Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K has 90s looks but is packed with the latest tech

While the styling might be reminiscent of an oversized digital camera from the 1990s, Blackmagic's Pocket Cinema Camera 4K should be packed with enough tech to keep serious video shooters happy.

It's the second-generation Pocket Cinema Camera from Blackmagic – its first, 1080p, model was launched back in 2013 – and the new camera is again based around the Micro Four Thirds format, which means it can be used with a wealth of lenses from Panasonic and Olympus – handy if you're shooting with the likes of the Panasonic Lumix GH5 or GH5S and have built up an arsenal of lenses – as well as other lens makers such as Leica and Voigtlander.

The Micro Four Thirds sensor offers a dual native ISO with a sensitivity range up to ISO25,600, while it's also capable of shooting Cinema 4K (4096 x 2160) at up to 60fps and Full HD at up to 120fps. Not only that, but there's the promise of 13 stops of dynamic range for a great low-light performance.

Footage (including 10-bit ProRes and 12-bit raw recording) can be recorded to UHS-II-compatible SD card or CFast cards, while a USB-C expansion port means you can record directly to the same external disk drives that users will use for editing and color correction. Clever stuff.

While it's probably not going to win any prizes in the looks department, the body is constructed from carbon fiber polycarbonate composite, which should make it both strong and light; there's also speculation that this could reduce heat build-up while recording.

Blackmagic reckons the design of the body lends itself to those shooting independent films and documentaries, fashion shows, travel blogs, web videos, weddings, corporate video and sports. 

On the rear of the camera is a large 5-inch touchscreen display, enabling users to adjust settings, add metadata and view recording status via simple tap and swipe gestures. There are also on-screen overlays for recording parameters, status, histogram, focus and peaking indicators, and playback controls.

There's no official release date for the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K yet, but you should be able to get it later this year for what looks to be a competitive price of $1,295 / £1,029 / AU$1,815.

Phil Hall

Phil Hall is an experienced writer and editor having worked on some of the largest photography magazines in the UK, and now edit the photography channel of TechRadar, the UK's biggest tech website and one of the largest in the world. He has also worked on numerous commercial projects, including working with manufacturers like Nikon and Fujifilm on bespoke printed and online camera guides, as well as writing technique blogs and copy for the John Lewis Technology guide.