Blackmagic has lengthy been a proponent of constructing high-quality filmmaking gear and software program accessible to non-professionals – the corporate’s Pocket Cinema Digicam vary has been the primary exemplar of this method. Inexpensive and (comparatively) compact, these cameras supply workflow-friendly options, XLR mic inputs, and Blackmagic’s personal RAW codec.
The Blackmagic Cinema Digicam 6K (the ‘Pocket’ appellation has been dropped, even though the digital camera physique design and measurement stay the identical as earlier fashions) is the newest mannequin within the vary and the primary to supply a full-frame sensor, which it groups up with an L-Mount lens mount.
That guarantees improved low-light efficiency, plus the flexibility to shoot 6K footage ‘open gate’ (i.e. utilizing the complete floor of the sensor) – new capabilities that push the Cinema Digicam vary in contemporary and thrilling instructions.
That being mentioned, it additionally comes with some disappointments. In contrast to the Pocket Cinema Digicam 6K Professional, there are not any built-in ND filters. As well as, that digital camera’s skill to shoot 4K at 120fps has been downgraded right here, forcing those that need excessive frame-rate footage to drop the decision to plain outdated Full HD 1080p.
It additionally comes with fewer comfort options than most mirrorless cameras, lacking the likes of monitoring autofocus and USB energy provide. Execs flush with gear and accustomed to guide focusing seemingly gained’t thoughts an excessive amount of about these issues. Nevertheless, aspiring newcomers to filmmaking could really feel slightly out of their depth once they decide this up for the primary time.
Even so, the Cinema Digicam 6K delivers a heck of quite a bit for its worth, notably in terms of picture high quality – and that, for filmmakers, will nearly actually trump any usability shortcomings, making it among the best video cameras for the cash.
Blackmagic Cinema Digicam 6K: launch date and worth
- Physique solely listing worth: $2,595 / £2,199
- Non-compulsory EVF prices: $495 / £485
- Non-compulsory battery grip prices: $149 / £135
The Cinema Digicam 6K is obtainable proper now with an inventory worth of $2,595 / £2,199. That looks as if an accessible worth for a full-frame cinema digital camera able to 6K recording and geared up with high-quality XLR microphone inputs. This type of bang-for-your-buck affordability is typical of Blackmagic’s Pocket Cinema Digicam (now apparently simply Cinema Digicam) vary. After all, that doesn’t embrace two belongings you’ll want: an L-Mount lens and a CFexpress card.
Blackmagic presents a pair of optionally available equipment within the type of a $149 / £135 Battery Professional Grip (which may incorporate a further battery and thus lengthen taking pictures time) and the $495 / £485 EVF, a high-quality digital viewfinder.
Additionally value mentioning is that, as with earlier Blackmagic Cinema Digicam fashions, the Cinema Digicam 6K features a license for Blackmagic’s very good DaVinci Resolve 18 Studio video modifying software program. This prices round $295 / £260 if bought individually, so might characterize an enormous bonus for anybody who wants a high-quality modifying platform.
Value rating: 4/5
Blackmagic Cinema Digicam 6K: options and efficiency
- CFexpress Sort B card slot
- 1x 3.5mm and 2x mini XLR microphone inputs
- Gyroscopic knowledge for post-production picture stabilization
The Cinema Digicam 6K’s massive sensor requires an appropriate lens format, which it will get within the type of L-Mount, the 51.6mm-diameter bayonet system co-developed by Leica, Panasonic, and Sigma. Regardless of L-Mount solely being launched in 2018, there are presently over 50 full-frame lenses obtainable from the three founding producers, plus adapters that permit the becoming of a whole bunch, if not 1000’s, of third-party lenses. Customers of this digital camera will take pleasure in loads of selection in terms of creating completely different appears and fields of view.
Onboard recording is to CFexpress Sort B playing cards, that are quick, strong, and comparatively capacious. I used to be despatched a few 256GB playing cards with my evaluation pattern of the Cinema Digicam 6K and located that I might match roughly an hour of 6K footage on it. Curiously (and fairly annoyingly), I additionally discovered that I needed to take away the cardboard and insert it right into a card reader to get the footage onto a pc, because the Cinema Digicam 6K’s USB-C 3.1 port doesn’t assist this sort of direct connection.
The USB port does, nonetheless, assist an exterior recorder, so customers can join an SSD or flash drive to the digital camera and file on to that. It will also be repurposed as an Ethernet reference to the precise adapter, permitting for distant community management of the digital camera (one thing I wasn’t in a position to take a look at out).
One other characteristic I used to be anticipating the USB port to cowl is energy provide, as is the case on most mirrorless cameras lately. However no cube. For fixed energy provide, there’s a 12V DC enter, which is able to most likely go well with filmmakers who have already got the required gear however isn’t too pleasant to much less well-equipped newcomers. The USB does, nonetheless, assist inner battery charging through an influence financial institution, albeit solely when the digital camera energy is turned off.
Different connectivity features a full-size HDMI monitor output (which helps a 1080p/60fps cleanfeed – it’s not supposed for exterior recording), a 3.5mm headphone enter, and two sorts of mic enter: 3.5mm and 2x Mini XLR. You don’t see many mirrorless cameras with XLR included (those who do assist it require an adapter), so that is one space the place Blackmagic’s cinema digital camera focus reveals itself very clearly. There’s additionally an built-in stereo microphone, which data from both aspect of the lens mount.
Battery life is respectable. I acquired round an hour of 6K RAW recording out of a full cost however, for longer shoots, I believe a couple of additional NP-F570s will likely be required. They value round $55 / £45 apiece.
One factor potential consumers ought to word is that, like different Blackmagic cameras, the Cinema Digicam 6K lacks among the usability options seen in hybrid pictures/video cameras from the likes of Sony, Panasonic, Canon, et al. There’s no built-in picture stabilization right here (though it is going to embed gyroscope knowledge in footage, permitting you to simply and successfully stabilize footage in post-production) and no monitoring autofocus, whereas stills taking pictures capabilities are rudimentary at finest. You possibly can hit a devoted button to seize a nonetheless picture, but it surely comes out of the digital camera as a Blackmagic RAW file fairly than a JPEG and is, to all intents and functions, a single body of video (on the equal of 24.6MP).
Options and efficiency rating: 3/5
Blackmagic Cinema Digicam 6K: design
- 180 x 94 x 122mm in measurement and 1.135kg in weight
- Tilting 5-inch 1080p touchscreen
- Viewfinder is an expensive optionally available additional
The Cinema Digicam 6K’s design carefully follows its Pocket predecessors, to the extent that it’s nearly unattainable to inform the distinction. It’s constructed from onerous plastic and is vaguely DSLR-like in form, because of an enormous hand grip, rear display, and central ‘bulge’ proper behind the lens mount. It is considerably wider than most mirrorless our bodies and, at over a kilo and not using a lens hooked up, pretty hefty too. Even so, I by no means discovered it notably awkward to make use of, because of a intelligent management format and (with a Sigma 28-70mm zoom lens hooked up) well-balanced physique. The thick digital camera strap included helps too.
The bodily buttons are properly positioned to be accessible to fingers/thumbs simply, and properly labeled besides. 4 of them are user-customizable (three operate buttons and the autofocus button), and the touchscreen additionally supplies a superb UI menu permitting deeper settings adjustments and the like. The UI is geared in the direction of filmmakers, as you’d think about, and doesn’t observe the conventions of hybrid mirrorless cameras, however, after a little bit of adjustment, I discovered every little thing simple to seek out and rapidly tweak.
The aforementioned central bulge is the place you’d discover a viewfinder on most mirrorless fashions, however Blackmagic doesn’t embrace one right here. In order for you a viewfinder you’ll should shell out $495 / £485 for the optionally available additional (which I used to be despatched and is great), however in most circumstances, the display, which is brighter, sharper, and far bigger than the 3-inch shows on most mirrorless cameras, will do the job properly. The display tilts up 180º and down 47º however gained’t flip out or as much as face ahead or sideways, sadly.
Different notable design options embrace a front-facing tally lamp to point in-progress recording, and tripod mounting factors on the underside (two right here) and prime, which will also be used for attaching equipment.
Design rating: 3.5/5
Blackmagic Cinema Digicam 6K: picture and video high quality
- 6048 x 4032 open gate recording
- 400 and 3200 twin native ISO
- 12-bit Blackmagic RAW video codec
Video efficiency is the place the true worth of the Blackmagic Cinema Digicam 6K reveals itself. The digital camera data all footage in a proprietary 12-bit Blackmagic RAW codec, providing as much as 13 stops of dynamic vary, and helps quite a lot of resolutions from 6048 x 4032 (a 3:2 ratio open gate format) at as much as 36fps to 1920 x 1080 at as much as 120fps. It additionally options twin native ISO of 400 and 3200, which suggests low gentle footage must be higher than on earlier Pocket Cinema Cameras.
I performed round with quite a lot of resolutions, body charges, and ISO settings and was by no means lower than happy with the outcomes – as soon as I’d shade graded and corrected them in DaVinci Resolve 18, that’s. Footage appears flat and unexciting earlier than LUTs and grading are utilized, however leaps to life after a couple of minutes of tweaking – and the massive quantity of sensor data saved within the digital camera’s 12-bit information permits for lots of tweaking certainly. Even when recording video at evening, with scenes lit solely by lampposts and store indicators, I used to be in a position to obtain gorgeous-looking outcomes comparatively simply – and I’m removed from an completed cinematographer. Within the palms of 1, I don’t doubt that the Cinema Digicam 6K might ship outcomes which are actually worthy of the cinema display.
After all, not all content material is being made for cinema screens, and the open gate recording possibility is a welcome characteristic, because it means that you can shoot a scene then crop it in varied completely different codecs for various platforms after the very fact; you may even create 9:16 social media with ease utilizing this methodology.
Video high quality rating: 5/5
Blackmagic Cinema Digicam 6K: take a look at scorecard
|Row 0 – Cell 0||Notes||Rating|
|Value||Not low cost, however a very good worth for the spec||4/5|
|Design||Bigger than most mirrorless cameras||3.5/5|
|Options and efficiency||Lacking some usability options you would possibly count on||3/5|
|Video high quality||Impeccable 12-bit clips with incredible modifying potential||5/5|
Ought to I purchase the Blackmagic Cinema Digicam 6K?
Purchase it if…
Do not buy it if…
How I examined the Blackmagic Cinema Digicam 6K
I used to be despatched a Cinema Digicam 6K together with a viewfinder, battery grip, reminiscence playing cards and 28-70mm Sigma lens. I used all of them inside and outdoor over a interval of a number of days to shoot footage in vivid and low-light conditions. I additionally used a Panasonic 85mm prime lens that I already had for extra taking pictures, then edited and graded all my uncooked footage utilizing DaVinci Resolve 18 Studio software program.
First examined November 2023
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