March 2, 2017

The New Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 4.6K is 3 Cameras in One

Blackmagic has majorly revamped the URSA Mini in the form of the new Pro.

Along with the two new panels announced today, the new URSA Mini Pro is a major upgrade to the URSA Mini.

Instead of offering two models, EF and PL mount, the new Pro has a switchable lens mount that allows the end user to change between EF, PL, and B4. While B4 lenses only allow for shooting in windowed HD mode, beautiful B4 broadcast lenses are available for very good prices, and if you are doing HD broadcast work this is an exciting and cost-effective option for building a package. Blackmagic even includes a standard broadcast style lens motor control, which allows B4 lenses to be plugged into the camera body for smooth control of zoom, iris, and focus.

The URSA Mini is now one of the most flexible camera platforms around.

Blackmagic URSA Mini ProCredit: Blackmagic

The PL mount also offers /i lens data support for capturing settings from the lens, which can feed directly into Resolve for lens corrections and can travel with the footage into post for effects work. The fact that it is user swappable is the most impressive part of this upgrade, making the URSA Mini one of the most flexible camera platforms around. All you need is a torque driver to ensure you limit your power to .45 newton meters and you can change the mount in any suitably clean environment. 

The Pro primarily focuses on ergonomic refinements to make it a more enjoyable camera to keep on your shoulder all day long.

The Nikon mount, shipping this summer, deserves a special mention since it demonstrates the thought Blackmagic put into this design process. Since Nikon glass typically doesn't have an aperture ring, Blackmagic built a smooth control ring into the body of the mount to enable the use of Nikon lenses.

Blackmagic Nikon MountCredit: Blackmagic

Built around the same third-generation sensor technology and 15-stop latitude sensor of the URSA Mini, the Pro primarily focuses on ergonomic refinements to make it a more enjoyable camera to keep on your shoulder all day long.

It now offers both dual SD and dual CFast card slots, allowing shooting to either format, though SD is limited to certain resolutions. For filmmakers who miss the ability to shoot straight to SSDs, there is even an adapter for mounting external SSDs to the camera directly.

There are lots of thoughtful improvements in the interface for the camera, including hard switches and dials and an ND filter knob, changing physical IR ND filters behind the lens for great image control. There's even an HFR button to be able to switch into and out of high frame rate mode quickly, for when the action changes and you suddenly need to shoot slo-mo and don't have the time to dig around for the setting.

Credit: Blackmagic Design

One retro feature is the new B&W LCD mounted on the side of the camera. After talking with users, Blackmagic discovered that many missed B&W LCDs, since they were easier to read in bright sunlight and could be backlight at night. Thus, the company included one on the side of the camera to make viewing settings, levels, and timecode easy while you work.

The camera also allows for full control over SDI, for use in studio environments and with the Blackmagic Arduino.

Credit: Blackmagic

Pricing comes in at $5,995, which is more than the previous URSA Mini, but seems appropriate considering the upgrades, options, and especially the swappable lens mount.

Blackmagic is also generously offering an upgrade to owners of the full-sized URSA for $3,495, allowing existing users to keep their original URSA and get the new camera at a heavy discount. 

All products except the Nikon mount are shipping now from your favorite Blackmagic vendor.

View the entire press conference, announced today, below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XXAVGEiSA_c

Tech Specs

  • 15 stops of dynamic range.
  • Super 35mm 4.6K sensor
  • Interchangeable lens mount
  • EF mount included
  • Optional PL and B4 lens mounts. Nikon mount this summer.
  • High quality 2, 4 and 6 stop neutral density (ND) filters with IR cut
  • Built in dual C-Fast 2.0 recorders and dual SD/UHS-II card recorders
  • Magnesium alloy body.
  • B&W backlit LCD status display for quickly checking timecode, shutter and lens settings, battery, recording status, and audio levels.
  • CinemaDNG 4.6K RAW, ProRes 4444 XQ, ProRes 4444, ProRes 422 HQ, ProRes 422, ProRes 422 LT, ProRes 422 Proxy recording at Ultra HD and HD resolutions.
  • 60 fps 4.6K resolution capture in RAW.
  • Dual XLR mic/line audio inputs with phantom power
  • 12G-SDI output for monitoring with camera status graphic overlay
  • XLR 4 pin power output for viewfinder power
  • Headphone jack
  • LANC remote control
  • Standard 4 pin 12V DC power connection.
  • Built in high-quality stereo microphones
  • 4 inch4-inchut touchscreen for on-set monitoring and menu settings.
  • Includes full copy of DaVinci Resolve software color grading and editing software with Dongle.
  • Viewfinder connects with industry standard SDI and power connectors, not proprietary.

Your Comment

47 Comments

So if they've learned from their past production/launch mistakes it looks like Blackmagic is going to have a good year! Excited for this new Ursa Mini!

March 2, 2017 at 7:15PM

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Charles C.
Editor/ Director/ Director of Photography/ Wannabe Thinker
969

Agreed, Charles! It does seem BMD has learned something from their past production/launch mistakes, as they've announced the camera is available now (even going so far as to put an 'In Stock' banner on the image of the camera during the announcement), as opposed to shipping at a nebulous time in the future.

One of the camera bodies featured in the announcement appeared to be a production unit, as a bit of clear protective plastic had to be peeled off the LCD. That said, B&H's 'expected availability' for the camera is March 9th, 2017. So... almost in stock?

March 2, 2017 at 7:34PM

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Tony Leech
Writer/Director
81

Yeah really. I always wondered if their products would ever happen at all.

March 2, 2017 at 11:07PM

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Vidrazor
196

Wish the same could be said of Canon.... I'm moving to Blackmagic this year starting with the Ursa Mini 4.6K.

March 3, 2017 at 5:42AM

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Kayode
902

Which Canon are you moving from ?

March 3, 2017 at 2:18PM

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Saied M.
1153

I was considering either the C100 or C300 having used both a 5Dmk3 (with Ninja blade for ProRes as I do a fair bit of greenscreen) years but could never commit to buying them given the competition's offering. I am pretty much decided on Ursa Mini, just trying to stretch my budget from the 4K to the 4.6K.

March 3, 2017 at 5:17PM

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Kayode
902

Also it looks great with the new Sigma Cine Glass.

March 2, 2017 at 7:16PM

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Charles C.
Editor/ Director/ Director of Photography/ Wannabe Thinker
969

BMD did their homework and improved on what's there and not create and entirely new product (which means, we'll see an 8K camera real soon) this is really commendable! And to think, you can get this camera now. You know you won't have to worry about awkward sensor issues because this is the same 4.6k sensor so most if not all the kinks are already ironed out... this is really great stuff!

March 2, 2017 at 7:57PM

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Wentworth Kelly
Director/DP/Colorist/Drone Op
2262

Good thought. I'm pretty excited about this one. Seems they have the quality control together this time.

March 2, 2017 at 8:04PM

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Charles C.
Editor/ Director/ Director of Photography/ Wannabe Thinker
969

I will look forward to paying for the privilege of beta testing and reporting all the bugs this camera will have when it finally ships sometime in the next three years.

March 2, 2017 at 10:28PM

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William Streeter
Filmmaker
186

Really excited about this! Was tempted by the ursa mini 4.6k for a long time, but in the end went for the smaller sony a7s II. I like the ursa's image more though. I wonder if they also improved the audio capabilities of the camera, I heard a lot about bad pre amps in the last version.

March 2, 2017 at 10:29PM

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Gerbert Floor
DP / Director / Camera / Editor
273

I'm a bit vested in two other camera systems to get any new cameras, but this is pretty incredible. And the BM color science is top notch. This is a home run IMO. Next gen BM with a bit better low light and some higher frame rates and I might have a fire sale of current gear.

March 2, 2017 at 11:05PM, Edited March 2, 11:05PM

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Gene Sung
DP / Director
566

"Since Nikon glass typically doesn't have an aperture ring..."

Lenses. Nikon makes lenses. Canon makes glass...

March 2, 2017 at 11:06PM

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Vidrazor
196

I know, you can find beautiful Nikon lenses, most of them with manual aperture rings. I own a collection of Nikon lenses and manual aperture and compatibility is the reason for that.

March 3, 2017 at 3:08AM

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Ruben arce
Student
301

Does anyone know about Global Shutter or Rolling Shutter for the new Ursa Mini Pro?

March 3, 2017 at 12:02AM, Edited March 3, 12:02AM

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Carter Yocham
Cinematographer/Director
16

Having had issues with the URSA and URSA mini in the past (both cameras had the sensor banding/noise issue.. which was temperamental and unpredictable ) I really hope they have smoothed out the manufacturing process and upped there QC. The image quality from the URSA cameras is so good, but when they pack in halfway through a commercial its put me off them for a long time..

March 3, 2017 at 2:38AM

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Thomas Hogben
Director / Cinematographer
75

The upgrade at 3495.00 allowing you to KEEP your existing URSA is a fine step pf customer service to existing owners. Great Job BMD

March 3, 2017 at 4:12AM

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I hope that the 15 stop are real this time.....and the space color is going to be the correct one....

March 3, 2017 at 4:27AM

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Martin Flament
Director of Photography
49

Same sensor so same dr. Essentially those 15 stops are as real as 15 stops from Canon, red, Sony, etc. Less than 15 Arri stops though...

Space color?

March 3, 2017 at 5:57AM

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Oscar Stegland
DP/Steadicam
735

I was making some test during January, about dynamic range, and color. The results are just terrible. The red is over satureted, and all the other colors are de-satureted. If you put a vetorscope you will see it. And the test of dynamic range give me 6 stops....when they say 15 on the paper....I waiting for my friend to send me the results and i can send it to you.

March 3, 2017 at 9:46AM

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Martin Flament
Director of Photography
49

IR filters are probably your first issue. Also, I don't how you're getting 6 stops when various of other tests have shown otherwise. If you are using the 4k and not the 4.6K I can see the 6 stops.

http://www.newsshooter.com/2017/01/02/blackmagic-design-ursa-mini-4-6k-n...

This article says 13 in prores and 14 in Raw.

March 3, 2017 at 1:43PM

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Joseph Lindsay
Director of Photography/Motion Designer
88

Yes it's was the 4K version. We didn't use IR filters. All in studio, controling the light.
In our test we shoot a color card ( Chroma Du monde) at 400 ISO, with a light for 5,6 diaph -mesuring the incident light- (medium grey at 43%) , and we make under-exposition and over-exposition....( to 22 and 2,1). in the shadow you start seeing the sensor (vertical and horizontal lines ), and in the high light over 2 stop you can't do anything...
I make a music video with the 4K , in APR422HQ, because of the running time that we have for making the post production. We make some shot at 800 ISO, and 60 frames. Well you start having noise, a lot of noise, and a strange flicker with natural light....you can move all the preset and the angle of the shutter, ther is nothing to do...Perhaps it's was this model in particular having problems. I don't like the footage of this camera. And when i was in the color correction, the skin of carribean people go quickly to the green....you have to make mask after mask....
And other strange thing, the APR was better in relation with the RAW footage....
I would like to try the 4,6K and see what happening.

March 3, 2017 at 2:36PM

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Martin Flament
Director of Photography
49

They've really had to buckle up since the Sony FS5 was taking everything at the 5000$ price point.

PROS:
- Color science
- PRORES! and RAW!
- DR
- Mounts

CONS:
- Sensitivity
- Moiré (if they haven't added an OLPF)
- Reliability (though I feel they're getting better)

March 3, 2017 at 4:56AM, Edited March 3, 4:59AM

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Álex Montoya
Writer/Director
349

I don't really understand who the Blackmagic cameras are for when you look at their codecs. They are cheap, so should appeal to owner-operators and small production companies, yet the available 4K codecs result in massive data sets if you are shooting all day. Seems to me that despite their attractive entry-level cost they are only really practical for high-end commercials, drama and movie production who have the budgets for Arri and RED anyway.

If you mostly want to shoot 4K at sensible data rates you are better off with and FS7 or C300Mk11 which have much better codecs for the majority of work that 'budget' cameras are made for. Am I missing something?

March 3, 2017 at 6:14AM

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Andy Taplin
Director / Lighting Cameraman
84

I get what you're saying. I've always assumed these cameras were geared toward indie filmmakers who self finance and shoot their own micro budget features in the $0-$25K range. In the same vein as 15 years ago when you had a lot of 20-somethings running around with XL1s and DVX100s shooting micro budget features where everyone was working for copy and credit. Where they own the gear because they use it for several shorts and other things.

That said, while I love the codec options BMD offers, I do think a 10bit H.265 option would be great to have on their cameras. Especially for times when you don't need all that raw goodness. If you take a side job doing a corporate interview shoot or something. But I also get why BMD doesn't go that direction considering they sell a whole color grading setup that benefits from less compressed codecs.

March 3, 2017 at 10:12AM, Edited March 3, 10:13AM

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Mike Tesh
Pro Video / Indie Filmmaker
672

@Mike - I personally have given up on .H264, not sure how much better .h265 is. I shoot predominantly black/African skin which I have found extremely difficult to grade in post (when pushing the image) when shot with .h264. Since moving to Prores (5D3 + Atomos Ninja) I don't see myself using that format ever again, the least I will ever shoot is Prores 422 LT at 1080p.

March 6, 2017 at 3:20AM, Edited March 6, 3:21AM

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Kayode
902

I kind of agree. I love working with prores since it's an edit ready codec, and ProRes LT is still great and lower on storage. But you're right: I can't understand how anyone has the time or energy to shoot RAW for smaller scale productions. The benefits just aren't big enough to warrant the space/workflow. The release of the pocket cinema camera saw a whole new demographic of hobbyists emerge, shooting flowers in their gardens in RAW and tinkering with vintage lenses. I've seen a few decent looking productions that shot on URSA's but not that many.

March 3, 2017 at 10:39AM

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Liam Martin
DP, editor, part time director
699

It does shoot in prores 4444 422 at 4.6k. You can shoot directly to ssd's with adapters too. Also costs 1/3 the price of the canon and half the price of the FS7.

March 3, 2017 at 12:40PM

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Agreed. Every producer I've worked for in the past year has requested either the FS7 or the C300. Granted that is for the TV/Doc world, but I have a hard time believing commercial and narrative producers are requesting Black Magic over Arri and Red...

March 3, 2017 at 3:17PM

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BD
399

That might change now. ;-)

March 3, 2017 at 10:05PM

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Vidrazor
196

I agree with Vidrazor, that might change soon. I was at BVE in London on Wednesday (1st March), everyone and their dog was using the Ursa Mini, I must admit I had gear envy! If BMD can crack their SSD adaptor for the Ursa Mini 4.6K they will be on to a winner for sure.

March 6, 2017 at 3:23AM, Edited March 6, 3:25AM

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Kayode
902

The thing is, some smaller production companies have all sorts of types of clients, from micro-budget to high-budget. They can often only afford a couple of cameras, and they want to be able to say "yes" to any request that their clients might make. Low-budget clients get ProRes LT, high-budget clients that want RAW get it as well, and everyone is happy. That's why a very flexible camera like this is necessary.

March 3, 2017 at 8:50PM

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Joe O
Marketing Videographer/Video Editor
167

You don't have to shoot 4K. There's 1080p,2k, 3k anamorphic and so on. It's good to have choices depending on your needs

March 3, 2017 at 11:26PM

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I think the blackMagic Ursa is meant for someone like me. I have budget for an ultra low budget feature (£10,000). In London renting for 3 weeks comes to about £2,000, I plan to shoot a feature in 2017 and another feature in 2018 (hoping for 2). If I buy the Ursa Mini 4K, it will cost me £4,500 to kit out. I think it makes more sense to buy the camera rather than rent as I don't have to worry about renting if I over run my schedule or need pickup shots. Also I can plan other shoots more flexibly and can hire a DP/Cinematographer for their skills rather than for their gear. By the way, the camera will not come out of my budget for the feature as I always spend money on gear regardless also I would love to stretch my budget to the 4.6K so I have more options for recording resolutions (2K Prores) but at £6,000 to kit out, its looking less financially sound.

March 6, 2017 at 3:12AM, Edited March 6, 3:15AM

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Kayode
902

I've joked many times about my BMPCC and C100 mark ii having a baby image/usability wise, and this could be of it. I still can't get used to the Sony colour (I know many love it and I'm not a Canon fanboy, just preference), so there hasn't been a huge amount of options for an upgrade as far as I was concerned.

Question is...can I really tolerate the inevitable bugs? There are already known issues with the 4.6k sensor as others have pointed out, and the audio is known to be a bit crap, and blackmagic has never made an ND filter in their lives...which could spell disaster and I can imagine colour casts could be a real issue.

Would I be comfortable charging a decent amount to arrive on set with a camera that could throw up those issues? I just don't know.

I want one though...

March 3, 2017 at 6:37AM

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Liam Martin
DP, editor, part time director
699

They're not making the ND filters, they're obviously sourcing them from somewhere, so that's probably not going to be a big issue. Thankfully since the camera is already shipping we'll know more soon I suppose. This camera also apparently has better pre-amps than the previous iteration, so the audio should be better.

March 3, 2017 at 4:45PM, Edited March 3, 4:45PM

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David West
Writer/Director/Cinematographer/Editor
856

Yeah I didn't read that about the audio before, definitely encouraging.

Very good point about the ND's, what a dummy I didn't think of that.

March 4, 2017 at 1:08PM

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Liam Martin
DP, editor, part time director
699

Dude, just rent one once they're available. Answer your own questions.

March 3, 2017 at 10:15PM

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Vidrazor
196

I plan to. Looking forward to it.

March 4, 2017 at 4:46AM

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Liam Martin
DP, editor, part time director
699

So here are my questions: Dual cards, in two form factors/can you record whatever flavor of codec to Cfast, and proxies to SD? Would you be able to continue recording to the SD cards continuously ei: Recording to Cfast "A" then "B", "A" is still ingesting, then swap over to SD; While still recording?? The cost of Cfast media is driving that question.

March 3, 2017 at 1:50PM, Edited March 3, 1:49PM

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Sean D. Elder
Cinematographer/Gaffer/Wearer of many hats
81

Sean, sadly no, there is no recording of two different formats simultaneously for a 'proxy' workflow. I confirmed this on the phone with Blackmagic right after the cameras were announced. It is a major omission. There's a physical switch to choose between SD OR CFast and you only get to pick one recording codec. I pray daily that this gets added in firmware. Without higher compression options on the camera, this seems extremely bizarre that BM didn't implement this–especially seeing as they make Resolve which is steeped in a history of online/offline workflows.

March 6, 2017 at 6:53PM

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Well, that being said; it brings me to my next question that was mentioned. Would a firmware update allow for the possibility of having essentially 4 cards to record on. I know there isn't a camera that has everything for everybody, but this is a step in the right direction, IMO. Another question I have is would shims be a required solution for when you say switch from CP.2's to super speeds, or lenses within the same lens family? Oh, and I see a grammatical error in my previous comment, I will go silently scold myself. Please excuse me.

March 15, 2017 at 2:22PM, Edited March 15, 2:22PM

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Sean D. Elder
Cinematographer/Gaffer/Wearer of many hats
81

Never Again - Listed as "Available Now" on BMD.com but B&H has it on pre-order. I would put money that the defective units won't ship till July earliest.

March 3, 2017 at 7:22PM

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AREXSUN
Writer
74

Now if they could just deliver on those 4.6k Turrets that they promised us...
Hell, I'd be happy if I just upgrade my V1 sensor.

March 3, 2017 at 10:27PM, Edited March 3, 10:28PM

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Any word on fixing the horrible FPN (Fixed Pattern Noise) the previous 4.6K models had? Currently it is one of the major deal breakers for me. I know they released that updated firmware with shadow calibration, but from what I seen, it's more of a workaround, having to constantly check it and re-calibrate it, and it does NOT solve the issue completely (more like 40-50% at best)

March 5, 2017 at 3:16AM

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Cosmin Gurau
Director
277

Halve the price, a third it in Australia to make it more equivalent?

March 5, 2017 at 9:30AM

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Wayne M
Director of a Life
205