There’s not too much to criticize about the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera Pro 6K, in addition to its cumbersome name. An array of well-thought-out features and a focus on video first make it the perfect stepping stone between traditional mirrorless shooters and high-end cameras, if you can beat its heavy weight and average battery life.
An affordable Pro plan
The BMPCC 6K Pro uses a Super 35mm sensor that has been one of the most popular sensor formats for filmmakers for decades. Although it’s technically smaller than full-frame sensors, it’s comparable to the APS-C sensors you’ll find in many cameras (although it’s a bit wider). The camera also uses an EF lens mount, which means it has access to a fairly wide range of popular lenses.
Most notably – so remarkable they put it in the name – this camera can shoot up to 6K, which is hard to find at this price. Why might you want 6K footage, you ask? Well, if your editing rig can handle it, you get a lot more flexibility to crop, zoom, and track motion in post-production, without sacrificing image quality. For low- or no-budget productions, a common way to get this flexibility is to shoot in 4K and distribute in 1080p, but 6K allows you to retain that power while still producing the highest resolution most people can. watch right now.
The camera also supports shooting in Apple’s Blackmagic RAW and ProRes RAW formats (the latter is only supported up to 4K, however). Both formats are great for capturing as much detail as possible when shooting and adjusting your color level later. Blackmagic also makes DaVinci Resolve, which started out as top-tier color grading software and has since evolved into a full-featured video editing package that can sometimes give Adobe a run for its money. So naturally the camera comes with a free copy of the $300 Studio version of the app.
The free version of DaVinci Resolve is already incredibly powerful, and most cinema cameras that push into the 6K range are a bit more expensive than the BMPCC 6K Pro. If you’re looking to get your foot in the door of professional-level cinema, it’s hard to find a cheaper entry point.
The 6K Pro felt amazing when I first took it out of the box. It’s smooth but grippy, and the crisp LCD screen dominates the camera. Unlike most competing cameras, physical buttons are fairly rare here, and on-body ones have all earned their place. A few physical buttons and a dial on the right side let you adjust settings like ISO and white balance without digging into the interface.
On the back of the camera, buttons to automatically adjust aperture and focus (if your lens supports these features) are easily accessible just next to your right thumb. Finally, there are three programmable buttons at the top, which are mapped to the False Color function by default, a default LUT, and frame guides. However, you can replace them with the function that you find most useful when shooting.