While it has a surprisingly low profile in its home country, Australia, Blackmagic Design has been a major technology disruptor at the high end of the video camera segment, with cameras that match the performance of cinema-grade cameras at a fraction of the price.
From its original base in Port Melbourne it has expanded globally, with offices in the US, UK, Japan, Singapore and China, and over 300 employees, mainly in design and engineering.
It’s latest release is the US$1250 Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K, a handheld digital film camera with full 4/3 HDR sensor, dual native ISO with sensitivity up to 25,600 ISO for superior low light performance, and 13 stops of dynamic range.
The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K can record 4K images at up to 60 frames per second and windowed HD at up to 120 frames per second. It’s also the first camera that lets customers record directly onto the same exact external USB-C media drives they use for editing and color correction.
It features a unique new USB-C Expansion Port, which allows customers to record using the internal SD/UHS-II and CFast recorders or directly to the same external disks they will use for editing and colour correction.
The compact body style is designed for shooting weddings, independent films and documentaries, fashion shows, travel blogs, web videos, corporate video, sports and much more.
The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K features a full size 4/3-inch (17.3x13mm) HDR sensor with native 4096 x 2160 resolution and 13 stops of dynamic range for true digital film quality. The full size of the 4/3 sensor is designed to perfectly match Micro Four Thirds lenses so the crop factor is greatly reduced, giving customers a wider field of view.
It has a 5-inch touchscreen monitor, 10-bit ProRes and 12-bit RAW recording, 3D LUTs, 4 built in microphones, mini XLR audio input with phantom power, Bluetooth wireless camera control, HDMI on set monitoring output and more.
Blackmagic Design claims it can shoot images ‘that are far better than DSLR cameras and even better than professional digital film cameras costing tens of thousands more.’
Designed using a carbon fibre polycarbonate composite, the body of the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K is strong and light. The high strength polymer is reinforced with carbon fibers for strength and rigidity.
Images can be recorded onto standard SD cards, faster UHS-II cards or CFast 2.0 cards in either ProRes or RAW formats.
The Micro Four Thirds mount accepts lens adapters for PL, C, EF and other types of lenses from manufacturers such as Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Leica and even Panavision.
The rear of the camera features a bright 5 inch touchscreen that makes it easy to frame shots and accurately focus. On screen overlays make it easy to see recording parameters, status, histogram, focus and peaking indicators, and playback controls. In addition, 3D LUTs can be applied for both monitoring and recording.
For audio, the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K features multiple built in microphones with an extremely low noise floor, a mini XLR input with 48 volts of phantom power to connect professional lapel and boom mics, and a 3.5mm stereo audio jack for connecting different types of video camera microphones. The high quality built in audio recording means customers don’t have to carry around a separate recorder.
‘The new Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K is exciting because it packs so much technology into an incredibly small design,’ said Grant Petty, Blackmagic Design CEO. ‘We feel it will go well beyond what customers expected. It’s perfect for anyone that needs a truly professional ultra compact digital film camera.
‘This is not a consumer camera that’s trying to do high end work, it’s a true high end camera designed for high end work.’
It comes with a full licence for Blackmagic Design’s Emmy Award-winning DaVinci Resolve Studio editing, color, visual effects and audio post production.
With increased interest in 4K video, the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K is a product which could justify a place on the shelves of good camera stores everywhere! So far, Dragon Image and Lemac are the only photographic resellers who stock Blackmagic Design products, according to its website.