The Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 4K took NAB 2018 by storm. It actually was the speak of the present and everybody previous to it hoped for an replace they usually obtained it. The digital camera is now delivery however it’s not obtainable in giant portions but. Demand is excessive and manufacturing doesn’t look to be matching it. Whereas this appears to be a problem with Blackmagic I assumed they solved this with the discharge of the united states Mini Professional however the Pocket 4K appears to be enterprise as typical in terms of supply.
Blackmagic Design despatched us the Pocket Cinema Camera 4K for a restricted time to do a evaluation. The one stipulation is that we don’t do a face to face or examine the digital camera with different cameras available on the market. Blackmagic Design is a sponsor of Newsshooter.com. this assessment is unbiased and isn’t being reviewed or accredited by Blackmagic Design in any method previous to launch.
Okay! Now that we now have that out of the best way lets get this assessment began!
All the things that’s Included
- Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K
- Lens turret mud cap.
- 30W energy provide with locking connector and worldwide adapters.
- LP‑E6 Battery
- SD card with software program and guide.
- Welcome card.
- DaVinci Resolve Studio with an activation key.
The Pocket Cinema Camera 4K is not any “pocket” digital camera
Whereas Blackmagic Design is looking this the brand new Pocket 4K I really feel it’s extra like a brand new model of the unique Blackmagic Cinema Camera. The Pocket 4K is nearer in measurement in addition to not having an EVF and solely an enormous display.
This was the unique disruptor digital camera from Blackmagic and the Pocket 4K is poised to do the identical.
I first obtained my palms on the Pocket Cinema Camera 4K on the BMD NAB press convention. As many have stated earlier than it’s no “pocket camera”. It’s a completely new digital camera and to be trustworthy it ought to have had a special identify with such a radically totally different design. This isn’t a hyper-portable digital camera however as a cinema digital camera, it’s about as compact as I feel it may be with the potential of capturing RAW and ProRes HQ in 4K DCI 60P with out catching on hearth. Warmth dispersion is a matter that plagues all cameras and BMD clearly didn’t need overheating points with the Pocket Cinema Camera 4K
The digital camera is far bigger than the unique pocket by large margins. In truth, it’s bigger than most DSLR cameras. What makes it giant is how broad it’s however don’t let that idiot you it’s truly very mild in weight and feels chunky within the hand.
The grip on the aspect is massive. I’ve common sized palms and may maintain it fantastic nevertheless it does really feel bigger than a mirrorless or DSLR digital camera. You’d assume with such a big grip the digital camera might have a bigger larger capability battery nevertheless it makes use of the Canon LP-E6. Extra on the battery arising.
General the physique feels type of plasticky. I suppose this has so much to do with the load and the brand new carbon fiber composite materials the physique is made out of, nevertheless, it simply feels type of low cost. One factor I observed is the battery compartment door appears slightly unfastened. The door for the media compartment snaps open and closes firmly.
The covers for the inputs on the aspect are these pliable plastic sort that pop off and are held on with a tab. I’m not a fan of those however we see them on numerous cameras. On my C300 MKII, I pulled them off as they began driving me loopy. If this was my digital camera I might do the identical.
I just like the shortcuts on the physique lots. You have got three on prime that may be programmed and three which might be set for ISO, Shutter and White Stability. A stills body could be taken with the stills button and the iris wheel has a push perform for zoom in focus help. As for the stills? I wasn’t impressed.
On the again are an Iris, Focus, HFR, Zoom, Menu, and Playback button. The good of all of them is the power to push the HFR button and go into 60 frames per second. That’s actually handy and quick with out having to enter the menu to vary body charges. With the digital camera set to shutter angle, it’s going to change as properly once you enter 60p mode.
The unique Pocket Camera had a smaller Tremendous 16mm Sized Picture Sensor whereas the brand new Pocket 4K jumps as much as Micro 4 Thirds 18.96 x 10.00 mm sensor with Twin Native ISO. A primary within the Blackmagic digital camera lineup to have. Will we see this in an up to date URSA Mini Professional? The sensor does yield some good pictures. Extra on that later.
Micro 4 Thirds mount and Lenses
The Micro 4 Thirds mount could be very adaptable. Virtually any lens can be utilized with the right adapter. I’ve a couple of Canon EF lenses I exploit on Sony E mount cameras in addition to the united states Mini Professional four.6K. The Canon 24-105 F4, Canon 70-200 F4 and a Duclos modded Tokina 11-16mm.
I even have the very good Lumix 12-35mm. I maintain it round simply in case I want it and I positive did with the Pocket 4K. The Lumix 12-35 works completely with the digital camera. Autofocus works fairly properly. No Twin Pixel AF right here and it does hunt slightly nevertheless it’s higher than not having any AF and might be improved over time. I want I had the 35-100mm lens to pair with it.
To shoot with my Canon EF lenses I’ve a Metabones EF Lens to Micro 4 Thirds T Velocity Booster ULTRA zero.71x. With the newest V3.zero firmware the Pocket 4K autofocus didn’t work in any respect. I attempted each the 24-105 and 70-200. Picture Stabilization works as does f-stop modifications and it additionally exhibits the Velocity Increase improve within the aperture on the LCD display. I’m positive Metabones will replace the firmware on the Velocity Booster to get AF working as this will probably be a highly regarded setup. The Velocity Booster XL can be an ideal choice for full body lenses. I just like the ULTRA since I also can use APS-C lenses just like the Sigma 18-35 and 50-100.
The inputs and outputs are all on left aspect of the digital camera.
From prime to backside you have got:
- three.5mm Mic Inputs
- Full-Measurement HDMI
- 12v Energy enter
- USB-C for SSD drive
- Mini XLR with Phantom Energy
On the highest and backside are airvents to maintain the digital camera cool. There’s a fan inside however I discovered noise to not be a problem.
With so many cameras having a messy onerous to make use of menu system I discover it refreshing that the Pocket 4K inherited the straightforward URSA Mini Professional menu. The digital camera is very easy to get arrange plus being a video digital camera, not a hybrid no images settings wanted. The menu navigates with the touchscreen and the setting choices are good and enormous making them straightforward to see and faucet to pick.
The place is the Viewfinder?
Being true to the unique Pocket Cinema Camera an EVF isn’t current on it’s 4K huge brother. For the primary couple of hours utilizing the Pocket Cinema Camera 4K I instinctively needed to raise it to my eye. It’s a really unusual feeling figuring out you possibly can’t as a result of the digital camera doesn’t have an EVF and this does trigger some issues. It does have a pleasant full HD 5″ touchscreen. The picture seems sharp and shade illustration additionally seems to be correct however in shiny solar the LCD display is ineffective. It’s not a daylight monitor. Within the shade, it performs advantageous however I struggled with it when the solar was behind me. The display has good off-axis viewing angle which is good since you’ll be able to’t rotate or tilt the display both. With Lumix lenses, the contact focus is fairly good. I wouldn’t say it’s a usable rack focus however it does lock in pretty shortly and nails it more often than not.
A cage and a Zacuto Gratical HD shall be a lifesaver for the Pocket 4K. Sadly, I don’t have a cage for the loaner digital camera to connect my Gratical HD EVF to. I attempted, however with restricted hardware, it wasn’t doable plus I needed to get the expertise of utilizing the digital camera as is.
Codecs, Resolutions and Body Charges
Right here is the place the Pocket Cinema Camera 4K shines. Having ProRes as the primary codec makes modifying a breeze and the codec could be very strong. Sure, it is going to take up more room on media playing cards however I’ll take that over pc intensive codecs that require transcoding and rendering. Modifying Lengthy Gop and ALL-I codecs natively on a greater than primary NLE could be a actual wrestle. We find yourself changing the footage or modifying in proxy and all these choices take up much more arduous drive area and time.
- CinemaDNG RAW, CinemaDNG RAW
- three:1, CinemaDNG RAW four:1, ProRes 422
- HQ QuickTime, ProRes 422
- QuickTime, ProRes 422 LT QuickTime,
- ProRes 422 Proxy QuickTime.
With the discharge of the Pocket Cinema Camera 4K, Blackmagic RAW isn’t included within the firmware however they’ve introduced it is going to be obtainable at a later date for no additional cost. The one points are as of now DaVinci Resolve is the one NLE that may make the most of the brand new RAW format. Hopefully others like Avid, FCPX and Premiere Professional to call a number of of the favored NLE’s will help it however I feel it’s going to take a while. For now, when you like RAW, you’ve CinemaDNG.
Resolutions and Body Charges
HD Video Requirements
1080p23.98, 1080p24, 1080p25,
1080p29.97, 1080p30, 1080p50,
Extremely HD Video Requirements
2160p23.98, 2160p24, 2160p25,
2160p29.97, 2160p30, 2160p50,
4K DCI Requirements
4KDCIp23.98, 4KDCIp24, 4KDCIp25,
4KDCIp29.97, 4KDCIp30, 4KDCIp50,
You gained’t get all of the body charges in all of the resolutions nevertheless you do get an excellent choice for a digital camera in its worth vary and general measurement and that’s spectacular. To shoot at 120 fps it’s in HD windowed mode and it seems to be actually good.
I shot this video at 120 FPS HD Windowed mode at 4000 ISO utilizing ProRes 422. I actually assume ProRes acquisition for HFR is such an enormous deal as many cameras restrict the Mb/s so low the picture simply falls aside.
In submit, I solely cleaned it up with Pink Big Denoiser III. Sure, it’s noisy however the picture has good element with very low in-camera noise discount. Different cameras I’ve used get aggressive with the noise discount at greater iso values. This smooths and softens the picture and it doesn’t look excellent. I really feel the Pocket 4K element is actually good at 120 FPS.
Powering the Pocket
I’ve a number of of the Canon OEM batteries and an assortment of third get together variations. Blackmagic Design states 60 minutes of runtime. I haven’t been capable of get this efficiency with the included battery or an OEM Canon battery recording to CFast media. Usable runtime with the Pocket 4K is nearer to 30-40 minutes. You have to energy the digital camera down when not recording to save lots of battery.
The Pocket Cinema Camera 4K makes use of the Canon LP-E6 sort battery. It comes with one. No charger is included nevertheless a 2-pin locking AC energy cable is included and fees the battery contained in the Pocket Cinema Camera 4K so primarily the digital camera is the charger. The digital camera may be powered with an exterior battery with out utilizing a regulated dummy LP-E6 because the enter can take 12 to 20 volts or a D-tap to 2-pin cable.
This can be a first. I’ve one LP-E6 battery that might get caught contained in the digital camera. I’ve heard from different customers that skilled this as properly. I wasn’t positive learn how to get it out however determined to attempt a strip of gaffers tape and press it on to cowl your complete finish of the battery. Maintain the discharge button and pull it out. After a couple of makes an attempt, it labored and the battery was eliminated.
No injury was achieved and I can’t work out what’s inflicting it. I feel it’s the 2 slots which are used to cost the battery within the digital camera that’s holding it in. Perhaps the spring isn’t robust sufficient to push it out? I’m not likely positive. The battery that’s provided with the Pocket 4K doesn’t have points with getting caught contained in the physique nevertheless it doesn’t work with the battery standing on the digital camera. The gasoline gauge exhibits “0”. No points with OEM Canon LP-E6N and LP-E6 batteries.
Blackmagic Design has a DC cable pack that features a D-tap to 2-pin, 2.5mm barrel to 2-pin and an additional 2-pin non-terminated cable for creating your personal customized cable. All cables are 650mm lengthy and retail for $55.00 US. With the right 2-pin locking connector cable to D-Faucet and a V-lock or Gold Mount battery, you’re good to go for a number of hours.
It shuts off with out warning
A serious flaw with the Pocket 4K is it can shut off whereas recording even when the battery indicator is displaying 30% or 40%. The digital camera isn’t appropriately estimating the precise quantity of energy left. Once I put a full battery within the indicator will shortly present the battery depleting even earlier than I begin recording. This must be addressed in a firmware replace stat! It won’t be a digital camera software program situation however extra of a digital camera energy consumption situation.
Whereas I’ve had the digital camera shut down whereas recording a number of occasions the clips didn’t turn out to be corrupt or was deleted. That is some excellent news however like I stated. It’s scary and I can’t think about that clips ultimately wouldn’t get corrupted with such abrupt shutdowns. Blackmagic Design stated they may look into this challenge additional however said the clips shut each 10 frames, subsequently, you might lose roughly 10 frames off the top of a clip.
I examined a number of batteries and I’m discovering an enormous discrepancy with them and when the digital camera will shut down. With Canon OEM LP-E6N I used to be getting a lot better efficiency. The digital camera would drop to round 9% after which shut off. For now, I extremely advocate the Canon OEM batteries and alter them round 15% warning. I nonetheless acquired round 40-45 minutes with Canon OEM.
I lately reviewed the Core SWX PowerBase Edge and it’s a actually nice approach to energy the digital camera for a very long time. Whereas it seems to be cumbersome it doesn’t really feel too dangerous to carry because the digital camera itself could be very mild. On a tripod, it’s a no brainer and quite simple to make use of plus it may possibly energy your equipment as nicely.
The Pocket Cinema Camera 4K for critical use will in all probability find yourself in a cage or rig. When you want an EVF, and I feel you’ll for sure conditions like capturing outdoors within the solar or simply don’t need to swap out batteries each 30 minutes and choose to report on an SSD drive, which is a fairly cool choice to have. Some sort of bigger rig goes to be wanted.
With a Canon OEM LP-E6 I obtained 41 minutes of steady recording then the digital camera shut off with out warning. Once I put the battery again on the charger it confirmed 20% was left. The clip wasn’t deleted or corrupted.
Constructed-in audio and inputs
Analog Audio Inputs
Onboard microphones on cameras are usually not that nice. I might say the Pocket 4K is best than most however none are nearly as good as including an exterior mic like a RØDE VideoMic Professional. It’s superb for scratch audio or easy ambient sound.
One factor that could possibly be a problem is the microphone on the suitable aspect is positioned proper by the grip and when you have lengthy fingers you possibly can faucet it and make undesirable noise. Now you wouldn’t actually need to fret since you’re in fact going to make use of correct audio proper? ?
One function that’s often missing in hybrid cameras is audio inputs. That three.5mm jack can go solely thus far. I examined the enter with a RØDE Lavalier microphone. To get a correct degree I needed to set the extent at most. This usually isn’t an excellent factor because it might additionally deliver up the noise flooring pushing the preamps so excessive.
I had a problem with the three.5mm enter. After a number of days of capturing and utilizing the three.5mm enter to report my audio, the enter broke. I pushed the connector in and one thing got here unfastened. The connection is now intermittent with the enter and the connection feels prefer it’s not holding the microphones three.5 tip very nicely. Not good.
The three.5mm Stereo Enter may also be used for Timecode enter.
The Pocket Cinema Camera 4K has one mini-XLR analog switchable enter that additionally provides phantom energy and helps line degree (as much as +14dBu). That is very cool for a digital camera in its worth vary. You in all probability gained’t see this function on a hybrid anytime quickly.
These cables are a bit onerous to seek out and are costlier than the typical XLR selection. I searched round and ended up shopping for a Blackmagic Design Blackmagic Design Mini XLR Cable for Video Help 4K. It retails for $29.00 US and consists of two 19.5″ cables.
On my final day with the Pocket Cinema Camera 4K I used it for a simple studio shoot. All of the audio was captured with a Sanken COS-11D into the mini XLR. I’ve to say it’s good to only plug in a microphone into such a small digital camera that has phantom energy. I used the Lumix 12-35 and targeted with the touchscreen, setting publicity with zebra stripes and false shade. I do want the zebras would go decrease than 75% as I like to make use of 60%-65% worth for pores and skin tone. The picture is good and detailed and the audio recorded good and clear. I’m a fan of recording audio into the digital camera and I do know it’s not the highest quality you will get nevertheless it works for me on these sort of shoots. It’s all the time good to have choices and the mini XLR enter is an effective one.
Numerous recording media choices
The Pocket 4K has three totally different media choices to document too.
- 1 x CFast slot
- 1 x SD UHS-II card slot.
- USB-C enter for SSD Drive
That’s plenty of choices for a digital camera on this worth vary plus it will possibly report RAW Lossless, three:1 and four:1. Blackmagic RAW can also be coming and that may make the Pocket 4K a beast of a digital camera with regards to onboard codecs and RAW capabilities. Did I point out I really like the ProRes choice? ?
For a full record of suitable media take a look at this publish. I all the time advocate getting the highest quality you’ll be able to afford. I do know media may be costly however verified suitable fashions will make sure the most secure and greatest outcomes.
Suitable USB‐C SSD Drives
Don’t stray right here. I attempted a noncompatible drive and it didn’t work. Surprising proper? I then examined the Samsung T5 1TB and sure it does work and data with out concern in addition to the brand new Anglebird SSD2GO PKT 512GB and 2TB. Whereas I didn’t check all of the resolutions and codecs I discovered All of the ProRes choices labored with out situation.
Capturing direct to an SSD drive is basically nice. Seeing that massive storage obtainable sort of makes me giddy. I’ve a bit of setup which may not look so fancy nevertheless it works a deal with! With no cage, I needed to be artistic. I added a chilly shoe to the highest mount and the chilly shoe extender. This actually labored nicely plus it didn’t value me something since I already had it. Win-win!
Under is the really helpful media for recording
Twin Native ISO
In contrast to the GH5s the Twin Native ISO doesn’t have to be modified to enter it. The Twin Native ISO is 400 and 3200. This could be a little complicated or perhaps it’s simply me. Right here is the way it’s defined by Blackmagic Design.
I can extremely advocate utilizing 1250 ISO over 1000. The picture curve does change with the blacks and highlights being extra stretched out for a much less flat look however it’s a lot cleaner. MFT sensors have been problematic on the subject of noise at even modest ISO ranges and the GH5s and now the Pocket Cinema Camera 4K are displaying how far engineering has come.
At 32oo the noise is similar to 500 ISO however is there any noise discount happening as nicely? Noise discount will clean out the element of a picture. It’s not very pleasing. Particularly on the pores and skin. It makes issues appear to be plastic. From the seems to be of the check footage, I’m not seeing any aggressive in-camera noise discount within the picture. That’s spectacular. This makes cleansing it up with noise discount software program even higher and it does clear up pretty simply.
Right here is the place the Pocket Cinema Camera 4K has points. Usability is totally different for everybody. I personally don’t wish to struggle a digital camera whereas utilizing it. I simply need to have the ability to get the digital camera out of my means and create with it. This isn’t the case with the Pocket 4K. As I discussed earlier the digital camera eats by means of batteries and shuts down abruptly when the battery is beginning to die. That alone is an enormous drawback. I all the time really feel prefer it’s going to close down on me in the midst of a take. I actually don’t want one of these stress whereas I’m capturing.
Not having an EVF is an issue. The touchscreen whereas excellent isn’t sufficient for me to depend on in all conditions. I struggled in daylight to focus manually. I went to La Jolla to shoot some ocean scenics and it was very troublesome to manually focus. The display is absolutely onerous to see on a sunny day. I used to be additionally having autofocus points with the Canon 24-105 and 70-200 F4 lenses with the SpeedBooster ULTRA. It doesn’t work with present firmware. Peaking and zoom helped however it’s not sufficient for me to really feel assured. The display doesn’t tilt both so you actually need to be just about at eye degree with the digital camera to function it. The Pocket 4K likes being within the shade.
In my studio set check, I used to be making an attempt to comply with the motion extra so principally not a managed state of affairs. I used to be nonetheless having focus points. Perhaps it’s simply me. I actually missed not having an EVF. The capturing tempo is far slower and deliberate for me with the pocket after seeing what number of misplaced takes I had as a result of missed focus. This won’t be a problem for some however it actually worries me that I might miss a terrific second as a result of I couldn’t focus appropriately on time.
The Pocket 4K wants an EVF just like the Zacuto Graticle HD for sunny days to get essential focus and general usability. Add within the battery life problem and the necessity to use exterior energy makes the digital camera a candidate for a cage or rig so package may be hooked up to make it usable. Whereas this for a lot of gained’t be a problem I feel it’s essential to know that you’ll want it and an funding that equals the cameras value or extra is inevitable.
I personally don’t thoughts a cage on a devoted video digital camera. With a hybrid, I don’t want all of the extras for images so I might take the cage off when stills are the first use. A cage with a video digital camera is nearly a needed merchandise. Stick it in a single. Add an EVF, SSD mount and energy answer and I feel it might be a very good setup. I’m positive lots of cages will probably be coming simply in time for Christmass.
Why Blackmagic Design solely makes use of a Histogram on a cinema digital camera is a thriller to me. Actually the united states cameras additionally solely have Histograms. I actually don’t like them. For video manufacturing, I a lot want a Waveform Monitor. Even a small one such as you see on different cinema cameras could be very useful for nailing pores and skin tone. The Pocket 4K does have Zebra Stripes however their lowest setting is 75%. Once more no love for the pores and skin tone that I wish to have round 55-65% relying on the skins shade. I like to show it on. Set the publicity and switch it off. As is the Zebras are for spotlight safety.
False shade could be a useful device for publicity and I don’t use it fairly often however I did with the pocket because it’s actually the one software I might use to help in getting correct publicity. I don’t prefer it as a lot as a waveform monitor although.
For focusing, the Pocket 4K has a Focus Help function. This places a pink border across the topic when it’s in focus. You will have three power settings out there. I discovered “High” to be too forgiving and “Low” to be considerably ineffective. “Medium” is the most secure guess nevertheless it doesn’t work if the distinction is low.
The Zoom function is sweet and doubtless the higher choice for focusing but when issues are shifting quick you’ll miss the shot.
I discover focusing an enormous situation for me with the Pocket 4K. Capturing off the again of the digital camera shouldn’t be my most popular technique and I did get numerous out of focus photographs. Rather more than I anticipated in good capturing circumstances indoors.
Picture high quality
Right here is the place all of it comes down too. Is the picture any good? Nicely sure, it’s. In truth, I’m impressed with how good it’s and that’s to not consider the precise worth. For less than $1,295 it’s an actual discount. Plus it consists of the complete model of DaVinci Resolve Studio that retails for $299 successfully placing the Pocket Cinema Camera 4K at $1,004. Loopy.
The 120 fps footage is excellent additionally. Most cameras actually disintegrate at 120 fps. The Pocket does a superb job. Whereas it might go to 25,00zero ISO that doesn’t imply it is best to. 1250 seems nice and even 4000 could be very usable. I don’t have a excessive tolerance for noise and don’t take pleasure in denoising in submit so I are likely to maintain the ISO ranges as little as attainable and use lights. For a lot of, I feel the ISO noise gained’t be a problem.
Is it the most effective, good all you ever needed 4K digital camera? In fact not, nevertheless, I wouldn’t thoughts having one only for the very fact it’s so cheap and shoots a high-quality codec. I do fear slightly concerning the general construct high quality however time will inform if it’s going to final out within the area.
Issues I like
- The worth. At $1,295 USD it’s the least costly ProRes 4K succesful digital camera available on the market.
- The picture high quality is excellent
- ProRes is a implausible codec to shoot in
- One button push away from 60p capturing
- Excessive velocity even 120 fps seems to be excellent
- The digital camera comes with a Davinci Resolve Studio licenses. $300 worth
Issues I don’t Like
- Battery dies and shuts off the digital camera with out warning whereas recording.
- On/off change is basically old fashioned
- The battery door and compartment is a scorching mess. I had a third social gathering battery get caught inside and had to make use of a bit of gaffers tape to tug it out
- Battery life is dangerous
- The display isn’t usable within the solar
- No EVF
- No Waveform
Properly, my time has come to an finish with the Pocket 4K. Time to ship it again to Blackmagic Design. It was a enjoyable journey with some turbulence however all in all, a really fascinating digital camera simply so long as you’ll be able to work round a few of the quirks I feel Blackmagic Design actually did one thing particular with the Pocket Cinema Camera 4K. I just like the innovation so much and I feel they may promote a crapload of those cameras because of the worth alone and the power to shoot such high-quality pictures with skilled codecs. For $1,299 it’s virtually disposable! I guess it’ll turn into Hollywoods hottest crash cam. Now if solely I had a pocket the digital camera would slot in.