Back in early 2013, Blackmagic announced a compact Super 16 video camera for movie-makers on a budget. The company says that customers have been asking for a higher resolution version ever since, and has again chosen the NAB show in Las Vegas to launch its answer to those requests – the 2018 Pocket Cinema Camera 4K.

"Customers love the original Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera and have been asking us for a 4K version," said Blackmagic's Grant Perry. "We've listened and built a camera that combines all of our newest ideas and customer feedback from the previous model."

The most notable upgrade on the 2013 original is the Four Thirds HDR sensor, which now has 4,096 x 2,160 native resolution, 13 stop of dynamic range and low light-friendly dual native ISO up to 25,600. Blackmagic says that the full size sensor should mean a "greatly reduced" crop factor when the new Pocket Cinema is used with Micro Four Thirds lenses, leading to a wider field of view.

The MFT mount is the same kind as used on the 2013 original, so users can dive into their existing kit bag for lenses they already have or use adapters to expand into Canon, Nikon, Pentax and Leica glass territories.

The Pocket Cinema Camera 4K is capable of recording 4K video at up to 60 frames per second, or crop to 1080p at 120 fps. ProRes (10-bit) or RAW (14-bit) footage can be recorded to internal SD or CF cards, or – notably – to external USB-C storage, meaning that users needn't fork out for the external recording devices common on higher end movie-making cameras, and can benefit from faster turnaround times as they can connect and work directly from the media drive.

Around back there's a 5-inch LCD touchscreen display panel to monitor the action being recorded, which supports tapping and swipe gestures for settings adjustment and can make use of 3D Lookup Tables for color matching.

The camera's handheld design makes it much more portable than big rigs like the company's own URSA Broadcast 4K camera, and it benefits from durable, rigid and light carbon fiber polycarbonate composite construction with a chunky grip to one side with strategically-positioned dials and buttons giving quick access to video start/stop, photo mode, ISO/shutter/aperture settings and more.

There are four built-in microphones, and a mini XLR input with phantom power if needed, for plugging in lapel or boom mics, as well as a 3.5 mm stereo audio jack for handling other videocam microphone needs. Users can wirelessly control the camera over Bluetooth, and clean 10-bit video or HDR video can be output over HDMI.

The Pocket Cinema Camera 4K is being showcased at the National Association of Broadcasters Show this week, ahead of global release later in the year for US$1,295.

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