Way back in 2013, Blackmagic Design introduced the Pocket Cinema Camera, a compact camera with a Super 16 sensor that promised cinema recording quality in a body about the size of a Sony a6500. While it delivered high quality footage, many users acknowledged that it felt like a version 1 product, including frustrating issues like fussy behavior, short battery life, and inelegant ergonomics and controls.

At NAB in Las Vegas, Blackmagic finally announced the sequel many were waiting for: the Pocket Cinema Camera 4K. Video shooters will be happy to know that it's a significant upgrade at a very aggressive price point.

Blackmagic finally announced the sequel many were waiting for, the Pocket Cinema Camera 4K. Video shooters will be happy to know that it's a significant upgrade at a very aggressive price point.

The Pocket Cinema Camera 4K is built around a Four Thirds sensor with dual native ISO and a native DCI 4K (4096x2160) resolution, and will record DCI 4K at 60 fps and windowed HD (a native 1080 crop) at up to 120 fps in either 10-bit ProRes or 12-bit Raw formats. Various internal recording media are supported including standard SD cards, UHS-II cards, and CFast 2.0 cards.

What's potentially more interesting, however, is the option to record externally using the camera's USB-C port. Blackmagic claims it's the first camera that will let users connect media, like an SSD, directly to the camera's USB-C port for direct external recording. This means it should be possible to go directly from shooting to working on your computer without transferring data from cards. It seems like a brilliant, if not obvious, use for the USB port.

The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K. Image courtesy of Blackmagic Design

In addition to the USB-C port, there's also a full sized HDMI port that can output clean 10-bit video, a mini XLR input with 48v phantom power for audio, 3.5mm audio input, and a headphone jack. Power comes from a standard Canon LP-E6 type battery, and there's a locking DC power connector that protects the camera from being accidentally unplugged.

The camera's body is made from a carbon fiber polycarbonate composite to keep it both sturdy and light. It has a substantial grip and a top button layout similar to what's found on many mirrorless cameras, which should improve handling over the original.

Blackmagic claims it's the first camera that will let users connect media, like an SSD, directly to the camera's USB-C port for direct external recording.

On the rear is a large 5" touchscreen with 1920x1080 resolution for composition, viewing exposure parameters, and useful tools such as a histogram and focus peaking. Notably, Blackmagic doesn't mention support for waveform displays or vectorscopes.

As a bonus, the camera also includes a license to the full version of DaVinci Resolve Studio software, which normally sells for $300.

What may be most impressive is the price. The Pocket Cinema Camera 4K will sell for $1295 and be available later this year. We definitely look forward to getting our hands on this camera and testing it out.

Press release:

Blackmagic Design Announces Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K

Next generation 4K camera features dual native ISO, full 4/3 HDR sensor, 13 stops of dynamic range, and ProRes or RAW recording to internal SD/UHS-II and CFast cards, or even external USB‑C drives!

NAB 2018, Las Vegas, USA - April 9, 2018 - Blackmagic Design today announced the all new Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K, a handheld digital film camera with full 4/3 HDR sensor, dual native ISO with up to 25600 ISO for incredible low light performance as well as 13 stops of dynamic range. It also eliminates expensive external recorders, as 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 color correction. The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K will be available from Blackmagic Design resellers worldwide later this year for only US$1,295.

The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K will be demonstrated on the Blackmagic Design NAB 2018 booth at #SL216.

The revolutionary new Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K is the handheld digital film camera that customers have been asking for. It packs incredibly high end imaging and professional features into a portable and affordable design that can be used anywhere. The compact body style is perfect for shooting independent films and documentaries, fashion shows, travel blogs, web videos, weddings, corporate video, sports and much more.

The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K features a full size 4/3 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 MFT lenses so the crop factor is greatly reduced, giving customers a wider field of view. It also features dual native ISO with up to 25600 ISO for incredible low light performance.

The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K is packed with features such as a MFT lens mount, large 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. The latest Blackmagic Design color science lets customers 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 space age carbon fiber polycarbonate composite, the body of the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K is extremely strong and light. The carbon composite material consists of a high strength polymer that’s reinforced with carbon fibers. This gives the camera body incredible strength and rigidity to help protect it from accidental knocks and drops which can often result in damage. The handheld design features a multi function grip which has logically placed buttons and dials that allow super fast access to essential shooting functions such as recording start/stop, still photos, ISO, shutter, aperture, white balance, power and more.

Fourth generation Blackmagic Design color science lets customers shoot HDR images in film, video and new extended video modes. The new extended mode combines the latitude of digital film with an optimized video file. This gives customers working on fast turnaround projects an ideal solution for shooting great looking images that don’t need a lot of color correction or post production work.

Images can be recorded onto standard SD cards, faster UHS-II cards or CFast 2.0 cards in either ProRes or RAW formats. 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. That means customers can turn projects around much more quickly because they don’t have to transfer files. All they need to do is unplug the USB-C drive and then connect it to their computer to start editing.

The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K uses the same MFT (Micro Four Thirds) lens mount as the original Pocket Cinema Camera so customers can use the investment in lenses they already own. The MFT mount is extremely flexible and allows for different lens adapters so customers can also use 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 large bright 5 inch touchscreen that makes it easy to frame shots and accurately focus. It also uses the same Blackmagic OS as URSA Mini so customers can use simple tap and swipe gestures to adjust settings, add metadata and view recording status. 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 Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K also includes a full size HDMI connector which can output HDR video as well as a clean 10-bit video feed with optional on screen overlays. There’s also an innovative high speed USB-C Expansion Port for adding external accessories such as flash drives and an SSD for external recording. The camera uses standard LP-E6 batteries and can be charged via USB-C or the locking DC power connector, which protects the camera from being accidentally unplugged during a shoot.

“Customers love the original Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera and have been asking us for a 4K version,” said Grant Petty, Blackmagic Design CEO. “We’ve listened and built a camera that combines all of our newest ideas and customer feedback from the previous model! The new Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K is exciting because it packs so much technology into an incredibly small design. 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.”

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K Features

  • Full size 4/3 sized sensor with native 4096 x 2160 resolution sized sensor.
  • Compatible with extremely high quality Micro Four Thirds lenses.
  • Super wide 13 stops of dynamic range allows capture for high end feature film look.
  • Up to 25600 ISO for incredible low light performance.
  • Carbon fiber polycarbonate composite body which makes it lightweight, portable and durable.
  • Multi function grip for quick access to recording start/stop, still photos, ISO, shutter, aperture,white balance, power and more.
  • Built in SD, UHS-II and CFast card recorders.
  • USB-C expansion port allows longer duration recording directly to an external SSD or flash disk.
  • Standard open file formats compatible with popular NLE software such as 10-bit ProRes and 12 bit RAW.
  • Features full size HDMI output for monitoring with camera status graphic overlay.
  • Professional mini XLR input with 48 volts of phantom power for connecting to pro microphones.
  • 3.5mm audio jack, headphone jack, and locking DC 12 volt power connection.
  • Built in 5” LCD touchscreen allows accurate focus when shooting 4K.
  • LCD supports on screen overlays including status, histogram, focus peaking, and transport controls.
  • Records 4K images at up to 60 frames per second and windowed HD at up to 120 frames per second.
  • 3D LUTs can be applied for both monitoring and recording.
  • Blackmagic OS as used in URSA Mini and URSA Broadcast cameras.
  • 4th generation Blackmagic color science.
  • Supports remote camera control via Bluetooth.
  • Includes full license for DaVinci Resolve Studio editing, color, visual effects and audio post production.

Availability and Price

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K will be available later this year for US$1,295 from Blackmagic Design resellers worldwide.