The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Cameras are some of the most renowned cameras in the world (for their price point). We’re going to break down the pros and cons of each Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera, including the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema 4K, Blackmagic Pocket Cinema 6K, and Blackmagic Pocket Cinema 6K Pro. By the end, you’ll know the price, tech specs, and features of every Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera – and whether any of them make sense for you.

Note: all tech specs are taken directly from the Blackmagic Design website.

Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Cameras

Why choose Blackmagic cameras?

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Cameras are unique because of their price. Most popular (pocket) cinema cameras — like the Arri Alexa Mini ($36,000) and RED Komodo 6K S35 ($5,995) — are simply too expensive to buy. There are great video equipment rental options but if you’re looking to buy, you’re going to need deep pockets.

Today, there are three Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera models: the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K, the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K, and the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Pro — ranging in price from $1,295 to $2,495.

So without further ado, let’s break down the cameras in detail, starting with the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K.

BMPCC 4K Strengths & Weaknesses

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera K

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K (BMPCC 4K)

TECH SPECS
  • Effective Sensor Size: 18.96mm x 10mm (Four Thirds)
  • Lens Mount: Active MFT mount
  • Lens Control: Iris, focus and zoom on supported lenses
  • Dynamic Range: 13 Stops
  • Dual Native ISO: 400 and 3200
  • Shooting Resolutions: 4096 x 2160 (4K DCI) up to 60 fps; 4096 x 1720 (4K 2.4:1) up to 75 fps; 3840 x 2160 (Ultra HD) up to 60 fps; 2880 x 2160 (2.8K Anamorphic) up to 80 fps; 2688 x 1512 (2.6K 16:9) up to 120 fps; 1920 x 1080 (HD) up to 120 fps
  • Frame Rates: Maximum sensor frame rate dependent on resolution and codec selected. Project frame rates of 23.98, 24, 25, 29.97, 30, 50, 59.94 and 60 fps supported. Off-speed frame rates up to 60 fps in 4K DCI, 120 fps in 2.6K 16:9 and HD windowed
  • Focus: Auto focus available using compatible lenses
  • Iris Control: Iris wheel and touchscreen slider for manual iris adjustment on electronically controllable lenses, iris button for instant auto iris settings on compatible lenses
  • Screen Dimensions: 5” 1920 x 1080
  • Screen Type: LCD capacitive touchscreen

*Full tech specs can be seen on the Blackmagic Design website.

The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K, or BPCC 4K, is the cinema camera that ushered the Blackmagic product line into the era of movie projection resolution at 4096x2160 (DCI 4K). It’s not a perfect cinema camera (more on that in a bit), but it’s certainly one of the best options for those looking in the $1,000-$2,000 price range.

Here’s a great review on the Blackmagic Pocket 4K from DSLR Video Shooter.

The Blackmagic Pocket 4K is Insane, by DSLR Video Shooter

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K strengths:

Price: There’s no way around it: the greatest strength of the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K is its price. At $1,295, the Pocket Cinema 4K is just cheap enough to keep the average camera Joe in the conversation.

Utility: It may sound redundant, but if you’re shooting a multicam production, you’re going to need multiple cameras! Here’s the thing about 4K: you don’t need it for producing content. A lot of contractors (and viewers) are happy with 1080p; one: because it takes up way less storage and two: because it takes up a ton of bandwidth to stream. So, consider going multicam with the Pocket Camera 4K and shooting at 1080p resolution. 

HDR: the Pocket Cinema 4K has 13 stops of dynamic range. That’s pretty good for a camera in the $1,000-$2,000 price range. As a result, the camera generally receives high marks for shooting in light and dark. 

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K weaknesses:

Battery life: poor battery life is somewhat unavoidable in a cinema camera as small as the Pocket Cinema 4K. Blackmagic estimates battery life to be “approximately 60 minutes.” You can make of that what you will.

Not future proof: if you’re buying a cinema camera for the next 20 years, you may want to consider upgrading to the 6K model. Eventually, 4K will be replaced as the ultra HD standard. That’s not to say movies shot on Pocket Cinema 4K cameras will look bad – they’ll just be a generation (or two or three) behind the standard.

Four thirds: the Pocket Cinema 4K features a four thirds digital sensor and micro four thirds lens mount. That’s not a weakness per se – but it’s something to be mindful of, especially for those looking for a full frame camera.

Remember: a camera is only good as its operator makes it. The Blackmagic Pocket 4K offers a lot – it’s up to the user to maximize its potential.

BLACKMAGIC POCKET CINEMA 4K VERDICT

Conclusion

If you’re not sold on 6K, go for the Pocket Camera 4K — it’s a lot cheaper, but similarly powerful in terms of dynamic range.

Price: $1,295

BMPCC 6K Strengths & Weaknesses

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera K

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K (BPCC 6K)

TECH SPECS
  • Effective Sensor Size: 23.10mm x 12.99mm (Super 35)
  • Lens Mount: Active EF mount
  • Lens Control: Iris, focus and zoom on supported lenses
  • Dynamic Range: 13 Stops
  • Dual Native ISO: 400 and 3200
  • Shooting Resolutions: 6144 x 3456 (6K) up to 50 fps; 6144 x 2560 (6K 2.4:1) up to 60 fps; 5744 x; 3024 (5.7K 17:9) up to 60 fps; 4096 x 2160 (4K DCI) up to 60 fps; 3840 x 2160 (Ultra HD) up to 60 fps; 3728 x 3104 (3.7K 6:5 anamorphic) up to 60 fps; 2868 x 1512 (2.8K 17:9) up to 120 fps; 1920 x 1080 (HD) up to 120 fps
  • Frame Rates: Maximum sensor frame rate dependent on resolution and codec selected. Project frame rates of 23.98, 24, 25, 29.97, 30, 50, 59.94 and 60 fps supported. Off-speed frame rates up to 60 fps in 6K 2.4:1, 120 fps in 2.8K 17:9 and 1080HD
  • Focus: Auto focus available using compatible lenses
  • Iris Control: Iris wheel and touchscreen slider for manual iris adjustment on electronically controllable lenses, iris button for instant auto iris settings on compatible lenses
  • Screen Dimensions: 5” 1920 x 1080
  • Screen Type: LCD capacitive touchscreen

*Full tech specs can be seen on the Blackmagic Design website.

Perhaps the biggest difference between the Pocket 6K and Pocket 4K is its sensor size. The Pocket 6K (and 6K Pro) has a Super 35 (6144x3456) image sensor while the Pocket 4K has a full 4/3 (4096x2160) image sensor. 

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema camera K vs K

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema camera 4K vs 6K

That may sound benign, but it’ll likely influence all of your subsequent purchase decisions, i.e., lenses, mounts, etc.

There’s no question that the Blackmagic Pocket 6K can shoot some great content. Let’s take a look at some footage via a review by Potato Jet.

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Review by Potato Jet

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K strengths:

Super 35: the Super 35 image sensor is simply bigger than the four thirds sensor. Bigger doesn’t always mean better, but in this case, it does.

EF mount: the Pocket 6K’s Electro-Focus mount means you’ll be able to work with a wide variety of great Canon lenses.

Before we jump into the weaknesses of the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K, let me say this: mostly all of them have been solved with the Pocket 6K Pro. We’ll get to more on that in a bit.

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Weaknesses

Battery: what if I told you the Pocket 6K had the same exact battery as the Pocket 4K? That wouldn’t sound good, would it? But alas, it’s the truth. Blackmagic estimates approximately 45 minutes of battery life (recording 6K RAW at 24 fps to CFast 2.0 with screen brightness at 50%) on the Pocket 6K.

Software goodies: according to the Blackmagic tech specs page, the Pocket 6K only comes with Blackmagic OS; the Pocket 6K Pro on the other hand comes with Blackmagic OS, DaVinci Resolve Studio for Mac and Windows including activation key, Blackmagic Camera Setup, Blackmagic RAW Player, Blackmagic RAW QuickLook Plugin, Blackmagic RAW SDK, Blackmagic RAW Speed Test.

It almost seems like Blackmagic Design knew they could make a better version of the Pocket 6K after they released it — enter the Pocket 6K Pro. 

BLACKMAGIC DESIGN POCKET CINEMA CAMERA VERDICT

Conclusion

At $1,995, the Blackmagic Pocket 6K may be attractive enough to catch the eye of those interested in the Pro model’s features — but read on to see what those features are.

Price: $1,995 

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Review 6K

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema 6K Pro

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera K Pro

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Pro (BPCC 6K Pro)

TECH SPECS
  • Effective Sensor Size: 23.10mm x 12.99mm (Super 35)
  • Lens Mount: Active EF mount
  • Lens Control: Iris, focus and zoom on supported lenses
  • Dynamic Range: 13 Stops
  • Dual Native ISO: 400 and 3200
  • Shooting Resolutions: 6144 x 3456 (6K) up to 50 fps; 6144 x 2560 (6K 2.4:1) up to 60 fps; 5744 ; 3024 (5.7K 17:9) up to 60 fps; 4096 x 2160 (4K DCI) up to 60 fps; 3840 x 2160 (Ultra HD) up to 60 fps; 3728 x 3104 (3.7K 6:5 anamorphic) up to 60 fps; 2868 x 1512 (2.8K 17:9) up to 120 fps; 1920 x 1080 (HD) up to 120 fps
  • Frame Rates: Maximum sensor frame rate dependent on resolution and codec selected. Project frame rates of 23.98, 24, 25, 29.97, 30, 50, 59.94 and 60 fps supported. Off-speed frame rates up to 60 fps in 6K 2.4:1, 120 fps in 2.8K 17:9 and 1080HD.
  • Built in ND Filters: Four position ND filter with clear, 2‑stop, 4‑stop and 6‑stop IR ND filters.
  • Focus: Auto focus available using compatible lenses
  • Iris Control: Iris wheel and touchscreen slider for manual iris adjustment on electronically controllable lenses, iris button for instant auto iris settings on compatible lenses
  • Screen Dimensions: 5” 1920 x 1080
  • Screen Brightness: 1500nits
  • Screen Type: LCD capacitive touchscreen

*Full tech specs can be seen on the Blackmagic Design website.

The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Pro is basically the Pocket 6K but better in every way. You’ll immediately notice that the body of the camera is extremely similar to the base 6K model; same sensor size, screen dimensions, etc. But the 6K Pro differentiates itself in a few key areas. 

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema 6K Pro Strengths

Display: the 6K Pro in-body display maxes out at 1500 nits. That’s a whopping 3x as much as the max brightness of the most recent Macbook Pro displays. That type of brightness basically guarantees you’ll always be able to see your screen, no matter how bright it is on shoot. Oh, and it also tilts!

Built-in ND Filters: the 6K Pro features 2, 4, and 6 stop filters to adjust how much light gets through the image sensor.

New battery: the 6K Pro’s NP-F570 battery boasts 25% better performance than the Canon LP-E6 battery in the base 6K, according to Blackmagic.

Multi XLR support: the 6K Pro has two mini XLR analog, switchable between mic with phantom power support and line level (up to +14dBu).

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Pro Weaknesses

Price: the 6K Pro isn’t just $100 or $200 more expensive than the base model — it’s $500. The 6K Pro seems almost too good to be true. So: is it? Let’s listen to the perspective of the talented team at Film Riot to hear their opinions.

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Pro Review by Film Riot

It seems the 6K Pro combines the best aspects of premiere cinema camera features with an “affordable” price tag. Of course, you’re going to need accessories to maximize its utility.

BLACKMAGIC DESIGN POCKET CINEMA CAMERA VERDICT

Conclusion

The Blackmagic Pocket Design 6K Pro is a beast in the best way. Just be mindful that you’re probably going to need to spend an extra ~$1,000 to get your rig in tip-top shape.

Price: $2,495

Up Next

Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro & G2 

Want to see more products from Blackmagic Design? Read on as we break down the Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro and Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro G2. By the end, you’ll know what makes each product unique and whether one of them makes sense for you.

Up Next: Blackmagic URSA →
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