The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Pro has new functions. How badly do you need them?
The Pocket Cinema Camera Blackmagic’s line has long pioneered cinema quality on a budget. Many filmmakers have bitten their teeth on the Pocket 4K. Now, not only is there a 6K, but earlier this year Blackmagic added the 6K Pro.
I love new equipment. But as you can see on the truck I drive in the test shots, I think so too If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.
So where does it come from Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Pro fits?
On a Friday morning (the day before I had to return the camera), I took my trusty Ford Ranger on a literal joy ride to see if the Pocket 6K Pro’s new features were worth the extra $ 500. Check out how we did it below!
What the 6K Pro really does in the pocket space is that it makes the Cinema Camera usable with no more than $ 1,500 in rig and accessories.
Let’s break it down.
The Pocket 6K Pro shares the same Super 35 6144 x 3456 image sensor, color science, and recording specifications as the one Pocket Cinema Camera 6K. What is different Everything else! Namely the touchscreen, the ND filters, the audio inputs, the ability to add a viewfinder, the batteries and the floor space.
So you want to see what you are photographing?
The Pocket 6K Pro has a brighter, adjustable HDR touchscreen with 1,500 nits.
Importance? It’s easier to see and pivot.
The great thing about a small movie camera like the Pocket series is how easy it is to capture cinematic footage. Would you like a low angle dolly that lands on your truck’s bumper sticker? Easy! Pop the
Pocket on a Slypod Pro, press the slide button in your app. And there you have it, Instant Cinema.
The only problem is that you can actually see the frame. With Pocket 4K and 6K, you’d have to duck, twist, or otherwise get hold of a ladder to get those more extreme angles.
The new 6K Pro touchscreen is not fully grown like the third-party provider third Tilta conversion kit ($ 500 +), but you can use it to tilt up and down about 90 degrees. And those 1,500 nits don’t hurt in direct sunlight.
Do your lens a favor and ND
The age-old dilemma: have a fast lens, want a shallow depth of field, but too bright. Damn it!
One of the other great additions to the 6K Pro are the built-in ND filters with 2, 4 and 6 ND stages. (They filter out both optical and IR wavelengths.)
If you are used to the built-in ND filters of one of the Ursa lines, for example, this one is different. It’s not a knob that you turn to physically turn the ND, it’s a knob that triggers digital control.
You can select the filter setting to show either an ND stop number, a stop reduction, or a fraction on the display.
Adding the electronic viewfinder
Big win from me: The Pocket 6K Pro has the option to add a viewfinder!
The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera Pro EVF has an integrated proximity sensor, 4-element glass diopter, integrated status information and a digital focus card. You unscrew the top to add the EVF. As with other Blackmagic camera bodies, this feels like building this thing like a camera engineer.
I know a lot of you insist that you don’t need an eyepiece because you have a director’s monitor or blah blah blah. I respect that there are many times you don’t need one.
But I love seekers and will never change my mind!
Take my test shots from the back of the truck where I’m focusing on my dog’s face. The EVF was the only way I could really see it. Yes, you could mount a larger monitor, rent a focus puller, C-clamp some scrim, or even find another, shady, shut down road. Or you could jump in the back of the truck, look through the viewfinder, and just shoot the damn thing!
I would also like to say that there are many benefits to jumping behind the eyepiece in addition to helping me compose and focus. It also allows me, for example, to hide from my subjects. In an interview or when following someone, this can make the difference not only between good camera work, but better conversations and interviews with less social anxiety! (On both sides of the camera …)
I wish the EVF was included in the 6K Pro, but unfortunately it costs extra. (Probably because of all the naysayers who say you don’t need it!) At $ 495, it’s a great addition to the base price. But in my opinion it is worth it.
However, I lost one point because my eyecup kept flaking off. (The viewfinder comes with three interchangeable options.) I would probably have to choose one and tape it down with tape or contact glue so as not to lose it entirely.
Hold on for love battery life
If you’re recording 4-6K and Blackmagic RAW, you’re running out of juice pretty quickly. Fortunately, the BMPCC 6K Pro with battery goes a different way than the Pocket 6K or 4K with a larger NP-F570 battery. If you shoot 6K RAW at 24 FPS, it will take about 60 minutes.
In comparison, the LP-E6 batteries in the other pockets last 45 minutes on a good day. (Swap out a selection of branded and overused or cheap replicas from DSLR days and get half.)
What about V-mount? In the past, with other pockets, worry-free battery operation meant you had to get a V-mount system. I’ve been very lucky to pair V-mount batteries with Blackmagic, but it can add another layer of clunkiness to the camera and accepts your 2-pin power connector. If you don’t already have the V-mount kit, it’ll cost you at least $ 170 for a battery and $ 150 for the mounting plate at least.
If you want extended battery insurance with the 6K Pro instead, you can add the Blackmagic Pocket Camera Battery Pro Grip, which is much cheaper than V-mount at $ 145 and $ 55 per NP-F570 battery. And it has the nice quality of being a handle.
Two audio inputs are better than one
The 6K Pro has two audio inputs, which is great for any production where you don’t have a sound mixer to mix and record separately from the camera.
Hot Tip: If you’re doing a run-and-gun shoot, having two entrances to keep an onboard shotgun on camera in addition to a wirelessly washed subject is very helpful. Then you can keep the usable ambient sound and be prepared for unexpected reactions from people who are not microphones.
The two inputs are mini XLR, and if you want to hook up your full-sized XLR equipment, you can get an adapter cable from Blackmagic for $ 39.
Different footprint, same feeling
The look and feel of the 6K Pro are slightly different (and slightly larger) than the Pocket 4K and 6K. It honestly didn’t make much of a difference to me when taking pictures, even on the handheld with the battery grip, and it was still exactly sized to fit in my compact Moment bag. In contrast to the others, it is emblazoned with “6K” on the body, so that you can casually present yourself to all of your friends.
For $ 500, you get better batteries, a better swivel monitor, more audio options, and built-in ND filters.
Economically, it’s a breeze because you actually save money on accessories. Unless you’ve already invested in a ton of accessories for your 4K, there’s no reason not to jump over the 4K or 6K for the 6K Pro.
At $ 2,495 Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Pro you get a solid picture that can compete with almost any cinema camera without large additional investments.
What do you think of the new features of the 6K Pro? What features would you like to see in the next iteration?