Blackmagic Studio Camera 6K Pro features a Super 35mm sensor, EF mount and live streaming
Blackmagic Design has announced their newest camera, the Blackmagic Studio Camera 6K Pro. As the name suggests, it features a Super 35mm format 6K sensor, and utilises Canon EF mount lenses. It sports a similar compact design to previous Blackmagic Studio Cameras of the past, in a lightweight carbon fibre reinforced polycarbonate body, with a large 7″ touchscreen HDR display offering 2,000 nits of brightness.
Inside, the new Blackmagic Studio 6K Pro camera offers live streaming over WiFI or HDMI. It’s not just for streaming, though. You can also take advantage of Blackmagic RAW format recording to an SSD over USB. The camera contains a built-in neutral density filter that offers 2, 4 or 6 stops of light reduction and an high ISO capability up to ISO 25,600.
Blackmagic actually announced a number of things in the latest launch, including a Blackmagic Studio Camera 4K G2 – which is essentially the same as the previous model but with the addition of live streaming – and new Atem Switchers for broadcast video. The Blackmagic Studio Camera 6K Pro is what we’re interested in, though, and that bit starts at 43:49 into the video above. It should automatically start playing at that point in the presentation.
Although the camera is designed primarily for live production – making it ideal for things like YouTube, Twitch and other live streaming applications – it can also record Blackmagic RAW. There are no memory card slots, though. The Studio Camera 6K Pro sports a pair of USB-C sockets for hooking up external SSDs to record footage. But this ability means you can use it outside of the live production studio setting, too.
Blackmagic does say that you’ll want to use it on a tripod for non-live production, which makes sense given its design. I can’t imagine it’d be too easy to handhold or balance on a gimbal vs something like the Pocket 6K Pro. But, you are able to use it for other things, such as weddings, documentary, interviews, even narrative filmmaking – although the Pocket 6K Pro might be better suited to some of those tasks.
The Studio 6K Pro uses Blackmagic’s 5th gen colour science, to provide the same colour and quality as you’ve come to expect form other cameras in the company’s lineup. It has 13 stops of dynamic range and offers HD, 4K UHD or 6K footage at up to 60 frames per second. Utilising an EF lens mount, the Studio 6K Pro has access to a lot of glass, much of which isn’t all that expensive anymore since Canon abandoned it and switched to RF.
When it comes to connectivity, the Studio 6K Pro (and the Studio 4K G2) feature 12G-SDI inout and output connections that support talkback, allowing the switcher operator to communicate with camera operators during filming. They also offer balanced XLR audio inputs with 48v phantom power, HDMI output, 10 Gigabit ethernet, and you can even use that ethernet to supply power to the camera. No batteries required.
The camera’s bulit-in ND filter, along with most of the other camera settings and features, can all be controlled remotely from various Atem switchers. If you’ve got multiple cameras all set up and you need to get them all matching in exposure settings and colour, you can do all that from the switcher on your desk. Offering built-in live streaming, you’re also able to stream it out to the world directly without a switcher at all.
Overall, it’s a good looking camera on paper for a live streaming or studio setup where you’ve got cameras potentially in fixed positions. But it also looks pretty decent for use on location, too. I do think that the Pocket 6K may be more practical for those regularly shooting on location, but if you’re mostly in the studio and only occasionally on location, the Studio 6K Pro might be the better option.
The Blackmagic Studio Camera 6K Pro is available to pre-order now for $2,495, and shipping is expected to begin fairly quickly. The Blackmagic Studio Camera 4K GII is also available to pre-order now for $1,865. You can find out more about both cameras on the Blackmagic website.
John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.