There was a time when higher performance cinema cameras were bulky and prohibitively expensive; the Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera shoots 1080p RAW, is small enough to fit in your pocket and costs under a thousand bucks. Who said living in interesting times was a curse?
Blackmagic Design’s new pocket monster shoots 1920×1080 RAW, packs a 1080HD Super 16mm sensor, a Micro Four Thirds lens mount (active) and a built in SD card slot for Apple ProRes. All the more impressive considering its slim form factor – the Pocket Cinema Camera is only an inch thick.
According to the manufacturer it captures lossless compressed CinemaDNG RAW video of a quality that is “almost identical to shooting on a professional Super 16 film camera” in full high definition at speeds of 23.98, 24, 25, 29.97 or 30fps. They call it “feature film quality.”
Without any hands-on experience or seeing any independent reviews, it is not possible to comment on the veracity of these claims – but if it delivers as promised the Pocket Cinema Camera could mean big things for independent film making. While Blackmagic Design is also preparing to drop a bigger, bulkier and more feature rich production camera for a mere $4,000, it is the Pocket Cinema Camera that caught my eye. The active Micro Four Thirds lens mount is a huge deal – because it opens the camera up to lenses from third-party manufacturers without sacrificing auto focus or stabilization.