We've been waiting for what seems like forever to get our hands on the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K but it's finally here.
First impressions are kinda wow; you're going to need a big pocket as this thing is pretty large.
The old Pocket Cinema Camera was seriously small, way smaller than a DSLR and sans-lens would comfortably fit into a pocket. This thing about the same size as a DSLR, give or take a little on the width and depth.
We've put the 18-105mm kit lens onto our Nikon D7100 as it's about the same size as the VDSLR 50mm and Speed Booster on the BMPCC 4K.
The BMPCC 4K isn't quite as deep as the Nikon but it's certainly wider and doesn't feel anywhere near as compact in the hand, though the weight is around the same.
We'd like to call this the URSA Micro as it has more than a little bit of the URSA look about it and is certainly no pocket camera.
That aside; it does fit comfortably in the hand and is really stable to hold - in this regard it's much better than the old BMPCC as that was just a little on the too-small side when attached to a lens - so it's not that small but it's actually better this way.
Where's the Metabones?
We've used Metabones Speedboosters on our old BMCC 2.5K and BMPCC and have retained the latter for our BMMSC. Whilst looking for a new adapter for this camera, we found the Viltrox 0.71x mount adapter at a fraction of the price (~£70 vs ~£470) and based upon the glowing reviews of it, decided to try one out for ourselves.
The Viltrox looks pretty much identical to our Metabones adapters, it's sturdy and functions in exactly the same way. Optically (though based on very limited tests so far), it seems to be perfectly fine and we've been unable to see any issues in the resulting footage, so it seems to be an absolute bargain.
Recording to existing SSD drives
Since using the BMCC 2.5K our workflow has been to record directly to SSD and (after archiving) edit from the same drives with our Blackmagic MultiDock 2.
For 4K RAW, the BMPCC 4K has CFAST but also has a USB Type C port and supports recording to portable SSD (with the Samsung T5 being the most widely used right now) - with this in mind we thought we'd try an external USB 3.1 SSD enclosure in order to use our existing, high speed drives and maintain our current workflow.
The Inateck USB Type C 3.1 2.5-inch External HDD Hard Drive Disk Enclosure was just under £16 on Amazon.co.uk and with one of the SanDisk Ultra 3D SSD we use in the URSA Mini Pro inside records absolutely fine. We do have the BMPCC 4K set to stop recording if the card drops frame of course but so far, so good.
At this point in time, there's no Blackmagic RAW support for the BMPCC 4K which is disappointing but not entirely a surprise. Blackmagic Design have confirmed that the camera will receive this new codec so we'll all just have to wait until it's ready.
DaVinci Resolve Studio
We'd forgotten that it was said that the BMPCC 4K would ship with the full Studio version of DaVinci Resolve so seeing the license card in the box was surprising at the time, this really underlines what an absolute bargain this camera really is.
The BMPCC 4K has a 2-pin locking connector as external power input and other than the included PSU; there's no cable for external power options included.
You can also power the camera (and charge a battery) via USB-C (using a power bank for example; but not any power bank as the camera needs between 12-20V so make sure you account for this) but that's not exactly a professional solution and In order to power your camera from a professional standard external source; you need to buy the Blackmagic Pocket Camera DC Cable Pack (~£58) - this is something pretty much everyone will want to do as the internal battery just won't last long enough to get anything done.
The Cable Pack does include three cables though; a D-tap to 2-pin, 2.5mm barrel to 2-pin and 2-pin to fly lead to create your own custom cables.
It's quite understandable not to include a cable for this in the box though given the price of the camera and the fact that you can power and charge via the USB-C port but it is a minor inconvenience and you should be aware of this before you pick up the camera so you can add the Cable Pack to your order.
There's plenty of reviews online for this camera so we're not going to get into that, if we find anything that we feel that we should share then we certainly will, this is just our initial thoughts and initial setup and tests for the camera.
We plan to fly this camera on our Steadicam and we have some outdoor night shots in the New Year so we'll most likely post an update after that time.