New company Nexus Cameras has announced its plans to produce a box-shaped Blackmagic cinema camera. The first project being developed by The Nexus Project is the Nexus G1. This will be based around a rehoused Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 6K.
What’s wrong with the current design?
Blackmagic Design’s cinema cameras have a well-deserved reputation for delivering great image quality. However, the form factor of the company’s cameras has divided opinion amongst filmmakers. The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K resembles the design of a mirrorless photography camera. However, it is much larger to accommodate the camera’s built-in 5-inch screen. Despite its size, the Pocket 6K balances well when handheld, but the shape makes rigging out more awkward and bulky.
As a result, a core of filmmakers has been asking Blackmagic Design to produce a cinema camera with a box form factor, more like RED’s camera range. Blackmagic does have one similar product, the Micro Studio Camera 4K G2. However, this camera is intended for broadcast use and would need a lot of add-ons to turn it into a cinema camera. Tired of waiting, brothers Thomas and Timothy Boland, along with industrial designer Brian Boland, have set out to deliver a box-shaped Blackmagic cinema camera.
Thomas Boland said, “The more we rigged the Blackmagic Pocket 6K to fix the problems it had, the more problems the rigging and external accessories caused, which limited creativity in other ways. Such as the need to constantly break down and modify rigs for different movement setups, problems with controlling the camera via the screen blocked by a battery, the weight which makes gimbals impossible to use for long periods without cumbersome support equipment, and the extremely wide body which made the camera hard to mount in tight spaces or on gimbals, to name a few.”
The Nexus Project’s Nexus G1 will be built around a composite material body, using both polymer and machined aluminum elements. The aim is to deliver a camera that is lightweight while maintaining high strength. This housing will then have the internal components from a disassembled Blackmagic Pocket 6K cinema camera installed. The Pocket’s 5-inch touchscreen will also be rehoused as an external display you can mount on the top or side of the Nexus G1. In addition, the body design incorporates a 3.5-inch full-color touchscreen display for controlling the camera.
The Nexus G1 will utilize the Pocket 6K’s active EF lens mount. However, you will also have the option to unbolt this mount and replace it with something called the Nexus Multi-Mount. No further details have been released about the Multi-Mount yet, so it will be interesting to follow this feature as The Nexus Project develops.
The Nexus G1 will be powered by a rear-mounted mini or micro V-mount battery. This should resolve the poor battery life issues which have been a common complaint with Blackmagic’s cameras. The Nexus G1 will also feature a built-in electronic ND filter, which is another often-requested feature. All of the Pocket 6K’s input and output ports will be available, including the CFast 2.0 card slot for recording media. In addition, there will be an optional SDI input/output module for those who need more professional connections.
What we think
At the time of writing, the Nexus G1 is only a concept with an impressive 3D-rendered video. However, development work is ongoing, and Thomas Boland has ambitiously set a provisional launch schedule of mid to late 2024. If the developers can deliver the project, then the Nexus G1 will be the Blackmagic camera that a lot of filmmakers have wanted for a long time. There’s also the issue of pricing, which means the Nexus G1 is likely to be a specialist camera, rather than a mass-market product. Even so, it’s going to be an interesting project to follow, and we will keep you updated on the developments over the coming months.
Pricing and availability
As the Nexus G1 is still in development, no official pricing details have been released. However, it’s been reported online that the company hopes to sell the camera for around $3,000. This is $1,000 more than the retail price for an off-the-shelf Pocket 6K. However, Nexus Cameras may also launch a cheaper DIY kit for people who want to rehouse their own camera.