So how is the new Pocket 6K camera from Blackmagic? It’s actually very similar to the older Pocket 4K camera yet it has a few key differences that make it stand out.
Overall the image quality is almost identical in both the 6K and 4K versions of the pocket cinema cameras. I say almost because even though the colors and dynamic range is identical the resolution alone does make a difference. The 6k sensor creates noticeably sharper and more detailed images. It also helps a bit in hiding the noise when shooting at higher ISO and low light situations.
I do like however that aside from the slightly bigger sensor and resolution I didn’t notice a difference in using the camera. When shooting with it over the last 3 days I at times forgot which camera I was holding because it felt so similar to the Pocket 4K. I say that as a good thing. The ergonomics, overall weight and size is great and of course the menu system is so fluid. Working with both the 4K and 6K pocket cameras is easy. It lets me concentrate on getting the right shots instead of worrying about the gear. That’s what a good camera is supposed to do. The only odd thing I noticed was with the optically stabilized lenses. When the camera was on as I was composing my shots, I could see that the image stabilization was not active in the lenses. But once I pressed record button it would suddenly activate. I am guessing it has something to do with power consumption. Afterall the battery life in this camera is similar or even a little worse than the Pocket 4K. That’s not a good thing. Of course there are work arounds to this as I have shown in my post about different battery solutions. I also noticed that once I powered the camera via the 12volt plug on the side then the image stabilization in the lenses would always stay on regardless if I was recording or not. Again I am assuming the engineers figured that once you are plugged into the AC adapter or an external battery bank, then you don’t need to worry about battery life as much.
Here are the low light tests I did of both the Pocket 4K and 6K cameras in 5K resolution. The reason why it’s still not in 6K because YouTube limits the 6K uploads and converts it automatically to 5K. If you want to see the original 6K file of this along with the RAW files then please click HERE.
Another minor thing I noticed is the limitations of the codecs. For example when shooting in either of the two versions of 6K (16:9 or 2.4:1 aspects) or in 5.7K or 2.8K resolutions plus Anamorphic, you are limited to only the BRAW (Blackmagic RAW) codec. Once you switch the resolution to 4K or HD it then defaults to Apple ProRes. I wonder if Blackmagic will be addressing that in a future firmware. For me personally this wasn’t a problem since I always shot in 6K and I also prefer BRAW format. Also if you are wondering about the 4K Apple ProRes format, it does actually use the whole sensor, so no cropping happening there.
Aside from that, the camera works as beautifully as the 4K version. I will be doing more tests as time goes on and I will let you guys know what other things I discover. If you have any questions for me or things you would like me to test out then please let me know by leaving a comment below. Thanks!
You can download some of the RAW video files to play with HERE.
Also I took some photos with the Pocket 6K camera which you can download HERE.
Here are some more sample shots I got with the Pocket 6K