Camera News

Blackmagic Releases the Full-Frame Cinema Camera 6K

IBC 2023 looks to be inducing several manufacturers to release new products, the latest being the Blackmagic Cinema Camera 6K! This new addition to the cinema camera lineup is different from the BMPCC 6K Pro in a few key ways - the jump to a full-frame 24 x 36mm 6K sensor, and the move to an Active L-Mount.

An illustration showing the 24 x 36mm full-frame sensor on the Blackmagic Cinema Camera 6K.

Full-Frame Sensor

Needless to say, a full-frame sensor will make shallow depth of field enthusiasts very happy, but it also means that you can use anamorphic lenses, working in true 6:5 anamorphic, without cropping. There's nothing quite like the look obtained when shooting full-frame with a wide open fast lens - the separation really can be quite stunning, especially with some nice bokeh added to the mix!

The BMD Cinema Camera 6K will shoot up to 36 fps at 6048 x 4032 3:2 open gate, or 60 fps at 6048 x 2520 2.4:1 and 60 fps at 4096 x 2160 4K - for higher frame rates, up to 120 fps in 1080HD, you can window the sensor. For reference, the BMPCC 6K Pro will shoot up to 50 fps at 6144 x 3456 16:9, or 60 fps at 6144 x 2560 2.4:1 and 60 fps at 5744 x 3024 17:9, with higher frames rates, up to 120 fps at 2.8K 2868 x 1512 17:9, again requiring one to window the sensor. I'm all about off-speed frame rates these days - sometimes going an entire day without moving away from my HFR setting, so I was really hoping for higher frame rate recording at 6K, or at the very least 120 fps recording in 4K. Alas, such is life…

L-Mount

Shipping this camera with an L-Mount is something that I'm quite pleased about though. In fact, just the other day I found myself wishing that Fujifilm would join the alliance. I love the X-Mount lenses I already own, but the thought of being able to buy a lens that will work with different camera brands is very appealing in this day and age. Yes, it means yet another adapter will be necessary for some, but L-Mount is adaptable to a wide array of different mounts, and the number of native L-Mount lenses available is growing quickly.

For those who aren't already familiar with it, here's a little information about the L-Mount Alliance:

"The L-Mount Alliance is a partnership between Leica Camera, SIGMA, Panasonic, Ernst Leitz Wetzlar GmbH, DJI, ASTRODESIGN and SAMYANG. Its aim is to provide photographers with one unified lens mount standard. Developed by Leica Camera, the L-Mount allows photographers to combine lenses and cameras made by the five Alliance partners." Find out more here.


The Cinema Camera 6K has also moved to CFexpress media, and now shoots stills at 24.6 megapixels (compared to 21.2MP with the 6K Pro). Two potential deal breakers come with the absence of built in ND filters and ProRes Codec recording, making Blackmagic RAW and H264 Proxies the only internal recording options.


Compared to the 6K Pro, the Cinema Camera 6K maintains 13 stops of dynamic range, dual native ISOs of 400 and 3200, up to 25, 600, a 1500 nit 5" HDR LCD screen, NP-F570 style batteries, vertical aspect ratio shooting and external recording via USB-C. The same Microphone Input, 3.5mm Headphone Output, Fullsize HDMI Connector, USB Expansion Port, 12V DC Power, and 2 Mini XLR Audio connections are also present, and DaVinci Resolve Studio is again included in the purchase price.

CONCLUSIONS

All of us look for different features in a new camera - a reason to upgrade, based on what we're shooting at the time. For many, the full-frame upgrade will make the Blackmagic Cinema Camera 6K well worth the purchase price of $2,595 USD, and for others the L-Mount will be the deciding factor. A lack of ND filters and ProRes recording could be a deal breaker for others. I'll reserve judgement on this one until I can get my hands on the Cinema Camera 6K and put it through its paces. Either way, with the price remaining virtually the same as the BMPCC 6K Pro, it's absolutely worth the price of admission for anyone looking for a new full-frame cinema camera.

Rob Neilson

Rob Neilson began working in motion pictures over 30 years ago. His credits span numerous departments, currently working mainly as a colorist, editor and producer in Canada, in and around the Vancouver area.

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