Blackmagic’s 4K cinema camera fits in your hands, and budget

Blackmagic Design is known for high-end digital film cameras and now the company has a 4K shooter that will fit in more budgets — and hands. The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K, announced on Monday, April 9, during the National Association of Broadcasters Show, is a $1,295 Four Thirds cinema camera packed into a design more similar to a handheld still camera. The launch comes as Blackmagic also shared a major update to the DaVinci Resolve 15 software.

Building on the original Pocket Cinema Camera, the refreshed model brings 4K resolution to the budget-friendly camera line. The bespoke sensor is specifically designed for cinema offering a native aspect ratio and resolution of 4,096 x 2,160 to meet the DCI standard. The sensor also benefits from dual native ISO — just like another MFT camera, the Panasonic GH5S — for low-light shooting along with 13 stops of dynamic range. The camera can record in 4K resolution at 60 fps, or in HD at up to 120 fps. With an emphasis on professional filmmakers, both 10-bit Apple ProRes and 12-bit RAW formats are offered, along with the ability to work with 3D LUTs while monitoring and recording.

The Pocket Cinema Camera 4K is still meant to be portable and flexible, however, and doesn’t need external recording equipment. It can save files — including RAW video — straight to internal SD or CFast 2.0 memory cards. Alternately, it can also record directly to an external hard drive via USB-C, an industry first according to Blackmagic, bypassing the need for expensive external recorders.

With 13 stops of dynamic range, the camera can shoot HDR in both video and film modes. An “extended video” mode offers the increased latitude of film mode, but in an optimized file that doesn’t require as much postproduction work. Blackmagic also integrated its fourth-generation color science, which the company claims offers superior quality to both DSLRs and even costlier cinema cameras.

All of this tech is crammed into a camera body about the same size as a standard mirrorless camera, making it perfect for weddings, independent films, sports, corporate videos, travel, and more. Blackmagic calls the design  “space age” thanks to an advanced carbon fiber and polycarbonate composite construction that helps ward off damage from minor bumps and drops. The camera is a bit wider than the still cameras it is modeled after in order to accommodate a 5-inch touchscreen. In the DSLR-like grip you’ll find dedicated, physical controls for ISO, shutter, aperture, and white balance. 

Video ports include a mini XLR audio input, HDMI, and a 3.5mm stereo audio jack. Audio can also be captured through four built-in mics. Bluetooth is also built-in.

The active Micro Four Thirds mount is compatible with standard MFT lenses from Panasonic, Olympus, and other manufacturers. Optional adapters allow for the use of lenses from other brands and formats to be used, such as Canon EF, Nikon F, and even PL-mount cinema lenses. Autofocus is available with some compatible lenses.

The camera includes a full license for DaVinci Resolve Studio 15, video editing and coloring software that was also updated today. Blackmagic says Resolve is now the first postproduction program to combine online and offline editing all the way through editing, color, collaboration, and visual effects. That’s because the software adds a new Fusion panel for controlling visual effects, including paint, composing, particles, and text. The change strengthens the software’s approach to all-in-one video editing rather than separating apps for audio and graphics controls, Blackmagic says, which helps create a faster workflow.

The updated software includes 250 new visual effects tools along with over 100 other updates across the board, including 3D, VR, collaboration network rendering, and other tools. DaVinci Resolve 15 is available to download now as a public beta. Without a camera purchase, the full version retails for $299.

Product Review

Gate’s Smart Lock is locked and loaded but ultimately lacks important basics

In a world of video cameras and doorbells comes the Gate Smart Lock, a lock with a video camera embedded. It’s a great idea, but lacks some crucial functionality to make it a top-notch product.

The best budget-friendly GoPro alternatives that won’t leave you broke

Cold weather is here, and a good action camera is the perfect way to record all your adventures. You don't need to shell out the big bucks for a GoPro: Check out these great GoPro alternatives, including some 4K cameras, that won’t leave…

The Xiaomi Mi 9 is the powerhouse smartphone 2019 has been waiting for

The Xiaomi Mi 9 is the brand's latest phone, and it's a real powerhouse. It comes with a Snapdragon 855 processor, a triple-lens camera, a new in-display fingerprint sensor, and a new design. Here's what you need to know.

Samsung’s working on an invisible camera that hides behind a phone’s screen

Samsung envisions an "invisible" camera that hides behind a phone's screen, without any compromise on the way it operates, replacing the current hole-punch camera seen on the Galaxy S10.

Forget folding phones, the Insta360 EVO camera folds in half to shoot 360 video

The Insta360 EVO is a...flip camera? Unfolded, the Insta360 Evo shoots 3D in 180 degrees, folded, the new camera shoots in 360 degrees. The EVO launches with what are essentially a pair of 3D glasses for your phone, not your face, the…

Obsbot Tail camera uses A.I. to follow the action (or a pet) for you

Want to capture more epic action selfies, or see what your pet is doing while you're gone? The Obsbot Tail is a camera-gimbal combo that uses artificial intelligence to follow the action.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Write music with your voice, make homemade cheese

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Social Media

Twitter takes a cue from Instagram and Snapchat with new quick-swipe camera

Twitter is giving the "what's happening" treatment to photos and video by allowing users to access the in-app camera fast enough to catch and share the moment. The new Twitter camera is now accessible with a swipe.

The Lensbaby Composer Pro II with Edge 35 mimics tilt-shift blur for less cash

Want to create a tilt-shift image on a budget? The new Lensbaby Composer II with Edge 35 mimics the look of a tilt-shift lens for under $500. The new Edge 35 optic is part of the Composer Pro II optics system.

Loupedeck Plus can now edit video, audio with Final Cut Pro

The list of Loupedeck Plus-compatible software is growing. The photo-editing console now works with Final Cut Pro and Adobe Audition for video and audio editing. The controls can be configured to be used on either platform.

Photography News: Taking a smartphone photo probably saved this guy’s life

A man was snapping a photo in Australia when the smartphone stopped an arrow shot at his face. In this week's photography news, see Canon's plans for a stabilized mirrorless, Hasselblad's newest accessories, Samyang's latest lens, and more.

Nvidia’s A.I. Playground lets you edit photos, experience deep learning research

Nvidia is making it easier to access information on deep learning research. It has launched an online space with three demos for image editing, styling, as well as photorealistic image synthesis. 

Paper designs digitize in real time using an Illustrator-connected paper tablet

Love graphic design, but prefer the feel of real paper? The new Moleskine Paper Tablet - Creative Cloud Connected syncs with Adobe Illustrator in real time, turning paper sketches into digital drawings.

Insta-checkout? New Instagram service lets you shop without leaving the platform

Shopping on Instagram no longer means leaving the platform to checkout in a web browser. Instagram checkout launched in beta today with a handful of retailers, allowing users to checkout without leaving the app.