The Cinema Pocket product line by Blackmagic Design is facing a significant problem. The competition has very good, more compact cameras with many advantages in their lineup.
Examples of this are:
- The lens mount. Blackmagic traditionally uses the Canon EF-Mount, which Canon is phasing out. Many people are looking to sell their old lenses, making EF-Mount lenses very affordable in the used market. Therefore, if someone buys a Blackmagic Pocket Cinema 6K, G2, or Pro, they are investing in an inexpensive but outdated system, which may still be suitable for many years of use. However, lenses with the new RF-Mount produce much sharper images and have significantly faster autofocus when used as photo lenses.
- The Blackmagic cameras are heavy. Very heavy. While they are comfortable to hold, they consume a lot of power. Power management has always been an issue with the Pocket Cinema 6K. Even with in-camera batteries, the maximum battery life is around 8 to 12 minutes, based on my experience. That’s just laughable. Blackmagic has made some improvements with the G2 and the Pro versions, but the battery life is still inadequate. Using an external battery becomes necessary, which poses a problem for certain shooting scenarios.
- Inconvenient handling on a gimbal. Adjusting the Blackmagic Cinema Pocket 6K cameras with lens, additional battery, audio gear, cage, etc., is cumbersome. In contrast, using a camera like the Sony 6700 or similar is much easier and quicker to setup and to balance.
- Autofocus is not present in the Blackmagic Pocket 6K series models. Even though the function exists to select a focus point on the camera’s touchscreen, it takes a significant amount of time to achieve focus, making it impractical for gimbal shots.
There are Lidar systems available that enable autofocus with manual lenses, but they are relatively expensive, starting at around 450 euros, and require a DJI Ronin 3 Pro for configuration. Operating without a gimbal is possible, but since I don’t want to upgrade to a DJI Ronin 3 Pro, this solution is not suitable for me.
- The HDMI output of the Blackmagic Pocket provides a maximum resolution of 1920×1080 pixels. Remember, the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema 6K cameras are supposed to be 6K cameras, as the name suggests. Outputting a video signal in FullHD makes this camera only partially usable for me.
Despite all the criticism, the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema 6K, G2, and Pro are fantastic cameras. However, they are no longer up-to-date. Allegedly, Blackmagic is already working on a new, smaller, and completely overhauled version of the series, as the current cameras are becoming less popular. In my opinion, it is now a great time to enter the film industry at a very affordable cost, especially when it comes to purchasing lenses. Personally, I prefer to invest in new systems.