Our top features for a box cinema camera from Blackmagic Design
Speculation is growing within the camera community about the development of box style cinema camera from Blackmagic. But why are so many people fascinated by (and excited for) this type of camera?
It’s a growing trend within the industry. Just last month, a confirmed patent showed a new development from Canon for a box style cinema camera.
What We Know
Nothing. That’s as simple as we can put it. There has been no official confirmation or even hinting from Blackmagic Design.
However, the company did remove the Micro Cinema camera from the website in late 2021. This sparked speculation that there may be a potential revamp of that model or an all new box style camera that could rival the RED KOMODO.
Factors to Consider in a Blackmagic Box Camera
There are several factors to consider when debating a box cinema camera. Everything from form factor to rigging and optics.
We polled followers on the Frame Voyager YouTube about what were the most important considerations for them. Let’s discuss some of the results.
Rigging came in on top as the most important factor to consider.
When it comes to rigging out your camera, there is nothing worse than having a camera that is not really compatible or comparable with anything out there on the market. That’s the issue many have with the Blackmagic pocket camera line. While there are similarities to DSLR cameras, it’s still much larger and an odd design overall. This led to problems on the release because there were no comparable cage systems for months.
Having a more standardized form would mean products already on the market would be usable and you wouldn’t have to wait on Smallrig and Tilta to come out with a new cage for the cameras. However, some of the compatibility will be determined with Blackmagic decides to built the box-style camera. It would be beneficial to users if it was a bit more modular, meaning it is designed to be adapted for various.
The next highest factor is Form Factor. This can go hand-in-hand with rigging, but I wanted to separate them because the form factor is also slightly different than just rigging. There are several cases where this specific form could be beneficial.
Drone work specifically – especially FPV drone work – would be a big beneficiary. I’ve seen FPV filmmakers use the BMPCC4K on top of a drone with a tiny Laowa lens. That seems a bit sketchy. The pocket cameras were just not designed for this purpose.
With an increase of drone usage in commercials, TV, and movies, it seems like it would be a big deal to have a box style camera – especially if it costs less to use than a RED KOMODO.
Another great use of form factor would be the ease of balancing the camera and distributing weight. A boxy style camera is much better for gimbals, Steadicam’s, and more.
Optics came in last at just 8% of results. This is something I feel will only affect a certain industry group within filmmaking. These are filmmakers and videographers who get jobs that have specific requirements for cameras or whose clients expect the cameras to look a certain way. Their clients are skeptical when they pull out a BMPCC or something similar in shape. Having a more “Hollywood” looking camera, or at least what the perception is of what it looks like, could come in handy for these users.
Cons vs. the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Cameras
While there are great benefits to this specific camera shape, there are also cons. Depending on the completed design, you probably will not be able to use this easily right out of the box. That’s an immediate negative for run and gun filmmakers.
Here are a few cons to consider:
- You will have to rig this style camera to be able to hold it for filming. That’s in contrast to one of the benefits of the pocket camera design. While the pocket cameras can be unwieldy for certain applications, you don’t necessarily have to rig it up to use it. With a box-style cinema camera, you will absolutely need to rig everything up for it to be functional in certain situations.
- Even if it comes with a screen, it may not be large enough for use in the field or in direct sunlight. This mean you may have to also purchase and utilize an external monitor.
- It also may be questionable for use in remote locations where you have to keep the weight to a minimum. However, you could get around this potentially with a well designed “adventure filmmakers kit” Also it’s shape would be kind of difficult to throw into a backpack.
Some of these issues are resolvable. And, yes, the pocket camera design is a bit odd. However, the pocket cameras do offer easier use when doing run and gun work.
What do you think? Should Blackmagic Design release a box-style cinema camera? Comment with the features you would need to see to make the purchase.