Blackmagic Micro Cinema vs Studio Camera – What are the differences?

Blackmagic Micro Cameras - spot the difference!

Blackmagic once again caused quite a stir at NAB with three new cameras.

I like the URSA Mini the best but here we have the old Pocket and Studio cameras reincarnated. They are a lot cuter this time.

These cameras are exceptionally innovative and certainly break all the known performance / size ratios. Although they look very similar on the surface they are aimed at very different users. I’ll now delve into how the pair of ‘identical twins’ differ in terms of personality…

Micro Cinema Camera (BMMCC)

  • Key specs – 1080p Super 16mm 13-stop camera with internal recording
  • Codec – ProRes in various flavours and losslessly compressed Cinema DNG raw at 65Mb/s to SD card like the original Pocket Cinema Camera)
  • Frame rates – Up to 60fps in rolling shutter mode, up to 30fps in global shutter mode (24p,25p present of course)
  • Not got – no 4K
  • What’s it for? Drones and cinematic POV shots.
  • What else? PWM and S.bus inputs allow you to use a model airplane remote control to operate the camera wirelessly.
  • Price? $995
  • EOSHD says: It’s a bit like a successor to the Pocket Cinema Camera minus the LCD. But the design is a lot cooler that’s for sure.

Micro Studio Camera (BMMSC)

  • Key specs – Ultra HD (3840×2160) Super 16mm camera with external recording only
  • Codec – N/A
  • Frame rates – Up to 60fps in 1080p, up to 30fps in Ultra HD
  • Not got – there’s no internal recording, you do it via SDI to an external recorder like the Atomos Shogun
  • What’s it for? B-cam on set / broadcast TV / studio productions and low budget YouTube programming
  • What else? B4 lens control
  • Price? $1295
  • EOSHD says: low budget web videos shot indoors just went 4K

What have they got in common? They both feature approximately 13mm x 7mm Super 16 sensors (3x crop) behind an active Micro Four Thirds mount. These cameras I think are essentially the previous Blackamgic Pocket and Studio cameras reincarnated with a new ergonomic design concept. They are basically camera-heads with sensors. You will need to add everything else they need such as monitors, EVFs, audio, etc. although they do have support for a decent sized Canon LP-B6 battery. That’s a smart move for the Micro Cinema Camera as the Pocket Cinema Camera had a battery which was far too small and ran out after 30 minutes. In addition the LP-B6, being the same battery used by many EVFs, monitors and Canon DSLRs is very common and easy to get hold of.