“Spend some time processing its Raw files in Resolve and nothing comes close to this quality at this price”
in bright light, while the other is based around ISO 3200 and prioritises low noise. This camera records to a CFast card at up to 6K resolution with Blackmagic’s own Raw format in 6K open gate and 6K 2.4:1, 5.7K in 17:9, C4K, 4K, 3.7K anamorphic and 2.8K in 17:9. Or record in various ProRes 422 settings, C4K, 4K or HD. The most rapid frame rate is 60fps, but off-speed frame rates are allowed. There is 120fps slow motion in 2.8K 17:9 Raw or HD ProRes scaled from 2.7K. But the crop factor at this speed is 3.388x, which is a lot. It might work for wildlife as it gives your lenses huge reach, but this comes at the ultimate expense of image quality. The camera is more at home on a tripod in the middle of a film set – or in a studio, where it integrates perfectly with Blackmagic’s live broadcast and streaming ecosystem. Dual native ISO is good for low light, and 13 stops of dynamic range is ideal for HDR. There’s a full-size HDMI socket to output clean 10-bit ProRes, two mini XLR inputs with phantom power for professional mics, built-in LUTs, plus timecode and zebra pattern for monitoring. One issue shooting Raw is the enormous file sizes. However, the 6K Pro allows you to select different compression levels for its Raw files from 3:1 right down to 12:1 if you keep the bit rate constant, or four levels from Q0 to Q4 for consistent quality. This is a trade-off between file size and quality. But shoot in 6K and even the most compressed files give stunning resolution. You can get around an hour of recording time on a 256GB card at 6K, but recording 4K or lower in ProRes gives edit-ready files that are easier to handle, and usually save on space. The footage shot in Raw at 6K is really incredible, with lots of detail, natural colours, neutral skin tones, heaps of dynamic range, virtually no moiré and very little rolling shutter. Noise only starts to become noticeable at ISO 6400 or above. Spend time processing those burly Raw files in DaVinci Resolve, and nothing approaches this quality or resolution anywhere near the price. Get cinema-standard footage that – almost – fits in your pocket.
It isn’t the camera for fast-paced run-and-gun documentary users, instead suiting more considered works focusing on image quality. This is a solid, impressive camera with a 6K Super 35 HDR sensor offering 13 stops of dynamic range and dual native ISO. It records up to 60fps from the full sensor, 120fps windowed using 10-bit Apple ProRes in all formats up to 4K – or 12-bit Blackmagic Raw in all formats up to 6K. This records internally to a CFast card, or externally to a USB-C drive. The USB-C port can also be used to trickle-charge the battery while the camera is running. The new easy-fit viewfinder is a real bonus as, previously, you’d have had to fit a pricey external EVF. It slots straight into a port on the top- plate and costs £546/$495 for what is an elegant solution. The large HDR touchscreen now tilts, which is a big bonus, but it doesn’t fully articulate. The Canon LP-E6 battery has been dropped for a Sony-fit NP-F version, and the camera also accepts an optional £162/$149 battery grip which screws onto the bottom-plate and takes two NP-F cells. One great addition is built-in ND filters – proper, optical filters rather than electronic. The ergonomics take some initial getting used to, but become natural quickly. On the back of the camera are instant autoexposure and autofocus buttons. It’s slow, old-school contrast-detection AF, and there’s no in-body image stabilisation or autoexposure settings. In this way, it acts like a real cinema camera that’s best used in manual focus and manual exposure, rather than a do-it-all mirrorless. That one-shot, contrast-detection AF is worlds apart from continuous AF that tracks moving subjects, or an advanced phase-detection system that can detect faces and do clever touch-to-focus pulls. Most settings can be altered using the large touchscreen menu. You can change all the settings here, as well as selecting your preferred shutter speed or angle – always the sign of a serious bit of kit. Blackmagic’s Super 35 HDR sensor has dual native ISO, so acts like two different sensors. One base setting of ISO 400 is great for loads of detail
DESIGN WINS The big touchscreen is easy to use and the mini XLR jacks are a godsend for audio (below)
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