Blackmagic Design adds vertical video support for Pocket Cinema Cameras

Blackmagic Design has released a new update for its cinema camera series. The Blackmagic Camera 8.1 firmware update adds a range of new features, including vertical video support for the company’s Pocket Cinema Cameras.

Vertical video

The Blackmagic Camera 8.1 firmware adds support for vertical aspect ratio video to the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K, 6K, 6K G2 and 6K Pro models. The on-screen HUD rotates so that critical information, such as frame rate, shutter angle and frame guides, are easy to view when the camera is on its side. You can also choose to rotate the display automatically or lock it in vertical or horizontal mode. In addition, your clips are automatically tagged as vertical, so they appear correctly in the timeline when you import them into DaVinci Resolve. You can switch on frame guides for aspect ratios such as 9:16 and 4:5 so that important details stay in the shot.

More Pocket Cinema Camera updates

The Blackmagic Camera 8.1 firmware has also changed the stills capture format from CinemaDNG to Blackmagic RAW for the Pocket Cinema Camera 4K, 6K, 6K G2 and 6K Pro models. You can also now capture Blackmagic RAW reference stills while recording and during playback. There are also lens and autofocus performance enhancements and some bug fixes. In addition, for the three 6K Pocket Cinema Camera models, the update has increased the horizontal resolution of the 2.8K 17:9 format from 2868 to 2880. It has also added smoother auto iris changes with supported EF lenses.

Other updates from Blackmagic Design

The Blackmagic Camera 8.1 firmware adds support for the new Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 12K OLPF model. It also improves compatibility with Zeiss Milvus & Otus EF lenses for the original Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 12K. In addition, the updated Blackmagic RAW 3.0 adds support for automatically rotating vertical video clips and the Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 12K OLPF.

What we think

It’s no longer good enough just to shoot vertical videos on your smartphone. The increasing demands of social media require high-quality videos shot on professional cameras. Therefore, it’s great that the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Cameras now support vertical video. Even if you don’t want to shoot vertical video just yet, you should update your cameras for the other new features and bug fixes.

Pricing and availability

The Blackmagic Camera 8.1 firmware update is available for download from the Blackmagic website now.

Pete Tomkies
Pete Tomkies
Pete Tomkies is a freelance cinematographer and camera operator from Manchester, UK. He also produces and directs short films as Duck66 Films. Pete's latest short Once Bitten... won 15 awards and was selected for 105 film festivals around the world.

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