Blackmagic rolled out a slick-looking new cinema camera this week at the National Association of Broadcasters Show. It’s a camera that uses a compact handheld still camera design and records video in 4K. The big deal here is that the cinema camera has a very affordable price tag that should put it right in reach of the movie shooters and videophiles out there looking for 4K support.
The retail price for the camera body is $1,295 and it uses lenses with the Active MFT mount. The body can control iris, focus, and zoom on supported lenses and the dynamic range has 13 stops and the effective sensor size of the camera is 18.96mm x 10mm. Supported shooting resolutions include 4096 x 2160 (4K DCI), 3840 x 2160 (UltraHD), and 1920 x 1080.
Various frame rates are supported including 23.98, 24, 25, 29.97, 30, 50, 59.94 and 60 fps. Off-speed frame rates of up to 60 fps are supported in 4K DCI and 120 fps in HD windowed. The body has an iris control wheel and touchscreen slider for manual iris adjustment on electronically compatible lenses. There is an iris button for instant auto iris settings on compatible lenses that eliminates pixel clipping in film mode. Scene average auto exposure is also supported in video mode.
The rear display on the camera is a 5-inch capacitive touchscreen unit with 1920 x 1080 resolution. The Pocket Cinema Camera automatically records metadata from compatible lenses like camera settings, slate data, scene number, take, and any special notes. Outputs include a single HDMI Type A port and a 3.5mm headphone port. Analog audio inputs include a mini XLR analog switchable between mic with phantom power supply support and line level up to +14dBu. A single 3.5mm stereo input can also be used for timecode input.
Keys for controlling ISO, shutter, white balance, still shots, and recording are on the top of the camera. On the back of the camera to the right of the screen are controls for iris, focus, high frame rate, zoom, menu, and playback. The inputs for headphones, mic, HDMI, USB-C, and mini XLR are all on the right side of the camera. Stills and video are stored to a CFast card and a SD USH-II card. Buyers also get a full license for DaVinci Resolve Studio 15 with the purchase, the software alone sells for $299.