full Frame 36 x 24mm Sensor
- 6K (6048 x 4032)
- Full height 3:2 format
- Optical low-pass filter
- Active L-Mount support autofocus, auto iris and lens metadata
- Dual native ISO up to 25,600
- Records full resolution up to 36 fps or 120 fps windowed
- Records to CFexpress cards
- HDR 1500 nit LCD screen
- Accessory Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera Pro EVF
- NP-F570 battery, optional Blackmagic Pocket Camera Battery Pro Grip.
This is an amazing camera, aiming high and coming through with lots of high-end features. It is Blackmagic’s first Full Frame camera. “Huzzah,” as John Brawley, ASC might have said when he shot this camera’s demo footage.
Not only is it a Full Frame sensor, it also shoots the entire height, up to 24mm picture height.
Here’s the Blackmagic announcement edited, annotated and excitement unleashed: “The large Full Frame sensor in Blackmagic Cinema Camera 6K lets you work in a variety of film formats and aspect ratios. Using the full area of the sensor gives you a 3:2 image which can be super helpful when you want to reframe/re-position shots in post production. You can shoot in true 6:5 squeezed Full Frame anamorphic without cropping. The classic Super35 (24×18) format is available as a windowed area of the sensor. As with a Leica Q, you can create an instant close-up version of the shot, shooting multi-format FF and S35.”
The Blackmagic Cinema Camera 6K has an L-Mount, which is the same one you’ll find on cameras and lenses from Leica, SIGMA, Panasonic LUMIX, DJI, Samyang and Astro Design.
The L-Mount has a flange focal distance of 20mm and an inside diameter of 51.6mm. (Sony E-mount FFD is 18mm and ID is 46.1mm. Canon RF FFD is also 20mm, ID is 54mm.) Up until now, Blackmagic cameras mostly had EF mounts which were not terribly conducive to attaching adapters. L-Mounts are eminently adaptable, and there are all kinds of L-Mount Adapters available: L to PL, L to LPL, L to M, L to EF, L to PV, etc. This opens up a universe of lenses to pair with the Cinema Camera 6K.
- Blackmagic RAW Constant Bitrate 3:1
- Blackmagic RAW Constant Bitrate 5:1
- Blackmagic RAW Constant Bitrate 8:1,
Blackmagic RAW Constant Bitrate 12:1
- Blackmagic RAW Constant Quality Q0
- Blackmagic RAW Constant Quality Q1
- Blackmagic RAW Constant Quality Q3
- Blackmagic RAW Constant Quality Q5
- H.264 Proxy in 1920 x 1080, 8-bit 4:2:0
- 6048 x 4032 (Open Gate 3:2) up to 36 fps
- 4838 x 4032 (Anamorphic 6:5) up to 36 fps
- 6048 x 3200 (6K DCI 17:9) up to 48 fps
- 6048 x 2520 (6K 2.4:1) up to 60 fps
- 4096 x 3072 (Super 35 4:3) up to 50 fps
- 4096 x 2160 (4K DCI 17:9) up to 60 fps
- 2112 x 1184 (Super 16 16:9) up to 100 fps
- 1920 x 1080 (1080 HD 16:9) up to 120 fps
The Blackmagic Cinema Camera 6K records to a CFexpress card recorder, located in a slot that’s accessible inside a spring-loaded hinged door on the camera right handgrip side.
The camera also has a USB-C port so you can record directly to an external SSD.
At the rear of the camera body, there’s a large, bright, 5-inch HDR touchscreen. This is much larger than the ones of most hybrid mirrorless cameras and it doesn’t sit on top like a lollipop. On-screen overlays show status and record parameters, histogram, focus peaking indicators, levels, frame guides and more. You can apply 3D LUTs. The monitor tilts up to 180 degrees flat and down to 47 degrees. At 1500 nits, this HDR display is visible in bright sunlight.
Although Blackmagic calls it “an optional viewfinder,” it’s almost essential and really good. The 1280 x 960 color OLED EVF has a built-in proximity sensor, 4 element glass diopter (-4 to +4) and attaches quickly with a single screw.
The Blackmagic Cinema Camera 6K uses high capacity NP-F570 batteries. The camera comes with an AC power supply with a locking DC power connector. The USB-C port can also be used to trickle charge the battery inside the camera. An optional battery grip attaches to the bottom of the camera, looks like a motor drive and adds all-day run-time.
Grant Petty, Blackmagic Design CEO said, “With the new Blackmagic Cinema Camera 6K, we wanted to create the most portable camera possible for high end, large format cinematography. That’s why we took the Pocket Cinema Camera platform but completely re-engineered the electronics inside around a full frame sensor and L-Mount. This means our customers get amazing large format images in an extremely portable design that also works with the accessories they already own. The L-Mount also opens up some amazing creative options like using the latest Leica lenses or using vintage lenses customers already own in an entirely new way. This is a true high end cinema camera designed for high end work and we think it gives our customers a whole new way to tell their stories!”
Blackmagic Cinema Camera 6K is available now for US$2,595, excluding local duties and taxes, from Blackmagic Design resellers worldwide.