August 10, 2014

The First Blackmagic URSA Footage Is Finally Here, & It's Absolutely Gorgeous

Ursa SunriseLast week, we got word that the highly anticipated Blackmagic URSA cinema camera was at last starting to make its way out into the wild. With the camera landing in the hands of some capable cinematographers, it was only a matter of time before footage started to surface. As was the case with the previous Blackmagic cameras, Australian DP John Brawley was among the very first to spend some quality time with the URSA, and now, we finally have some footage to sink our teeth into.

Before getting to Brawley's video, which he shared on his blog, here's what he had to say about how he shot the video:

This clip was shot over a period of about 90 mins.  I filled three of my four 128Gb SanDisk CFast 2.0 cards and did it on two Vlock batteries. Many of the shots were done before sunrise.  Pretty impressive for 400 ISO @ T4 at that frame rate. All shots are ISO 400, 60 FPS at 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) ProRes HQ except for just one which was 24 FPS, the shot of the sun actually rising in shot.

One thing to note.  The Cooke 25-250 zoom is a vintage lens that’s over 30 years old.  It’s quite soft on the edges even when the centre is sharp.  You’ll also see a lot of chromatic aberration.  It’s hardly what you’d call a modern lens design.  But I like it for it’s personality. I used the True ND 9 and 1.5 once the sun was up.

Because of the characteristics of the vintage Cooke zoom that Brawley used, it's a bit difficult to judge some of the technical aspects of the following footage, but from a purely aesthetic perspective, it's pretty damn gorgeous.

Of course, it's extremely difficult to judge the images in this video both because of the lens that Brawley used and the shooting situation. However, as first footage goes, this clip provides us plenty to be excited about in regards to the Blackmagic URSA.

Link: Ursa Does Bronte -- John Brawley

Your Comment

129 Comments

So exciting!! Does this mean that the black sun spot is banished?

August 10, 2014

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Andrew Johnston

from his blog: "I should add, single node grade in Resolve, no NR and I had to fix two shots with black sun."

August 10, 2014

0
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John Cliff

Since these are first shots to promote the camera you should have left the black spots in so people know what they are getting as potential customers. I know we can imagine it but it would be good to see.

August 10, 2014

1
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This whole black sun thing is the dumbest thing...I saw an episode of Sherlock where a flashlight was shone into the lens and the center went black. What was it shot on? Alexa.

August 11, 2014

0
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Gabe

its inherent to every CMOS sensor. Its just that the blogs like to talk shit on blackmagic all the time.

August 11, 2014

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john jeffries

I've never seen it on any camera I've used but I've never used a BM camera. Its not on every camera. I'd say very few cameras.

August 12, 2014

1
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Agree not even my ole T3i has it.

August 14, 2014

1
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Gary Simmons

I shoot on a Sony PMW-350K on a daily basis and sometimes on a Sony PMW-200 - both have CMOS sensors and both never show a black sun or any kind of black light source.

August 15, 2014

3
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Heiko

Never seen that in countless of hours of Alexa footage. May have been due to operator error. Some software packages freak out if they receive an image with values above 1.0 and will draw false colors.

August 11, 2014

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Uncompressed

Alexa does it with the current Firmware.

JB

August 12, 2014

0
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John Brawley

I was going to make a seriously snarky comment about whip the camera left to right in a shot. Looking at specs-It's apparently a Global Shutter CMOS sensor-so my near bad. Hey Sony-buy a clue!

August 10, 2014

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Lord Bronco

Why Sony? At least they have the global shutter of the F55. Why hmmm.. Canon who probably dont have a single global shutter. Few cameras have global shutter. But even fewer cameras have BLACK SPOTS.... Which would you prefer?

August 10, 2014

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The C100-500 are global shutter. All their DSLRs are rolling shutter.

August 10, 2014

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Levi Stutzman

That is simply not true. The Canon C line just has a fast - but rolling -readout of the sensor, negating most of the jittery jello-cam of DSLR's. Fast pans or fast moving objects through a static frame will still skew and flashing lights will still occupy two halves of separate frames. Very much a traditional CMOS sensor.

August 10, 2014

1
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Einar

jinx

August 10, 2014

4
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ryan

That's not true. C100-500 have a faster rolling shutter. But it's not a global shutter. It also wouldn't have nearly the low light capability it does if it were a global shutter

August 10, 2014

1
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ryan

I had to look it up. You are actually 100% incorrect. Please do your research before you come here and spread misinformation.

The C100-C500 may have LESS rolling shutter artifacts than many other CMOS sensors (they use software to mitigate SOME of it) but they the rolling shutter jello is still undeniably present.

FYI: It is nearly impossible to build a CMOS sensor with a global shutter unless you have some kind of mechanical or optical contraption in front of the sensor like Red has done with their Motion Mount and others do with a spinning mirror.

PLEASE DO YOUR RESEARCH so young kids don't start internalizing your misinformation that you spout off without proper due diligence.

August 10, 2014

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Harry Pray IV

'FYI: It is nearly impossible to build a CMOS sensor with a global shutter unless you have some kind of mechanical or optical contraption in front of the sensor like Red has done with their Motion Mount and others do with a spinning mirror. " Well, no, a global shutter can be implemented in circuitry, as it is in the CMOSIS CMV12000, the sensor in the Ursa, the BM4K, and the Aja Cion.

August 11, 2014

1
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Tzedekh

You're also incorrect. =P May want to take your own advice and do research.

August 11, 2014

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Kholi

I'd much rather see these sort of tests than charts. The fact that he used a vintage lens just proves how much versatility there is with most digital cameras, and the final outcome is a variant of so many possible choices. The reality is, most these cameras are very capable. In the right hands anyone should be able to create a great image. Film still seems to be the de facto standard, but I think it's ridiculous to think something has to look a certain way.

August 10, 2014

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tony

Charts are much more useful, because any camera can make a seaside sunset look good. There are no lit skintones, for example, in this, so we have no idea what skin really looks like.

August 13, 2014

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Robert Ruffo

That's what I thought... you can make this kind of sunset look good on almost any kind of modern camera. Take any kind of DSLR with a decent lens - if you know what you're doing, it will look great.

Also, once you upload it to vimeo, you can't really judge the footage. Vimeo is good, no doubt, but it is still heavily compressed web video.

August 15, 2014

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Heiko

Is the max ISO still 800 as per the BMPC?

Is there any hope of higher than 1600 iso's appearing on the other cameras I know they are designed for lighted environments but they can just look so nice in run and gun style environments I'd love to be able to gain in camera rather than murdering the codec in post for when you absolutely need it.

August 10, 2014

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" this clip provides us plenty to be excited about in regards to the Blackmagic URSA "

Well, I am exited about Australian DP John Brawley !

Getting up and ready before dawn to catch those unbeliebeable rose lit waves. He certainly knows what to do with a camera, probably any camera.

" With the camera landing in the hands of some capable cinematographers, it was only a matter of time before footage started to surface. " very well said : ) it's more the person behind, than the camera that determinates the outcome of how the shooting.

August 10, 2014

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Richard

agreed, it's hard to see the capabilities of a new camera over the internet. But these shots are just beautiful and that has much more to do with the DOP than anyone else....

August 10, 2014

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Kathleen

Very very dificult to see the quality of the footage in this video, hope soon will be better shots ...!

Bradley say that hi fix two black sun, I wonder if hi means about the hot spot of the other camera. Hard to believe that still this camera come with this problems ?!?

August 10, 2014

1
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atd3d

yaaaaawwwwnnn.

August 10, 2014

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John Wilton

Just two years ago getting your hands on a camera like this would have cost $25,000+. Now, it can be had for just $6,000. An amazing accomplishment to say the least.

Maybe you haven't been shooting long enough to remember when the most heavily compressed codecs were the ONLY choice. I do, and I think it's safe to say that anyone who does now shudders at the memories. With all of the advancements we've had it's felt like going from the Dark Ages straight to the Renaissance in a mere two years.

And if you just enjoy getting cute in comment sections that's your prerogative. But, do try to learn a little something and maybe gain some appreciation for the how far camera tech has come. Especially since you get to reap the benefits of all that advancement.

Something to think on.

August 10, 2014

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finducinema

Amen, brother. The democratization of filmmaking technology has some in the Hollywood industry feeling threatened, and yet others like JJ Abrams are getting excited about the possibilities of storytelling through film being attainable for the masses. It will only make the quality of films being made each year just that much better. Now whether the quality films will see deserved distribution is another matter entirely lol...

August 10, 2014

1
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Alex

I'd hardly call affordable cameras democratization, and I doubt anyone in Hollywood is feeling threatened. So much more goes into a production. The cost of the camera on major productions is so minuscule that it is almost a non-factor. If you go into this thinking that a camera will turn you into a filmmaker I can only guarantee your camera will sit and collect dust because you have no clue what else is involved. Making films is expensive, even without the camera. If you couldn't do it with your 5D, don't pretend to think you can do it now.

August 10, 2014

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Peter

The digital democratization/liberation includes these and perhaps more - high IQ and simultaneously low cost digital cameras; the low cost digital media (instead of film); affordable editing/coloring suits instead of the flatbeds and chemical baths; the ever more powerful computers that allow an inexpensive handling, editing and rendering; low cost LED lighting - including portable panels and flexible strips - that can be powered without a generator and often off a battery; versatile software programs beyond mere editing that can erase noise, create a film look, help with effects, track images, etc.; the low light/high ISO cameras that can be deployed with only practical lighting even at night; handheld rigs, jibs and multiple axis stabilizers; RC vehicles and helicopters; inexpensive yet very high quality lenses and adapters from the likes of Samyang/Rokinon, SLR Magic, Sigma, Metabones, Mitakon, etc; digital delivery via DVD's and/or internet; high end TV's, projectors and monitors on top of home audio that can make a trip to the movie theater unnecessary; a string of the internet streaming services - from YouTube to Vimeo to Fandor to Yahoo Screen to Netflix to Amazon Prime - that made the connection between a creator and his audience a very quick one; high speed internet that can transfer huge amounts of data in real time, et cetera, et cetera.
.
All of the above was released in the last fifteen years or so and the entertainment industry is still figuring out how to best capitalize on these developments ... some of which I must have inadvertently left off.

August 10, 2014

1
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DLD

Yes some of the tools have gotten cheaper. Access to locations, closing off streets, extras, sets, set design, sound stages, costume, props, pyrotechnics, good actors, experienced crew, insurance, film permits, good writers, visual VFX aritist, VFX advisors, composers, sound men, sound designers, hotels, lodging etc, etc hasn't. Don't forget feeding a number of crew members throughout the day on a multiple days or even months for that matter. How many of us have the luxury of keeping a crew on board for months on end? Most Hollywood films rarely rely on LED lighting, its always some 4K, 12K, 18K HMI light with large generators and an electrical crew rigging up yards of electrical line around the block. Just about every Hollywood film is using technocranes, ultimate arms, Chapman-Leanord dollies, etc, etc.

I agree, some of the tools have gotten cheaper, but Hollywood feel threatened? That's like comparing a pontoon boat to an aircraft carrier.

August 10, 2014

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Peter

Peter, the democratization of filmmaking is not some wild analysis I contrived myself. It's pretty much been an accepted and acknowledged phenomenon in recent years, and JJ Abrams gushed about it himself which is why I mentioned his name. NLEs, equipment, special effects, etc. are three key cost-pillars of a production that once made a film completely out of reach for the outsider, and all three are now within reach of those far removed from the Hollywood machine. Does it drive the cost of an independent film down to zero? Um, no. Does it cut it in half or more relative to a film-based full production budget? Yes. But today moreso than ever gathering people together to tell a story through film/video is no longer a pipe-dream reserved for the Hollywood-bound ingenues. It's started to become a reality for people geographically far from Los Angeles, middle-class, or without insider connections. Is it really that outrageous to consider these as tenets of "democratization"?

And I was very deliberate about phrasing it as "some in the Hollywood industry," and not "Hollywood" because obviously to make a sweeping generalization like that is absurd. Most are probably excited or skeptical or apathetic, as they'll benefit from it financially or creatively either way. The "some" I was referring to were facets like expensive camera companies, film labs, telecine houses, insecure filmmakers who only view influx of young talent as wolves nipping at their heels, etc. Are they all like that? Or even most? Of course not. Thus the word "some."

August 11, 2014

1
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Alex

Anyone can buy a camera. But I bump into plenty of people that were not born to use it.

August 11, 2014

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same with NLE's.

September 7, 2014

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avatar
Craig Swanson
Editor
13

Claire, this sounds like the introduction of the newest Avenger from Marvel, Cameraman.

August 11, 2014

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Alex

The cameras of course have changed radically, but everything else is pretty much the same. Go on any film or TV show set and you still see big lights, grip carts, wardrope,ect.

As for Hollywood being threaten by the indy filmmaker selling their move on Amazon Prime? Not really. The studios and networks have many channels to sell their goods in just about every country in the world. Just alone, the TV show " Friends", which was canceled a decade ago, makes a billion dollars a year.

August 11, 2014

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Randy

When I think of the democratization of film making, I'm not thinking of competing with Hollywood. I'm thinking of the ability now available to a single person even to shoot small scale, personal films.
But I totally agree, cameras and gear are just a small expense when putting together "bigger" films.

August 11, 2014

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Let's ignore the "competition from within". In other words, working Hollywood writers each have at least half a dozen of unsold screenplays laying around. If you lower the entry costs, a lot of these projects become doable.

August 11, 2014

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DLD

I meant, "let's not ignore" ... oops

August 11, 2014

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DLD

You still need a person who can really use the equipment available to shoot a really good film.
Now that good cameras are available for less than 10K, it became pretty clear that real film making talent is still scarce :)

August 15, 2014

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Heiko

Hollywood actually has a tendency to hire these indie people you disparage. For example, Gareth Edwards who basically made his first film in very indie style.

August 11, 2014

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Mikko Löppönen

>Alex on 08.10.14 @ 7:46PM
>Amen, brother. The democratization of filmmaking technology has some in the Hollywood industry feeling >threatened, and yet others like JJ Abrams are getting excited about the possibilities of storytelling through film >being attainable for the masses. It will only make the quality of films being made each year just that much >better. Now whether the quality films will see deserved distribution is another matter entirely lol…

Actually what annoys professionals in the industry is that there are far too many people out there who equate owning a camera, with the right to call themselves a full fledged DoP. That's a little like buying a first aid kit and calling yourself a doctor.

(and I'm not talking about John Brawley here)

August 11, 2014

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bla

:D

Very well said!
However, now that everybody can own a professional camera, maybe over time it becomes more clear to potentional customers how much value there is in a talented dop or camera operator. In the past, you could always say that if you had a better camera, you could shoot better pictures.

August 15, 2014

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Heiko

+1

August 10, 2014

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Conrad

-1. So I guess that makes us equal nothing.

August 11, 2014

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Alex

The ergonomics of the camera are interesting but what is all that bulk offering in the way of processing power. This cam has the same sensor as the Black Magic 4k right? So why is that not a better option?
I read that this camera was very heavy, i really would love to see the behind the scenes video of this shoot to see a single operator using the camera with " ease ".
Right now im on the C100 and just shot an event in a very confined space where i had to put the camera over peoples shoulders and be very nimble.
Do you think that this camera is also geared more towards the on Set or staged type of shooting, or is it targeting the people that would buy an F55 or AMIRA with a mix of studio and documentary capabilities.
Can someone please post a review as soon as possible vs some of the new cameras available. AK A7s :)

August 11, 2014

1
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One difference with the other BM cameras is that it has a cooling mechanism inside allowing higher framerates. For now it will only shoot up to 60fps but the BM CEO said that the body is capable of doing 120fps with a future sensor upgrade.

August 11, 2014

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Alex

Well... I have a big problem with statements like that. Possibly, at some point in the future, you will get a firmware upgrade that can shoot in 120 fps. Am I supposed to buy a camera on that premise?

August 15, 2014

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Heiko

The only problem with this footage, in my opinion, is that it is too dark. I suspect that to brighten it a stop would introduce noise since the same sensor in the 4K camera is so woeful in low light.

August 10, 2014

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Bobby

Except... it's not too dark. Have you been outside and looked around at the world pre-dawn lately?

August 10, 2014

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willvincent

I believe its John's choice to keep it dark.. its silly to attribute it to the camera.

August 10, 2014

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gult

It's not silly. In my opinion if shooting a feature film the footage would be unusable because it is too dark. Regardless of where/when footage is shot there's a certain brightness level necessary for what would typically be expected in a feature film. Other cameras could shoot the same scene brighter making it usable.

August 11, 2014

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Bobby

Many feature films keep shots dark, much like this. Also, you don't know how this footage looked before it was graded. because all we have is what the Artist chose to let us see. So you cannot properly judge how bright this camera is if you can only see the footage after it was graded.

August 11, 2014

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Daniel

By making that statement you just proved that you never shot a feature.. stop it right now.. If you not you can be a major threat to humanity with your half brain

August 11, 2014

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gult

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=558rexgg3ew&w=560&h=315]

Keep personal opinions like this to yourself in the future. Otherwise, you prove yourself to be a hypoctrite.

August 11, 2014

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Thats Funny

Hmm, I thought this would have embedded the video. The link is the opening scene of The Notebook. Almost the exact same look, but even "darker".

August 11, 2014

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Thats Funny

The Notebook footage is much brighter (i.e. the water itself, which is almost black in the URSA footage). The silhouettes in the Notebook are dark, of course—that's what makes them silhouettes.

I agree with the OP: the first thing that struck me about the URSA footage was how dark it was. Too dark.

August 11, 2014

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Erich Ocean

Have you ever seen a David Fincher film? What the hell are you on about?

August 11, 2014

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Colin

Have you ever seen 'The Godfather'? Gordon Willis may have disagreed with you.
It's an older movie, but you may want to rent it one night.

August 12, 2014

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Noir

>It’s not silly. In my opinion if shooting a feature film the footage would be unusable because it is too dark. >Regardless of where/when footage is shot there’s a certain brightness level necessary for what would typically >be expected in a feature film. Other cameras could shoot the same scene brighter making it usable.

I see a bright future for you shooting sitcoms.

G

August 13, 2014

1
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The Ghost of Go...

Dark ?

I wouldn't call it dark I'd call it contrasty. There's no milky blacks with subtle details, though they are there.

The vast majority of this footage was shot pre dawn on a T4 zoom at 400 ISO @ 60 FPS (meaning another stop less)

Many people say that ISO 400 isn't enough. I think it is.

You'll notice that shooting shooting into the SUN even on a higher DR range camera means you have to make choices about where to position your exposure. I chose to "hold" the highlights at the cost of the shadows.

Yeah there's more details in there, but that doesn't suit the "feel" of this in my "creative' opinion either.

JB

August 11, 2014

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John Brawley

JB: Why do you waste your time replying to these negative comments? Please know there are many of us who appreciate what you do.

August 11, 2014

1
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"I choose to hold the highlights" wise words, we should all take note. Beautiful video, holding the highlights in slo mo starving the shadows gives a great indication what this camera is capable of. Impressed with the camera, inspired by the shots. Thanks

August 11, 2014

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Anthony Marino

Hi John, you are right, thanks for the footage. It is only the first 'real world' footage sample, and if you are shooting the sun and its reflections you expose for it, not let it blow out. As said, shooting the sun you get the shadows black, and what type of common general affordable film stock will give people much better. If its too bright to look at, it night he beyond the adjustable 20 or so bit range of human vision. Unfortunately we have a big wave of elitism, unfortunately with derogatory comments by those that don't know enough about mirrors (I am a bit more forthright). It is a chosen style of shooting (that a number of us like) and not incorrect.

But some real questions, I'm on the phone at the moment, so it is hard to judge. I am seeing a lot of stuff in the dark early morning waves. Looks like noise and colored speckle. Is that there John? I know that you do casual shoots and don't aim to do camera review testing (maybe people should also wait for those) but maybe some preserved stills before processing might help people. I'm looking forwards to night shoots around the opera house (I know the lighting levels there) and others like you did previously. Thanks again.

Now onto the technical stuff people were saying. Global shutter on CMOS has been around for a while, but it had its downside, which I don't know if it has got around. The global shutter reduced the amount if light gathering period of the frame. To make sensors cheap, and most likely for increased quality, things were read out to analogue to digital converters, but not per pixel. Companies like Sony compensated by doing higher speed frame read outs to reduce the rolling shutter to reasonable amounts. They also increased natural dynamic range before using HDR techniques 10 years ago. Reading out in 240th a second to reduce roll should be further adjustable by software.

Now about high speed read out speed and heat. The BM sensor suffers from it. It is a factor with noise, which is a reason large sensor manufactures avoided it in the past. But around 2006/7 Sony had a 6mp sensor that recorded at 60fps. Aptina (Micron) had leading low heat high speed read out technology years ago, and now Sony has now licensed the technology (which says a lot for it). It is s shame that BM could not use an Aptina 4k sensor in the Pocket, similar to the one in the Nikon V1. Even if it could not record raw 4k instead of prores, at least we could get descent resolution in still shoots.

August 14, 2014

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Wayne Morellini

@ wayne

The camera doesn't have an OLPF, like all BM cameras.

This means you can sometimes get colour aliasing on very fine detail.

JB

August 17, 2014

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John Brawley

Is there something wrong with your monitor? This is a sunrise scene, and it looks pretty much awesome! The contrast is really good, the blacks are deep while the color and the brightness of the sunlit parts are very nice. What do you want: the blacks to be more greyish?

Night scenes in feature films are often a lot darker than this, it's an artistic choice.

If you shoot a commercial, you want everything to be nice and bright, even in night scenes. But if you don't shoot a commercial (or sitcom or something like that) you can make everything just as dark as you want. And in this short clip, I think it looks very realistic - just like a real sunrise (which is pretty dark! Probably even darker than in this video!)

August 15, 2014

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Heiko

URSA is touring Prague (if anyone speaks Czech)
[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-CrK15FRlA&list=UUr3uCx2ApO0bKBS61eq83nw]

August 10, 2014

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DLD

yay ! :)

August 13, 2014

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Uhhh....that's my friend's music. That's awesome and really weird. I wonder if he had permission!

August 10, 2014

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What's the track called and where can I find it?! just been searching everywhere for it, shazam didn't pick it up.

August 11, 2014

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Nic

It's "Stay with me" by Sarah Jaffe

August 11, 2014

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John Brawley

from John Brawley's blog about this:
"I should add, single node grade in Resolve, no NR and I had to fix two shots with black sun." so black sun still a problem

August 10, 2014

1
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John Cliff

If you put a sensor in a dog's butt, this guy can probably make it capture amazing footage. Seriously, the above video was breathtaking. It made me yearn to be there. And if the lens he used is considered soft, I can't wait to see a Zeiss or Leica mounted on this baby.

August 10, 2014

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Dave Osbun

The natural rock pools along Sydney's coast are my favourite place to shoot in the world, https://vimeo.com/88429227

August 10, 2014

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Matthew Allard

Hey, Matthew, can you give out a flew clues what will be shown at IBC? I figure you're dialed in with the big boys, so you could drop a hint or two.

August 10, 2014

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DLD

We all knew it was going to look great; that's pretty much a given with Blackmagic. The important question with this one is, have they finally gotten usability right? Is it practical to actually use the thing?

August 10, 2014

0
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Kadmium

If you put a sensor in a dogs butt, then you will have to shave that butt and make it walk backwards. Or maybe dave was talking about another dog's nose.

....So we have more tools and more toys as DLD states. And Peter has a much valid point. Fortunately I've been reading more on nofilmschool about the why and how and perhaps not as much as which toy of the week to buy.

I expect the next version of the EOS 7D, the Mark II, to be a swell camera. Maybe in a few years, you can buy the top camera of the week for under $1,000. That pays for a lot of Subway tuna subs.

August 10, 2014

0
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Lenry

Why can't Blackmagic make a camera that is easy to hold? Seriously. I had the Cinema Camera, but just couldn't fit the need for a cage and rig in to my workflow. I ended up just going with the Canon C100 because it is a dream to run and gun with.

Blackmagic needs to come out with a RED killer. Something that is similar to a DSLR style of layout, but shoots high frame rates and 4K. I would buy that Blackmagic camera in a heartbeat.

August 10, 2014

1
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Levi Stutzman

Aside from making it a killer. Adding a handle or grip would be much appreciated.

August 11, 2014

1
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vincegortho

the best blackmagic rig, not sold.

https://vimeo.com/83266324

August 11, 2014

0
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VinceGortho

How do you run and gun a C100 without a rig?

August 11, 2014

0
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Ant

The footage is nice, but I don't usually trust test videos that are shot during golden hour and almost all in slow motion. I feel that is an easy way of making the footage look amazing. Also most of it was shot in wides and mediums in silhouettes, I didn't get to see much skin tone. I want to see how the camera performs in harsh sunlight or in low light. If this camera is going to sell as a camera for narratives, I have to see its versatility. I know this is the first test, and I don't doubt that this isn't a great camera; I just want to see its full spectrum of ability.

August 11, 2014

1
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Adam

The ergonomics of the camera are interesting but what is all that bulk offering in the way of processing power. This cam has the same sensor as the Black Magic 4k right? So why is that not a better option?
I read that this camera was very heavy, i really would love to see the behind the scenes video of this shoot to see a single operator using the camera with ” ease “.
Right now im on the C100 and just shot an event in a very confined space where i had to put the camera over peoples shoulders and be very nimble.
Do you think that this camera is also geared more towards the on Set or staged type of shooting, or is it targeting the people that would buy an F55 or AMIRA with a mix of studio and documentary capabilities.
Can someone please post a review as soon as possible vs some of the new cameras available. AK A7s :)

August 11, 2014

0
Reply

Didn't you guys do A7s yourselves?

August 11, 2014

0
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DLD

One difference with the other BM cameras is that it has a cooling mechanism inside allowing higher framerates. For now it will only shoot up to 60fps but the BM CEO said that the body is capable of doing 120fps with a future sensor upgrade.

August 11, 2014

0
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Alex

Meh. Wanted to pull my eyes out and cut off my ears after the first minute.

August 11, 2014

0
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Marco

Try harder, troll.

August 12, 2014

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grantly0711

I'll answer Peter here because the original conversation at the top has had several responses and is getting a little difficult to read.
'
So, Peter sez - "Yes some of the tools have gotten cheaper. Access to locations, closing off streets, extras, sets, set design, sound stages, costume, props, pyrotechnics, good actors, experienced crew, insurance, film permits, good writers, visual VFX aritist, VFX advisors, composers, sound men, sound designers, hotels, lodging etc, etc hasn’t."
.
Huge crews, fancy locations, pyrotechnics are largely unnecessary for lower budget independent films because the independent filmmakers tend to make auteur films rather than blockbusters. The technological advances that have been taking place over the last 10-15 years simply allow the artistic quality of these auteur films to rival those of a major Hollywood studio outside of the "Michael Bay" genre. And, of course, the NoFilmSchool has published a number of articles by people who have in fact shot very good looking films on very low budgets.
.
PS. If one scours theaters in major cities, one could find some pretty darn good actors. For some reason, Harrison Young comes to mind. He was basically an unknown 67 year old part timer with bit parts to his credit until he was cast as the "present day" Private Ryan in Spielberg's film. And I won't even bring up Clara Peller, who was a manicurist her entire life until finding fame around her 80th birthday.

August 11, 2014

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DLD

So long as there's a need for people of different shapes and sized, they'll always be a need for actors no matter what age you are. You see this most especially in commercials.

August 11, 2014

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Randy

...although, to find these extraordinary actors, you will at least need one casting agent looking for them.
If you're not lucky finding these people by chance, this is gonna be a lot of work that most indie filmmakers will not be able to pay for!

August 15, 2014

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Heiko

What I said earlier pertained to Hollywood being threatened. The auteur films in Hollywood still have a very large budget, and I doubt those films are threatened by a $6,000 camera. Successful indie films being produced today on low budgets still spend an amount which surpass what most can afford. Most the equipment I mentioned is standard. it's not just transformers using it, it's the industry, both small and large.

August 16, 2014

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Peter

John could have sgot this on an iPhone with PL mount. It's his talent paired with a great lens.

August 11, 2014

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This is not gorgeous by any means. It's underwhelming, at least in those conditions. IQ of URSA is nothing special, this is 2014 by the way.

August 11, 2014

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Natt

yep... i hoped that today's cameras would already rival Alexa (a 2010 camera) in color processing and dynamic range.. or at least rival the F35 (~2008).. but nope.. it still didn't happen.

August 11, 2014

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Pietro

Finally some sanity

August 11, 2014

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Nigel

Take a look at the Bolex D16 for a price / performance breakthrough. The pictures out of the Kodak / Truesense CCD make it look like a poormans F35. Vey organic and film like. If the footage is properly processed (Davinci 11) the magenta cast you see in a lot of footage disappears and your rewarded with outstanding skin tones and something that reminds me a little of Kodachrome. I have a D16 with the PL mount. Like all cameras it has a few minor quirks, but it's hard to believe that it only cost about $3500-4000.

August 13, 2014

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d16

Honest question for all the people underwhelmed by the URSA... What was the last $5K-$6k camera that "wowed" you? Has anything in that range ever satisfied you? Where you thought: "I can't believe this camera can do all this and look this good"

Not trolling. Just curious.

August 11, 2014

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Don

The Kinemini, when in the right hands has proven to look extremely cinematic and it doesn't use expensive cfast cards.

August 11, 2014

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Adam

Yeah Right.......

August 15, 2014

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M

This camera is not $5K-$6K. The price of the URSA is incredibly misleading, considering the additional costs of media. With this project, he filled up 3 128GB CFast 2.0 cards, which is an additional $3,600 just in CFast cards, and that's just for a morning shoot. If you were going on an all day shoot, you would need to spend at least $10K-$15K just on media!

The image of this camera is incredible, like all the other BM cameras. But until the cost of media comes down significantly, and until Blackmagic becomes a reliable camera company, there are better options out there.

August 11, 2014

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> What was the last $5K-$6k camera that “wowed” you?

People seemed to be universally wowed by the C100's lowlight capabilities when it came out (it's $5K).

August 11, 2014

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Erich Ocean

Slightly over your price, but FS700 when it came out. Even today it's still a viable option - pair it with an Odyssey 7Q for a few grand more and you get a monster of a camera.

August 11, 2014

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dembek

It is a tool and like all tools it has a purpose. Will you strap it to the head of a bungee jumper? I don't think it was designed for that. Will it allow some people create an interesting story because they have one? I think it will because it fits their budget. Will they threaten Hollywood? Yes if their story is better than the last remake Hollywood is trying to flog. All tools have a purpose and when used by someone with a passion for what they do the results can be magical. This camera will turn out some absolutely wonderful projects while others will blame it for their failure.

August 11, 2014

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Greg Nuspel

Will it threaten Hollywood? Not at all. Will it make bad filmmakers futilely think now they can make something that doesn't suck? Yes

August 12, 2014

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ryan

Hey..it's their money not yours, so why be the rainstorm on that party? It's not like YOU have to look at every one of the productions.

August 15, 2014

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Michael Snyder

When will people learn that it's the operator and the glass that makes the most difference. The best camera is the one you have at that right moment. Camera's will keep getting cheaper because it is a computer. Great glass will only continue to rise up.

August 11, 2014

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Terry

... but give a good operator some good glass and an extraordinary camera, and he can make the best of their talent!

I mean of course a talented operator can shoot good video on an iphone. But they can shoot much better video on an Alexa.

It is true that a good camera doesn't make a good picture by itself. But in the hands of a talented person, it makes a better picture than some other camera. That's why the best dps and operators in the world don't shoot their features on iphones or 7Ds!

August 15, 2014

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Heiko

Not to sound pretentious in anyway, but I really don't know why they use Brawley for all the tests and sample footage. His work just doesn't cut it in my opinion. Not enough to be called things like "renowned DP" at least. Not to hate, his stuff is just so lackluster.

August 11, 2014

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Daniel

Let's see your work, genius. Show us how to do it.

August 12, 2014

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derek

Heres all I want blackmagic, I’m not going to get greedy like some of the previous gentlemen and make a list.

As a BMPC 4k owner, there is but one thing that my little filmmaking heart desires, no, needs from you:

FIX THE F*#@ING FPN!!!

I seriously hope this v1.9 “fix” isn’t the end of your efforts. It’s still there, and its still ruining perfectly exposed shots.

*Tip to anyone that is experiencing this as well*

Neat Vid actually works quite nicely at removing FPN, although I do not consider this to be a solution to blackmagic’s problem.

And the URSA and 4k cameras are suppose to be sharing the same sensor?

How dare they release the URSA while they spit in our mouths.

Regards,

Dr. Cloud

August 11, 2014

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Dr.Cloud

The FPN is fixed, just update to 1.9.
My camera has ZERO FPN even if I under expose like crazy and then push like a madman.
Either your a really bad shooter, have not updated or have a broken camera.
Take your pick.

August 15, 2014

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M

Beautiful footage and im sure the camera is great but props to the man behind the lens making it happen. Awesome.

August 11, 2014

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Jacob

It's really hard to tell anything from the footage. It looks clean. The blacks are crushed. I'm looking at the camera, is there an eyepiece?

August 12, 2014

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LightGuy

The footage is or at least it looks underexposed. Not a pleasing view. Just being honest. John has made better stuff.

August 12, 2014

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Ivan

How 'bout a little straight 24p? Everything looks better in slow-mo. From what I understand, the URSA uses the same sensor as the Production 4K camera, so it's probably the same image-quality in 24p as that.

August 12, 2014

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Drew

John shot some nice footage but the camera is nothing special performance wise. Sony and Arri offer much better, more reliable, and more expensive cameras.

August 12, 2014

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Rich

minecraft skins nova

August 12, 2014

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None of these cameras looks as filmic as the original BMCC And Alexa. End of story.

August 14, 2014

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tunabreath

You want flimic...then why use vidio...use old flim camera! Please not be wanker....

August 14, 2014

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Perdun

Arrrrrr...beware of the BLACK SPOT!

Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum..me GH4 is still better than this one!

August 14, 2014

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Pirate Pete

I have 2 Gh4's Pete. Just wish they had the same ergonomics as the URSA.. Is the URSA much longer before rolling out John. Sure would like to test one for myself. Just love the Ergonomics and the big screen. I shot some behind the scenes of Pseudo Echo's new music video. I was on my then new Gh4. The crew shot the music video on a BMCC 4K. The boys said the black spot is easy for them to get around in.
Their camera was like a huge medium format SLR. So some people like DSLR type cameras and others like ENG style (form factor). The music video was shot in a factory warehouse so we had no issues with sun.
Cheers.

August 15, 2014

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Rick Idak

WTF?

I'd leave this crap on the cutting room floor! Sorry, but this is no way to test/show-off a new camera...

August 14, 2014

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Skeptikal

Im sorry, I have missplaced my copy of the rules for when using a camera. Do you have a link so I can make sure that I am using my camera correctly according to the rules?
Its hard sometimes to remember all the rules. Like for example this weekend Im using a camera for the 20th time so I must make sure Im alowed to do the shooting I was intending.
Would be really embarising to go out and enjoy myself, shoot something I liked and edit only to find out it wasnt allowed according to the rules of using a camera.
So you have the link?
Oh whait, now I remember, your just a synical douche and I can do what ever I want, have a good weekend.

August 15, 2014

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M

Couple things. Nice stuff but, 3 - 128 gigabyte cards? Not worth it to me for what I do. A company I shot for 6 months ago unboxed a BMCC. It was bulky heavy and shiny and cool. Tried to figure out ISO when I realized it had none for the most part. I happen to have a 17-40mm in my bag because the owner didn't own any lenses. We put it on and nothing happened. Read the manual, called BMCC for about 45 minutes until we got the response, " oh, I guess that lens doesn't work with it. Now I was excited when it came, within the hour I was glad I bought the C300 & C100. I'm NOT BASHING BMCC just giving an opinion for those on the fence about dropping big money on a camera. On the elitist "DOP/DP" attitude on this thread I take issue. So Only Roger Deakins can be a DP? Michael Mann can be a Director? I've worked for Francis Lawrence and many other Directors, I've also worked for Brunno Del Bennel. I directed a feature released in theaters and it made no money. I directed plays in tiny 50 seat theaters that lost money. So my question: can a high school drama teacher not call him or herself a Director doing "Bye Bye Birdie" Can a pee wee football QB not call himself a "real" QB because he's not Peyton Manning? I now shoot, direct, light, do sound with crews from myself to 5 total people in a small Florida market because I had enough of Hollywood, but because I can't light like Roger Deakins nor will I ever, I'm not allowed to call myself a DP? I now actually make a living shooting, but according to the thread, because the bulk of my work is c100 I'm not a DP/Director. Is the guy who shot the Bentley commercial on an iphone not a DP? The arrogance of some when it comes to status and titles is ridiculously mind numbing. Who the hell are you to tell us what we are or what we can achieve? Shame on you. I also call myself the CEO of my company with no shareholders. Perhaps I should change that title to "Dude - who has an EIN number".

August 15, 2014

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Thanks John S. Your post made me laugh and somber all at the same time. As I read through the previous posts, I'm more saddened than informed. The level of nonconstructive/hate lobbied here is astounding! We don't have to be free lovin' hippies, but we also don't need to be pretentious art-house pricks either. The coveted film look will be ever evolving - and it should be. Let's not get entrenched in art ideology. The two don't coexist very well.

I, as a filmmaker, personally don't think I'll use the same camera for each film. Each film has a different story, with different people and places and themes. Each deserves its own look - from camera choice, lighting choices, lens choice, editing style, and color grading. As artists we should not be locked into one single look - whatever look that is. I love Wes Anderson, but how many more movies in that style will we watch?

On a lighter side, here's a teaser trailer for my next film, The Dead Die Young (zombie comedy) to be shot on the URSA or RED Epic. (Trailer shot on 5D)
http://youtu.be/TWxQcjB_HRE

August 15, 2014

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Eddie

5D?? It's way out of it's league in this discussion.

August 23, 2014

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Marcus

... I had similar experiences with a BM product (the Hyperdeck Studio Pro 2). It looked great from the technical specs and the price, but then when I actually used it, it showed some major flaws. Basically it stopped recording by itself after around 2 hours in an event, which gave me a lot of trouble (had a backup with another machine of course, but still a lot of trouble because it took much more time to import from the backup)

When I went to the BM forums to find the root of the problem, my thread was immediately bashed by BM fanboys before anyone could even think of a solution. At that point I decided to return the thing and buy something else (still could return it for -20%, which was good enough for me to get rid of it!)

What I hear from BM cameras kind of sounds similar: basically they are great cameras, but.... and in professional use, you just don't want to hear the "but" part. If you buy a similar camera from Canon, Sony or Arri, there is no "but"! They will cost some few thousand bucks more, but that is exactly what makes these cameras free from any kind of stupid problems that will drive you crazy when you need to keep a tight schedule.

In the end, if I only have 6K to spend (or whatever the URSA costs) I would also rather buy a Canon C100 or C300 and deal with compressed video. RAW is nice and everything, but first I need a camera that works perfectly fine in 110% of my shooting situations. If BM can prove that they have this kind of camera: good, I'll consider it next time I need a camera.

August 15, 2014

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Heiko

Ok... URSA has been released. A couple of guys should have received the item. But... WERE IS THE FOOTAGE?! No one?!

August 26, 2014

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Tom DP