This is a mod I have wanted to do for ages to my Canon 5D Mk. II, but really didn’t know how. Now there’s a filmmaker who lights the way, by adding a flip up screen to his Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K. But the question remains … do we dare?
Obviously, this kind of DIY modification will likely void your camera warranty, so be advised. But a filmmaker known as “Power_Cheung” has put a flip up LCD screen on hinges and attached it to the back of his Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K. So a filmmaker in China decided to make one.. The hinges look to be friction style, meaning that you can flip them up to any angle and the screen will stay in place.
Cheung did themed as an ‘engineering concept’ to see if such a modification could work with the eye on creating a kit that filmmakers could use to do their own screen mod. From the looks of it, the design is quite rustic, which you would expect from a home grown mod.
I think Cheung removed the 5″ touchscreen screen from the Pocket Cinema Camera 4K and placed it in a machined aluminum enclosure and then connected that to a pair of hinges, which were then screwed into the body of the cavity. There also looks to have a hard plastic, or even carbon fiber buck installed in the screen cavity to hold the whole thing in place.
Chueng also didn’t use off the shelf parts for his mod of the Pocket Cinema Camera 4K, opting for CNC machined parts of his own design. “Although the cost is higher,” Cheung says, “the usability is still very good.” The maximum angle is able to provide for a “selfie view of the camera image, but still falls a tad short of 180 degrees. And while it physically shows the proper image, it’s still upside down, as there’s obviously no firmware feature that allows for a flip up screen. Cheung says that a future version will have a larger angle of view.
That leads to the question, how did Cheung connect the screen to the Pocket Cinema Camera 4K itself? Well, there’s a ribbon cable that sneaks out of the LCD and into the body of the camera, but it lies too exposed for my liking. I can see that ribbon cable wearing and breaking over time.
I would think a safer option would be to connect via miniHDMI and then to a larger housing that has an HDMI in port. But that would be about twice as bulky. Still, it would protect the delicate innards of the screen circuitry while out in the field. Better yet, why not have a wireless solution?
Cheung also says that with a flip up configuration like this, space is freed up on the back to mount a battery gusset, a solid state drive to record to, or other hardware accessories. He’s even working on a lens adapter, which is hinted in the images.
I like this guy’s moxie to be sure, but I’m not so sure I would want to ruin the LCD screen on this Pocket 4K by using a DIY kit. It’s definitely not for the faint of heart. And it would definitely void your warranty! Then again, the benefits of giving your camera a flip up screen are enormous.
I hope the guys at Blackmagic are paying attention. This could be a great addition to the next generation.