Tilta is announcing the release of a whole line of accessories for the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4k. There are two different versions of a cage, battery solutions, grips, sunhoods and a follow focus motor to choose from or combine in a modular fashion. Here’s an overview.
We have been writing about cages for the BMPCC 4k for a while now, namely the very well made solutions by 8Sinn and LockCircle HiPock. While both of these are well made and thought-out solutions, what Tilta is trying to accomplish here is something different. Rather than just creating a cage Tilta is trying to create a whole rigging ecosystem of cages and accessory parts that can be combined in a multitude of ways to expand the utility of the BMPCC 4k as well as alleviate some of the problems that ail that camera.
Cages, top handle and baseplate
Obviously the central element of any system like this will be the actual camera cage. Tilta makes these in two versions for the BMPCC 4k, a full cage and a half cage. Both feature a multitude of 1/4″ mounting points, two 3/8″ (one with secure locking pins), and two (or three for the full cage) cold shoe mounts. In addition to that both cage come with an Allen key and a place to store it on the cage itself and integrated baseplate in the bottom of the cage. This plate is turned to the side, so that complicated baseplate constructions aren’t necessary when mounting it to a gimbal (the Ronin-S for example could not balance the BMPCC 4k properly, due to its width and the position of the plate mounting point on the bottom).
The top handle attaches to the central cold shoe mount and is secured with on thumbscrew. Apart from numerous 1/4″ and 3/8″ mounting points it features two cold shoe mounts and a 15mm rod attachment.
The baseplate features a drop-in lock mechanism for the cage and a another plate at its bottom, so that it can be mounted to a tripod. Additionally it has two attachment for all your 15mm rod based accessories, like follow focuses, handles and the like.
All parts are finished in what Tilta calls “Tactical finish”, which looks like aluminium that was painted black and that sanded down.
Battery solutions and side handles
Apart from a pretty simple NP-F battery plate that can be attached to one of the cage’s 1/4″ mounting points, there are a few more feature-rich solutions. In particular there a two bottom mounted solutions, one also using NP-F style batteries, the other using V-Mount, which are able to provide multiple DC outs, and thus power more than just your camera. The V-Mount baseplate also provides the option to mount it on 15mm rods instead of using it as a baseplate.
The side handles and what they come with are probably among the more interesting things about the system. While the MHC-3 handle seems to feature no electronics, it slots into the bottom of the cage on its left side, with a thumb screw to keep it snug and secured there, still leaving enough room to access the BMPCC 4k connection interfaces. The MHC-2 and MHC-1 both feature control wheels to work with the optional Nucleus Nano follow focus motor, a record button up top and a battery solution (the smaller MCH-1 uses LP-E6 batteries, and the larger MHC-2 NP-F style batteries). The MHC-2 also has a slot to slide a Samsung T5 SSD into and secure it there. A slew of cables is available to make many powering options available here.
Sunhoods and the SSD
As mentioned previously the SSD can be secured inside the MHC-2 grip. There is also a clamp attachment that allows mounting the SSD anywhere on the cage and interestingly enough a sunhood, that has an integrated SSD slot, as well as velcro-attachable extension to make the hood much longer shut more light out. This would come in handy as the BMPCC 4k’s screen is bright, but probably not bright enough for the sunniest of days.
Notably Tilta have made their own screw-in HDMI-angle attachments and a USB-C cable that screws right into the cage. This would probably alleviate some shooters concerns in regards to recording straight to SSD in less secure environments.
All in all, the Tilta cage system for the BMPCC 4k seems like an almost unparalleled effort at creating a modular system of accessories that can be interchangeably configured to either make the camera more capable or easy to work with (at least for cameras in this price bracket). It would be very interesting to have a hands-on session with a selection from it once it becomes available.