Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K Hands-On Review

This is cinema5D, my name is Nino Leitner and this is a first look review of the
Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4k. This is only gonna be a first look
review, not a full one, because I only had the camera
for a couple of days. So, I’m sharing my first impressions
and what I think of the camera. I’ll start with the ergonomics
of the camera. First of all, as you can see this is a lot
bigger than the original Pocket camera. It fits nicely into my hands, but I know that a lot of people with smaller
hands might have problems using this, like the older one. Obviously, it’s not something you can
literally put in your pockets, you need some kind of bag
to carry it with you. Second of all, there is a big 5 inch
full HD display on this camera now. This is a beautiful display,
it’s really pristine, it’s quite bright, it’s not bright in a way
that you can use it outside on a sunny day without any shading, but it is bright enough
for most circumstances. Unfortunately, I think Blackmagic decided
to leave out a viewfinder, which they also haven’t included
in the older Pocket camera, which of course will be a problem
for you if you’re farsighted and you can’t actually see
the screen properly up close. But considering the price of this camera,
it’s still an amazing value having a screen like this inside the camera. For this review I use the 8Sinn cage, one of the first cages for this camera
on the market. It’s very lightweight, comes with
a lot of mounting points and it also comes with
a detachable handle on top. Second of all, and this also comes down
to the handling of this camera, the menu design of Blackmagic
is just one of a kind. it’s so much better than any of the menus
from all the Japanese camera manufacturers, I can’t even stress this enough. it’s very simple, it’s very straightforward
to find your way around the menu, you don’t need to read any manuals,
you will find everything within a minute, and this is something we’re not
used to from other manufacturers. This is a camera that has a very similar form
factor to other mirrorless cameras on the market, but it’s only made for video,
this is not a photo camera. And this is actually great. Because of course everything is designed
around shooting video with this camera. There are no functions that
will get into your way which are not thought for the
cinematographer, for the videographer. This is really made for video. I already mentioned the very nice screen, but one of the problems of that
screen is that it’s not a tilt screen, it’s not flippable and it’s not even tiltable. this is one of the issues that I had using
this camera for the last couple of days, you immediately wish
that there was a way to actually tilt it up when you
have the camera down below or tilt it down when you have
the camera up here. I don’t necessarily need a flip screen,
like the GH5 series has, but I at least would want to have a tilt
screen, like the Sony a7 series has, because in everyday shooting conditions
this is something you need all the time. What really sets this camera
apart are the shooting options, the codecs, the resolutions, that
this camera can record internally in such a small and also
inexpensive package. And it’s really alone in the market with this. You can record ProRes HQ, ProRes 422,
ProRes LT and ProRes Proxy, as well as DNG RAW inside this camera. That means 12 bit video images
inside such a small body. And this is something that nobody
else offers on the market. As internal recording media the Pocket Cinema 4k uses C fast cards
as well as very fast SDXC cards. Alternatively, you can even connect
an SSD via a USB C. Just be aware that this eats a lot of battery
and it drains your battery much faster. The audio options in this camera
are quite nice as well. With adapter cables you can have mini
XLR to full size XLR with this camera and there are also two stereo microphones
built into this camera on the left and right side of the lens. The only issue I have with this is that… your fingers are literally touching
the microphone all the time, so the positioning could really be better. It sounds quite nice for b-roll audio
but you just have to be aware that your fingers will touch the microphone
if you hand hold it like this. One huge advantage is now
you have off speed recording, you have high frame rates. With this camera you can shoot up to 60
frames in 4k and 120 frames in Full HD. when you switch to full HD you
have to select the ‘Crop Sensor’ mode in order to be able to select
the 120 frames per second. so you lose a lot of field of view
that you have if you use the full sensor with
up to 60 frames per second. Now, let’s talk about the downsides
of this camera. If you compare the autofocus mode
of this camera with the autofocus modes
in modern mirrorless cameras, this falls a bit short. There is no continuous autofocus
with any lens, There’s only a tap autofocus, which means you can tap on the screen
and it will focus to where you tap, but it is a one time single focus, which means it will search the
focus, hopefully stay in focus, it’s not very good in my opinion,
it’s probably contrast based. And other companies like Canon and Sony have a better way of focusing
with autofocus here. So, this is a little bit of a shortcoming. Another huge downside of this
camera is power management. and that is a much bigger one than the
autofocus issue that I just talked about. If you were a user of the original
Pocket Cinema Camera you will also remember carrying around
a backpack full of batteries to get through one shooting day. This camera literally ate batteries, and I think you needed a new one
every 20 minutes or so. With this one it’s a little bit better. It uses the Canon LP-E6 standard, which is the standard that was
in the 5D Mark II, mark III and many other Canon cameras. So the likelihood of you having a couple
of those batteries still at home is very high. The downside is: the power management
of this camera still isn’t very great. Which means I usually got through 35 to 45
minutes shooting with one of those batteries. And that’s not good at all. But an even bigger issue
than the bad battery life is the fact that the camera will
simply shut down without warning if it reaches below 20% of charge
capacity on one of those batteries. And I also found a very odd behavior
with these batteries. You would think that the original
Canon batteries would work best, but again, below 20%, sometimes 15%,
sometimes 8%, the camera shuts down without warning and the worst is you will lose the clip
that you just recorded. That clip is not safe, it’s just not there. And this is a huge issue that Blackmagic
really has to improve in my opinion with a firmware update. The power consumption itself is something they probably cannot
enhance at this point in time without changing the hardware, but they are still quite new as a camera company
and I’m sure they will improve eventually. we were just all hoping that it would be
better by this point in time already. In the beginning I was also mentioning
the amazing display in this camera, which is really great. As well as the interface itself. Everything around it is very nice
and very intuitive, but because the interface design is so good,
there is one flaw that really annoys me. When you are in the Playback
Mode of this camera and you have the display overlays
switched on, you will see display overlays that are not
actually relating to the clip that you’re watching. The timecode that you’re watching is the timecode that you’re watching
of the clip that you see right now, but the ISO and the shutter values and all the other values are not
relating to what you’re watching. So, it’s very very confusing. This is something that Blackmagic
just has to change and I don’t know why this slipped
under their radar. Because it’s so obvious to me. I already talked about ergonomics
and handling. One thing that I forgot
to mention is the fact that the buttons and how they arranged is really really nice. They really did their homework there. You have three function buttons
up here on top which can be assigned to whatever
function you need very often. You have a full size HDMI which is
something you only have on the GH5 other than this camera,
which is very nice. I also quickly tested all the ISO values
to compare the levels of noise. as you can see there are quite a few
ISO values to choose from. As expected, the image is very clean
at the two native ISOs of 400 and 3200. That also means that ISO 2500
is not as clean as ISO 3200. In my opinion, the noise is acceptable
until around ISO 6400 at least, but I would go even higher for
documentary shooting purposes. As opposed to some other
Blackmagic cameras in the past, I couldn’t see any apparent
sensor patterns, and the evenness of noise means that
this footage can be de-noised easily using DaVinci Resolve. That’s in theory, because
we didn’t try this yet. Now, to wrap up this first look review of
the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4k let’s go back to our studio and talk to
our technical expert Gunther, who did a dynamic range measurement
of the sensor of this camera and compared it to other cameras
in the market. Let’s go have a look. So, now we’re here with our technical
expert Gunther Machu, Hi Gunther. -Hi Nino. You already tested the dynamic range
of the new Pocket Cinema Camera 4k. This is something that a lot of
people have asked about. So, first of all, please explain our technical
methodology of how to measure the dynamic range, because at cinema5D we’ve been
doing this for many years now and I think people need to understand
how it’s actually done. -Absolutely, yeah. I was myself very curious actually to test the dynamic range of the new
Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4k. I’m an avid user of the old Pocket Cinema
Camera, I use it every day almost. So, I was very curious about that and let me first briefly explain
the philosophy that we have. We test with the Xyla 21 step chart. It has 21 patches, that’s
the Industry standard and I think it’s the most objective
testing device that is out there. And the philosophy we have is we test
the camera, we film this chart and then we let the Imatest
software analyze the patches. The software will analyze each patch, will calculate the root mean
square value of the noise and then it gives you different results. And then it’s up to you to decide which
result of the noise you still find acceptable. -Where the noise gets too much where
we think it’s not acceptable anymore. Which is always different from what
the manufacturers say, of course. The manufacturers have of course a high interest to give you the highest
possible dynamic range value. But we at cinema5D in the last years already
have used a rather stringent criteria. what we say is we look at
the signal-to-noise ratio of 2, which means the signal value still has to
stick out of the noise floor of the camera. There’s also a DIN standard out there
for still photography, and the DIN standard defines
a signal-to-noise ratio of 1, which means the signal is spread
inside the noise floor. We feel that that’s not appropriate
for motion cameras, and this is why we use
a signal-to-noise ratio of 2. And this gives then a very good
usable result in the field. And for everybody who is interested in
more details about this whole procedure, there is a very nice article that you wrote
which we recently published on cinema5D, we will link it in the description below. So, please click this link
for a further explanation on how the actual dynamic range
tests are done in detail. So, let’s move on to the Pocket Cinema 4k
in terms of dynamic range. What are your findings? -Well, initially I tested the old Pocket
camera with this philosophy, and in ProRes and RAW as well
I got 11.2 stops of dynamic range, which is a very good result, actually. So, I was very curious to see how
the new Pocket camera would fare. And what I found was it has
11.6 stops in ProRes. -So, half a stop better. -Which is a very good result. So, the 13 stops that Blackmagic
claims are quite accurate, but cinema5D is more stringent, we
take this signal-to-noise ratio of 2, so, it’s 11.6 stops for our criteria. But 11.6 is a very good result if we
compare it, for instance, to the Sony a7s II it has 10.6 stops. Okay, so actually the Pocket Cinema 4K has
one stop more compared to the a7s II, which is arguably the most popular
mirrorless camera on the market. -Exactly, and also if we compare it
for instance to the GH5s camera, where many people claim it’s supposed
to have the same sensor, actually I doubt that, seeing the results. -Okay, you think it’s a different
sensor to the GH5? -At least how the signal is processed
by Blackmagic is completely different, I don’t know if it’s the same
sensor or not. But what we see from
the dynamic range results is that at ISO 400, which is
the native ISO, the first native ISO and then there’s
the second, 3200, that 400 ISO this Blackmagic has
11.6 and the GH5s has 10.7. So, almost a stop more at ISO 400
than the GH5s. -Interesting. And at ISO 3200, that’s the
second native ISO of this camera, the results with the GH5s become
very similar, around 10.4. So, you lose about a stop at ISO 3200. -Okay, thank You Gunther. And thanks everybody for watching, please do subscribe to cinema5D’s
YouTube channel. There is more content coming regarding
the Blackmagic Cinema Camera Pocket 4K, I never know where the Pocket goes. And many other cameras, please
stay tuned and see you soon.

Comments 100

  • Nice early review of the new BMPCC4K.  As the reviews start piling up in the days and weeks ahead it will be interesting to see how the rig performs in various situations and in the hands of people of many different levels of filmmaking expertise.  Interesting results with your methodology of measuring dynamic range.  It might be below the 13 DR as advertised by BM but it's still pretty impressive as compared to the competition.

  • Auto-focus is never used in professional filmmaking. That's only a con if you're a YouTuber. But if you're gonna come out here to L.A. to do filmmaking, please do not use auto-focus.

  • somebody should design battery pack for it .

  • now do a Nikon Z7 , Z6 video

  • El mejor review que he visto hasta el momento. Muchas gracias

  • The footage never looks bad, but I haven’t seen it look amazing or beautiful. Anyone making creative stuff yet with it — lots of review footage so far.

  • Well, I didn't request the dynamic range comparison (I'm new to this channel) but I love it because I needed it and I didn't find it anywhere else. Best first impression I have ever seen. Subscribed…

  • they give u all kind of frame rates/iso and tech stuff but not a single image is rich and magical like alexa .. i have bmpcc and have tried all kind of luts , it always look faded to me . also motion is unlike ccd , i am happy with what i have for now , unless someone comes with organic sensor which will have lush color and deep blacks.

  • What about URSA mini Pro 4.6K dynamic range? Does it really has 15 stop of dynamic range?

  • Just got the cam. The plastic lid for the battery compartment pops out very easily, just pressing the handle more tightly leads to the lid opening. Anyone experienced same issue with it? The lid doesn’t look faulty or anything so I thing it’s a construction issue…

  • which gimbal can we use with this?

  • 14:23 … Your ISO's are the same, but that's not scientific at all because the sensors are not the same. BMPCC4k ProRes records more highlights than raw or standard due to alternative processing method to grant more range artificially, making it closer to an ISO of 450… Using ProRes also clips your highlights severely making them irrecoverable if you try to expose for shadows (notice your brightest square is clipping, where as GH5's brightest square is very well inside range) Had you increased the gain on the GH5 in post-production to match the result of the BMPCC4k (or reduced the gain on the BMPCC4k similarly to match the bright square of the GH5 in post), the DynamicRange would have been much more comparable.

    Great video otherwise.

  • Wait… WHAT? the BMPCC4K has more dynamic range than the Sony A7sII and the GH5s???
    Anybody else here find that believable?

    @cinema5D do y'all have any video clip comparisons online? I have the GH5s and the GH5s from manufacture says about 14 stops or so.. now i know you said in this video you do a different method but how does the BMCC4K have more? by the way with the GH5s low light sensor added?

  • 11:00 just a native German 😀

  • Hello Nino, I was chacking your DR past tests and I found that you tested the URSA Mini 4.6K at ISO 1600, considering it to be native, which is wrong since it is ISO 800. Could you please test that again with the correct parameters, maybe with the URSA Mini Pro?

  • I just filmed a music video with the Blackmagic Production Cinema Camera (also 4K). Check it out if you'd like a comparison with this. Also, any feedback on the grade etc. would be welcome – I'm still new to filming (being a musician first and foremost).

  • How is it working handheld? Would be awesome to know if you can use it handheld, without to much shaking 🙂

  • Can you use a battery pack or a USB charger to charge power the camera or are the LPE6 batteries the only think that can power it.

  • This video makes me so glad that I went with the GH5s.

  • Haha I just live around the corner of that place 😛 Think I saw you the other day

  • Camera getting hot

  • Some panasonic site says native iso in v log is 800/5000 iso

  • what is lapel mic u using?

  • So much wrong with your review, however, what bothered me the most were these two points;

    1) The camera doesn't LITERALLY eat batteries.

    It's a cinema camera you can take out in the street without a rig and it's compact, it's not mean to be used entirely and solely on battery power, it's a bonus that it can run on batteries.

    2) of battery power is lost, you lose the last 1-5 seconds of your last clip, not the entire clip.

    There is at least one review proving this to be the case.

    Just received my BMPCC 4K. I was bored today, so…Just having fun with it..

  • is it me or those guitars sound like pianos?

  • Great feedback. A lot of hate for a camera that costs half of my GH5 and its successor.

  • Great review. After many stumbles, glitches, and releasing products in beta, it seems like BMD finally delivered in spades. Well, as long as you're willing to wait a little while. LOL.

    Still, looks like dollar for dollar, feature to feature, the best camera in existence.

  • Thank You very much. Thats a very good and helpful review!

  • Black Magic doesn't treat customers with respect. I think that to me, makes their products terrible, regardless of the "specs".

  • Looks like you guys filmed a cult that was just about to throw in the towel on life.

  • Muy buenos días al equipo de "cinema5D" que hace posible esta gran producción, y gracias por atender mi mensaje.

    Aprovecho la valiosa oportunidad que me el contar con su atención para formularle una pregunta que ayude a resolver una inquietud que tengo.

    ¿Que configuración de equipo de cómputo necesito para la "postproducción" de este tamaño de archivos que arroja esta cámara
    Estaré atenta.

  • wow it's a dream..

  • This is such a helpful video. Thank you cinema5d. A question. I want to start a vlog and I'm starting with my phone but I'm saving for a video camera. I'll mainly be vlogging, doing interviews and explained videos. Occasionally shoot landscapes and that good stuff. Would you recommend the Black magic pocket cinema camera 4k for what I want to use it for or would you recommend something else for that price point or less?

  • Really dislike the haze or flare or whatever is showing up in the shots of him in front of the fountain. Very distracting.

  • do you think this has the same quality of Ursa mini pro?

  • Greetings from Seychelles, Excellent review thanks.

  • Now I want to know what the ISO guy was saying.

  • DUDE! – Amazing review :O Thank you so much for making this

  • Tutte le Blackmagic sono splendide, costruite benissimo e molto pratiche, ma hanno il difetto di creare un'immagine a tinte pastello, colori sbiaditi che non mi piace per nulla.

  • The camera does not need a sterile 5-axis stabilizer! I'm already sick of the perfect horizon lines. The camera should breathe and not be in a digital cage! So far so good! Thank you Black Magic and cinema5D!

  • Pocket Cinema Camera 4K

    External Recording

    Video Output 4:2:2 10-Bit via HDMI: 1920 x 1080p at 23.98/24/25/29.97/30/50/59.94/60 fps
    Raw Output USB:
    4096 x 2160 12-Bit at 23.98/24/25/29.97/30/50/59.94/60 fps
    3840 x 2160 12-Bit at 23.98/24/25/29.97/30/50/59.94/60 fps
    1920 x 1080 12-Bit at 23.98/24/25/29.97/30/50/59.94/60 fps

    Video Output 4:2:2 10-Bit via HDMI means, should we use external monitor link ninja atoms?
    Raw Output Via USB means, should we use external SSD?

  • You uploaded a review about a 4K camera in HD…..(face palm)……….

  • What's the best cage for this camera

  • "If you are far-sighted you might have trouble viewing the screen".

    Good lord what a moronic thing to say – the entire channel is now -50 IQ, all thanks to you.

  • Nice review, next time we need the Niagara Falls behind so we wont be able to hear a damn thing about the product 😀

  • how does the dynamic range compares to a7III ?

  • ǝmoƨǝwɒ ƨi oǝbiv ƨiʜT

  • I'm an amateur filmmaker and this is right in my price range. What are the pros and cons of this versus a DSLR?

  • What do ya'll think, when is BM releasing the follow up of the pocket WITH ND filter and flip screen as they did with the URSA and half a yr later they released the the pro version with all the fixes?

  • What mic were you using here? Great review, thanks!

  • HERE'S THE BATTERY SOLUTION. I've checked the physical size and have found, if a 3rd party company will manufacture a Battery Grip for this camera, it can actually hold 3 LPE 6 Batteries with room to spare. The battery grip needs NO other controls, Simply a 3 Slot Grip. That will give the user a reliable Total continuous Run Time of around 94 minutes.
    Whom ever creates it first? At a price point around $ 200 U.S., WON'T be able to manufacture them fast enough.
    i Guarantee it.
    Someone Do This Very FAST….

  • There is a fantastic tutorial on the Pocket 4K menu structure at
    It is 2hrs 13min long but gives a wonderful insight to all the settings and other info to make this camera shine.

  • Does it run hot?

  • What lens did you use in this video? It looks good

  • As one can change the ISO and White Balance with any variant of RAW clips being played back internally on a Blackmagic camera having those displayed during playback can be quite useful for shot setting evaluation.

  • Excellent video with clear English comments.

  • thank you for the effort and the sharing. i played with the bmpcc4k at b&h and very much liked the ergos. i look forward to battery solutions that folks come up with. as to recording media, how fast does the cf fast, sd and external drive have to be? would an external 1tb ssd be enough for a day's shoot at prores? thumbs up.

  • Is it available in India?

  • 6:37 "The camera literally ate batteries" … Figuratively, you mean.

  • For those who think that BMPC4K is very cheap for its capabilities. For professional use you need to buy 2 cameras because it can break at any time. Black magic cameras are very unreliable. So multiply the price of the camera by 2 and get ready for the fact that one you will send to the service periodically.

  • Man 4 Advertisements per video is ridiculous, makes it seem your pressed for money. Sad

  • The German guy is incorrect.. The GH5s has 14 stops dynamic range in Hlg…som.its more than black magic.

  • A sponsored vid but so much ads wtf

  • Cancel your B&H BMPCC4K orders (see why)

  • Is it possible to control the camera via ATEM? If yes, how can I focus? Zooming is only possible manual per hand, isn´t it? Thank you for your comments …

  • soy el unico al que le sale el titulo y la descripción en español aunque el video se en ingles…. alguien sabe si es un error o como quitarlo para que todo salga en el idioma que se escribió?

  • The comparison with the dynamic range of the sony a7s is wrong. The sony is in slog2 which is the profile with the least dynamic range. They should have tried it with cine 2 or cine 4. with those profiles they sony a7s have the same dynamic range and it's full frame, and doesn't have all the bad thing this camera has.

  • The technical analysis at the end of the video is the best part. Very good video overall anyway! 😀

  • Can I make a full length feature film with this camera? Please let me. On my mail box. [email protected]

  • The crop factor when i use a m4/3 sensor is 2X. Right? How much the crop factor in Full HD 120fps?

  • Blackmagic cinema pocket camera 4K vs Panasonic GH5S @


  • You said Sony A7sII's dynamic range was 12 stops in your June 2016 article comparing the canon 1dc vs canon 1dxmii. Why the change?

  • Informative evaluation, and honest. Thank you for your efforts on behalf of the global community. Now, let's hope Blackmagic Design can make enough of these cameras to sell to those who STILL want them … before something better come along. : )

  • I'm at a debacle to resolve. The Black Magic 4k or the Panasonic Lumix S1, or the Fuji X-H1.

  • What's the music on this?

  • Lens flare much? Can't concentrate with it.

  • It's a great review but the constant adds are just so annoying. I know you need these to monetise the clip but there's just too many adds.

  • Don’t trust BM company! They are liars! I’ve preordered mine BMPCC4k on 5 November 2018 and still nothing! NOTHING! Where is my BMPCC 4K?!?
    Hey guys from BM you are a total liars! Hope everyone will go and buy Canon or Panasonic or Sony or whatever people want. You don’t deserve your customers!

  • Blackmagic p̶o̶c̶k̶e̶t̶ Backpack Camera. 😁

  • you don't really need to have a picture mode with this camera when you can just freeze a perfect frame using your video software.

  • A bit of a unfair low light test using a f1.2 lens….most people don't have a f1.2 lens. A f2.8 or f2 is a more realistic low light test.

  • After all, while it is not easy to shoot video with my Canon 5D Mark IV, without having all this expensive gear attached to it, I am still finding it having less of really important issues that this Blackmagic Pocket has. Probably, for getting to a really good filmmaking, you need to invest even more money for making this camera really usable. It’s all a business for selling expensive gear! But on the other hand, if you want it all really in one package, buy the Canon XF705, but the price tag is very heavy!

  • This camera is fantastic but they will not sell it anymore because its fantastic.

  • 14:50 Yes, thank you, Gunther, for the dynamic range tests!!! That's exactly what I wanted to know, especially versus the a7S II that I have.

  • I had to pause the video to tell you– this is the best made, most effective, most efficient and informative video I've ever seen on youtube!

  • Question Is….How much?

  • Have you tested the dynamic range of an Alexa, or any Red camera? It would be interesting to see how big the difference would be to this camera…

  • A tilt rear screen would have been handy.

  • Can you use this body only? or do you need to add a lens to this? The cameras being sold in the UK are body only.

  • Why the Dynamic Range measurements are not made with RAW instead of ProRes?

  • The bullt in Mikrofone and the 3.5mm Mic Input have an to low Audio Level, this is bullshit. With an external Preamp and 3.5mm line Input is good.

  • follow me too ya,thanks

  • Been looking for the comparison at 12:24 everywhere, thank you so much!

  • there's some strange artefact by de upper left corner on 0:30… anyone else saw that???

  • 13:45 Personally think the Sony A7sII appears to have more stops since the first two stops in their test are not washed out and could possibly been included. GH5 is at least one stop more too.

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