Black Magic Pocket Cinema 6k vs. RED Weapon 6k


(upbeat music) – Hey, what’s up guys? Parker Walbeck here with
fulltimefilmmaker.com, and today my team and I
are going to be giving you our thoughts on the all new 6K Black Magic Pocket Cinema Camera, and we’re gonna be directly comparing it to my $50,000 RED Dragon 6K camera by showing you side-by-side footage so that you can tell
how well the Black Magic stacks up to a high-end cinema camera. Now please don’t take this
comparison too seriously. Obviously, the RED
should be a nicer camera, but it’s fun to see
how close some of these less expensive cameras
come to replicating images that you would see on the big screens. So first I’m gonna be showing you some side-by-side footage, have you vote on your favorite, then we’ll break down the differences between the two systems and
the images they produce. Check it out. (crowd chattering) (engine roaring) (gentle music) (dog whining) (laughing and soft chatter) – [Man 1] Gonna light
it, see what happens. Not even close, no. – [Man 2] Hey, good-looking. (matches scraping) (fire crackling) – Now my initial reaction
to the footage itself is that the Black Magic holds
up super well to the RED, and given the price difference, that’s really quite impressive as it comes in at just
$2,500 for the body only. Be aware though, you
should plan on spending an additional one to
$2,000 on other accessories to get it up and running,
like multiple batteries, multiple memory cards, et cetera. While the RED with all of its accessories comes out to more around $50,000. So that’s the main
advantage to the Black Magic is that it’s about 20 times cheaper. But let’s see how well it
stacks up in other categories to see if you get what you pay for, or if this is a diamond in the rough. – First let’s talk about
size and portability. There’s no question that the Black Magic is obviously the smaller of the two, coming in at just two
pounds for the body only, and the RED at five pounds, body only. Which is a reason why
we don’t choose the RED for some running gun shoots, because the sheer weight and size. So another point to the Black Magic. – All right, now let’s
talk about build quality. Immediately after opening
the box of the Black Magic and picking it up for the first time, we notice that it feels
quite a bit different than any other of our
other professional cameras. Now, the plastic on the
body camera feels cheap, but it’s actually made out
of a carbon fiber material, so it’s technically a lot stronger than most standard plastic. Our friend, Kyle who uses Black Magic as his main camera says that
he’s dropped it several times, but it’s managed to survive with no cracks or damage to the internal components. The RED, on the other hand,
is made of solid magnesium, so it’s extremely durable, but probably best not to drop it still. Now all the components that RED makes are professional-grade,
so they’re built to last. Whereas the Black Magic is geared towards more of the prosumer market where plastic is perfectly acceptable. Now we recommend getting a camera cage for the Black Magic if
you end up picking one up, so we’ll link that below, but as a standalone system, the RED has much better build quality, as it should for the price. – Next up is battery life. Our team prefers to
shoot on Canon cameras, so it was a pleasant
surprise that the Black Magic actually allows you to use Canon LP-E6. But because of the huge
6K files it produces, we went through about five batteries during our two-hour shoot. And according to Black Magic’s website, the pocket 6K will last 45
minutes per one full battery, but we found ourselves switching them out every 20 to 30 minutes. Now luckily there’s a port on the side that allows you to hook this
up to a V-Mount battery. So if you’re okay with a larger setup, then we recommend doing
that so you can shoot for longer periods of times
without any interruptions. Now the RED’s XL batteries last about three times longer
at 60 to 90 minutes, and I can usually go all day shooting off about four or five of these. But same thing, for longer takes, you might want to hook
up a V-Mount battery for this as well. But when using portable
batteries like these, the RED is going to be the winner here. I just think 20 to 30 minutes for battery life just isn’t acceptable, so I’m not even sure why Black Magic made that their standard battery. So RED wins this category. – Now on to the LCD screens. We found the large five-inch 1080P screen to be the most attractive
part of the Black Magic. Keep in mind that if
you want to get the most accurate display of colors, we recommend purchasing a
color accurate external monitor such as the small HD-Focus
or the Atomos Ninja V. On the RED, we have the external
seven-inch RED touchscreen. That costs more than the
Black Magic camera itself. It is bigger and the colors
are way more accurate in our opinion. So RED wins this one, as they should, but we still love the
nice big built-in display on the Pocket 6K. – All right, up next is ease of use. Now if you’re more familiar with the SLRs rather than bulky cinema
cameras, like we are, both the Black Magic and the RED seem pretty intimidating
when you first start to operate them. But we found that the onscreen controls as well as the physical
buttons that adjust settings on the Black Magic are a bit
more intuitive than the RED. Now the Black Magic is geared
for the prosumer market, so I think they purposely made it a little bit less intimidating
and more welcoming than other cinema cameras. Now Red also offers a week-long training that you can attend to
be able to understand all the controls and
functionalities of their cameras, which shows that there is a bit more of a learning curve with the RED. So that being said, the
Black Magic takes the win for this category. – Next category is the lens mount options. We were stoked to find
out that the Black Magic would be using the Canon EF mount on the new Pocket 6K. So for our team as Canon
users, that’s a huge plus because all of our lenses
are interchangeable. However, if you shoot
primarily with Sony lenses, for example, the Canon EF mount probably isn’t that exciting. Obviously there’s third-party adapters that you can look into, but that will affect the performance and may add some more complications to using the Black Magic camera. Whereas on the RED, you
can configure your camera to have a specific lens mount, such as what we have, the Canon EF, or you can also have a PL mount, or other mounts as well. Each of these mounts is gonna
cost $1,000 plus though, so it’s a nice option, but expensive. That having been said, for
having multiple options, the RED wins this one,
but for us personally, since we primarily use Canon lenses, this one’s a draw for us. – Since we’re on the topic of lenses, let’s talk about autofocus. Technically the Black
Magic does have autofocus, but we don’t usually recommend using it since it’s fairly slow and unresponsive. We feel like the majority of filmmakers who would be drawn to this camera wouldn’t care too much
about the autofocus anyway as it’s more of a narrative camera. So it’s not a huge drawback. But when filming interviews
with an animated subject who moves around a bit, having some sort of an
autofocus system comes in handy. The RED, on the other
hand, doesn’t even bother with autofocus because
on large productions, that job is done by a focus puller. So we’ll give this one to the Black Magic because even though it’s not that great, at least it’s an option and hopefully will continue to improve. – Now onto the main reason we chose to compare these two cameras, the resolution and frame rates. Now the RED camera can shoot 6K at up to 82 frames per second, and up to 100 frames if you
use a wider 2.4:1 aspect ratio. And the Black Magic can shoot 6K at up to 50 frames per second, and up to 60 frames at
the wider aspect ratio. Now either way, the RED can shoot almost two times more frames at 6K. For the price though, 50 frames at 6K is crazy impressive for the Black Magic. As for the quality of the 6K resolution, they are both awesome, but RED wins not only because
of the higher frame rates, but also because of
the bigger sensor size, which is our next category. – Although they both shoot 6K resolution, the RED has a bigger sensor, so the quality of each
pixel is going to be better. The RED has a crop factor of about 1.25, pretty close to full frame, and the Black Magic has
a crop factor of 1.58, which is closer to like an APSC camera. Keep in mind, this is also going to affect your lens choice as the Black Magic is going to crop significantly more. For the test footage we showed you, we used a 24 millimeter
Sigma on the Black Magic, making it a 38 millimeter
after the crop factor. And we use a 35 millimeter
Sigma on the RED, making it around a 43 millimeter
after the crop factor. Also, the bigger sensor of the RED is going to give you more
shallow depth of field, so point to the RED for
having less crop factor, higher quality pixels,
and more depth of field. – As for the images each
of these cameras produced, both gave us beautiful 6K images. However, a few other things to point out would be firstly, dynamic range, or the camera’s ability to capture both highlights and shadow detail. The Black Magic features
13.5 stops of dynamic range, which is the same amount that
we have on the 1DX Mark II. But the RED has over 16.5
stops of dynamic range. So as you can see in our tests, the Black Magic just blows out highlights and crushes shadows a little bit more. So the RED wins this one easily as it’s just going to give you cleaner, more cinematic-looking images. – Moving on to our next test
is low-light performance. Now neither of these
cameras are meant to do well in low light as they are
meant to be used on sets with well-lit scenes. That having been said, the Black Magic seemed
to do a little bit better in low light as it has dual native ISO. So when filming at 3200 ISO, it produces less noise than the RED would. RED does have a low-light specialty camera called the Gemini 5K that would
outperform the Black Magic, but the 6K Dragon wasn’t
made for low light, so Black Magic wins this one. – Diving into our next category, let’s talk about post workflow
and colored ratability. If you’re using Premiere Pro, you’ll be disappointed to hear that the Black Magic’s raw files can’t be imported into Premiere Pro unless you buy the BRAW
Studio plugin for $30. So RED definitely has an advantage there since you can easily import RED files right into Premiere without
needing to buy any plugins. As for how smooth the workflow
is with both of these files, we color-graded both the camera files and edited them without using proxies solely to see how they would
hold up against one another. This obviously depends
on your computer specs, but editing these at
half playback resolution worked out just fine and didn’t
cause any lagging to occur once we started layering
on the color grade. So no winner here. But as for color grading at 6K, both the RED and the Black
Magic have a 12 bit color depth, so they both give you great flexibility for color grading. We were super impressed with Black Magic and the color science
that they’ve come up with, however, in the editing room, we did feel that RED’s footage was easier to manipulate for color and to achieve the look we were going for. While Black Magic, on the other hand, was a little bit laggy
and took twice as long to achieve the same colors we wanted. So we’ll give this point to RED, but Black Magic isn’t too far behind. – Next category is codecs and file sizes. After our two-hour shoot,
we had 290 gigabytes of footage from the Black
Magic shooting in raw, and 344 gigabytes of
footage from the RED in raw. So the file sizes between
the two don’t vary too much. The codecs themselves are just different. Black Magic does require
you to download a $30 plugin in order to edit raw clips in Premiere, so that’s the only drawback
there with the codecs. Other than that, I’d
say this one is a draw. – Up next is the memory
card options for recording. Now the Black Magic has
a couple different ways that you can record and save you footage right out of the box. The most obvious way is
by using a CFast 2.0 card and inserting it into the card slot, but be aware that some CFast 2.0 cards aren’t fully compatible with this camera. So just make sure that
you check the memory card compatibility list that
Black Magic provides so you don’t accidentally
buy the wrong one. Now Black Magic also gives you the ability to record directly to an external SSD, like the Samsung T5, for example. Now these typically run a lot
cheaper than CFast 2.0 cards, so it might be worth checking out. Plus with the external
cage that we recommend, you can attach an SSD to
keep your setup all together. Now as for the RED,
unfortunately you can only record directly to the RED mini mags, which start at $1,500 for
less than 500 gigabytes. So it’s not nearly as
affordable as Black Magic. The clear winner here is the Black Magic for having multiple recording options and being a lot cheaper than RED. – Finally on to our last category is going to be overall image quality. We were honestly blown away with how well the Black Magic was able
to stack up to the Red. It’s pretty hard to tell
based on our comparison video which image was which, so hat’s off to Black Magic
for being able to pack a 6K sensor with raw capabilities into such a small and affordable package. It’s no question though that the RED is known for its incredible resolution, high dynamic range, frame rates, color depth and so on. So overall, image quality
is going to go to RED, but again, we are super
impressed with Black Magic, that it was able to keep
up as well as it did. Now our overall thoughts on
the Black Magic 6K Pocket Cinema camera is that it’s
a great narrative style camera on a budget, but personally, we all agreed that none of us would actually use this camera, mostly because none of us really shoot narrative-style videos. And for the style of videos we shoot, the 1DX Mark II is much more practical with better battery life, autofocus, easier workflow, better
in-camera colors and so on. So based on all these categories that were important to us, the RED is the clear
winner in this shootout, but obviously you’re going to pay an insane amount more money. So it’s exciting to see a company like Black Magic pushing the envelope and developing affordable cameras that even come close to a cinema camera. But hopefully this helped
you guys get an idea of how good the Black Magic
cinema camera really is, along with some of its
limitations to be aware of. Special thanks to Adorama
for sending this to us. We’ve linked in the description where you can buy one for yourself. Also, this comparison was a team effort, so special thanks to Landon and Jake, and our buddy Kyle Abbott
for doing some research and shooting and editing this video. You can check out more of their work by clicking in the links below. Also as our team continues to grow, we’re gonna have more manpower to produce more videos like this, so leave comments for
us below letting us know what gear you’d like to
see us test out next, or other ideas for
content you’d like to see on our channel. And as always, if you’d like to learn more about becoming a master at
achieving cinematic shots as well as how to run your
own video production company, you can join our online film school at fulltimefilmmaker.com to
see over 300 more tutorials just like this. Or to see a preview of
what the course is like, you can sign up for our free one-hour filmmaking training by clicking over here. But that’s it, thanks for tuning in. Don’t forget to subscribe. And if you have any further questions, please let us know.

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