The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema 4K shoots 4K RAW & costs $1,300. But the cost of accessories and some major flaws might outweigh its good value.

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If you’re not blown away at those specs, your expectations are too high. The camera isn’t perfect, but what can you expect for a $1,300 camera? Rethành viên that mantra, “What can you expect for $1,300?” It’s a comtháng reaction khổng lồ its flaws.

The Pocket Cinema Camera 4K is the second camera in the Pocket Cinema line. The original Pocket Cinema Camera shoots resolutions up lớn HD in RAW or ProRes và did actually fit in some larger pockets, though not with a lens attached. This new camera, on the other h&, wouldn’t fit in a giant’s pocket. It’s a big, clunky camera.The Pocket Cinema Camera 4K has a 5-inch touchscreen và the industry-leading thực đơn & operating system, the Blackmagic OS. Its form-factor is that of a mirrorless hybrid video/pholớn camera, but, ironically, it doesn’t shoot photos. The first reaction from this reviewer is that it’s just plain ugly. Luckily, the picture quality is much prettier than the physical design.


The Hard Truths

The long danh mục of amazing features on this camera is matched with a danh mục of flaws that is just as mind-blowing, from the poor design of the battery door — which could leave sầu the battery on the floor — to lớn the port covers that are a fight khổng lồ replace once uncovered. Add in its abysmal battery life, & you have sầu a camera that’s more difficult lớn operate that you would expect.

The Pocket Cinema Camera 4K‘s biggest flaw, however, is its inability lớn actually capture the top resolution and frame rate of DCI 4K at 60fps in CinemaDNG RAW, which Blackmagic Design touts at the top of the camera’s spec sheet. There is no truyền thông currently available that can keep up with the data rate. Despite this, you can still select the record mode — it just won’t work. The fact that it can even be selected is a significant oversight from Blackmagic Design. It begs the question: If the camera can’t capture it, why is it offered in the first place? Is this a case of future-proofing or padding the spec sheet?


Another thing lớn note is that the camera will try lớn capture to any truyền thông you put in it. Using slower-than-recommended truyền thông media can lead to dropped frames, but on the other hand, older and more affordable truyền thông can be used at settings with lower data rates.

If you plan to shoot in RAW, the data rate can be up lớn 272 megabytes per second. That’s some serious data creation, working out lớn over 16 gigabytes per minute. At that data rate, a 64GB thẻ will capture just 4 minutes of Clip. Looking at the danh sách of supported truyền thông, 4 minutes of capture will cost a minimum of $1trăng tròn for an SDXC thẻ or $155 for a Cfast 2.0 thẻ. A 512 GB Cfast 2.0 card will mix you baông xã at least $530 và will get you a little over 31 minutes of record time in RAW.

The lowest cost per gig is a larger capađô thị SSD. For about $150, you can get an SSD that will capture for 15 minutes at the highest data rate. Outside of having lớn secure the media, external SSDs are a great lower cost option. All you vì chưng is plug them in via USB 3.1 và you are ready khổng lồ format và shoot; it’s really easy.

Regardless, if you need to shoot for hours in 4K RAW, expect lớn shell out more for truyền thông media than you did for the camera.That’s where having ProRes is handy. You will get double the capađô thị of your truyền thông media just switching lớn ProRes 422 HQ. That also opens up the options for recording media.

We mentioned before the battery door has been known to fail. It’s not likely you will see this happen lớn a brand new camera, but we suspect the door won’t hold up to normal wear & tear. Lens Rentals saw the problem quickly as their gear gets an unusual amount of hard use. We did not experience this problem during normal shooting, but we were able to get the door to open on its own by shaking the camera a bit. But hey, what can you expect for $1,300?

Speaking of the battery, it’s a very common Canon EP-L6. We noticed during testing that the battery percentage went down very rapidly. Our suspicions were confirmed when we tested the battery life. Across a few different batteries và tests, we saw a relatively consistent battery life of about 40 minutes. The camera did get hot during our tests but never hot enough to lớn affect performance.

In use, a 40-minute battery life means that, on top of needing khổng lồ swap out the truyền thông often, you’ll also need khổng lồ replace the battery quite frequently.

Our last major frustration with the Pocket Cinema Camera 4K is its port covers. Three hunks of rubber cover the mic input, tai nghe output, HDXiaoMI out, 12v power, USB-C port & mini XLR port. Once you pull them out, the covers are difficult lớn put baông xã. In fact, we were unable to get the top cover baông xã in place unless we started at the top and worked our way down. We ended up leaving the covers open while testing. This is another one of those “What vì you expect for $1,300” features.

Digging into the details

The PCC4K’s Micro Four Thirds sensor offers a 1.9 times crop factor. The smaller sensor makes this camera affordable. If you want a larger sensor, this isn’t the camera for you. With the right lenses, however, there isn’t much lost from the sensor form size. Consider this: MFT lenses will phối you baông xã about half of what you would pay for a similar full frame lens.

We shot with three lenses during the Review, all three from the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED line. The 12-40mm f/2.8, the 7-14milimet f/2.8 & the 25mm f/1.2 all cost under $1,300. These gave sầu us the full frame equivalent of a 23-76mm f/2.8, 13-27mm f/2.8 và 48mm f/1.2 prime. That’s a very usable range of top-notch lenses at an affordable price point.

Moving on, the camera has a deep grip, but the size factor wants khổng lồ be used with two hands at all times. If it had in body image stabilization, the camera could be used handheld, but because it’s $1300, this is not a feature we would expect.

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The camera’s also missing continuous autofocus, offering only single point AF. You can use the monitor lớn set your focus, but it won’t move sầu off that point unless you focus it on something else. Depending on the conditions, it can focus quickly, but we saw some hunting while shooting a dark subject on a dark background.

But the monitor is good for more than just touch focus. It’s also how you can interface with the camera. The menu is operated by touch, although there are buttons for the things you use the most often, lượt thích ISO and shutter speed.

The Blackmagic OS is one of the best things about Blackmagic Design cameras. You can quickly find the features you need without the thực đơn getting in the way. We all want other camera manufacturers khổng lồ match the price of Blackmagic Design cameras, but in the meantime, how about taking a different cue from Blackmagic Design và adopting a thực đơn that isn’t ugly and hard to navigate?

The 5-inch touchscreen has a great viewing angle, and that’s a good thing because the monitor does not move sầu. It has no articulation at all. Because the screen is larger, no movement isn’t as bad as it could be, but it’s still lame when you want to lớn shoot low or high angles or in situations where there is loads of glare on the screen. But, what bởi you expect for $1,300? The screen looks great and, along with the built-in shot assists tools, it gets the job done.

mbachulski.com Lab Tests

Next, we put the Pocket Cinema Camera 4K through some basic tests to lớn see its low light performance, moiré và rolling shutter.

The Pocket Cinema Camera 4K has a dual native sầu ISO, meaning there are two ISOs where noise is at its minimum. For the Pocket Cinema 4K, you have sầu a native sầu ISO of 400 & 3200. The sensor utilizes the native 400 ISO setting up lớn 1,000 ISO. At 1,250 ISO, the camera jumps to lớn the low noise range of the native 3,200 ISO setting. It doesn’t eliminate noise at higher ISOs, but it does buy another stop or two of usable ISO before noise is an issue in the image. We saw noise start at ISO 400 và was acceptable all the way up lớn ISO 6400. After that, the noise starts khổng lồ dramatically affect the sharpness of the image.

To kiểm tra the moiré of the camera, we shot the DSC Labs SineZone demo chart. The Pocket Cinema Camera 4K had no moiré issues at all. Even when panning and tilting, fine lines looked normal.

Moving on to testing rolling shutter, we panned the Pocket Cinema Camera 4K bachồng and forth khổng lồ see if vertical lines started khổng lồ bend. The camera does have a rolling shutter, so we expected lớn see a bit of jello, but there wasn’t much of any. This makes the camera a good candidate for active shooting.

The image unique of the Pocket Cinema Camera 4K is equal to lớn or better than the other cameras in its price range. In fact, you won’t find RAW in any other camera even cthua lớn $1,300. With that said, we wanted to demo out the camera’s higher frame rates to see if the image unique suffered. While the sensor is cropped even more when shooting 1đôi mươi fps in HD, it’s very sharp và the image unique is fantastic.


With its price và feature menu, the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K is unrivaled. However, that doesn’t mean everyone should buy one. Its many flaws leave plenty of room for competition. To makes things more fair, we only compared cameras capable of producing 10-bit video. The first camera is the Panasonic GH5 for $2000. It has a Micro Four Thrids MOS sensor and can capture internal 4:2:2 10-Bit 4K đoạn phim at 30 fps. The GH5 has a fully articulating touchscreen, but it measures in at only 3.2 inches. It also features in-body toàn thân image stabilization, an OLED viewfinder & V-Log L.

Next up is the full frame Nikon Z6 for $2000. Although it can’t capture 10-bit internally, it can output it to lớn an external recorder. Adding a recorder would increase the cost of the camera by about $1000. The Z6 also has log shooting, an EVF and a tilting touchscreen LCD, along with IBIS.

Lastly is the Canon EOS R at $2,300. It also requires an external recorder to lớn capture 10-bit video. It has a fully articulating touchscreen and EVF. Lastly, it has C-Log capture and the industry-leading dual px AF.

Something else to consider as you shop: Blackmagic Design includes DaVinci Resolve sầu Studio with every camera they sell. This robust post-production software now integrates Fairlight for audio editing and Fusion for visual effects & motion graphics, in addition to lớn Resolve’s editing và color grading tools. Buying DaVinci Resolve 15 Studio on its own will set you bachồng $300, so it’s a nice added value for the Pocket Cinema Camera 4K.

Final thoughts

The Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 4K gets it done for $1,300. It has a long danh mục of flaws, but with a price tag lượt thích that, they might not outpace its value. We liked the camera, but issues like battery life, poor external kiến thiết và expensive sầu truyền thông media cause us to hesitate in giving a whole-hearted recommendation. In the kết thúc, what vày you expect for $1,300?


Blackmagic Design


Extremely Affordable DCI 4K CinemaDNG Raw at 24fpsSimple Menu operation


Short Battery LifeHigh Cost of MediaClunky Exterior Design


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