After a few weeks on back-order at B & H Photo, my BMP4K finally arrived. I’ll spare you the details of the packaging and unboxing, as I am sure YouTube is littered with videos covering that stuff, for reasons I will never understand.
For a little background, I own the original Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera, aka BMPCC, as well as, the 4K Production Camera, with EF mount. And right out of the gate, I see big improvements over both of these older models. The much-improved light-sensitivity and the screen are the first noticeable improvements over the previous pocket camera. And the form factor and removable battery are nice improvements from the 4K production camera. Top it off with amazing image quality and high frame rates and you’ve got me smiling…all for $1295! I am likely going to sell my two other Blackmagic cameras and replace them with at least one more BMP4K.
While the user interface is different than the previous models, it is immediately self-explanatory and every bit as intuitive as the previous models, if not more so. I’ve owned almost every format and form factor of video cameras since the mid 1980’s and I must say that Blackmagic’s menu system is probably the only one I’ve ever encountered that leaves me feeling like I didn’t miss a single setting. 15 minutes perusing the menu is literally a suitable substitute for reading a user manual. They truly get this right and seem to only make it better as time goes on. And when in “camera” mode, much has been done to help you avoid going into the actual menu. One need only touch the area of the screen of interest (audio meters, ISO, shutter angle, etc.) and settings for that functionality pop up. It’s very nice and so subtle, you might miss it at first, like I did with the audio. Simply touch the VU meters in the corner of the screen and the setting for your audio input levels, etc. become prominent in the center of the screen. There are also several user-programmable buttons that take the menu-free experience even further.