Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera puts raw video in your pocket

Blackmagic, maker of affordable 4K video cameras, has come up with a really interesting little US$995 HD camera that's designed to appeal to video enthusiasts.

(Credit: Blackmagic Design)

The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera is an interchangeable lens camera (ILC) about the size of an enthusiast compact — it lies somewhere between the Nikon Coolpix A and the Fujifilm X100S — and couples a 1920x1080 Super 16-size sensor (12.48x7.02mm) with a Micro Four Thirds lens mount. The latter is larger than the sensor, but with an adapter you can go nuts with Super 16 cinema lenses. Even better, though, the camera will support lossless 12-bit CinemaDNG files as well as Apple ProRes 422 (HQ). The company rates it with 13 stops of dynamic range. For comparison, that's better than a lot of old pro cameras; the Nikon D800 tests out at about 14.4 stops for stills.

The camera shoots 1080/30p and 24p/25p (as well as the unrounded frame rate variants) with built-in stereo audio. Jacks include headphones and mic input and a LANC terminal, as well as a micro-HDMI output.

One potential annoyance: the battery life is rated at about an hour, and it takes longer than that (1 hour and 15 minutes) to charge. The camera takes SDXC cards, though we can't find any information about recommended write speed; it would be interesting to know whether there's finally some demand for a Class 10 card, given the camera's bit rate of 220Mbps for ProRes.

(Credit: Blackmagic Design)

I've seen comments about this being a GH3 killer, but that camera also offers reasonable stills. Blackmagic has said nothing about still capture, and at 2.08 megapixels, I doubt it would deliver generally useful stills. However, it has the potential to shake things up a bit for those buyers, as well as people who might instinctively opt for a Canon 650D or 700D.

The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera is slated to ship in July.


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