Why the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera Is Not a Good Vlogging Cam

Apr 16, 2018

Blackmagicdesign Pocket Cinema Camera 4K

On NAB 2018 Blackmagicdesign announced a new camera slated for release in the Sept 2018 timeframe. It's the successor of the 2014 released Pocket Cinema Camera, the Pocket Cinema Camera 4K. Much like the successor it features a somewhat pocket sized form factor and a Micro Four Thirds mount. But unlike the old model it now features an actual MFT sized, 13-stop sensor with dual native ISO much like the GH5s. For all we know it could actually be the same sensor. It records Prores and Cinema DNG RAW to SD and CFast cards. It also features a large 5 inch, 1000 nits bright display on the back of the camera that should be great for focusing 4K footage.

That all sounds great and that's precisly why I preordered it. However there are some quirks that might turn you off. For one it features a record button at the front that's accessable with a thumb for when you're recording yourself. However the display is fixed on the back and the camera is kinda heavy with its projected 750g. To use it as a vlogging camera, you would actually need to mount another display on top that can be rotated to frame yourself during recording. The battery with a projected framing and recording time of 45 to 60 minutes is not that great, which means you also need to carry an extra battery pack. This makes the setup heavy and hard to carry around. On top of that the camera does not have a stabilized image sensor which will make handheld footage quite shaky. I also doubt that the camera fits on most lightweight gimbals like the Zhiyun Crane due to its increased horizontal size of 18 cm (7 inches, the Canon 1D X is about 16 cm).

Vlogging is all about recording yourself quickly whenever you feel like it, but all these downsides make it hard to use as an actual vlogging camera. The workflow of Cinema DNG is not ideal for a quick turnaround and image quality and cinematic look is not that important for a vlog. You're better served with a small and lightweight Sony or Canon camera with a flipout screen like the RX100 or the EOS M50.

The Blackmagicdesign Pocket Cinema Camera 4K is not a vlogging camera and not an action camera. Instead will be great for stationary setups like interviews, landscape and weddings and that's how you should use it.