GEAR REVIEW. BLACKMAGIC POCKET CINEMA CAMERA 6K G2
POCKET ROCKET On paper, Blackmagic’s 6K G2 looks a high-quality camera, but do we have lift-off?
WORDS AND IMAGES. Adam Duckworth T here are two ways of looking at the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K G2. You could consider it a major upgrade to the existing 6K ‘standard’ model. It keeps the same Super 35 sensor, but adds a tilting screen, longer battery life, Blackmagic’s latest Generation 5 colour science and a port for optional EVF and battery grip. Alternatively, you could consider it a cheaper Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Pro, with the built-in ND filters removed and a less bright screen, because that’s essentially what it is. The G2 uses all the technology – even the body – from the Pro model, including the mammoth five-inch LCD, much bigger than any other mirrorless or hybrid camera. And like the Pro, you need exceedingly large pockets to consider this a ‘Pocket’ camera. It also doesn’t cure any of the issues we had with the Pro and earlier 6K model. AF is old-school contrast detect, there is no autoexposure or IBIS and a substantial crop in fast frame rates. But what you are left with is a very attainable and impressive camera, which produces stunning images from its 6K Super 35 HDR sensor, and can be adopted for a broad range of applications. Blackmagic claims 13 stops of dynamic range and dual native ISO in this model. It records up to 60fps from the full sensor or 120fps windowed, using 10-bit Apple ProRes in all formats up to 4K, or 12-bit Blackmagic Raw in all up to 6K. These are recorded internally to a CFast card, or externally to a USB-C drive. The latter is becoming a very popular solution for Pocket Cinema Camera owners, and many accessory companies make rigs that let you attach popular SSD drives. However, using the USB-C port to record externally means you can’t trickle-charge the battery while shooting. The camera now takes Sony-fit NP-F batteries, which are plentiful and well-priced. THE BIG SCREEN A new, large touchscreen isn’t as bright as the Pro model’s, but it’s still good enough for most scenarios. The majority
of video-focused cameras now have fully articulating screens, whereas this only tilts. In many ways, the LCD sums up the camera’s design as a whole – it’s an odd mix of styles, but easy to get to grips with. Controls are clear, with a large Rec button on the top-plate and control dial on the front to adjust iris, if you use a lens with auto controls. We tried an AF-style Canon DSLR lens and set of Xeen CF Primes. These made much more sense, as it’s clearly designed as a cinema-style cam – not a fast-action, run-and-gun machine.
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