INSANE CINEMA CAMERA in a TINY BODY for CHEAP – BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K Review

Views:11333|Rating:4.60|View Time:18:5Minutes|Likes:263|Dislikes:23
I was skeptical about BlackMagic Design launching a new Cinema camera with Micro Four Thirds in 2018 – but it has won me over! In fact, I’d like to have 3 to mount up in my studio if I could afford it. The Black Magic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K provides the best possible value under $2000 for a camera.

Thanks to LensProToGo for the lens and cage rentals. Save 15% with coupon EPOSVOX

★★ PRODUCT LINKS (Affiliate): ★★
Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 4K —
Samsung 500GB T5 Portable Solid-State Drive —
D-Tap to Power adapter —
Cheaper Power to Barrel adapter —
Blackmagic Design Mini XLR to XLR Audio Cables —
SanDisk 64GB Extreme PRO CFast 2.0 Memory Card —
Canon LP-E6N Lithium-Ion Battery Pack —
Sony Tough High Performance 64GB SDXC UHS-II V90 —
SanDisk 1TB Extreme Portable External SSD —
VILTROX EF-M2 Focal Reducer Booster —
SLR Magic Anamorphot 35mm T2.4 Anamorphic Cine Lens –

►► Referenced Linus video is from Sara Dietschy —

►►► Camera reviews playlist:

Thanks to BlackMagic Design for loaning me the camera for review.

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[Applause] and all of the initial launch hype and hubbub about the Blackmagic pocket Cinema Camera 4k was going on admit I was a tad bit skeptical even though I was someone who's primarily shot micro four-thirds for the past couple years now I was ready to move on I decided that it seems like the entire market was moving away from micro four-thirds and small sensors to trying to shove everything they can in full frame I still kind of wanted to be convinced and thankfully the good people at Blackmagic Design wanted to send me out a loaner of the pocket Cinema Camera 4k for me to check out for myself and I am fairly blown away if I'm honest this camera packs some of the best value you can get period for 1,300 bucks beats out pretty much every offering from Sony and Panasonic if you're into cinema cameras and not like vlogging or something like that which we'll touch on in a bit I also wanted to give you a huge shout out to Lin's Pro to go comm as well as Lin's Reynolds comm for hooking me up with this wooden camera cage system for the camera and some lens rentals for me to check out during the time with this review go check them out with the link in the description below if high quality lenses and they ship them in Pelican cases so that they stay safe and you can travel with them on your shoots and things like that they are pretty solid so let's talk about the specs of this camera for a moment you're looking at a 4/3 sized sensor measuring eighteen point nine six millimeters by 10 millimeters with 13 stops that was three hub dynamic range and an 8 dual native ISO at 432 hundred which can extend up to two 25600 but it is still a small sensor camera so low-light expectations should be tailored accordingly the camera features a normal SD UHS 2 slot and a C fast 2.0 slot and USB C SSD recording capability I opted for the USB C SSD option and a SD card because C fast to point out cards are just highway robbery price-wise IMO the camera can shoot Blackmagic Raw and pro res at DCI 4k or UHD 4k up to 60 frames per second and 1080p up to 120 frames per second if you don't mind a massive crop or window as they call it on the sensor unfortunately no full sensor readout at 1080p hundred 20 frames per second the camera has a standard micro four-thirds lens mount which can be adapted via a speed sir I've been messing around with ville trucks as 0.71 times EF mount adapter myself and it has full HDMI sy and a full size HDMI out a mini XLR and 3.5 millimeter inputs both for audio headphones rack and Bluetooth connectivity there's a dual built-in microphones for scratch audio they don't sound terrible but especially if it's being right where the hand grips I'm not sure I'd ever recommend them for actual like real audio use just for getting the required onset audio to sync things up this is a microphone test using the 3.5 milimeter input using the mobo it is a knockoff of one of the rode videomicro microphones ran into the 3.5 millimeter port this is a microphone test in my usual stand-up studio setup and this is a test using the XLR input with my DDS mic to ranan by a mini XLR adapter again phantom power applied in my normal recording space this is a microphone test so why yes this is a Micro Four Thirds camera the fact that you get direct raw and now within the time period of me reviewing this camera Blackmagic Raw with it which is way better and Pro res you can inherently get better video as long as you don't need continuous autofocus or stabilization out of this camera then you can any camera competing at the price point or at this sensor size pretty much period unless you're getting a really good deal on some very old raw cinema cameras which I don't even know of any that or this cheap as far as organ ahhmm expose it's not the best but it's pretty good it's got a very substantial hand grip here and I even made fun of it at the first NAB this was shown at because it looked like a body straight out of like the 70s or something as far as cameras go but it actually holds up really well they move to more lighter and lighter plastic so it's one of the lighter cameras that you can get aside from adding everything else to it to keep it stable and that's part of the problem is there is no image stabilization although you can get in lens stable as you can get stabilized lens of lenses of course and there is no continuous autofocus which for a cinema camera for the purposes of this it's not a huge deal but I do find myself missing it from time to time especially given that it is a smaller form factor and you'd expect it but if you get rigged up with a cage like this you can get a little bit more stable shots but the rig ability while far removing this camera from fitting in your pocket is a very strong point for it the whole camera is built with ergonomic Sande rigging in mind I owe on the same side ready to be mounted out of the way do I find the covering flaps an absolute nightmare to get out of my way when running multiple cables and you can buy cages or caged add-ons to secure the HDMI like shown here as well as secure the USB C port and lock your SSD into place to prevent it from being ripped off which can't happen this in particular does not come with or did not come with a wooden camera mount that I have but they do sell those individually that can just tap into your existing camera cage there are a quarter twenty two taps on both the top and bottom of the camera this means that there is no shoe mount but you can just add your own and it helps secure the camera into cages like this wooden camera one here then you can add microphones monitors whatever you need the cage also help keeps helps keep it more stable while shooting handheld though it's still not great this is something you can clean up by a post-production stabilization and a lot of cases though admittedly I really suck at this process and don't mess with warp stabilization much at all myself but I know plenty of people who can get away with it now my cage setup is quite simple if you look at someone like Brandon Lee's from Linus Media Group his bill help for this camera is insane there's a lot you can do with it the ergonomics also come in the form of buttons and control layout you have three custom function buttons so you can set to whatever you want false-color focus peaking zebras lutz things like that as well as dedicated buttons for white balance ISO shutter speed and a handy click dial so that you never need to actually touch the screen to adjust those settings if you don't want to or it's blocked by a battery or something dedicated buttons for photos for the stills and for recording or where you'd expect but there's also a second record button up closer to the lens mount although this one is a bit tough to hit backed by the screen you have buttons for iris and auto focusing though it's a one time thing not a continuous out of focus as well as high frame rate toggles punch in for focus checking menu and playback buttons things like that do keep in mind that the playback will only playback footage in the mode that you're currently in this is quite annoying but it seems to be the standard with Blackmagic cameras there's even a freaking tally light on the front to indicate when you're recording this is coming quite in handy for myself quite a few times now and it is a smaller sensor so it's not going to have amazing low-light performance but the low-light performance is pretty competitive compared to the Panasonic cameras I've been using for a couple years and it even sort of catches up a bit with my Ursa mini Pro which is my full fledged cinema camera from black magic however they are not the same sensor I've seen a lot of reviews implying that this is the same sensor just smaller somehow it's not at all the way it interacts with noise is different in things like that it is still pretty nice when you're working in pseudo low-light around ISO 800 or 1000 or so and raw mode things can start to get really noisy you can see for sure but things start to get noisy thankfully resolves noise reduction tools are freaking phenomenal and you can clean up a lot of that quite easily the screen on the back is absolutely beautiful it is super bright super crisp super clear and you get the nice touch screen interface with that same super intuitive operating system that is run on my are so many Pro which I am a huge fan of every setting is where you think it would be it's within a couple touches of your fingertips or the programmable buttons it is super great but the screen doesn't flip out that is the trade-off getting this this high quality of a screen and this big of a screen means that it's not going to go anywhere and I do miss that from time to time I personally have not figured out the workflow of working with monitors I just can't make it work for me I have a couple I use them for self shooting sometimes for seeing myself but if I'm shooting product shots or shooting other shots I can't make a monitor work for me personally it's just I haven't figured it out and so not being able to move the screen even just slightly off to the left when I'm on the side of the camera is a tad annoying an issue I did run into with the on screen display and what it can output via HDMI is there is no waveform monitor you just get a basic histogram to waveform no vector scopes things like that admittedly I'm not super advanced in my experience using a lot of on screen feedback can display things just yet I'm still learning however I do find the waveform to be extremely useful obviously I can still use a histogram and that works but for something that has so much flexibility and customizability I might have expected a waveform option to be present and you can either show it on the on on the on camera display nor on the HDMI out the same is true of my Ursa mini Pro as well now of course you can use a third-party monitor to show this and I use a little yo-yo 7-inch I do realize I mentioned that I can't make it work for me it's not ideal to use a monitor in my standard studio b-roll shooting environment compared to a non screen flip out display but I can use one from time to time and you can get that functionality back with a proper studio monitor but I did find it a little annoying because the customization that you can do if what you send to HDMI or to the LCD monitor and what you know which ones you go to both you can customize whatever you want to go to each so let's false-color zebras focus peaking clean display feed you can customize which one gets what so I you can either use it as a full-fledged monitor like I do or you can send a completely untouched feed out to a recorder like my Atomos ninja inferno and have the best of both worlds it's really cool I just wish the head of the waveform one other annoyance that I really ran into was the power system and I know a lot of people have complained about this but I've seen a lot of people defending it this has the most abysmal battery life out of any camera I have ever used in my entire life I had I had ended up purchasing like eight more LP e6 canon batteries for this camera because it just eats through them within like 30 minutes of at all use not just recording just power on use and if you leave them in the camera overnight when you turn the camera back on its gonna say that the battery's dead for some reason don't know what's going on with that now I do use a lot of generic batteries and that can affect this however it is absolutely abysmal now it does come with the little 12 volt 3 pin power supply here however I have not found any easy alternatives for hooking that up not only do can you not operate the camera while it's plugged in it's charging the batteries you don't get any indication that the batteries are charging at all or what that status is or anything like that and trying to find extra cables to convert to something else like to adapt to D tap or anything like that they're like 40 or 50 bucks for something that is just a couple wires and an end but even to just find a an end that I can cut off myself and solder solder I haven't found one that I could justify buying the costs for a two-week loaner it's kind of ridiculous and you can't charge and run it over USB while using it either or I mean you can but you use you lose the USB recording which is kind of important for that USB recording I no longer have it in my pocket here I've been using a SanDisk portable SSD via a USB C works phenomenally I don't even know if it's on their list they have a whole compatibility list of SSDs that work with it I highly recommend checking that out usually the Samsung t5 is recommended but my buddies over at Z cam for the zkm e to ever run into issues with it so I picked up the SanDisk one that they recommended for being a lot more stable and you get depending on your raw or ProRes setting you can get up to two hours of shooting out of that of a one terabyte SSD you can go full 4k 60p 1080p 120 P all through here at full raw or Blackmagic raw or ProRes settings so I was quite impressed I did however catch a bug in the latest Blackmagic camera 6.2 update for this camera it added Blackmagic raw but stills are still shot in D and G of course because that's a photo format after this update is still saved to my USB C SSD do not save properly normally when you take a still the record time indicator that says how much time is remaining will say still while it writes the still file and then you're good with my USB C SSD plugged in with this firmware update that doesn't happen and stills are saved as zero bytes and they're just not there I shot a lot of stills on the trip where I was you know getting the IRL footage for this camera thankfully just of stuff I was already shooting video of at least but I was still quite disappointing to see that they were missing if you just have a SD card N or presumably a C fast card but I don't have one to test that with you will say fine fine to that as far as I can tell it just writes it to that normally but as soon as you plug in the SSD it doesn't update it as far as I can tell this was not an issue with the original 5.2 firmware that this worship to me with so I have reported the issue to Blackmagic and hopefully it's fixed in the latest camera update whenever they put it out an alternative that I would like to see added here is the ability to tell it to write stills to the SD card and write video to the SSD or something like that but as is if you plug in an SSD it only reads I guess because that's the two fastest options it only reads the C fast slot and the SD s error the SSD via a USB C even if you don't have a C fast card in it doesn't let you have like interact between the SD card and the SSD only C fast and SSD it's really annoying let's talk about the software side for a moment this camera costs $1,300 but comes with a full license for the studio version of DaVinci Resolve inside with two activations that alone is a $300 value and well worth learning and using at least for your color grade I've been documenting my progress learning and using resolve on the channel and I love the node base color workflow and things like that even though I'm still technically a beginner at this point I've used the software for almost 50 video edits full video edits as well though I keep running into issues with audio in it particularly from OBS studio and other h.264 sources so switch back to just grading and resolve for now and editing and premiere for most of my videos though this review is edited in resolve but don't sleep on the software also the inclusion of Blackmagic Raw on this camera is an insane value I was originally going to be quite critical of BMD for not including it at launches that this would have been the perfect showcase for what black magic rock can do in the palm of your hands but it was already released while I was working on this video you can use this to get full 4k 60 raw written two SD cards packaged up in a single file and smaller than both cinema DNG RAW and pro res this is huge I've used both DNG RAW and Blackmagic raw and if nothing else the file transfer speed advantage of having one big file that can efficiently transfer quickly to my Nass versus a bunch of little files which always goes slower is a lifesaver I've used per res quite a bit on both this camera and my Ursa mini Pro but I prefer to stick to be raw this camera also can only shoot pro res in four to two modes which is still great but not the full for 444 XQ that the Ursa has so if you want full color space you want raw anyway Blackmagic Raw also supports full CPU and GPU acceleration on the time line and it's very blazing fast to use however if you don't want to use resolve at all there is a $30 plugin for premiere which allows support for it but I do hope Adobe implements it natively especially since black magic isn't making it free to do so however they don't even support cinema DNG RAW natively so what the hell Adobe I was also disappointed that there is no proper 4×3 Animoto anamorphic D squeezed mode in this camera like my Ursa mini Pro I understand why but I was too bumped I still use this opportunity to test out the SLR magic anamorphic 35 millimeter T 2.4 lens and have some fun with it but running at the full DCI 4k this stretches out to a full 8k wide image which is comically wide but the results can be quite beautiful admittedly I'm not the biggest fan of the specific lens on the whole but it was still fun to try out for the first time and get some pretty cool results overall I have some super big complaints about some functionality about this but regardless of that if you're looking into Micro Four Thirds cameras or mirrorless cameras in general and not going full-frame and you want a camera for around 1,300 bucks if you're not doing vlogging or something where you need stabilization pointing it at yourself autofocus anything like that I genuinely can't see an argument for buying any other camera other than this unless your workflow is specifically uploading straight off the SD card to whatever your delivery sources because pro res or raw you get phenomenally higher image quality and way more control over your image with every aspect of this camera and that's pretty crazy I look forward to what they do with Jin 2 because they've already just announced the Jin 2 of my Ursa mini pro which has improved a lot of things so I imagined into of this will be pretty flawless and yeah thanks to Blackmagic for sending a loader out for this full review and again they need a lens lens Pro to go I'm always gonna say this wrong lens Pro to go and Lindsay Reynolds comm for letting me borrow some lenses and this wooden camera cage so I could really put this to the test links to them will be in the description below as always hit the like button if you enjoyed subscribe for more tech education check out we've got patreon and reddits and discord servers everything now links in the description as he in the next one

30 thoughts on “INSANE CINEMA CAMERA in a TINY BODY for CHEAP – BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K Review

  1. I wish this camera would work for me, but it won’t. I’m a real estate videographer and so many things won’t work for me. The micro 4/3 crop factor already is a huge disadvantage for me. No screen articulation (not flip out, just some bending) also makes down low shots hard when I’m not using an external monitor. There doesn’t seem to be an amazing RAW workflow either as it’s limited to Davinci Resolve only. Guess I’ll have to stick with LOG for now :/

  2. Please can you post an advanced audio test? My BMPCC4K has insanely low audio levels on 3.5mm and I'm trying to figure iout if theres something wrong with it! How did you find the 3.5mm levels?

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