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Massive Updates to the BMPCC4K Are Finally Here

Lewis McGregor

After a long wait since the initial reports, we finally get a new update that completely reenergizes the Pocket 4K with plenty of new features.

Through the various Blackmagic Pocket 4K social groups, attendees at September’s IBC reported several new features that were to be added to the Pocket 4K, in the fall update. While these reports were based on cellphone pictures of the updated menus, there was no concrete confirmation on what exactly we should expect. You can find the full list of new features at the bottom of the article (along with some 6K updates), but let’s take a look at the most notable features.


Anamorphic Support

Perhaps one of the most requested features outside of the external adjustments was anamorphic support. As it’s a feature available on the URSA Mini 4.6K — and seemingly one we could get with a simple firmware upgrade — Pocket 4K users have been slightly displeased that it has been left out of the settings. (Even more so when we learned that the Pocket 6K would adopt this feature straight from shipping.)

Now, 2.8K 4:3 (2880 x 2160) is here, and you can record up to 80 fps!

On the Monitor page, there’s also added support to turn on de-squeeze preview, so you can review your footage correctly.


120 fps at 2.6K and New Resolutions

Blackmagic Camera Screen

Recording at 120 fps with the newly added 2.6K resolution is straightforward.

Before the 6.6 updates, you could record at 120 fps but only at 1080p. While there’s no 120 fps jump to 4K, you can now record at 120 fps at a newly added 2.6K resolution. However, this is a recording option only available when shooting in BRAW.

Additionally, there’s also a 4K widescreen resolution of 4K 2:4:1 (4096 x 1712), and when selected, you can record up to 75 fps — a jump of fifteen frames from the 4K DCI resolution.


Custom Frame Guides

The Pocket 4K is already equipped with a variety of cinema and standard frame guides, making sure you correctly compose your shot. Still, with more and more clients asking for delivery of a social media-friendly exports, it’s understandable to want to frame your shot for an Instagram ad or Facebook video. In the new update, you can now manipulate the frame guide how you see fit. (Although, if you plan on shooting 1:1 or 4:5, these settings are already in the quick presets.)


Increased UI Functions

Blackmagic Camera Screen

This on-screen ISO function makes it easier to select which ISO is best for your shot.

I think Blackmagic’s UI is one of the best on the market. It’s fluid, it’s responsive, and everything is where you’d expect it to be — not buried six menus deep in an entirely different subsetting (looking at you Sony). However, with the 6.6 update, there have been a number of improvements. Which makes you think, “Ah, of course, that was so necessary.”

These are in the way of common ISO and common off-speed frame rate options. Previously, we’d have a slider to increase or decrease the ISO or HFR. Now, you can quickly select popular options. On the ISO function, for example, you can quickly choose between 200, 400, 1250, 3200, and 8000, rather than finding those settings through the slider.

The magnification tool has also received an upgrade: you can now magnify up to 8x with a pinch zoom — very useful for finding focus on those faraway subjects.

In the grids options, there’s now a horizon level. Not as visually similar to a split level that you’d find on a mirrorless camera, but it appears as a crosshair (to not overwhelm the screen). And, if the camera is off-balance on either the x or y-axis, the crosshair will shift across to indicate an uneven camera.

In my 6K review, I said, “If we were going to see an update on the UI, I would’ve liked to have seen a new and improved battery life indicator.” I guess if you don’t ask, you won’t receive, as this is also in the 6.6 update. When the battery is low, the symbol now appears as a solid red warning, giving the operator a more visible warning of a low battery.

Both 4K and 6K updates feature support for the battery grip, and since that was supposed to be released in August, perhaps this is an indication that the release is right around the corner.


Installation Note

As a side note, if you’ve previously installed Pocket 4K camera firmware, I doubt you’ll feel the need to double-check the instructions. However, when you install the firmware update, you may notice it stalls at around seventy percent, prompting an increased heart rate when you start thinking the install has failed and your camera is about to become an expensive doorstop. However, as we see in the firmware notes, this is normal. So, don’t turn your camera off when it stalls at seventy percent.

Download here.


What’s New in Blackmagic Camera Setup 6.6: Full Release Notes

New features in Blackmagic RAW:

  • Blackmagic RAW Avid Media Composer plugin general performance and stability improvements.
  • Blackmagic RAW Adobe Premiere Pro plugin general performance and stability improvements.
  • CUDA general performance and stability improvements.

New features for Pocket Cinema Camera 4K:

  • Added support for Blackmagic Pocket Battery Grip.
  • Added support for language localization.
  • Added support for built-in camera horizon tool.
  • Added support for 4K 2.4:1 4096 x 1712 recording in Blackmagic RAW up to 75 fps.
  • Added support for 2.6K 2688 x 1512 up to 120 fps recording in Blackmagic RAW suitable for Super 16 mm lenses.
  • Added support for 2.8K 4:3 2880 x 2160 recording in Blackmagic RAW up to 80 fps for anamorphic lenses.
  • Added support for 2x desqueeze preview when recording 4K 4:3.
  • Added support for 1.33x desqueeze preview.
  • Added support for pinch to zoom up to 8x magnification.
  • Added USB PTP control support.
  • Added ability to embed custom 3D LUTs in Blackmagic RAW clips as metadata.
  • Added common off-speed frame rate options above slider when changing frames.
  • Added common ISO options above slider when changing ISO settings.
  • Added 1:1 and 4:5 frame guide options.
  • Added ability to type in customized frame guide ratios.
  • Added ability to monitor voltage level when powering via 12V DC connector.
  • Improved autofocus performance.

New features for Pocket Cinema Camera 6K:

  • Added support for Blackmagic Pocket Battery Grip.
  • Added support for language localization.
  • Added support for built-in camera horizon tool.
  • Added support for pinch to zoom up to 8x magnification.
  • Added USB PTP control support.
  • Added ability to type in customized frame guide ratios.
  • Improved autofocus performance.

No new features in 6.6 for other camera models.


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