Pro Moviemaker May-June 2021 - Web

BLACKMAGIC POCKET CINEMA CAMERA 6K PRO GEAR version. This is an improvement, but you would need two or three batteries for a full day of shooting. The camera also accepts an optional £138/$145 battery grip that screws on to the bottomplate and takes two NP-F batteries, but still adds bulk. Thankfully, the new, large HDR

touchscreen now tilts, which is a big bonus. It’s bright and easy to use. However, many cameras have fully articulating screens, so it seems Blackmagic is one step behind again. The camera is an oddmix of mirrorless style and cinema camera controls, but one great addition is the built-in ND filters. At the touch of a button, the NDs can be set and are very neutral. They are proper, optical filters, rather than electronic trickery. It’s glorious to be able to change aperture for some thin depth-of-field by quickly dialling in ND, and it really speeds up the handling. The ergonomics take some getting used to, but eventually become very natural and easy. The controls are very clear – there’s a big Rec button on the top, and a control dial on the front to adjust iris. There are also buttons to change ISO and white-balance, and three customisable function buttons, ideal for setting things like false colour, the effect of the display LUT and frame guidelines. On the back of the camera is an instant autoexposure button and autofocus button, which uses the slow and old-school contrast detect

AF system. This is still a gripe we have, as is the total lack of any autoexposure settings and in-body image stabilisation. However, the clue is in the name. It is a real cinema camera that’s best used withmanual focus andmanual exposure, rather than a run-and-gun documentary machine. A push of the AE and AF buttons gets the focus and aperture to what the camera thinks is right, then you canmanually tweak to perfection. It’s very useful, and is found on lots of high-end cinema cameras. But the one-shot, contrast detection AF is worlds apart from continuous AF that tracks a moving subject, or an advanced phase detection system that can detect faces and do clever touch-to-focus

pulls. To track anythingmoving, it’s time for you to start practising manual focus pulls. There is also a punch-in focus button to zoom in on the scene to aid precise focusing, and a high frame rate button, as well as a menu button and playback button. Most of the settings can be changed using the large touchscreen menu, which is clear and obvious. You can personalise settings here, as well as select shutter speed or shutter angle – always the sign of a serious video device. When you hit record, all the main information is displayed around the outside of the screen, but you can turn it off for a clear view. However, there are no waveforms, only a histogram. Once you start recording, you can’t fail to be impressed by the codec options and the quality they are capable of. Blackmagic’s Super 35 CMOS sensor has dual native ISO, so acts like two different sensors. The base setting of ISO 400 is great for lots of detail in bright light, while the other is 3200 ISO and prioritises low noise. The Pocket Cinema Camera records to a CFast card, in up to 6K resolution, in Blackmagic’s own Raw format in 6K and 6K 2.4:1, 5.7K

TOTAL ECOSYSTEM Blackmagic not only makes the camera (above), but also the Da Vinci Resolve software (top), enabling the Raw files to be opened and edited or exported

STEALTH MODE Few people expect a camera that looks like this to be shooting video, so you can be a bit more incognito

“Blackmagic’s Super 35 CMOS sensor has dual native ISO, so acts like two different sensors - one for detail in bright light, the other to prioritise lownoise”



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