Blackmagic Design camera enthuses have been clamoring for a box camera for some time now. I think the URSA, being a larger/heavier ENG-style camera, has possibly run its course. Smaller lighter in 2024 will be what many want, and the several iterations of the Pocket and Cinema Cameras getting mild updates are making BMD users want something new and different.
BMD has always been a disruptor in the market, and I applaud this as it keeps the competition on its toes, but they haven’t introduced a new Cinema Camera with a whole new body design in a while, and as I said. The “box” camera is something people are asking for.
I have some opinions on the box camera as I’ve used the Z Cam models for many years. The RED Komodo, like all RED cameras, also share the camera brain design. The Box camera is a good option if you want absolute control of the accessories and rig setups, but at a cost as the box camera requires a lot of accessories to make your dream rig a reality.
In Comes The Nexus Project
The Nexus Project is a new Thomas Boland company which is behind the Pocket 6K G1 box camera mod. It’s still in the design and specification stages, so don’t get overly excited. If you look at their website, they do a lot of industrial design and R&D, so this does look to be a well-suited company to attempt a mod kit.
The company states that the Nexus is an optimized Box form factor cinema camera based around the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6k G1. It will be a composite body comprising polymer and alloy elements for the best of both worlds – lightweight and high strength.
They intend to make this available as a ready-to-shoot prebuilt camera and a kit to convert their own camera.
It is currently 4.3″ wide by 5.1″ tall by 6.8″ long. However since the lens and battery are recessed into the body, the effective length when compared to other cameras is only about 4.3″.
The Nexus will optionally have a positive lock MFT mount which may be adapted up to EF, PL, or any other longer flange distance mount you like, with a flick of the mount lock.
The MFT mount because it is the only mount which can legally be used that has a short flange distance and that has many adaptors available for it in other mount types.
However, even better would be L mount, so the company has contacted Leica and requested approval to use the mount.
1. Rear mount mini V-mount to give long run time and balance out lens weight. (50w v-mounts mount flush with back of cam, larger batts protrude). Also looking to enable Gold Mount compatibility.
2. Optional SDI out.
3. Optional internal electronic ND filter.
4. SSD module system for affordable media storage via cfast input to free up USB C port for gimbal camera control (similar to red mags but affordable).
5. Hot-pluggable detachable tiltable original screen which may be positioned in multiple locations.
6. Ports all on right hand side of cam for shoulder rig users.
7. Positive locking EF mount, original EF mount, or PL mount. Also considering passive mounts of other types such as L mount, E mount, RF mount.
8. Built-in Lpe-6 for V-mount/gold mount hot-swapping.
9. Built-in standardized adjustable length 15mm LWS (60mm spaced) bottom Rig rods for mounting follow focus, lens support, and mattebox.
10. Optional speedbooster from s35 to Fullframe equivalent coverage.
11. Optional detachable right side grip handle, with built-in control functions (Iris, iso, shutter angle, 3 presets, record, thumb wheel).
These are some big swings! The internal electronic ND alone will be tough to achieve, but hey! Go for it! Another impressive idea is to use the touchscreen monitor as a detachable device to place it in different locations.
This is a big swing when it comes to a modification kit. It’s also not clear how easy the mod is to perform. Will it require pulling the components from the original camera and putting them into the mod kit? That sounds complicated and potentially disastrous if not performed correctly and a board gets fried. Plus, the cost of the mod kit.
Another potential issue is if Blackmagic Design actually comes out with a ‘box’ camera in 2024. It’s all crazy cool, and I applaud the creative spirit.
If interest is peaked, they will likely go to a crowdfunding campaign to fund the project. As I said, this idea is in the early stages and could take at least a year to achieve inventory, but ya never know.
We will be following this one!