Last 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.