NAB Show

NAB 2018: Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 4K Video

25,600 ISO, 4K 4/3 sized sensor, and XLR mini audio input.

The number one selling camera for B & H Photo gets a must needed update. After five years since the original Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera arrived on the scene Blackmagic Design finally shows off a pre-production model of the Pocket Cinema Camera 4K. Were the five years wait worth it? I think so. Blackmagic has packed this pocket camera with a plethora of potential. The only thing…The Pocket Cinema Camera 4K probably can no longer fit in your actual pocket. This is a good thing because Blackmagic Design needed the space for all the features shooters have grown to depend on in a camera.

Don’t call it a pocket. Don’t call it a camera comeback either. Blackmagic Design was always here making cameras for the mid to low end users. The Pocket Cinema Camera 4K has this group squarely in its crosshairs. I think Blackmagic Design and this camera will hit its target well. When will it appear for sale? Blackmagic Design is saying September for the $1295 camera and DaVinci Resolve 15 Studio.

4K Pocket
BMD CEO Grant Petty shows the NAB crowd the Pocket Cinema Camera 4K for the first time

Initially, I see things people will love if they shoot with the camera and details naysayers will nitpick over. The built-in microphones are close to the cooling vents. Actually, everything is close to the cooling vents. It’s a small camera and DSLR Size. Everything is near everything. The camera has a 4/3 sensor instead of an S35mm sized sensor and the dynamic range is 13 stops instead of the 15 stops of a URSA Mini Pro. But… the benefits, I think, greatly outweigh the less than ideal. This is the first Blackmagic Design Camera capable of high ISOs and is by far the most light sensitive. I am talking about 25,600 ISO.

Curious, Suspicious, and honestly a touch doubtful an ISO this high could ever be useful.  Bob from Blackmagic Design let me menu dive for a moment. Like a petty criminal, I stole a peek at the camera’s image and the 25,600 ISO setting. Like a thief who accidentally struck the motherload, I was surprised. The Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 4K at 25,600 ISO looked… well.. it looked pretty decent. I saw a noise on the screen but far less than I expected. The picture at 25,600 ISO appeared usable.

I quickly head the camera up to a deep dark black shirt, easy to find since all NAB Blackmagic Design personnel must wear pin-point black oxford button-down shirts, and I saw zero fixed pattern noise. This is a big step for Blackmagic Design. Like I said, don’t call this a come back; Blackmagic Design was always there quietly giving shooters the features we asked.

4K Pocket
Not the best photo to show the 25,600 ISO image. I hope you can see a little bit though

4K Pocket

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K Features

  • Full size 4/3 sized sensor with native 4096 x 2160 resolution sized sensor.
  • Compatible with extremely high-quality Micro Four Thirds lenses.
  • Super wide 13 stops of dynamic range allows capture for high-end feature film look.
  • Maximum ISO of 25,600 for incredible low light performance.
  • Carbon fiber polycarbonate composite body which makes it lightweight, portable and durable.
  • Multi function grip for quick access to recording start/stop, still photos, ISO, shutter, aperture, white balance, power and more.
  • Built in SD, UHS-II and CFast card recorders.
  • USB-C expansion port allows longer duration recording directly to an external SSD or flash disk.
  • Standard open file formats compatible with popular NLE software such as 10-bit ProRes and 12 bit RAW.
  • Features full-size HDMI output for monitoring with camera status graphic overlay,
  • Professional mini XLR input with 48 volts of phantom power for connecting to pro microphones.
  • 3.5mm audio jack, headphone jack, and locking DC 12 volt power connection.
  • Built in 5” LCD touchscreen allows accurate focus when shooting 4K.
  • LCD supports on-screen overlays including status, histogram, focus peaking, and transport controls.
  • Records 4K images at up to 60 frames per second and windowed HD at up to 120 frames per second.
  • 3D LUTs can be applied for both monitoring and recording.
  • Blackmagic OS as used in URSA Mini and URSA Broadcast cameras.
  • 4th generation Blackmagic color science.
  • Supports remote camera control via Bluetooth.
  • Includes full license for DaVinci Resolve Studio editing, color, visual effects and audio post-production.

Availability and Price

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K will be available later this year for US$1,295 from Blackmagic Design resellers worldwide.

About Blackmagic Design

Blackmagic Design creates the world’s highest quality video editing products, digital film cameras, color correctors, video converters, video monitoring, routers, live production switchers, disk recorders, waveform monitors and real time film scanners for the feature film, post production and television broadcast industries. Blackmagic Design’s DeckLink capture cards launched a revolution in quality and affordability in post production, while the company’s Emmy™ award winning DaVinci color correction products have dominated the television and film industry since 1984. Blackmagic Design continues ground breaking innovations including 6G-SDI and 12G-SDI products and stereoscopic 3D and Ultra HD workflows. Founded by world leading post production editors and engineers, Blackmagic Design has offices in the USA, UK, Japan, Singapore and Australia. For more information, please go to www.blackmagicdesign.com.

4K Pocket

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Brian Hallett, is an award winning cameraman, editor, and producer. He has shot everything from Network broadcast news, promotional image campaigns, music videos, short films, and documentaries. Check out his reel at hallett-brian.com