Tech Tuesday: Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera

April 16, 2013

By RF Staff

Not just for broadcasters anymore, there were a number of interesting announcements that came out of the recent NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) Show including Blackmagic Design's new—and, quite affordable at $995—Pocket Cinema Camera. Surprisingly sophisticated, especially given its compact size, this pint-sized camera puts digital cinema capabilities into the palm of your hand. The camera measures approximately 5 x 1.5 x 2.6 inches and weighs about 12.5 ounces (body only) but it's not just its compact size that makes this a shoot-anywhere camera. Its magnesium alloy body gives it the sturdy build you want when traveling or in the field.

If you think it looks like a point-and-shoot or mirrorless camera, you're partly right. Built with an active Micro Four Thirds mount, your Panasonic, Olympus or third-party MFT lenses can do double-duty with with this Blackmagic model. But if you want to step up to a pro cinema lens (including those with PL mounts), an adapter will do the trick. A streamlined control layout and a 3.5-inch LCD keeps camera operation pretty simple but, in addition to pro lenses, you can trick out the camera with all sorts of accessories like follow focus and matte box--some of which are larger (and more expensive) than the camera itself. Still, the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera will do just fine without all the bells and whistles.

With a Super 16 sensor, the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera captures 1080 HD film-like footage in lossless CinemaDNG RAW and Apple ProRes. Although it's equipped with multiple inputs and outputs (micro HDMI for viewing on EVFs and external monitors, record to external disks, microphone and headphone jacks, and a 2.5mm jack connection for LANC remote control, for example), the camera can conveniently record footage to a fast SDHC/SDXC card. And when when you're lugging around a couple of DSLRs and assorted lenses, it should be easy to squeeze this little camera into your bag.