Blackmagic Design has announced two new cameras at the 2013 National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) show, providing both low and high-end alternatives to the popular Digital Cinema Camera it launched at last year's event. The Production Camera 4K is the beefier of the two devices and boasts some compelling features including an EF compatible lens mount, a Super 35 sensor, as well as 4K support. The Pocket Cinema Camera packs a Full HD Super 16 sensor into its slim magnesium alloy body, and offers some impressive functionality at a very competitive price point.
Blackmagic created a bit of a stir at NAB 2012 when the Digital Cinema Camera was unveiled – a US$2,995 device that offered some specs you'd expect to find on some much pricier devices. The new additions to the company's range of cinema cameras look to continue that value-for-money trend, with the lower-end Pocket Cinema Camera coming in at just $995.
The Pocket Cinema Camera, which is a less than an inch thick, features a Super 16 mm sized 1080HD sensor, 13 stops of dynamic range and Micro Four Thirds (MFT) lens compatibility. It has a 3.5-inch, 800 x 480 resolution LCD panel next to a four-way menu controller, both a built-in stereo microphone (though there's also a 3.5 mm input jack) and an integrated mono speaker, and features micro HDMI and mini USB ports. Like the Cinema Camera, the Pocket doesn't use custom video file formats, but uses open standard file types compatible with popular NLE software.
While the Pocket allows for 1080p HD recording at up to 30 fps, the more expensive Production Camera 4K will shoot high quality compressed CinemaDNG RAW and ProRes 422 files in 4K (3840 x 2160 pixel) resolution. The device, which comes in at $3,995, is fitted with an EF compatible lens mount, a professional global shutter and a larger Super 35 mm sized sensor.
The device records 4K video directly to a removable 2.5-inch SSD, meaning that you can connect it to your computer at the end of a shoot and edit straight from the drive. There's also a built-in Thunderbolt port and UltraScope software, allowing for real-time waveform monitoring, two analog audio inputs, and SDI video and audio out. As with the Digital Cinema Camera, the back of the device sports a 5-inch, 800 x 480 resolution capacitive touchscreen.
The Production Camera 4K is very well equipped for its price point. The Pocket Cinema Camera is a more modest offering than its big brothers, but its sub-$1000 price tag is likely to make it an appealing offering to budding film makers.
Both the Pocket Cinema Camera and the Production Camera 4K will be available for purchase worldwide this July.