Blackmagic Design creates Pocket Cinema Camera with raw 1080 shooting


Blackmagic Design has announced a pocket-sized 1080p movie camera capable of 422 ProRes capture with promises of lossless CinemaDNG to be added via firmware. The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera uses a Super 16 imaging area (around 12.5 x 7.4mm – essentially a 16:9 crop of a 1″ sensor – a format for which high-speed sensors are available), and an ‘active’ Micro Four Thirds lens mount, giving full aperture control of native lenses. The camera can capture footage in Apple’s 10-bit 4:2:2 ProRes format Blackmagic promising to add the open, lossless CinemaDNG Raw standard later. The company has said this will cost just $995 and be available from July.

The camera captures ProRes footage at 220 Mbps, allowing it to fit 50 minutes of footage on a 64Gb SDXC card. It offers magnified focus and focus peaking, and can output an HDMI signal with or without overlays for external monitoring. It also includes a LANC connector for controlling record, stop, focus and iris settings, remotely. It also includes mic and headphone sockets, a 12V power input and standard tripod mounts top and bottom to allow flexible incorporation into a shooting rig.

Press Release:

Blackmagic Design Announces Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera

NAB 2013, Las Vegas, USA – April 8, 2013 – Blackmagic Design today announced Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera, a beautifully designed, pocket sized digital cinema camera that includes powerful features such as Super 16mm sized 1080HD sensor, super wide 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, all in an attractive compact design for only US$995.

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera will be demonstrated on the Blackmagic Design NAB 2013 booth at #SL218.

Since the original Blackmagic Cinema Camera was launched at NAB 2012, it has been celebrated by industry professionals for its amazing film look and accurate and cinematic color. The new Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera has most of the features of its bigger brother, 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. It’s so small that it can be used in situations in the field where a larger camera could be dangerous. The camera’s film look even allows personal video to be shot with the style and creativity of a motion picture film!

The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera features an industry standard Super 16 sensor size, so it’s perfect when using Super 16 cine lenses via MFT adapters, as the shooting experience is the same as using the same lens on a Super 16 film camera. The 13 stops of dynamic range look of the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera is almost identical to shooting on a professional Super 16 film camera. The Micro Four Thirds lenses offer a wide range of low cost lenses with amazing image quality, and they are compatible with mount adapters such as PL mounts for large lens and professional motion picture film rigs.

One of the most important features of the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera is its super wide dynamic range of 13 stops, allowing feature film quality images. A common mistake in the television industry is the assumption that more resolution means higher quality. Most cameras, even ones with higher than HD resolution, can produce”video” looking images that suffer from highlight and black clipping that limits details. Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera’s wide dynamic range eliminates this problem and provides film quality with dramatically more detail retained in black and whites in 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.

To eliminate the damage that low bit depth and high compression video storage creates, the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera includes a easy to use 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 be implementing 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.

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera has been designed as the perfect companion to editing software such as Final Cut Pro X and Avid Media Composer. Unlike other cameras, which require the use of custom video file formats, the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera includes absolutely no custom video file formats, and every file type included is open standard.

The built in large LCD display makes focus easy, and allows playback of captured files. Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 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 overlaid in attractive anti aliased fonts.

“This is an extremely exciting camera and its been amazing to work on. Our original Blackmagic Cinema Camera was small, but this new model is so much smaller than the original, we almost cannot believe it features very similar image quality,” said Grant Petty, CEO, Blackmagic Design. “We think customers are going to really enjoy this new model and use it both personally and professionally. 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. It’s going to be exciting!”

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera Key Features

  • High resolution 1080HD Super 16mm sized sensor with superior handing of image detail.
  • Super wide 13 stops of dynamic range allows capture of increased details for feature film look.
  • Compatible with extremely high quality Micro Four Thirds lenses. Compatible with other mounts via common third party adapters such as PL mount and Super 16 cine lenses.
  • Built in SD card allows long duration recording with easy to use media.
  • Open file formats compatible with popular NLE software such as ProRes 422 (HQ) and lossless compressed CinemaDNG 12 bit RAW. No custom file formats.
  • Features all standard connections, including mini jack mic/line audio in, micro HDMI output for monitoring with camera status graphic overlay, headphone mini jack, LANC remote control and standard DC 12 power connection.
  • Built in LCD for camera settings via easy to use menus.
  • Supports 1080HD resolution capture in 23.98, 24, 25, 29.97 and 30 fps.
  • Compatible with DaVinci Resolve Lite color grading software.

Availability and Price

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera is available in July for US$995 from Blackmagic Design resellers worldwide.



So watched the video from NAB and the guy states this camera will not shoot RAW. DP review are saying it does?
Guy states SD cards are not capable of accepting the data rate, which is what I would have thought.
So the DP review headline is misleading. Raw would only be capable with some external device is this correct?


upgradable via future firmware, likely to an external USB3.0 or thunderbolt drive (from what I hear) so no pricey recorder, just cheap fast external ssd drives


Thanks for the reply, again watching the video there is no external data output port. Only the HDMI port?
So Lanc, DC in, Audio in and out and HDMI?


Forget this as any kind of still camera or the comparisons to such, this is a cinema “B” camera. Yeah its got a 3x crop, but for $1000 you can get 13 stops of DR with the codec and color space to take advantage of it, a great system of lenses that work out of the box and it will fit in a pocket (sans lens). the 12-35 (24-70) becomes a 36-105 f/2.8 (for light) and its stabilized and thats plenty for a “B” camera. Honestly, I never shoot wider than 34 mm equiv. anyway. and there are still wider lenses like the 7.5(22.5) , 8(24) , 9-18(27-54)
For people who complain about the crop factor, or the lack of resolution and frame rates, or whatever…let me remind you. $995. That’s less than one good quality 1×1 lite panel, and im sorry but if this delivers half of the promises, it will be worth every penny. The GH2 and 3 are nice, but you will never get the kind of DR or color uniformity from those 4:2:0 12 stop cameras as you will from this. I can’t wait to get my hands on one.


what do you mean by DR


Dynamic range, The GH2 had about 10.5 stops and the GH3 has about 11. Each stop is a huge deal, if you have marveled at the range difference between the 2 and 3, this is that range increase…twice again.

see this example.


Impressive camera!


Yeah sure, its a good looking small powerful camera. But at the end of the day you’re still stuck with a terrible crop factor even worse than the BMCC. Goodbye Wide angle shots… you can forget it with this. However, Still intrigued to how the video will look from it.

Stu 5

So how come Super 16 film users manage to get wide shots… because there are lenses available and they can be used on this camera.


By some of the comments about below like the “many consider the GH2 better” I get the impression some are not really sure what the Black Magic Cameras are capable of. So here a quick look at a travel type video:


as the owner of several hacked GH2’s I am SO excited by this. Finally12 bit and 4:4:4 color space! plus actual DR! Anyone who has shot sky with an 8 bit 4:2:0 like the Panasonic’s is chomping at the bit to finally banish those gradient halos for good!


As of this post this cinema camera generated 60 posts while it’s more expensive 4K sibling with rolling shutter generated 5 posts

That’s 12X more posts for this little thing.

I wish I wasn’t such a newb on cinema cameras so to figure out why it generates such interest.


It’s called “shed painting” – it’s simpler, more people can grasp the limited feature set and everyone has an opinion on what colour the shed should be painted. The 4k beast addresses an area of cinematography that most people are uncomfortable in and so they won’t comment.


“it’s simpler, more people can grasp the limited feature set”

Or maybe because this camera is $995 and the 4K BMC with the global shutter is $4000.

When DPR has news stories about Zeiss or Canon Cinema lenses, you look at them but their price make them a bit daunting for the average photographer or videographer. As such, they don’t generate the kind of interest that more affordable products do.


This looks like a sweet camera. I’m gonna have to get those fast zooms from Panasonic along with this.


Just desided to get GH3 and.. Surprise 🙂

Tim F 101

Great news for micro 4/3. Sounds like a killer app for people who want to do great video with minimal (sized) gear. The GH3 will do just fine, since this little thing does not look like a great tool if you also want to take great still pics (or at least the best that the m4/3 lens mount can deliver).


10-bit 4:2:2 ProRes footage at 220 mbps? Wow. I’m in as well. The form factor looks great and it has a versatile mount.

Yikes, I knew I’d regret selling my C-Mount Cine lenses. Try buying them on Ebay nowadays and you’ll get sticker shock because the new Digital Bolex and the BMCC has made them extremely hot items. Previously near obsolete 16mm lenses like the Kern Switar are now selling for big bucks.

But yes, this is an extremely exciting product and a fair price consider all you get.


Nice design.

Olympus should make this kind of modern designed body.


Looks like a nex. I would say it works but not elegant.

petr marek

OMG, this small puppy is the best thing since GH2!
Exactly my dream camera. Full HD RAW, active M43 mount with any lens compatibility via adapters, affordable. Thank you Blackmagic, I´m in! Global shutter next year?:))


This camera ticks nearly all the HD video boxes for me.
Real competition for the GH3.


So will panny image stabilization work?
The 12mm looks sweet on it.


It seems the IS does work. 4/3 to M4/3 lenses just got a boost in price.


I have a feeling that Black Magic is the next “GoPro”. They will sell a ton of cameras to everybody and their brother. However, after the newness wears off everyone will realize that you still have to put a lot of effort into it to get it to look like their promo videos.


The Black Magic camera could not be more different than fixed focus type action cameras like GoPro. These are high end cinema cameras with huge DR, 12-bit RAW, m43 and EF mounts, and more. But knocking either the BMCC or GoPro because you can’t just point them at something and magically produce professional level footage is kind of like criticizing a car because you need to learn how to drive it.


The gopro is cheap and inflexible, the BMC cameras are cheap and massively flexible, that’s the difference. This camera was MADE for getting the best out of it. I do see these being used in POV or tight spots though.

jorden mosley

Man, the GH3 not only has to compete with EM-5 on the stills end, now it has to compete with this camera at video.


THe GH3 has it all in one package, moreless. This cam has a big advantage of RAW editing, but a downside is that it is probably purely usable for video only. You could also argue: the GH3 is this cam and the EM5 in one while it does not cost you much more than either of the two!


No, there is no RAW on this black magic pocket camera


The GH3 is great but it does not output 10-bit 4:2:2 ProRes at 220 mbps, nor will it ever have RAW. The camera is not meant to compete with m43 still cameras. As a sort of pocketable cinema camera, it may compete with the Digital Bolex, but this type of camera is almost a new category. As such it almost doesn’t have any competitors.


From the article:

“lossless CinemaDNG to be added via firmware”


This isn’t a still camera, not even a little. So there isn’t any comparison there.


I hear my NEX-7 whimpering in fear


This camera has sensor about the same size as RX100 (or smaller?) and it doesn’t take still photos.

How is that competition to Nex-7, that is primarily a still camera?


As a nex7 owner my initial thoughts were somewhat similar..
But I totally agree with ET2, the crop factor on this thing is ridiculous & in all honesty.. do you want everything you shoot on a pocketable camera to be 220mbps? sure the 422 is nice and appreciated. But it comes at a cost…

Sure the video on the nex7 isn’t the best, But its a damn lot better than a lot of other cameras of it size, plus with decent 60p 1080 its hard to complain. That plus a powerhouse when it comes to stills…


overkill, seems kind of small and impractical for essentially a pro-am camera, how do you fit this on pan head, manipulate camera controls, etc?


You simply don’t do it the way it is done before and you try something radically new, For instance hand holding the camera, maybe or at least using a really small stabilizer.

This camera will open up news doors for lightweight mobile film-making. They make GoPro footage work so they can make this camera work.


This will fit great on a pan head, as it’s small and light, if using adapted lens’, get an adapter with tripod mount build in. As for controls, if it’s on a pan head, use the LANC port to have full remote control of focus, aperture, etc..


interesting, but I will wait for Global shutter – rolling shutter is very awful


Ok then. See you next decade while everyone else just stops shaking their camera from side to side.

Andy Crowe

Well just buy the $4k super-35 version then 🙂


The most important thing to remember here is that RAW footage is not going to help you at all if you don’t plan on editing the footage and doing color grading.

This camera is not intended to go up against cameras like the OMD and GF6. Instead it fits the very specific need of cinema photographers that shoot 24p and do heavy color grading and corrections.

The regular m4/3s cameras will shoot 1080p @ 60 FPS footage that is much better suited for average consumers than 24p is. They also shoot still images and have many more features related to making good videos and images straight out of the camera.

What the BM camera will do is virtually corner the market for those independent film makers that need something cheap and small to work with. This camera is geared specifically at taking over the market that the GH2 owned before.

I wouldn’t count out other formats being added with firmware down the road either.

photo chris

Grading is an essential part of the BMD magic, but unless you need 60p, the 10-bit 4:2:2 prores will outshine what the GH2/3 can produce. And 13-stop RAW is coming, though probably via an external recorder. But for $995…


The problem is that the average user probably will have trouble trying to edit or upload RAW footage. All of that extra information will just be wasted on anyone who isn’t truly trying to shoot a “film”.


As photo chris just said, the BMD shoots ProRes. Why are you do fixated on RAW? You are not required to shoot RAW with this camera. If you shoot DSLR video, most of the time you are going to take the .MOV footage and convert it to ProRes before you import to your editor. But the ProRes with still only be 8-bit. The BMD does away with this step and give you 1-bit ProRes.

Lastly 1080p60 AVCHD is not better suited for most users than 1080p24 .MOV as the latter is much easier to work with and edit because it doesn’t need to be transcoded like AVCHD does. But I’m not sure why you are talking about the “average user”. This BMD is a high end camera not intending for vacation or casual videos.


Pretty sweet.


This would work great with the metabones speed booster.


With a Super 16mm sensor, most easily adapted C mount lenses will come with their own speed booster designed for that lens. 6x or 10x f/2 zooms are fairly common on C mount many will cover a Super 16 or 1″ sensor.

photo chris

13 stops, 10-bit, 422 prores in cam and a RAW update coming for $1000? Wow.

I just preordered mine, going to sell my Nex gear to fund the BMD-PCC. Hopefully the EF/M43 speedbooster drops soon. Keeping the Hero3 and 5d3 for action cam and FF stills. This thing will be fabulous on a steadicam smoothie.

James Booba

BM just killed the Digital Bolex, Pana and prob hurt Canon and Sony alot.


It is incredible what a simpe anouncement can do. Killing of 4 brands…wow!


Tripod mount on top and botton. 🙂




The ProGoPro we’ve been waiting for ?


This article does mention whether it can auto focus m4/3s lenses or not?


it’s an active mount so it should.


It has focus peeking. That’s all. No AF.


I would have liked to see 1080p @ 60 FPS but I understand why they didn’t include it since it is a “cinema” camera.


1080/60 is important with cameras like this in order to minimize the Jello effect


Yep, unfortunately the 1080/60 frame rate is missing.


Actually 60 FPS has nothing to do with the Jello effect. Sensor read-out speed is what is critical.


This is designed to be a “Cinema” camera so 24p(25p in Pal Land) is all that is needed. I am with you though. I need 60 FPS so this won’t work for me.


Native resolution (no line skipping and much smaller data volume) will help with smoothness. This is really an interesting development!



It’ll be hard to have long readout times at high fps…



And that is probably why this camera doesn’t do high frames per second.


Sensor size is not 4/3 though, it is between 1″ and 2/3″.


For cinema shoots you really don’t need anything more than this unless you really want to deal with 4K or 8K.


And there will still be people that say a hacked GH2 is better than this.


Are they wrong?


Yes they would be wrong. Lossy will never equal or surpass lossless.


Technically this sensor is a fair bit smaller than a native micro four thirds sensor.


But will smaller ever equal larger sensor? It’s a bit of give and take, isn’t it? Larger sensor and 1080p60 in exchange for raw video.

Is a 5Dmk3 in JPEG better than a 60D in RAW? Probably.


If people say a hacked GH2 is better than this they have no idea what they are talking about. The GH2 does not shoot 1-bit 4:2:2 ProRes, or will it ever shoot RAW. I’m not sure your are understanding exactly what the BMCC cameras are.


Big pixels! about 6.5 micron in size.


What is the native res of the sensor?




That is the effective resolution..not the same thing. The effective resolution for video on a D800 is also 1920×1080. Must be a typical 12-16mp sensor.


I doubt this camera has a small pixel design as you suggest, it wouldn’t make sense given the other options in the market.
Sony uses “effective” in their sensor spec sheets to describe amount of pixels. I’m sure this is a 2.1 pixel sensor as is customary in sensors made for video applications.

Andy Crowe

@Mssimo, no the sensor is 1920×1080 native, according to a few previews I found on the net.

mike kobal

move over NEX




ooooh, fancy.

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