NAB 2018: Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K Adds Dual Native ISO for Better Low Light Performance

This week at NAB, Blackmagic Design announced the new Blackmagic Pocket Cinema 4K. The new camera uses a 4/3 HDR image sensor to capture DCI 4K video with up to 13 stops of dynamic range. It’s also the first camera from Blackmagic Design to feature dual native ISO, which should help improve the historically limited low-light performance in Blackmagic cameras. 

“Customers love the original Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera and have been asking us for a 4K version,” said Grant Petty, Blackmagic Design CEO. “We’ve listened and built a camera that combines all of our newest ideas and customer feedback from the previous model! The new Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K is exciting because it packs so much technology into an incredibly small design. We feel it will go well beyond what customers expected. It’s perfect for anyone that needs a truly professional ultra compact digital film camera. This is not a consumer camera that's trying to do high end work, it’s a true high end camera designed for high end work.” [image:blog_post:69456]

Dual Native ISO Should Improve Low-light Performance

The new camera can record DCI 4K, UHD 4K and full HD video at standard frame rates, with off-speed frame rates of up to 60 frames per second (fps) in DCI 4K and 120 fps in windowed HD mode. Supported codecs include 10-bit ProRes and 12-bit CinemaDNG RAW.

With the addition of dual native ISO, the Pocket Cinema Camera 4K can shoot at ISOs up to 25600, a significant improvement over its predecessor. Blackmagic Design also promises a reduced crop factor with a 4/3 sensor specifically designed to match MFT lenses.

On the Outside

The new Pocket Cinema Camera 4K is slightly bulkier than the original Pocket Cinema Camera but uses a carbon fiber polycarbonate composite for the chassis, which Blackmagic promises makes the camera both lightweight and durable. The grip has also been redesigned for improved access to key controls.[image:blog_post:69457]

The new model features a larger 5-inch touchscreen monitor with overlays for shot assist tools like histogram and focus peaking. 3D LUTs can be applied for both monitoring and recording.

Along with built-in SD, UHS-II and CFast card recorders, the Pocket Cinema Camera 4K includes a USB-C expansion port for recording directly to an external SSD or flash disk.

A full size HDMI port allows for external monitoring and recording, with support for HDR and clean 10-bit video output. Mini-XLR connections support professional microphones with phantom power. Other connections include 3.5mm audio jack, headphone jack and locking power connection. The Pocket Cinema Camera 4K uses standard LP-E6 batteries and is Bluetooth enabled for remote camera control.[image:blog_post:69465]

Key Features:

  • Full size 4/3 sized sensor with native 4096 x 2160 resolution sized sensor
  • 13 stops of dynamic range
  • 10-bit ProRes and 12 bit RAW
  • Up to 25600 ISO
  • 4K at up to 60 fps and HD at up to 120 fps
  • Built in 5” LCD touchscreen with on screen overlays
  • 3D LUT monitoring and recording.
  • Carbon fiber polycarbonate composite body
  • Multi function grip
  • Built in SD, UHS-II and CFast card recorders.
  • USB-C expansion port
  • Full size HDMI output
  • Mini XLR input with 48 volts of phantom power
  • Supports remote camera control via Bluetooth

Pricing and Availability

The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K will be available later this year for 1,295 dollars. Like other Blackmagic Design cameras, the Pocket Cinema Camera 4K comes with a full license for DaVinci Resolve Studio. For more information, visit

Nicole LaJeunesse
Nicole LaJeunesse
Nicole LaJeunesse is a professional writer and a curious person who loves to unpack stories on anything from music, to movies, to gaming and beyond.

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