The rise of mirrorless cameras has resulted in a massive shift in low-budget filmmaking. No longer are complex, massive camera rigs needed to achieve a film look, meaning that smaller, DSLR style cameras are flying off the shelves. When our production company was in the market for a small, 4K-capable b-camera with amazing colour science and production-ready functionality, the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K was a no-brainer. Let me tell you why.
- Film-like colour science
- Of all the test footage and short films I watched shot on mirrorless cameras, the image coming out of the Pocket consistently outperformed them all. I have heard that the sensor and colour-science was modeled after the ALEV-II sensor that has captured dozens of Oscar-winning films. Whether or not that is true remains to be determined, but of any camera I have seen anywhere near this price range, the Pocket blows them all out of the water when it comes to achieving a film-look.
- About the size of a Canon 5D, the form-factor of this camera allows for much greater production flexibility. We can mount this camera to a handheld gimbal with a small, lightweight lens and run around for hours shooting. Or mount it to a drone and you get a cinema-quality camera on a drone rig that isn’t going to exceed payload limitations.
- Despite its size and appearance as a still-camera, the Pocket contains enough production-ready I/O functionality to not leave you hanging on-set. It’s got XLR in, Mini-SDI and of course the common HDMI and USB out to record Raw. This means that with some extra rigging, it becomes a very capable A-camera on low-budget productions.
Of all of the cameras we own, this to me has been the most impressive in terms of look achieved for the price-point. It has some drawbacks for sure, but overall, Blackmagic has done well engineering a cinema-quality camera in a mirrorless form factor at a price point that can’t be touched by competitors from Sony, Panasonic and Canon. The image this camera produces always blows me away, so it has become a fixture in our camera-bag, you never know when you’re going to need it!