Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Pro: Initial Thoughts & Review

The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Pro is a solid upgrade from the original BMPCC 6K with better battery life and built-in ND filters
By Nirupam Nigam

Blackmagic has done a great job carving out a niche among underwater video shooters that want professional, cinema-quality video for a relatively affordable price point. The Blackmagic Cinema Camera 6K pro is a new upgrade from the original BMPCC 6K. Both cameras are a step up from the very popular Blackmagic 4K which featured a micro four thirds lens mount and 4K/60p RAW recording. The Blackmagic 6K pro features a super 35 sensor with a Canon EF lens mount as well as 6K/50p & 5K/60p recording. It's a great option for underwater video shooters that want to take their cinematography to the next level with frames featuring a shallower depth of field or crops that help reframe hard-to-reach macro subjects. The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K pro is a good upgrade from the original, though not groundbreaking. It is now equipped with built in neutral density (ND) filters, longer battery life, and a better display. So wide angle video shooters that are looking for beautiful sunballs in shallow water should be pretty excited. 


Status: Available Now at Bluewater Photo! 

U.S. MSRP: $2495



The staff at Bluewater Photo will be the first to have updates on the availability of BMPCC 6K Pro housings! So be sure to contact them at for any information on new housings or to pre-order a Nauticam BMPCC 6K Pro housing.


Pre-Order a Nauticam BMPCC 6K Pro Housing


If you can't wait for a BMPCC 6K Pro housing, the original BMPCC 6K is available now! Order a BMPCC 6K underwater housing at Bluewater Photo:

Nauticam Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Underwater Housing



Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Pro Specifications

  • Super 35 sensor with 6K (6144 X 3456) resolution (16:9) 
  • Canon EF Mount
  • 50 fps @ 6144 X 3456 (16:9)
  • 60fps @ 6144 X 2560 (2.4:1)
  • 60 fps @ 5744 X 3024 (17:9)
  • 120 fps @ 2.8K (2868 X 1512) (17:9) – crop mode
  • True anamorphic 6:5 mode in 3.7K @ 60fps (3728 X 3104)
  • New Built-in ND filters - 2,4, & 6 stops of ND
  • New 5” Bright (1500 nits) Adjustable, Tilt Touchscreen Display
  • Dual mini XLR audio outputs with 48V phantom power
  • Blackmagic RAW and ProRes 422 recording
  • Dual Gain ISO – Native ISOs at 400 and 3200 (maximum ISO of 25,600)
  • Multiple card options – Cfast Cards, SD UHD-II, and SSD Drive via USB-C cable
  • Streamlined menu system
  • No In Body Image Stabilization (IBIS) – but Canon lenses have optical stabilization
  • New NP-F570 battery - 60 minutes of recording time at 6K/24p & screen brightness @ 50%
  • Weight: 1238g
  • Size: 7.08” X 4.41” X 4.84”

blackmagic pocket cinema camera 6k underwater review

New BMPCC 6K Pro Features

Built-In Neutral Density (ND) Filters

Neutral density filters are very useful for video shooters. They darken the exposure of your video so that you can open up your aperture further without needing to use a higher shutterspeed. This means you can get a shallower depth of field in situations with a lot of light while still maintaining a shutterspeed of twice your frame rate. Underwater shooters are often in low light situations and rarely bring ND filters underwater - so the option of using built-in ND filters at any time really ads some versatility to your toolkit. These ND filters will be particularly useful taking video in shallow water with a lot of available light or trying to capture sunballs with wide angle scenes.

Combining a super 35 sensor with built-in ND filters really opens up the possibility to isolate subjects in wide angle shots and a shallow depth of field. However, you will be limited by the optics of your port with corners becoming muddled at open apertures. So to make full use of the built in ND filters, we recommend combining the Nauticam BMPCC 6K Pro housing with the Nauticam WACP-1 or WACP-2. The WACP-1 and WACP-2 correct corner sharpness by using water contact optics and allow for you to use wider apertures. Be sure to contact the friendly staff at Bluewater Photo for more information about these options.


Dual Mini XLR Ports

The Blackmagic pocket cinema camera 6K pro now has dual mini XLR ports for audio recording. This likely explains the price increase from the original 6K camera. However, in most cases it's not a notable feature for underwater shooters, due to a lack of focus on audio in underwater cinematography. The XLR ports can supply 48V of phantom power. 


Physical Changes, Battery Life, and Underwater Housing Options

The average recording time at 6K/24p RAW has been increased to 60 minutes from 45 minutes. This is a nice improvement for underwater shooters, but you'll still want to pack an extra battery pack for a full day of diving. 

The body itself is has gone through minor physical changes. The screen is now brighter and tiltable. The body itself is about an inch deeper than the original BMPCC 6K. This means there will likely need to be a new housing designed for the BMPCC 6K pro. We anticipate one housing to be available from Nauticam for the BMPCC 6K pro. The dedicated staff at Bluewater Photo will be the first to find out, so be sure to send them an email or pre-order the housing! 

Key Features on the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Pro

Super 35, 6K Resolution Sensor and Canon EF Mount

Blackmagic upgraded their micro four thirds sensor size on the 4K to super 35 so that they can accommodate for 6K resolution. The merits are obvious – more quality, more detail, better low light performance, more room for stabilization in post processing, and upgraded frame rates at lower resolution. 6K video can be shot in RAW at 50fps, which is pretty excellent considering the resolution. Slow motion video (120fps) @ 2.8K resolution is also a very exciting prospect for anyone trying to capture high quality, high resolution footage of very quick wildlife. It will also make for very stable underwater footage for videographers willing to slow down their video in post. 

The Canon EF mount offers new options, but also a few drawbacks. Many cinematographers prefer the old micro four thirds lens mount system due to the affordable and small lens options. Speed boosters could be use to adapt full frame lenses to the BMPCC 4K. But the new EF mount can be a bit more limiting for options. However, Canon lenses are known for being high quality and there are many exciting options to choose from – especially for underwater photographers looking to shoot the Canon 8-15mm fisheye, the Canon 60mm macro, or the Canon 100 mm macro. Some Canon EF lenses feature optical image stabilization which can help make up for the fact that the BMPCC doesn’t have IBIS. Full frame lenses also give video shooters the option of shooting at a shallower depth of field for a more "professional" look. 


Dual Gain ISO

Dual gain ISO isn’t a feature that most photographers have ever heard of, but it can be very helpful for video shooting. Dual gain ISO lets videographers take full advantage of their sensor by setting two Native ISO levels with minimal noise. The first level on the BMPCC 6K is a native ISO of 400. The second native ISO is 3200. This means that if you are in a dimly lit underwater environment, or shooting macro video, you can set the camera to ISO 3200 and maintain a low level of noise!



While the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K pro is not a huge upgrade from the original 6K, we think it makes an even stronger case for considering a Blackmagic camera for underwater video. Built-in ND filters will be particularly useful for shooting in shallow water with a lot of available light - especially if you combine the system with the water contact optics found in the Nauticam WACP-1 and WACP-2. The bump in battery life is a nice perk. And, of course, the BMPCC 6K pro has the same great video quality and work flow found in the original BMPCC 6K. So if you want to shoot 6K and slow-motion 5K RAW video at a good price point, the BMPCC 6K pro is currently the best option for underwater video shooters. 






Nirupam Nigam is the Editor-in-Chief of the Underwater Photography Guide and the President of Bluewater Photo - the world's top underwater photo & video retailer. While growing up in Los Angeles he fell in love with the ocean and pursued underwater photography in the local Channel Islands. After receiving degrees in Aquatic and Fisheries Science and General Biology, as well as a minor in Arctic Studies, Nirupam worked as a fisheries observer on vessels in the Bering Sea and North Pacific. Since then, Nirupam has been a full time underwater photographer and photo gear head. Check out more of his photography at!


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