Tiltaing, the arm of Tilta that let's you submit product ideas, has a new screen adapter for the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera that improves its display versatility.
The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema 4K and 6K cameras have been a huge hit for a whole host of reasons. Amazing resolution, RAW shooting, a tremendous amount of workflow flexibility, including shooting to SSD or straight to a thumb drive, and a tight integration with Blackmagic post tools – all at low price point.
One area that has left some filmmakers frustrated is its ergonomics, especially the lack of a tilting screening. For a camera intended to this compact, a tilting screen for handheld movements seems like a no-brainer. It lets you put the camera near the ground or at the top of your reach and still see the image. Without it or a separate monitor, it limits the kinds of shots you can accomplish. To solve that problem, the Tiltaing development program has released a tilt screen modification for the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Cameras.
The modification, which has to be done by Tilta, only adds an additional 66 grams to the camera package, but it will help tremendously in setting up the camera for a wide variety of viewing situations that wouldn't be possible others. It's made from aluminum-alloy, carbon fiber, and stainless steel to flip the screen 180° for self shooting.
In the above image you'll see what appears to be a removable drive mag at the bottom of the area where the screen used to be, but that's not a battery, it's actually a mount for international storage, either SATA based SDD or NVMe. Using an adapter to turn around the external USB-C port on the left side of the camera, you can now mount storage into a position that is much more ergonomic than sticking it off to the side. While you could just stick a USB stick into the slot and shoot right, if you do so you always run the risk of the USB just getting whacked while you walk around. Moving the storage to an internal position avoids that, and also offers the blazing fast speeds of NVMe.
Particularly interesting about this modification is that it's coming out relatively late into the lifecycle of the camera line, especially the 4K. We're currently 2 years into the life of the Blackmagic Pocket 4K, which is generally "mid cycle" on a digital camera and isn't a time where you see a huge volume of new accessories. Accessory makers usually put most of their effort into the first few months to a year of a new platform to come out with compatible accessories.
The fact Tiltaing is willing to put resources into this point in the release cycle says a lot about their faith in the continued popularity of the camera platform. This product is a result, in fact, of their new Open Project Development platform where anyone can submit ideas for new products. Similar to consumer platforms like Quirky, it's good to see the possibility for users to be able to contribute to the creation of the tools they want to use.
The biggest hurdle is that this work really requires sending in your camera to the Tilta facility in Burbank, California to do the conversion, which will take 3-5 business days, plus any additional time dealing with the shipping. However, if you can live without your camera for two weeks, it is worthwhile upgrade to consider for more flexible shooting.
You can also do the modification yourself, and while we're big DIY folks here, there is one particular question in the FAQ that makes me a bit nervous: If you can't finish it yourself, they won't finish it for you, they only work on unmodified cameras. This seems like a fair policy, especially if you broke something major while trying to do the installation yourself, but also really points to a company that is aware this install might be beyond the normal DIY type project.
Pricing & Availability
Depending on the modification kit, it can cost anywhere from $279 - $548. Find out more at Tilta.
but how's the quality of Tilta's monitor compared to the original?
April 6, 2020 at 10:16AM
This modification uses the original Pocket 4K/6K screen, so it keeps all of the same touch functionality. It's literally just a kit to do the conversion yourself.
April 6, 2020 at 10:42AM
Totally interested until I realized it was the same monitor. At this point I need an ultrabright.
April 6, 2020 at 10:58AM
That would be a sweet upgrade. Next gen though :)
December 19, 2020 at 2:37PM
I'll do the mod if the tilt screen works with the 6.1 firmware.
April 6, 2020 at 2:00PM, Edited April 6, 2:01PM
It's just adding a fancy hinge - so it shouldn't impact firmware
December 19, 2020 at 2:37PM