Blackmagic jumped into the camera scene this time last year at NAB, and this year they have turned up once again, this time however we have 2 new releases, the smallest of which was the Pocket Cinema Camera…
… Yes the Super 16mm sensor has become pocket sized. Everything lies comfortable in the magnesium alloy chassis. The Active MFT lens offers a wide range on lenses but also the capability to adapt to PL mount lenses. At a glance it could easily be mistaken for a consumers digital mirror-less camera, that is until you see it rigged with an Arri 18-80mm zoom…
The Pocket Camera offers a 3.5″ 800×480 LCD that unlike the other Blackmagic cameras this is not a touchsceen! – The camera is operated through standard menu navigation. The connection are found on the right face of the camera. Connections include remote control for Rec start/stop, iris and focus, 2x 3.5mm jacks, one for headphones output, one for a mic input. A Micro HDMI Type D out put and a 12v Power connector. Alternatively there is a removable lithium ion rechargeable battery.
Don’t assume “Cinema” in the title means 4K! – It refers to the recording format, this camera can burn CinemaDNG RAW and Apple ProRes 422 (HQ) at 220 Mbps straight to a removable SD card at 1920×1080 with frame rates of 23.98p, 24p, 25p, 29.97p, 30p – Cards can be formatted for with HFS+ or exFAT for compatibility with both Windows and Mac OS X. It also homes the same 13 stop dynamic range as the Blackmagic 2.5k Cinema Camera, which is in-fact 1 stop greater than the Blackmagic 4K camera.
$995 (£646) – It’s difficult to judge at this point whether this is “cheap” as it is the first of it’s kind. But it if you were to measure it by the specs, then it’s probably a little cheaper than most.
Is this the future of cameras? Merely a small device the is stuck on the back of a lens? Who knows, for now though it is exciting to see a Super 16mm sensor device that can be carried in your pocket, like DSLRs this is another option for young cinematographers and film-makers.
Blackmagic are becoming a bit of a thorn in the side of the big camera names like Canon and RED. As well as this Pocket camera, they released their Production 4K Camera at NAB which has massively undercut the existing “cheap” 4K cameras. Who knows what we will see from Blackmagic at NAB 2014!