Review: the Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera

Super16mm cameras

Blackmagic  Pocket Cinema Camera
AF options: the Pocket Cinema Camera supports autofocus on Micro Four Thirds lenses

Another potential limitation – although by no means everyone will use it – is the autofocus. The Pocket Cinema Camera has a full electronic coupling to Micro Four Thirds lenses, rather than a simple mechanical coupling. This allows the camera to set the aperture – M43 lenses have no aperture ring – but also control AF.

Unfortunately the AF on the Pocket Cinema Camera moves in distinct steps rather than smoothly. This really rules out AF as an option if focusing is being done in shot, although it works well enough to focus on a subject at the start of each shot. The AF itself is reasonably accurate; it is just that the effect of seeing the focusing steps is less than pleasing.

Finally, there is a slight ergonomic peculiarity with the Pocket Cinema Camera. Its size and weight are like nothing else in its class, it feels well-made and sits comfortably in the hand. But the camera lacks any form of cold shoe.

Instead, it has a tripod bush on the bottom plate, and another on the top plate. With no cold shoe, anyone wanting to mount a viewfinder, light or above all, a mic, is going to have to rig up some form of adapter, such as a double-ended 3/8 inch screw and a cold shoe with a 3/8-inch bush. It seems a strange design choice for a camera that is going to be used handheld a lot of the time, even though more ambitious film-makers will want to set up some sort of rig or cage.

It is also worth noting that, as the Pocket Cinema Camera has a Super16mm sensor, its field of view does differ from Micro Four Thirds. It is a rather unusual crop: 3.02 times that of full-frame 35mm. It is also a 1.3x crop using a Micro Four Thirds lens.