As they tend to do with some regularity, Blackmagic Design has announced a new camera. And whenever they do, it’s always something pretty special. This one, though, is going to make a lot of people very happy – except, perhaps Panasonic.
The company announced several new cameras today, but the one we’re talking about here is the Blackmagic Cinema Camera 6K (buy here). It contains a full-frame sensor and ditches the EF lens mount in favour of L mount.
Details are still coming in about the new camera, but here are the basics. We’ll post more as information becomes available.
It’s a Pocket Cinema Camera in all but name
The Blackmagic Cinema Camera 6K is pretty much identical in form factor to the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K. This is wonderful news for existing owners who might choose to upgrade. It means it keeps compatibility with existing batteries and accessories.
Designed for high-end digital film
Blackmagic says the new Blackmagic Cinema Camera 6K is designed for shooting high-end digital film, and the sample clips shown in the presentation above certainly seem to back this up in terms of quality and the mood and feel of the footage.
It captures all of the formats and bitrates we’re familiar with from the Pocket 6K cameras, but the storage has been updated. Gone is CFast 2.0 (YAY!), replaced by CFexpress Type B. This is definitely a good move, as CFexpress has become ridiculously cheap and is faster than CFast 2.0 by quite a large margin.
This speed also allows the Cinema Camera 6K to shoot realtime proxies. So, if you want to shoot ultra-high bitrate 6K footage but need smaller, easier to chew files for quick editing, you’re able to create lower-resolution proxies at the same time you shoot.
L Mount offers more versatility
The decision to move to L mount is a fantastic idea, if you ask me. EF made sense for the Pocket 6K when it was released a few years ago. In 2023, though, with the wide range of L mount lenses out there from Panasonic, Leica, Sigma, DJI, not to mention all of the third-party companies that aren’t part of the L mount alliance, this makes more sense now.
L mount can easily be adapted to EF mount if you still want to use your old Canon glass. And it can be easily adapted to just about any other non-mirrorless mount, too. You’re not going to be able to mount some other mirrorless lenses to this, due to its 20mm flange distance, but pretty much every DSLR lens ever made for any system should be adaptable to this.
Price and Availability
The Blackmagic Cinema Camera 6K is available to pre-order now for $2,595. Blackmagic says that it’s currently in production and should become available soon, although an official release date has not yet been announced.
This is only a few hundred more than the cost of the video-centric Panasonic S5 IIx (buy here), and will almost certainly eat into Panasonic’s sales. Hopefully, this means Panasonic will start to make more of a push with updating their stills-oriented models to add phase-detect autofocus. Maybe it’ll even give Sigma the kick up the ass they need to get that full-frame Foveon figured out.