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Blackmagic Design Unveils Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera

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Blackmagic's new Pocket Cinema Camera.
Blackmagic’s new Pocket Cinema Camera.

Blackmagic Design introduced its new Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera at NAB, a pocket-sized digital cinema camera that includes powerful features such as Super 16mm-sized 1080 HD sensor, 13 stops of dynamic range, built in SD card recorder for Apple ProRes, lossless compressed CinemaDNG RAW capture and active Micro Four Thirds lens mount. The camera is expected to ship in July for $995.

The new Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera has most of the features of its bigger brother – the original Blackmagic Cinema Camera, which was introduced at NAB 2012 – including its feature film look, but has been redesigned with a dramatically smaller size that is less than an inch thick and can be held easily in your hand.

This compact design allows the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera to be used in more situations where a larger camera would not be practical, or where a larger camera could be dangerous.

It features a standard Super 16 sensor size, making it ideal for Super 16 cine lenses via MFT adapters. The shooting experience is the same as using the same lens on a Super 16 film camera. The Micro Four Thirds lenses offer a wide range of low cost lenses, and they are compatible with mount adapters, such as PL mounts, for large lens and professional motion picture film rigs.

The camera’s 13 stops of dynamic range are comparable to Super 16 film, retaining details in the blacks and whites of the image. Once the shoot is complete, DaVinci Resolve Lite color correction software can be used to adjust images and take advantage of this extra range in the images.

The camera includes an SD card recorder that allows the full sensor dynamic range to be recorded in professional ProRes 422 (HQ) format, as well as 12-bit Log RAW lossless compressed CinemaDNG format. These files can be read by high-end video software as they are all open standard. In addition to the regular CinemaDNG RAW format, Blackmagic Design will also implement a QuickTime wrapper for the open standard CinemaDNG and companion codec, allowing the camera to record in a format that allows RAW editing in popular editing software.

The built-in LCD display helps focus, and allows playback of captured files. It also includes a built-in microphone, as well as external jack-based mic/line level balanced audio connections. When reviewing recorded clips, audio can be played through the built-in speaker and routed through the headphone port or micro HDMI output. The HDMI output includes all camera data such as timecode, transport control, shutter angle, color temperature setting and ASA information.

“This is an extremely exciting camera and it’s been amazing to work on,” said Grant Petty, CEO, Blackmagic Design. “Our original Blackmagic Cinema Camera was small, but this new model is so much smaller than the original. It’s going to allow shooting in situations that could never have been achieved at this quality level previously. It’s also going to be the camera that thousands of new up and coming cinematographers use as their first camera for their independent films.”

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