At NAB 2013, Blackmagic Design offered two big suprises, and while the Blackmagic Production Camera 4K was a surprise, the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera was the show stopper. We're still reeling from the implications of this tiny titan, and how it may shape the future of our industry.
Let's start by pointing this out: this is truly a pocket sized camera. It's around the size of an iPhone 5. There are a number of cameras that fit in your pocket but few that offer 13 stops of dynamic range.
Where it gets interesting is the power this little guy has. It is truly a cinema quality camera. For the price of $995, the BPCC shoots Hi-Res 1080HD on a Super 16mm sensor onto a built in SD card.
Similar to the BPC4K, it has all of the standard ports and connections, shoots in ProRes 422 and CinemaDNG 12 bit RAW, and can shoot in 23.98, 24, 25, 29.97, and 30 frames per second, and will be available in July.
The biggest differences are obviously the $3,000 price difference, and the Pocket's lack of 4K shooting, touchscreen and included DaVinchi software. Even without these features, the Pocket is an absolute, cinema ready steal that allows you to start shooting cinema quality for under a grand. And that's without any additional hardware…
Which brings us to the potential of the Pocket Cinema Camera. It's small size lets you build it up as large as you need it to be, whether it's support gear, tripods, follow focuses, monitors, microphones, lenses, etc. Speaking of lenses, the Pocket has a Micro Four Thirds lens mount compatible with the variety of Micro Four Thirds lenses available However you can also equip it with a lens adapter to allow for nearly any lens you need. As you can see, with the proper set up you can transform the tiny titan into a massive machine of video production.
You can probably tell that the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera has me pretty excited. My fascination with the HDSLR revolution came from its democratization of the film industry, through quality of capture as well as financial accessibility.
Even if this pint sized powerhouse doesn't kick off a new revolution on its own, I'm sure it's a sign of things to come.
The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera will retail for the price of $995 USD, and will be available for purchase this coming July.
Here's the press release from Blackmagic Design:
Blackmagic Design Announces Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera
New compact Super 16 digital cinema camera with 13 stops of dynamic range, allows shooting with a professional film look in a beautiful design that fits in your pocket!
NAB 2013, Las Vegas, USA – April 8, 2013 – Blackmagic Design today announced Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera, a beautifully designed, pocket sized digital cinema camera that includes powerful features such as Super 16mm sized 1080HD sensor, super wide 13 stops of dynamic range, built in SD card recorder for Apple ProRes, lossless compressed CinemaDNG RAW capture and active Micro Four Thirds lens mount, all in an attractive compact design for only US$995. Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera will be demonstrated on the Blackmagic Design NAB 2013 booth at #SL218. Since the original Blackmagic Cinema Camera was launched at NAB 2012, it has been celebrated by industry professionals for its amazing film look and accurate and cinematic color. The new Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera has most of the features of its bigger brother, including its feature film look, but has been redesigned with a dramatically smaller size that is less than an inch thick and can be held easily in your hand. This compact design allows the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera to be used in more situations where a larger camera would not be practical. It’s so small that it can be used in situations in the field where a larger camera could be dangerous. The camera’s film look even allows personal video to be shot with the style and creativity of a motion picture film! The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera features an industry standard Super 16 sensor size, so it’s perfect when using Super 16 cine lenses via MFT adapters, as the shooting experience is the same as using the same lens on a Super 16 film camera. The 13 stops of dynamic range look of the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera is almost identical to shooting on a professional Super 16 film camera. The Micro Four Thirds lenses offer a wide range of low cost lenses with amazing image quality, and they are compatible with mount adapters such as PL mounts for large lens and professional motion picture film rigs. One of the most important features of the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera is its super wide dynamic range of 13 stops, allowing feature film quality images. A common mistake in the television industry is the assumption that more resolution means higher quality. Most cameras, even ones with higher than HD resolution, can produce”video” looking images that suffer from highlight and black clipping that limits details. Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera’s wide dynamic range eliminates this problem and provides film quality with dramatically more detail retained in black and whites in the image. Once the shoot is complete, DaVinci Resolve Lite color correction software can be used to adjust images and take advantage of this extra range in the images.
- High resolution 1080HD Super 16mm sized sensor with superior handing of image detail.
- Super wide 13 stops of dynamic range allows capture of increased details for feature film look.
- Compatible with extremely high quality Micro Four Thirds lenses. Compatible with other mounts viacommon third party adapters such as PL mount and Super 16 cine lenses.
- Built in SD card allows long duration recording with easy to use media.
- Open file formats compatible with popular NLE software such as ProRes 422 (HQ) and losslesscompressed CinemaDNG 12 bit RAW. No custom file formats.
- Features all standard connections, including mini jack mic/line audio in, micro HDMI output formonitoring with camera status graphic overlay, headphone mini jack, LANC remote control andstandard DC 12 power connection.
- Built in LCD for camera settings via easy to use menus.
- Supports 1080HD resolution capture in 23.98, 24, 25, 29.97 and 30 fps. • Compatible with DaVinci Resolve Lite color grading software.
Availability and Price Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera is available in July for US$995 from Blackmagic Design resellers worldwide.