How DIY is the Tilta BMPCC 4K/6K Display Modification Kit?

October 1st, 2020

Have you thought about purchasing the Tilta flip screen modification kit for your BMPCC 4K / 6K camera but you are hesitant to install it yourself? Then let me invite you to read on …

The Tilta flip screen modification kit really caught my interest last year at IBC 2019 (see our coverage here and here) – as a Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K owner, I felt that this kit would improve the usability of the camera significantly.

Tilta BMPCC 4K:6K Flip Screen Modification Kit – Image credit: Tilta

Tilta BMPCC Flip Screen Modification Kit – Why?

But not only the flip screen modification would be useful, also the clever inclusion of an SSD holder behind the screen is part of the modification.

The kit is now starting to be available, and you have the choice (in the US) to buy the kit and do the modification on your own or send in your camera and let the Tilta guys do it for you – for an additional 249 USD.

Let’s try it ourselves …

When the modification kit arrived at the CineD Vienna headquarters and my colleague Nino asked me if I want to install it on my camera, I was hesitant. I had never opened up any camera before, and don’t consider myself the do it yourself guy either.

But the offer was simply too tempting to ignore, so I went ahead and installed the kit – have a look at the video above!

Should I attempt to install the kit or not?

Tilta provides a very good 1:38h video tutorial which covers each and every step of the modification. (Unfortunately skipping the 90 seconds advertisements before the tutorial is not possible).. So my little report of doing this modification is not a “how to” tutorial, it is intended to give you a feeling – a basis – to decide for yourself if you should try this or not.

After all, there is a risk to destroy your camera in the process. It’s really up to you whether you want to risk it or not!

All In – Installing the Kit

The initial steps are surprisingly easy, and the video tutorial of Tilta is really good. All the needed tools are in the box, a hairdryer and a knife are needed in addition.

So initially I made good progress – I needed about 15mins for every 5mins of the tutorial.

One word of caution: you have to disconnect and reconnect a lot of very fragile, tiny cables. Right in the beginning I almost kinked one of those cables.

The cables & connectors are quite fragile – there is a risk of bending them if not careful.

Then, around halfway through (after ~1.5hrs), a point is reached where you have to insert a battery to do a test if the LCD screen works properly.

In the middle of the process – close to the first test of the LCD screen.

My Personal Low Point in the Process

And yes, it happend: starting my camera to do the test my LCD screen didn’t work. This was an absolute low point. The thing is, what should you do? My mind was racing.

Checking some of the connections didnt help. Should I just revert back and forget about the kit? My camera is still under warranty – but Blackmagic would not take it back for sure as it is obvious that the camera was opened.

Then I decided to take a break. I came back after 25mins and repeated the last few steps, mainly reconnecting all the (fragile) connectors.

And then the magic happened: it worked and I could resume.

The second half of the modification was without any issues and I completed the whole installation in 4hrs.

As a summary, this whole process of installing the kit is not for the faint-hearted – I had several moments where I almost lost it.

In hindsight, I would definitely recommend to send your camera to Tilta – unfortunately this service is only offered in the US.

Small(ish) Issues with the Tilta BMPCC 4K/6K Modification Kit

The modified connector plate which replaces the original BMPCC 4K/6K plate sticks a bit farther out of the camera, thereby I couldn’t get the microphone connection to work (i.e. the mic plug on the camera side doesnt sit flush with the plate anymore).

I shaved off 1mm of the rubber of my mic cable, then the connection worked properly.

The new connector plate of the modification kit sits a bit farther out – hence I had to modify the microphone cable.

All other connections were fine.

The monitor cable is bent when you install the tilt mechanism, and is flexed / strained every time you move the monitor. This is definitely a design flaw – I wonder how long this cable will last. Tilta supplies a spare cable for a good reason obviously.

The monitor connection cable is put under strain with every move of the screen – I wonder how long this will last. A spare cable is included in the kit though.

Using the Camera with the Kit in the Field

Now 6 weeks have passed since I had installed the kit, and I have used my BMPCC 6K almost on a daily basis. I had it 2 weeks on a sailboat in Croatia as well, putting the camera in and out of my backpack multiple times a day.

I can report that I am super happy with the kit! The modification parts are of very high quality, everything still feels super solid and the cam has become so much more versatile. Also, the clever inclusion of the SSD holder behind the screen keeps the original footprint of the camera the same – really nice!

Now, my only wish would be that someone designs a sunshade for the flip out screen – Tilta? Despite putting the screen brightness to 100%, it is still sometimes difficult to see the screen in direct sunlight.

Tilta BMPCC 4K:6K Flip Screen Modification Kit – Image credit: Tilta

Summary

I can only applaud Tilta of their bold move to supply such an innovative, well thought-through modification kit.

It ticks all of the boxes for me to use the BMPCC 6K “naked” without a cage. Just attach an external mic, grab a few spare batteries and off you go – fantastic.

However – if you ask me now to modify another BMPCC 4K/6K camera I would refuse – those 4 hours of installing the kit were quite terrifying at times ;-)

Did some of you install the Tilta kit? What are your experiences? Let us know in the comments below …

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RWR
RWR
Guest
October 6th, 2020

So ridiculous a 3rd party has to offer this for what Jannard at one point described as a vlogger camera. You’d think they would have taken feedback on P4k and implemented a proper flip screen on P6k

Admin
October 6th, 2020
Reply to  RWR

Jannard? Wrong manufacturer :)

Kai Otte
Kai Otte
Member
October 4th, 2020

I’d like to know how the control port works, just short it and rec starts or does it support full LANC? Can you use it with the Nucleus Nano

Chris Joseph
Chris Joseph
Guest
October 2nd, 2020

I saw a very similar kit for the Sigma FP a few weeks ago. I wonder if Tilta will offer that one too.

Chris Joseph
Chris Joseph
Guest
October 5th, 2020
Reply to  Gunther Machu
Brian Williams
Brian Williams
Member
October 1st, 2020

Btw, I ordered from a third party via AliExpress, not from Tilta directly (though their US storefront where they do the mods themselves is a town over from here in Burbank). But I wasn’t prepared to pay the installation fee they ask for.

T S
T S
Member
October 1st, 2020

and I agree the camera is so much more fun to use now
I really like Blackmagic for what they do ,but the Pocket ergonomics and functionality is very poor…its almost like a very bad joke
I really wish they would make a Zcam/Komodo like cube to let people rig it themselves
less weight and together with Braw it would be a dream come true

I did this flip sceern mod also about 7month , got it from the Inventor directly (Taobao)
had the exact same problem with the screen not turning on at first try , but checking the connectors again helped…since then it works perfect
he sells a kit for the Sigma FP as well now, this one has a cool looking sunhood

Larry Vaughn
Member
October 1st, 2020

This kit was a lot less expensive when it was directly available from China. I’d rather buy a 2200 nit daylight viewable lcd screen for 150-$300 that is larger. However, there is something to be said for the self contained camera, so why not offer a brighter lcd screen replacement? And NVMe memory capability, do you hear me Blackmagic?

Joray Joseph
Joray Joseph
Member
October 1st, 2020

I placed my order for this Tilta kit since Early in the year (Before the pandemic shutdowns) and have still yet to receive my kit. It has been over six months and it seems Tilta are letting you send in your camera to let them do the repair but aren’t selling the kits for DIY. I suspect it’s definitely so they can make the most money on the kits but it’s completely disingenuous and rubs me the wrong way that they would treat their customers this way. I was a Tilta user but until my kit ships I’ve been buying Smallrig and Camvate cages, parts and accessories for my slew of cameras for my team so the longer they keep this up the more money they do not receive from me

Jake Paxton
Jake Paxton
Member
October 1st, 2020

I had Tilta do the modification for my P6K and I love it. The only thing with this mod is that the plugs for the ports are annoying and I ripped them off.

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