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June 29, 2014

Blackmagic URSA 4K Cinema Camera Should Get Higher Than 60FPS This Year

blackmagic-ursa small[UPDATE: You can hear the full interview here.] I had the chance to talk with Blackmagic CEO Grant Petty back at NAB 2014, and while it's taken a while to get the interview together, it will finally be going live on Monday. Grant offered up tons of fascinating details about his mindset with hardware, his take on the rest of the industry, and what's going on with the Production Camera 4K, and he also gave some interesting tidbits about the new URSA 4K Digital Cinema Camera, which was first announced back at NAB. I've put together a teaser in which Grant mentions that the URSA is not only capable of frame rates higher than 60fps, but that they should be coming this year.

If you missed our video interview with Blackmagic President Dan May showing off the URSA, here it is again:

Even if they don't ship the camera immediately with the newer sensor that is capable of higher than 60fps (which likely means higher frame rates at both 1080p and 4K), you'd still be able to upgrade down the line. While the URSA is expected to start shipping this summer, Blackmagic has had a difficult time delivering their cameras on-time. Since they don't make the sensors that are going into any of their cameras, at times they are at the mercy of the sensor fabricators, who may not always be consistent or may have quality differences between test runs and full production runs.

The other big thing with the URSA is that it has interchangeable sensors, which means it can be upgraded at any time. Since, as Grant mentions, the body itself is so powerful, you should be able to upgrade your sensor down the line when better ones are released. That's a huge advantage for this camera, but he did mention in the full interview that the sensors are not really meant to be changed out on a daily basis, only once in a while if you wanted to upgrade or if you wanted to change out the sensor because the project you're working on requires something else.

I also asked Grant about the image issues people were seeing with the 4K camera, and he gave a pretty interesting answer which you can hear in the full interview coming tomorrow.

Link: Blackmagic URSA 4K Digital Cinema Camera -- B&H

Your Comment

39 Comments

I think the idea behind URSA is pretty cool but as someone who prefers handheld shooting the thing looks like a nightmare to me (but that's just my opinion).

June 29, 2014

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Coty

It's pretty well balanced, and that's the key to putting any camera on your shoulder when you shoot handheld. There is no question it is heavy, but having shot quite a bit of broadcast, balance can be more important than weight in being able to shoot for long periods.

June 29, 2014

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Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director

No disrespect on this post, but to be honest unless this post contains straight answers surrounding the fixed noise patterns in the 4k model , then no one really cares.

We already saw your interview at NAB and really no new real world info , them (blackmagic) telling us in an interview about possible hire frame rates beyond shipping dates is "Just hot air" , not saying that it will not be true , but just like everything else blackmagic , their level of respect on their "word" is not exactly high on the totem pole of the people, even the ones that have purchased their equipment.

Again no hate just some real talk , i said nothing offensive or harmful or anything remotely close to be considered trolling

June 30, 2014

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cJay

Who's "nobody"? You mean yourself and a few other 4K owners right? I found this interesting and as much as I feel for the owners of the 4K it doesn't affect me because I wouldn't buy one. Not being shitty here dude but you can't just say "don't post anything about BMD cameras unless it addresses my own concerns and your disclaimer at the end doesn't negate you from responsibility dude.

June 30, 2014

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So you're saying you would be interested in hearing about high frame rates hot air even though the current camera has fixed noise patterns

Again like I said before nobody cares to hear about future dreams until you take care if current 4k camera problems

That is like Toyota not fixing faulty brake problems or directly addressing fixing current problems in cars

June 30, 2014

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cjay

That's precisely what I'm saying yes dude.

July 2, 2014

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Just curious - what's the difference between getting higher FPS in the camera itself or deriving it in post from a 24p footage via something like Twixtor?

June 29, 2014

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DLD

Time and accuracy. Twixtor is awesome, but takes a lot of effort to get right. Higher framerates gives you perfect slo-mo, dead easily and perfectly. Also Twixtor is more $ to shell out.

June 29, 2014

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Kent

Twixtor only interpolates missing frames by creating new ones based on the frames before and after which means it's only really good for slowing down things that are predictable to the algorithm. For example you can keep your fingers stiff and wave your hand in front of a camera and that should be fine as it's a simple motion. If you were to open and close your hand though it would struggle because it can't know how a hand is supposed to move. Hope that makes sense :)

June 30, 2014

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Ya, thanks, Kent and Kraig. I was thinking along the same lines but I didn't know the type of algorithms Twixtor may be using. I suppose each update and each CPU upgrade make the software function even better. Now, I wonder if one could take a 15 fps of a GoPro and stretch it to 24 the same way ...

June 30, 2014

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DLD

Hi, you can't create information that is not there. Twixtor cannot defy physics, hence the need for high speed cameras...

June 30, 2014

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Keith

Hi, Keith. I understand this too but if the eye can't see it, then it's a reasonable facsimile of the real thing.
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BTW, as I watch the World Cup, I see these amazing slow-mo shots and realize that they are hardware created but, at the same time, I have also seen some Twixtor clips with the time line stretched many times over and yet looking far beyond my ability to discern it from the footage done in camera.

July 1, 2014

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DLD

It also has an incredible hard time dealing with motion blur meaning you have go use unusually high shutter speeds to obtain good results, fast moving objetcs like waterdrops will still warp regardless, it is less then ideal as results are unpredictable and can never replace high frame rates IMO

July 1, 2014

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Raul

SO will there no more focus on the traditional body styles of blackmagic? All future tech will be focused on Ursa only? Or if I want the new sensor I can pay more to have it in the the old school smaller body?

June 29, 2014

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VinceGortho

No interchangeable sensors for them. They are focusing on firmware updates for these cameras. I would be really surprised if they offered something like that for BMCC.

June 29, 2014

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Kent

I still wish there was a BMCC version of the URSA or even a BMPCC super 16 version. The older sensors are more proven than the 4k sensor why force the consumer to the 4k, when BM has not figured out the 4k yet.

June 29, 2014

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Txtechphoto

It's profound that there really are people who think, genuinely think, 4K is being forced on the consumer.

The truth is the consumer wants every new technological development they can afford. Some consumers will even take on a sort-term second job to get cash to buy the latest gizmo.

June 29, 2014

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Enjoying Some G...

It's a little bit of both. There are plenty of people who will be watching Standard Def channels on their 4K TV because they just don't know any better. That's how these things go.

June 29, 2014

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Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director

I should have been clearer I was meaning the professional consumers of Blackmagic products. I am saying they do not have the Production cam 4k figured out, they should give themselves some time to figure the 4k aquisition out then release the 4k version of URSA while the 2.5k version of Ursa is already out in the wild.

June 30, 2014

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Txtechphoto

I see.

June 30, 2014

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Enjoying Some G...

Nobody is forcing you to buy anything

June 29, 2014

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john jeffries

Im aware John, Thanks!

June 30, 2014

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Txtechphoto

I see his point, it would be nice to have the Ursa features with a BMPCC or BMCC sensor (since the sensor is interchangeable), if only for the lowlight. Just to have the option.

June 29, 2014

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Kent

Exactly Kent, who knows how many fps they could get off the BMPCC with the improved cooled body of the URSA. And they should have stuck with a SSD option. If it has the same low light problem and limited dynamic range like the production camera plus the pricepoint and camera weight; im just not sure who this is gonna sell to? I have worries about the AJA cam as well. hopefully I am wrong.

June 30, 2014

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Txtechphoto

URSA is heavier than Sony F65......

June 29, 2014

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Ash

those P2 card alone will kill this camera for any transitioning DSLR user.

$1500 = 20 mins??? DAYUM!

June 30, 2014

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Adam

Pretty sure the prices are going to drop once the camera is released. It's just high right now because nobody is using them and they are brand new

June 30, 2014

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john jeffries

They also said a third party manufacturer would create a OLPF for the BMC. You can't trust Blackmagic on anything related to time, you have to take things as is.

June 30, 2014

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ryan

That is still the case ....

http://www.bmcuser.com/showthread.php?4697-(June-26th-2014)-Mosaic-Engineering-Blackmagic-OLPF-AA-Filter/page41

June 30, 2014

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CoolHandLuque

Check the Atmos Ninja Stars CFast Cards at $160 for 64g

http://www.newsshooter.com/2014/06/08/cinegear-2014-video-atomos-showcas...

June 30, 2014

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Rich Bella

The Atomos-branded cards are CFast 1.0, whereas the URSA required CFast 2.0.

July 3, 2014

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1200 actually, is what was the price range for the cards I believe. Hey don't forget though, you get 6mins of RAW! YAY! ;\

July 26, 2014

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charlie boy

Meh.. specs specs specs.. I want to see some footage right out the Camera.. the specs are irrelevant. to one manufacturer 16 stops (or lol 18 stops) of dynamic range equals to 14+ stops of the other. It's a freaking circus out there.

But at the end of the day it's the look of the footage that counts

June 30, 2014

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Pietro

lets hope that they release a new model next year that uses Sata Express (aka sata4). Sata3 aka sata 6gbps supports ~600mbps, sata express supports 1600mbps. That will be faster than cfast and far cheaper as ssd's .

June 30, 2014

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dave

The more I find out about this camera, the more I like. It seems like an excellent value for people who prefer external controls and built-in monitoring/audio recording capabilities over working in a menu and building a kit around one of the Blackmagic Design cinema cameras. This could also used as an ENG camera if they design implantable sensors with better low light capabilities and global shutter. I just can't figure out why it records to CF cards internally instead SSD's. This could turn out to be a poor man's Amirra.

June 30, 2014

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Marc B

Probably because of durability and size. An SSD is still a hard drive which is susceptible to drops and static charge. Going with cFast is a great idea, but they should have just licensed the P2 tech from Panasonic and gone with that; a least those are available now and the transfer rate is high.

June 30, 2014

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I'd REALLY like to know, will all of these future sensors be the same size?

I'd really love for our cameras to have 35mm (Or even larger) sensors.

Arri is rumored to be developing a 65mm equivalent and I believe that larger than 35mm sensors will be a leading trend in the next 2 years.

June 30, 2014

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Josh

I read a lot of posts on different sites ect. And I have noticed that a lot of people are so concerned with this new CF system there going with for the new BMC. And how damn costly it is. But if someone is even considering shelling out over 6grand for the cam itself, then the CF card shouldn't even matter. Bc you obviously have the cash.

If the price is bothering you that much, you more then likely can't even afford the camera by itself.

Personally I am saving at this moment for my new camera. I will be saving for the next 3 years still. And intend on shelling out my cash for a RED. Unless in 3 years something better and cheaper with the same quality arrives.

Which has a high probability to do so, as technology continues to strive in a positive direction.

July 26, 2014

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charlie boy

I agree. I'm saving up for an "ARRI Amira " but will probably land on something waaaaaaaay cheaper in 2 years or so.

August 30, 2014

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Danny Boi