Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Pro
Blackmagic Design has announced a new variant of the Pocket Cinema Camera 6K, adding the word "Pro" to the end of an already long name. This new camera has the same 6144 x 3456 Super 35 sensor and EF lens mount as the previous 6K, but adds a number of new features. Coming in at just $2,495 USD, it delivers a lot of camera at an amazing price. Read the press release here.
Rumors have been around for months of a new camera on the horizon, but they seemed to increase substantially in the past few weeks. Many people as well as myself were expecting an 8K camera, while at the same time saying that no one needs 8K. Perhaps Blackmagic agrees with that sentiment. What didn't transpire was a more compact cube type design like those from competitors Z CAM
and others. I personally find this disappointing but not surprising. Blackmagic's camera designs leave a lot to be desired. I find the traditional stills camera shape difficult to use on a gimbal or shoulder rig. While I have placed a pre-order for the 6K Pro, I doubt that it will be a camera that I keep for very long.
UPDATE: I cancelled my pre-order. I just don't have enough interest in this camera to spend $3k for testing. The ND filters are nice, but I really want to see a completely different body design from Blackmagic. A full frame 4-5k resolution camera with a box shape would be ideal.
The screen on the Pocket Cinema cameras has always been a nice feature, being large and touch-screen capable. However, it is also quite dim and the angle can't be adjusted. These issues are fixed with the new screen. It has a very bright 1500 nit rating and can now be angled up and down. It doesn't resolve the issue of being able to mount something like a v-mount battery behind it, but at least there has been some improvement.
The addition of a second mini XLR input seems to be in response to the Canon C70. I would identify that camera as a competitor to this 6K Pro, despite that the fact that the C70 costs more than twice as much ($5500 vs $2500). A persistent issue for me is the fact that all of the Pocket cameras' connections come out of the left side. As someone who often shoots on a should rig, that's a big problem. All of those cables stick out right where my head is.
Optional Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera Pro EVF
The new $495 USD electronic viewfinder is a welcome addition in my opinion. I prefer using EVFs over monitors because I can pull focus much easier with them. Large on-camera monitors are heavy, power-hungry, and can be washed out in direct sun no matter how many nits they are. An EVF doesn't have any of these issues. This Blackmagic EVF is designed specifically for the new 6K Pro. A nice feature is the proximity sensor that will turn off the rear LCD screen when your eye is against the EVF.
A new $145 USD battery grip has also been created for the Pocket 6K Pro. While it does provides additional grip, it really just extends battery life by holding two NP-F570 batteries. There are no additional buttons or controls like on other manufacturers' grips. The status of both batteries is displayed on the camera's screen and the batteries can be charged via the camera's 12V power input. I personally don't like how this product only further makes this cinema camera look like a clunky DSLR. I wish Blackmagic would instead create an accessory for mounting more professional batteries like v-mount and gold mount. This just makes an ugly design even uglier.