Blog Cinematography DSLR Games Gear Reviews

Battle Of The 4K Mirrorless Cinema Cameras – Blackmagic Pocket Camera 4K, Canon EOS R, Fuji XT3

Battle Of The 4K Mirrorless Cinema Cameras – Blackmagic Pocket Camera 4K, Canon EOS R, Fuji XT3

A number of new mirrorless cameras have been launched or introduced in current weeks, together with Blackmagic’s new Pocket Cinema Digital camera 4K, Canon’s EOS R, and Fuji’s XT3. All three cameras are clearly of curiosity to many filmmakers proper now, so I needed to share my two cents on them under.

I’ve been working like loopy over the previous month on my function movie tasks and a slew of commercials, and haven’t but carried out any check capturing with these cameras. I’ve nevertheless, accomplished some checks with Blackmagic’s new RAW codec, and can be sharing the outcomes right here on the weblog this week.

However as regards to the brand new releases from BMD, Canon, and Fuji, what I’m going to stipulate under are merely my first impressions. I’ll goal to do comply with up articles on every digital camera in additional depth sooner or later, so if that’s one thing you want to see, please let me know!

There are always new cameras being introduced and launched, however I needed to spotlight these three particular cameras collectively, as they share some commonalities – They’re priced in the identical ballpark, are in direct competitors to one another in some respects, and are all getting loads of consideration from filmmakers.

So with out additional ado, listed here are my ideas on every…

In no specific order –


I’m positive a few of you realize I’m a fan of Blackmagic. I’ve been capturing on their cameras for years and even shot my function final yr on the united states Mini four.6K… I’ve all the time revered that BMD strives to fill voids within the low-budget digital camera market that not one of the different digital camera manufacturers appear to even concentrate on. The newest replace to the Pocket Digital camera is not any totally different.

If you consider it – what different digital camera available on the market can compete immediately with the brand new Pocket Digital camera 4K?

Simply take a look at the specs, all of which you get for $1295 –

  • four/three″ Sized HDR Sensor
  • Report DCI 4K 4096 x 2160 as much as 60 fps
  • Twin Native ISO to 25,600
  • 5″ Touchscreen Show
  • Lively Micro 4 Thirds Lens Mount
  • Document as much as 120 fps Windowed HD
  • CFast & SD/UHS-II Card Slots
  • Exterior Recording by way of USB Sort-C
  • 13-Cease Dynamic Vary, 3D LUT Help
  • Consists of DaVinci Resolve Studio License

This can be a absolutely succesful cinema digital camera that prices lower than most mid vary DSLRs, and has some extremely revolutionary options – specifically Twin Native ISO. The design of the digital camera is definitely fairly sensible too, because it seems like a DSLR however features like a cinema digital camera. It’s really the perfect of each worlds in case you are capturing guerrilla type… It’s not as modern as a few of Blackmagic’s different cameras, however it appears to favor perform over type, which I like.

It has a four/three” sensor, however will definitely be used with velocity boosters to realize Tremendous 35mm area of view. And even with out the velocity booster, the four/three” sensor measurement will nonetheless produce lovely pictures with good shallow depth of subject.

So once more, what different digital camera actually competes with this? There are many different nice choices on this worth vary, however none that provide this actual mixture of high quality and performance. Capturing on any Blackmagic digital camera is way extra just like capturing on Arri/RED than it’s to any DSLR/mirrorless, but it’s priced on the shopper degree. There’s not a lot to complain about there.

If I have been to make any critique of the digital camera, it might be that I miss the Tremendous 16mm sensor measurement. Most will in all probability disagree with me right here (and I can perceive why!), however I simply love the Tremendous 16mm look. That’s what makes the Pocket Digital camera and Micro Cinema Digital camera so nice to me, and as odd as this may increasingly sound, I virtually would have most popular a smaller sensor on the digital camera. I by no means thought I might say that! 

In any case, I’m feeling extraordinarily optimistic about this digital camera, and picture that it’ll discover a house on many unbiased narrative shorts and micro-budget options. I’ll want to truly shoot with the digital camera earlier than sharing my ideas on the picture high quality (it’s fairly onerous to say based mostly on the check clips on the market), however will goal to comply with up on this quickly.

CANON EOS R – $2299

It’s a must to applaud Canon for displaying up, even when they’re late to the celebration… However their lengthy overdue entry into the skilled mirrorless market really is simply too little, too late.

I’ve shared my ideas at size up to now about Canon as an entire, typically mentioning their strongest qualities – reliability and colour science. Regardless of falling means behind Sony and Panasonic with respect options and general innovation, their cameras can nonetheless produce strong photographs, and achieve this reliably… And I’m positive the EOS R will comply with go well with.

However that is the primary new digital camera from Canon of its sort, and can function a completely new lens mount (RF). I’m simply not gonna be satisfied that these options will compel anybody to make that change –

  • 30.3MP Full-Body CMOS Sensor
  • UHD 4K30 Video; C-Log & 10-Bit HDMI Out
  • Twin Pixel CMOS AF, 5655 AF Factors
  • three.69m-Dot OLED Digital Viewfinder
  • three.15″ 2.1m-Dot Swivel Touchscreen LCD
  • Expanded ISO 50-102400, eight fps Capturing
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, SD UHS-II Card Slot
  • New RF Lens Mount

In all probability the most important grievance individuals have with this digital camera, is the 1.8x crop issue when capturing in 4K (there’s a 1.6x crop in HD). That in itself will probably be sufficient to show away many die-hard Full Body shooters… However even for many who can reside with the crop issue, why would they need to change to this digital camera?

The primary advantage of a mirrorless digital camera is measurement. And the EOS R when paired with a full body lens (and/or adapter to EF) just isn’t a small digital camera in any respect. So if it doesn’t supply worth when it comes to design, it’s lacking key options (like inner stabilization), and requires you to adapt to a completely new lens mount…

Typically, Canon’s cameras make little sense for filmmakers, however survive as a result of they nonetheless work properly for (and are in style with) photographers. However even then, I’m wondering what number of stills photographers will need to change to this technique? Personally, if I have been simply capturing stills I would like NOT to have a mirrorless digital camera. I just like the analog really feel of utilizing the mirror to look proper by way of the lens, and lots of photographers do too… So in some ways, this digital camera looks like it’s in no-mans-land.

The EOS R just isn’t a digital camera I might personally need to spend money on, and I doubt many others will both… We will all get extra digital camera for much less cash virtually anyplace else, so till extra options are added with firmware updates, or the $2299 price ticket comes down, I simply don’t see this digital camera taking off.

FUJI XT3 – $1499

I don’t know if anybody might have anticipated simply how shortly Fuji would rise to the highest of mirrorless recreation… That features myself, and I’ve been capturing on Fuji cameras for years!

Photographers all the time liked Fuji’s cameras, as they provide unimaginable shade science – arguably the perfect of any digital camera producer on the market. Simply take a look at how the Basic Chrome movie simulation mode has garnered a cult following at this level. However in addition to Fuji has finished with photographers, it wasn’t till their previous couple of fashions that the model turned a viable choice for filmmakers.

Over the previous couple of years, they’ve accomplished an entire 180, releasing cameras just like the XT2 (which I personal) and the XH1, each of which lastly provided filmmakers that tremendous Fuji look, with a digital camera physique that was absolutely practical for video recording. That trajectory has continued on with the discharge of Fuji’s XT3.

Listed here are the specs –

  • 26.1MP APS-C X-Trans BSI CMOS four Sensor
  • UHD 4K60 Video
  • F-Log Gamma
  • 10-Bit H265
  • zero.75x three.69m-Dot OLED Viewfinder
  •″ 1.04m-Dot Tilting LCD Touchscreen
  • Prolonged ISO 80-51200, 30 fps Capturing
  • Climate-Sealed Magnesium-Alloy Physique

That is successfully a totally upgraded XT2. It has a brand new sensor, inner F Log, and apparently nice autofocus – though that isn’t a function I might use myself.

The most important spotlight for me is it’s potential to document 10bit to H265 information. In contrast to widespread H264 information, H265 usually tend to require transcoding in submit, however will supply superior picture high quality whereas nonetheless holding file sizes down. Sooner or later I hope we see ProRes recording or compressed RAW in DSLRs/mirrorless cameras like this one, however for now H265 is a superb various.

Regardless of the XT3 having virtually all the newest options from Fuji, it’s clear that the XH1 continues to be the flagship of their line. That is most clearly demonstrated by the shortage of inner stabilization on the XT3… This isn’t a deal breaker for me, as I don’t actually use IBIS (I might quite a shoulder rig), however in the event you do want IBIS, the XH-line stands out as the method to go.

I’ve to think about the XT3 can be very onerous to disregard by filmmakers, even for many who by no means gave Fuji any actual thought. In any case, it’s a Tremendous 35mm digital movement image digital camera that boasts the perfect colour science out there, in a slick, retro-inspired physique. For filmmakers that select their cameras based mostly on picture high quality and design, the XT3 may be the best way to go.

On one other notice, Fuji is the one model to actually perceive methods to roll out promo footage. For the discharge of this digital camera, they labored with Matthew Libatique – one of many single greatest working cinematographers on the market – to direct and DP a brief movie utilizing the XT3. That is precisely what filmmakers need to see when assessing potential digital camera selection, and I hope the opposite manufacturers will take discover and comply with go well with!


I’ll have my very own private preferences and biases, however on the finish of the day, all three of those cameras can be utilized by filmmakers. It all the time comes right down to subjective style and private wants.

If historical past is any indication, I might think about the Blackmagic Pocket Digital camera 4K might be an enormous hit with filmmakers and small manufacturing corporations. I’m sure these will begin popping up all over the place, and we’ll see a great deal of brief movies, company spots, and perhaps the occasional function shot on them.

The Canon EOS R is anybody’s guess… I can see some die-hard Canon followers giving it an opportunity, and maybe like lots of Canon’s different cameras, it is going to exceed expectations. However nonetheless, with all of the competitors out there proper now, I don’t think about anybody operating away from Sony or Panasonic for an EOS R.

The XT3 then again, is one other story. Whereas individuals usually appear proud of their Sony A7 cameras or Lumix GH cameras, Fuji could also be providing sufficient to persuade some filmmakers to leap ship. These switching from Sony will go from dangerous colour science to one of the best, and anybody making the bounce from Panasonic may also take pleasure in that very same beautiful picture high quality whereas benefitting from the bigger Tremendous 35mm sensor.

So of the three cameras, the Pocket Cam and XT3 are clearly probably the most thrilling to me, and the XT3 is probably most certainly to be disruptive to the stronghold Panasonic and Sony have had on the mirrorless market.

What are your ideas? Let me know within the feedback under.

For extra content material like this, make sure to comply with me on Instagram, Fb, and Twitter!

Noam Kroll is an award-winning Los Angeles based mostly filmmaker, and the founding father of the boutique manufacturing home, Artistic Revolt. His work could be seen at worldwide movie festivals, on community tv, and in numerous publications throughout the globe. Comply with Noam on social media utilizing the hyperlinks under for extra content material like this!

About the author