Micro Four Thirds lives! Along with Elvis, according to camera and software giant Blackmagic Design at IBC 2022. DIYP had a lovely chat with Craig Heffernan about the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema cameras. Craig talks to us about both the 6K Pro and the new G2 cameras and gives us his thoughts on the industry from Blackmagic’s perspective.
Blackmagic still has the 4K as an entry point camera, which is a micro-four-thirds based system. But more recently they have updated the 6K to the 6K Pro and introduced the Pocket 6K G2 which is in the mid-range of the 4K and the 6K Pro but still shoots at 6K resolution.
“The feedback on the 6K Pro has been amazing,” says Craig. “It’s the best-found product in the mini-cine space,” he adds. With the G2, they looked at what already existed in the range and took a couple of the best features from the Pro down into that middle choice. This gives people great value for money explains Craig. “The feedback from the first couple of months has been fantastic,” he says.
So what’s coming next for Blackmagic? “2023 is going to be an exciting year on the camera side,” says Craig. With the Ursa brand 4.6K being an entry-level workhorse and Ursa 12K being a very popular choice in higher-end productions, “we’re looking to see how we can develop in both families” Craig says. Essentially then, Blackmagic is trying to cover the entire market, from lower-end prosumer right up to high-end commercial projects.
“We’re still a young company,” says Craig candidly. “We’ve only been around for 10 years. And we’ve learnt some hard lessons in that time.” Craig explains that although their early camera models were fantastic in terms of quality, they still had some development to do for usability and size. “What we always wanted to do,” says Craig, ” was bring higher cost technologies down to a prosumer or entry point market. We want to allow people just entering the industry to be able to work with fantastic products at an affordable price but with compromise,” he adds.
Of course, these cameras all come with a licence for DaVinci Resolve, Blackmagic’s flagship editing studio software which is used the world over, from Hollywood down to the lone budget filmmaker.
And it’s this awareness of budget being a threat to creativity that Blackmagic really seems to have taken on board. They want to encourage and inspire people to be able to create what they want, without being unduly hindered by lack of finances.
“We want to get products that are affordable,” says Craig. “Particularly for young filmmakers. We want to make a product that answers all of their needs so that they can concentrate on what comes through the camera, not the cost of the product.”
So what about MFTs? Surely everyone is moving away from that system now?
“We’ve had MFTs throughout our cameras as an option,” says Craig, “and we know there’s a solid and passionate user base. It’s a great system for 4K, and the lens choice is often a preference for a lot of users out there,” he adds. He concedes that MFT does have limitations, but confirms that the company is still just as dedicated to having it as an option as they ever were.
As yet, Blackmagic has no plans to add a full-frame system to its lineup, but you never know. With a brand as dedicated to its customer needs as this one is, if people want it, I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw a full frame offering in the future.