Blackmagic cameras have been available to filmmakers since 2012. Granted, they’re not as renowned compared to more prominent cinema camera brands out there like Sony, RED, and Canon; they do provide top 4K cinema cameras that will improve your video production on par with professionals.
Three Blackmagic Cameras for Beginners, Intermediates, and Advanced Videographers
Blackmagic Camera for Beginner Videographers
The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K provides the most value for money. It’s a reliable, pocket-size camera that shoots in 4K at 60fps (no crop factor) with a sensor that can capture up to 13 stops of dynamic range.
This camera has been around since 2018, and it is still sought-after by many content creators today. It offers ProRes and RAW recording, similar to what Hollywood movie producers are using. Plus, what makes it even more appealing is it comes with a Micro Four-Thirds lens mount. That means you can use Panasonic, Zeiss, Sigma, and Olympus glasses!
When it comes to battery life, you can thank its Canon LP-E6 battery. It can shoot continuously for 60-70 minutes! And if that isn’t enough, it’s safe to plug and play.
Now, what you’ve just read are the things that most appeal to intro-level videographers or vloggers. However, if you’ve honed your editing skills enough, this camera can still provide you wonders.
How? The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K is one of the very few cinema cameras that supports 4K recording in RAW. That means you can have more options for post-production editing. This camera’s only downside is its screen; most 2018 cameras have a flip-out feature, but this one does not.
Blackmagic Camera for Intermediate Videographers
If you want to venture into the world of 6K resolution and want to create a video that can genuinely mesmerize your audience, the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Pro is for you. Although it’s called “pocket,” you have to be aware that it’s a relatively large camera. So it can be pretty awkward to handle at first.
This camera has better and more improved features compared to Blackmagic’s Pocket Camera 4K. For starters, it has a Super 35mm Sensor, paired with its Color Science Generation 5 technology, is a beast that delivers super accurate colors! Plus, this comes out of the box, with no tweaking whatsoever.
However, that’s not where this camera shines. The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Pro brings the most value to producers who want to publish their work on Netflix. It is the only reliable camera under SGD 3,600.00 to put you on the international, professional film-making scene. However, it lacks auto-exposure, autofocus, and refined image stabilization — nonetheless, you can correct those in post-production editing.
Blackmagic Camera for Advanced Videographers
Last but not least is the Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 12K, and this is the cinema camera for advanced videographers who want to provide the best videography service out there. For starters, this camera can shoot in 12k at 60fps!
Its Super 35 HDR CMOS sensor can give you the most stunning visuals, on par with Hollywood-level production. Another exceptional feature is its ability to shoot clearly at night or in low-light situations. With its 14-stops of dynamic range, you can turn dark scenes into cinematic masterpieces.
The only caveat is its price. This camera is no longer for those who are just buying a cinema camera for the sake of uploading videos on YouTube. Here, it’s about videography services that will make you the best choice for weddings, anniversaries, and other events that require some beautiful visual documentation.
Three Tips When Buying Your First Cinema Camera
Know Your Needs and Budget
You must first define your needs and budget before considering a Blackmagic cinema camera or any camera. Be honest with yourself. You don’t have to buy something super expensive right away because it has all the things you want.
Consider a more affordable option if you’re new to filmmaking; don’t just dive right in with something that may be overkill. Buying the Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 12K can seem like an investment, but the skills required to operate it can be just as expensive as its price tag. Buy one that fits both your budget, needs, and current skill set.
The digital camera’s image sensor is its brain. Many people will tell you that larger is better when it comes to sensor size. They are correct in many ways, though size does not matter. The “standard” in still photography is called “full-frame,” which is roughly the same size as a 35mm film image; anything smaller than that is called a “crop factor.” If you want to create cinema-level videos, it’s better to buy a camera with a bigger sensor.
If you want the most flexibility in post-production adjustments, look for cameras that can record in RAW format. RAW differs from log gamma and uncompressed video in that it isn’t a video file at all; rather, it is RAW data, as the name suggests. Identical to taking RAW photos, RAW video does not bake in any in-camera decisions, allowing you to tweak white balance and exposure later without severely affecting quality.
What Blackmagic Camera Should You Buy?
Unfortunately, only you can decide which camera you should buy. It boils down to your needs. If you want a Blackmagic cine camera to produce higher-quality YouTube videos, the first one on our list is good enough. However, if you’re into business and have the budget, you can never go wrong with the URSA Mini. If you still want to provide videography service but you’re on a tight budget, the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Pro can do wonders for you; the only downside is that you will need more post-production editing.