Blackmagic Cinema Camera Review BMCC 6K and BMPCC 6K

A Review of the Blackmagic Cinema Camera 6K & the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K



Blackmagic Design is known for their high-quality cameras and other production tools that are widely used in the film industry. The Blackmagic 6K cameras are one such product that has gained immense popularity among indie filmmakers and short film creators.

If you're a filmmaker, you know how crucial it is to have the right tools to bring your vision to life. In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore the camera’s features and capabilities. While analyzing the suitability of the Blackmagic 6K cameras for short filmmaking.

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BMCC 6K (Full Frame Sensor)

BMPCC 6K Pro & 6K G2 (Super 35 Sensors)

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I. Introduction BMCC 6K and BMPCC 6K

A. Overview of Blackmagic Design's 6K Cameras

The Blackmagic 6K is a digital cinema camera that offers advanced features and professional-grade image quality at an affordable price point. This camera is the successor to Blackmagic Design's popular BMPCC 4K, and it comes with upgrades that make it an even more powerful tool for filmmakers.

To avoid confusion, let’s address the different versions of Blackmagic Design’s 6K cameras. There are three different models, broken into two separate categories. The first category is the BMPCC 6K (Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K), emphasis on “Pocket”, and the second category is the BMCC 6K (Blackmagic Cinema Camera 6K), no mention of “Pocket”.

The BMPCC 6K (Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K) has two models, the 6K Pro and the 6K G2. The BMCC 6K (Blackmagic Cinema Camera 6K) has one model, simply enough the 6K. Since they all carry 6K in their names, to avoid confusion, we’ll refer to the 6K as the 6K Full Frame Camera. Since both the 6K Pro and 6K G2 are not full frame cameras, instead they have Super 35 sensors.

B. Blackmagic Design's Impact on Indie Cinema

Blackmagic Design has revolutionized the industry by democratizing access to high-quality filmmaking equipment. Their commitment to innovation and affordability has empowered indie filmmakers to tell their stories with cinematic precision.

II. Impressions and Suitability for Short Films

A. Contents

The Blackmagic 6K cameras come with a body, lens mount, power supply, LP-E6 battery, and a user manual. Perhaps most notably, it comes with a DaVinci Resolve Studio license key, giving you access to professional editing and color grading software.

B. Design and Build Quality

The Pocket 6K boasts a sleek and robust design, built to withstand the rigors of filmmaking. Its ergonomic layout ensures comfortable handling during long shooting sessions. The camera body is made of lightweight carbon fiber polycarbonate composite, making it easy to transport and handle.

A tilting touch screen is included on the 6K. The screen tilts up 180 degrees and down 47 degrees. It doesn't flip out to the sides or at any angles, but for those of us who were used to the 4K, which had a fixed screen, this is a much desired upgrade.

C. Ease of Use

The Blackmagic 6K cameras have a user-friendly interface and intuitive controls that make this camera a joy to use. Its large 5-inch touchscreen display gives you easy access to all the settings and features. The setup process is straightforward, and you can start shooting in no time.

III. Technical Specifications BMCC 6K and BMPCC 6K

A. Camera Sensor and Image Quality

The BMPCC 6K's Super 35 sensor (Pro & G2) delivers stunning image quality and exceptional low-light performance. They have a 6144 x 3456 resolution and can shoot in full 6K at up to 50 frames per second. The BMCC 6K (Full Frame) has a 6048 x 4032 resolution and can shoot in full 6K at up to 36 frames per second.

All three models support Blackmagic RAW, allowing for flexible post-production adjustments while retaining the highest image quality.

  • Color grading: With Blackmagic RAW, you can adjust the color temperature, tint, and exposure without losing any image data. This gives you more creative control over your final product.

  • Dynamic range: The Blackmagic 6K cameras have an impressive 13 stops of dynamic range, providing a wide range of tones and colors in your footage. This feature is essential for capturing the details in both bright and dark areas of the frame. Which offers significant latitude for post-production.

  • Low-light performance: The cameras have a dual native ISO, allowing you to shoot in low-light conditions without sacrificing image quality. This is especially useful for night or indoor shoots where lighting may be limited. The camera also has a built-in ISO dial, making it quick and easy to adjust your ISO settings while shooting. Allowing you to adapt to changing conditions on the fly.

Resolution and Frame Rates

The camera's ability to shoot in 6K resolution opens up a world of possibilities. Allowing various frame rate options and the ability to shoot in multiple aspect ratios, including 16:9, 17:9, 2.39:1, and 4:3.

The BMPCC 6K offers a stunning 6144 x 3456 resolution, providing filmmakers with more than enough detail and flexibility in post-production. This high resolution also allows for cropping or reframing shots without sacrificing image quality.

C. Color Science and Dynamic Range

Blackmagic Design is renowned for its advanced color science and impressive dynamic range. The 6K is no exception, offering 13 stops of dynamic range and a wide color gamut. This allows for greater latitude in post-production color grading and helps capture more details in both the shadows and highlights of your footage.

The camera also features the Blackmagic Design color matrix for accurate skin tones and natural-looking colors. Filmmakers can further customize their color settings using the built-in DaVinci Resolve Studio software.

All 6K models support the Blackmagic RAW recording format. Blackmagic RAW retains all sensor data, providing maximum flexibility for color grading and adjustments.

In addition, the BMPCC 6K Pro & G2 also support ProRes, a commonly used format in the film industry, preferred for its high-quality images and efficient compression. Giving users options for their preferred workflow.

D. Lenses and Mount Compatibility

The BMPCC 6K Pro & G2 feature a Canon EF lens mount, making it compatible with a vast selection of high-quality lenses from various manufacturers. Allowing for electronic communication between the camera and lens. This provides autofocus capabilities and enables tracking of lens metadata, such as focal length and aperture.

The BMCC 6K Full Frame features a Leica L lens mount.

IV. User Experience and Performance BMCC 6K and BMPCC 6K

A. Ergonomics and Handling

Comfortable handling and ease of use are vital for filmmakers, especially during long hours of shooting. The Blackmagic 6K is designed with ergonomics in mind, providing a comfortable grip and easy access to all essential controls.

The camera's compact size and lightweight design make it perfectly suited for handheld shooting, allowing filmmakers to move freely and capture shots from unique angles without sacrificing image quality.

In special situations, you may need the touchscreen to move beyond its tilt range. In that case, you’ll need to get an external monitor. Though, the vast majority of users won’t have any need to resort to external monitors for viewing angle reasons.

B. Navigating Menus and Settings

The 6K cameras feature a user-friendly interface that is intuitive and easy to navigate. Filmmakers can quickly adjust settings and access tools through the camera's touchscreen display, providing a seamless shooting experience.

The camera also has customizable function buttons, allowing users to assign frequently used features for quick access. This level of customization helps filmmakers stay focused on their creativity without having to waste time navigating menus. The camera's layout of controls mimics that of a professional cinema camera, allowing for an efficient transition for filmmakers who are used to working with larger rigs.

For example, the record button is on the top of the camera body, easily accessible for both handheld and tripod setups. The exposure controls, including ISO, shutter speed, and white balance, are also conveniently placed on the top right side of the camera for quick adjustments while shooting.

C. In-Field Performance – Focus, Low Light Capabilities

Overall, the Blackmagic 6K's in-field performance is impressive, offering filmmakers a range of options to capture high-quality footage in various shooting conditions. The camera's compact size and lightweight design make it an ideal choice for on-the-go filmmaking.


The Blackmagic 6K series makes focus management easier, combining hardware precision and software intelligence. At the heart of the focus system is the Blackmagic OS, an operating system designed to enhance the filmmaker’s control.

There’s a suite of on-screen focus and exposure tools that aid in achieving the perfect shot. Central to its capability is the large 5” LCD monitor with focus peaking indicators. A standout feature that offers visual cues highlighting in-focus edges with a colored outline.

The monitor's on-screen overlays provide a comprehensive overview of the shooting status at a glance. They include a histogram, audio levels, frame guides, and more.

An active lens mount allows filmmakers to adjust focus and iris directly from the camera. Using either physical buttons or the touchscreen interface.

Low Light Capabilities

The Blackmagic 6K's dual native ISO sensor was made for low-light situations, to provide clean and noise-free images even at higher ISO settings. Which can be expanded up for extreme low light conditions. This makes it a versatile option for shooting in most any lighting environments.

As with any special shooting situations, shoot tests if you plan on doing low light filming to understand how the camera's capabilities work for your specific needs.

D. Battery Life and Power Options

Battery life is a crucial factor for filmmakers on the go. The Blackmagic 6K uses a Canon LP-E6 type battery, which can last up to 45 minutes of continuous recording. You'll need to invest in additional batteries or an external power source for longer shoots.

The camera also offers various power options, including DC input and USB-C charging. This allows filmmakers to recharge the battery on the go or even power the camera directly from an external power source.

Blackmagic's 6K has a low-power mode that can save battery life by turning off unnecessary features when not in use. This feature is especially useful for longer shoots where battery conservation is crucial.

V. Cinematic Capabilities BMCC 6K and BMPCC 6K

A. Video Quality and Formats (ProRes, RAW)


The BMPCC 6K Pro & 6K G2 can record in ProRes. The advantages of ProRes recording include its efficient file sizes, making it easier to manage and store large amounts of footage. It also has a wide color gamut, allowing for more flexibility in post-production color grading. The 6K (Full Frame) does not offer ProRes.

The 6K, 6K Pro, & 6K G2 can shoot 6K up to 60 fps (frames per second) or windowed (at resolutions lower than 6K) at higher frame rates up to 120 fps. Maximum resolution and frame rates, might vary slightly between models based on their processing power and sensor capabilities.

Blackmagic RAW

All three models (6K Pro, 6K G2, & 6K (Full Frame)) record Blackmagic RAW. RAW recording gives filmmakers the ultimate control over their footage with no compression or processing applied by the camera. This allows for maximum flexibility in post-production and results in high-quality footage with extensive color grading flexibility. However, RAW files can be larger and require more storage space compared to ProRes.

B. Cinematic Look and Film Aesthetics

The Blackmagic 6K's ability to capture a cinematic look is a game-changer for indie filmmakers. With the company's sensors and large dynamic range, the cameras can produce footage with a film-like aesthetic.

One of the key elements in achieving a cinematic look is having a high dynamic range (HDR). The Blackmagic 6K offers 13 stops of dynamic range, which helps capture more detail in both the shadows and highlights. This allows for better control over exposure and lighting in your shots.

The camera's advanced color science also plays a crucial role in creating a cinematic look. The Blackmagic 6K uses Blackmagic Design's own color science, which is specifically designed for film and digital cinema cameras. This results in vibrant colors that are true to life and adds depth to the overall visuals.

The shallow depth of field achieved through the camera's larger sensor allows for more control over focus and produces a pleasing blur in the out-of-focus areas of the frame. This effect is commonly seen in cinema and adds to the overall cinematic feel of a shot.

The camera's extended video dynamic range allows for more latitude in color grading, which is especially useful in creating a consistent and cohesive aesthetic throughout a project.

LUTs (Look-up Tables)

In digital filmmaking, achieving a desired cinematic aesthetic can hinge on the nuanced art of color grading. Blackmagic Design's 6K cameras come equipped with a selection of built-in LUTs that serve as powerful tools for filmmakers aiming to sculpt their footage's look and feel in camera or during post-production.

These LUTs range from emulation of classic film stocks to advanced color spaces designed for specific lighting conditions and provide a foundational starting point for color grading.

For instance, a filmmaker aiming to mimic the warm, golden hues of a late afternoon sun might apply a LUT that accentuates oranges and reds. Conversely, for a more desaturated, gritty look synonymous with certain genres of noir, a different LUT can pull back on colors, emphasizing shadows and mid-tones.

Generation 5 Color Science

Blackmagic Design's Generation 5 Color Science is designed to provide filmmakers with more accurate color rendition and improved skin tones straight out of the camera. This latest iteration enhances dynamic range handling and color grading flexibility, allowing for more natural and vibrant images across a wide range of lighting conditions. It's tailored to work seamlessly with Blackmagic's cameras, so that users can achieve cinematic looks with less effort in post-production.

C. Audio Capabilities and Inputs

Crystal-clear audio is crucial. The Blackmagic 6K has a built-in stereo microphone, but also features two mini XLR inputs with phantom power for connecting professional microphones. This allows for high-quality sound recording and eliminates the need for external audio recorders.

The camera also has an auto-level feature that adjusts audio levels as needed, ensuring consistent sound throughout your footage. There is a headphone jack for monitoring audio levels while recording.

For advanced audio control, the Blackmagic 6K supports external audio recorders through its USB-C port. This allows for multi-channel recording and more precise control over audio levels and settings.

D. Workflow Integration with Post-Production Software

Efficient post-production workflow is essential for indie filmmakers. Blackmagic 6K's offer seamless integration with popular editing software such as DaVinci Resolve, Adobe Premiere Pro, and Final Cut Pro X.

The camera's native Blackmagic RAW format allows for quick and easy editing with no transcoding. This preserves the highest possible image quality while saving time and storage space.

The camera supports metadata entry during recording, allowing for easy organization and sorting of footage during the editing process. This feature is useful for multi-camera shoots or longer projects.

VI. Comparison with Competitors BMCC 6K and BMPCC 6K

A. Blackmagic 6K vs. BMPCC 4K

We'll compare the Blackmagic 6K with its predecessor, the BMPCC 4K, highlighting the key differences and improvements.

Sensor and Resolution

The Blackmagic 6K's features a larger Super 35 sensor, or an even larger Full Frame sensor depending on the model, compared to the Micro Four Thirds sensor on the BMPCC 4K. Allows for higher resolution images.

Recording Formats

The Blackmagic 6K's have an additional option for recording in Blackmagic RAW Q0 and Q5, providing even more control over file sizes and image quality.

Design and Ergonomics

The 6K's feature a larger body compared to the BMPCC 4K, with a more ergonomic design that includes a built-in grip and tilt screen. This allows for more comfortable handling and easier control of the camera.

Price Point

The Blackmagic 6K cameras are slightly more expensive than the BMPCC 4K, but with their improved features and capabilities, they offer a better value for indie filmmakers looking for professional-grade equipment at an affordable price.

B. Differences between the BMCC 6K, BMPCC 6K Pro, and BMPCC 6K G2 models:

There are 3 variations of the Blackmagic 6K, see chart below for some notable differences. Note: The BMPCC 6K Pro and BMPCC 6K G2 are continuations of the Pocket Cinema Camera line. The BMCC 6K is a full frame camera and drops "Pocket" from its name and is called the Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera 6K.

Chart created by Author

Quick Comparison Chart BMCC 6K, BMPCC 6K Pro, & BMPCC 6K G2
Quick Comparison Chart BMCC 6K, BMPCC 6K Pro, & BMPCC 6K G2

Reference the Blackmagic Design camera specs for full information on camera model variations.

C. Comparison with Similar Cameras in the Market

Depending on which camera you choose to compare to, you'll find the Blackmagic 6K a very tempting option when you weigh both quality and price. The 6K offers high-resolution images with stunning colors and extensive customization options.

A distinct advantage of the Blackmagic 6K series is the inclusion of a full license for DaVinci Resolve Studio, a comprehensive post-production software suite for editing, color grading, audio post-production, and visual effects. This addition adds significant value and integrates seamlessly with the camera's workflow, especially with Blackmagic RAW files.

VII. Pros and Cons BMCC 6K and BMPCC 6K

In this section, we'll provide an unbiased assessment of the Blackmagic 6K's strengths and limitations, helping you determine if it's the right tool for your filmmaking needs.

A. Advantages of the Blackmagic 6K

  • Impressive 6K resolution for ultra-high-definition video.

  • Captures minute details, offering greater post-production flexibility.

  • Full Frame & Super 35mm sensor enables a shallow depth of field for cinematic aesthetics.

  • Dual native ISO feature enhances low-light performance, reducing grain in dark scenes.

  • Supports Blackmagic RAW for efficient encoding and a balance between quality and file size.

  • Compact and lightweight design, ideal for mobile filmmakers.

  • Robust construction assures durability.

  • User-friendly interface contributes to an enjoyable and efficient filming experience.

B. Limitations and Considerations

  • Relatively short battery life, posing challenges for extensive shooting schedules.

  • Necessity for additional batteries or external power solutions.

  • Absence of in-body image stabilization, potentially leading to shaky footage in handheld shooting.

  • Requires a gimbal or other stabilization equipment for action scenes.

  • High data rate results in rapid filling of SD cards.

  • Need for more storage capacity or frequent data offloading.

  • Lack of continuous auto-focus feature, meaning that manual focus may be required and can be challenging for solo shooters.

VIII. Real-World Applications BMCC 6K and BMPCC 6K

A. Ideal Scenarios for Blackmagic 6K Use

The Blackmagic 6K shines in scenarios that demand high-quality footage with professional-grade color grading. It is perfect for shooting short films, music videos, or commercials where weight and continuous autofocus are not primary concerns. The ideal use case would be a controlled setting where additional equipment, such as tripods or gimbals, can be used.

B. Suitable User Demographics

The cameras are an excellent tool for indie filmmakers, videographers, and advanced enthusiasts who prioritize image quality and color grading potential over convenience features like image stabilization and auto-focusing. Given its high data rates and manual focus requirements, it's a camera for those willing to invest time in post-production and mastering the craft of cinematography.

C. Professional vs. Amateur Use

While amateurs can certainly use the Blackmagic 6K, it's a tool primarily designed for professional use. The high-quality footage, flexibility in color grading, and need for additional equipment align more naturally with professional workflows. Amateurs may find the lack of convenience features challenging, but it's a great tool for those seeking to transition into professional filmmaking.

While the Blackmagic 6K is indeed more suited to professional use, it represents a valuable investment for amateurs and enthusiasts committed to advancing their skills in cinematography and post-production.

IX. Essential Gear and Accessories BMCC 6K and BMPCC 6K

A. Must-Have Accessories

The Blackmagic 6K cameras require a few essential accessories to maximize its potential. These include:

  • A robust CFast 2.0 card, SSD or CFexpress for 6K raw recording.

  • Extra LP-E6N batteries for extended shooting sessions.

  • High-quality lens for optimal image capture.

  • Sturdy tripod or gimbal for steady shots.

Regarding storage options. For 6K RAW recording, selecting the right storage media is critical to accommodate the extensive data rates and large file sizes generated.

For instance, using a CFast 2.0 card with a minimum write speed of 450 MB/s ensures smooth recording of 6K raw footage without dropped frames. Given the high data volume, a capacity of at least 256GB is recommended for shorter shoots, while longer projects might necessitate 512GB or more.

Similarly, when opting for SSDs through the camera's USB-C connection, choosing drives that not only meet the speed requirements but also have enough capacity to handle the volume of footage is essential for an efficient workflow.

B. Recommended Third-Party Accessories

Certain third-party accessories can enhance the Blackmagic 6K's functionality.

  • A top handle for improved handheld stability.

  • Cage to protect the camera body and provide accessory mounting points.

  • External monitor for accurate framing and focus assist.

C. Customization Options

Various cages and rigs are available to mount other equipment. Software-wise, users can upload custom LUTs (Look-Up Tables) for color grading.

The camera's menu system allows for complete control over various settings and customizable function buttons. These options give users the freedom to tailor their setup to their specific needs and preferences.

D. Accessories Worth the Investment

Investing in high-quality lenses and memory solutions is crucial for the cameras.

A good lens will ensure the best possible image quality, while robust and fast storage solutions will handle the camera's high data rate without issue.

An external power solution, such as a V-mount battery, is highly beneficial for extended shooting sessions.

Final Verdict: BMCC 6k, BMPCC 6K Pro, & BMPCC 6K G2

Blackmagic Design's 6K cameras are a game-changer for indie filmmakers and creators of short films. With their robust technical specifications, including high resolution, dynamic color range, and compatibility with various lenses, they provide high flexibility and creative control.

The camera users' experience is impressive, with intuitive menus and settings, good ergonomics, and satisfactory in-field performance. Its cinematic capabilities, notably the quality of video formats and the aesthetic they enable, are a key highlight.

In comparison with competitors, the Blackmagic 6K holds its own in terms of features and performance. The price-to-performance ratio is favorable, making it a worthy investment for those serious about their craft.

In conclusion, Blackmagic Design's 6K is a highly recommended tool for short filmmakers, offering a perfect blend of affordability, functionality, and cinematic quality.


What are the key features of the Blackmagic 6K?

  • 6K resolution

  • Full Frame or Super 35 sensor for a cinematic depth of field.

  • Dynamic color range with Blackmagic RAW and ProRes recording options.

  • Compatible with a wide range of lenses.

  • Intuitive user interface and customizable function buttons.

Does the Blackmagic 6K have internal storage?

No, the camera does not have internal storage. It also has a USB-C port for high-speed external drive recording.

Can the Blackmagic 6K record audio?

Yes, the camera has a built-in stereo microphone and supports external microphones through its mini XLR input with phantom power option. It also has a headphone jack for monitoring audio.

What are the audio capabilities of the Blackmagic 6K?

The camera can record up to 4 channels of audio at a time, with adjustable levels and options for monitoring and syncing.

Can the Blackmagic 6K record in 4K and 6K resolutions?

Yes, the camera can record in both 4K and 6K resolutions.

Is the Blackmagic 6K suitable for professional use?

Yes, Blackmagic cameras have been widely used by professional filmmakers and are suitable for various production needs.

How long can I shoot with the Blackmagic 6K on a single battery charge?

The camera has a battery life of approximately 45 minutes with continuous recording. However, it can be extended with external power sources.

Can the Blackmagic 6K be integrated easily into professional post-production workflows?

Yes, the camera's recording formats and high dynamic range make it easy to integrate into professional post-production workflows. It also has built-in DaVinci Resolve software for editing and color grading.

How does the Blackmagic 6K handle overheating during extended use?

The camera has a built-in fan and vent system to prevent overheating during extended use. It also has temperature monitoring options to help manage heat levels.

Where can i find the user manual?

  • Visit Blackmagic Design at

  • Navigate to the "Support" page and find the section for user manuals.

  • From the product categories, select 'Cinema Cameras' and locate your camera.

By: SF Block

Writing about indie filmmaking.

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