April 13, 2015
NAB 2015

Blackmagic Announces Lighter URSA Mini with 4.6K Sensor & 15 Stops of Dynamic Range

Blackmagic just announced a bunch of new products, including URSA Mini, which is half the weight of the original URSA, features a new 4.6K 15 stop dynamic range sensor designed by Blackmagic, and will retail for just $5,000 with the new sensor, or $3,000 with Blackmagic's original 4K sensor:

Here are the specs:

  • 4.6K 25.34mm x 14.25 mm Super 35mm Sensor at 4608 x 2592
  • Resolutions: 4608 x 2592, 4096 x 2304 (4K 16:9), 4608 x 1920 (4K 2.4:1), 3840 x 2160 (Ultra HD), 3072 x 2560 (3K Anamorphic), 2048 x 1152 (2K 16:9), 1920 x 1080
  • 15 Stops Dynamic Range in Rolling Shutter Mode (A stop or two less in Global Shutter mode)
  • Switchable Between Rolling Shutter and Global Shutter
  • 4K RAW up to 60fps in Rolling, 4K RAW Up to 30 fps in Global
  • Windowed HD up to 160fps
  • ISO Performance should be better than 4K Camera (Settings we saw were 200-1600)
  • CinemaDNG Raw (Lossless or 3:1/4:1 Compressed), ProRes XQ to Proxy in 3840 x 2160 or 1920 x 1080
  • 5" Flip Out 1920 x 1080 Touchscreen
  • Optional 1920 x 1080 OLED EVF ($1,500)
  • Comes with handle — Optional Shoulder Rig for $400 Gives ENG style operation
  • Dual CFast 2.0 slots
  • Dual XLR Input
  • 12V to 30V 4 pin XLR (same battery plates as URSA)
  • No Built-In ND Filters
  • Weighs Under 7 Pounds (Body only)
  • Sensor is not upgradeable like the big URSA
  • EF and PL Mount versions
  • Availability: Later in the Summer/Early Fall
  • Price: $3,000 with Original 4K Sensor, $5,000 for New 4.6K Sensor ($500 more for PL versions of both)

 

The camera is much lighter and better on the shoulder than the original URSA, as they listened to what customers wanted. The new EVF designed by Blackmagic looks great, and it's a nice touch to their shoulder rig design. It could technically work with any camera as long as you supplied power as it's just an SDI EVF.

Blackmagic URSA Upgrade

Not only do they have a new camera, but they have announced that the original URSA is getting this new 4.6K sensor with better specs:

Specs different from URSA Mini:

  • 4K RAW up to 120fps Rolling Shutter
  • 4K RAW up to 60fps Global Shutter
  • Can also take new OLED EVF
  • Price: $2K for Upgrade ($500 extra for PL), $7,000 for 4.6K Sensor EF Mount, $5,000 for 4K Sensor EF Mount ($500 more for PL versions)

And more photos of the URSA Mini:

Blackmagic URSA Mini Connections

Your Comment

118 Comments

If it's good in low light then it would give the FS7 some competition.

April 13, 2015 at 12:08PM

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https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/products/blackmagicursa

Scroll down for footage of the sensor (in the larger Ursa model). Looks pretty great to me.

April 13, 2015 at 1:02PM

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This is it. This is the camera. I see no reason to think the image wouldn't be outstanding at best and merely acceptable at absolute worst, and at that price point, with those ergonomics, and that feature set, this is THE camera to beat.

April 13, 2015 at 12:09PM

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Joshua Bowen
Editor
723

Without seeing any images from the camera, that's a tall order. So far, none of BM's cameras have been reliable enough to become professional workhorses. This is probably the most important thing to think about after the image, when buying a camera. Sony, Arri, Canon, and Red are all reliable in most conditions and that's partly why they're constantly in use.

The other thing with BM is their way of measuring dynamic range is way off. They said the BMPCC 4K had 12 stops of latitude when in real world tests it manages only 8.4. If this holds true for the new sensor as well, then this camera will still be a great value but it won't be the one to beat as it will be behind basically every competitor BM has.

April 13, 2015 at 12:36PM

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Oscar Stegland
DP/Steadicam
1130

they have released a video shot on URSA with the 4.6k sensor on their website! looking pretty good in terms of DR and have some nice low light shots

https://pdlvimeocdn-a.akamaihd.net/40446/049/353872352.mp4?token2=142894...

April 13, 2015 at 1:12PM

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Mida Chu
independent filmmaker
121

The link is broken but it's up here: https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/products/blackmagicursa

Looked pretty good, much better than previous cameras. But the shadows looked really noisy, and the skintones weren't fantastic. But then again this was filmed on a pre-sample.

I really want BM to succeed, but so far every camera they've put out has been unfinished, problematic, or just doesn't live up to what they advertise. If they can change my opinion, then I'm all for it. But they have to go all the way.

April 13, 2015 at 2:09PM

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Oscar Stegland
DP/Steadicam
1130

bmp4k has around 11 stops...you must be talking about cion?

April 13, 2015 at 1:42PM, Edited April 13, 1:42PM

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Linas
115

Really? http://www.cinema5d.com/aja-cion-review-all-about-the-aja-camera/2/

That's a review of the CION where they compare to BMCC 4K. Both come out at 8.2 stops. Odds are it's the same or a very similar sensor, and the same one as in URSA 4K. The FS7 pulls in 12.4 and the Amira 13.1 under identical conditions.

Mind you, this is useable dynamic range and what's useable might differ from person to person but one thing is very clear. BM don't have the same idea of useable dynamic range (ie. at least somewhat noise-free) that Arri or Sony do. Their specifications are very close to real-world use whereas BM are off in their own little world.

April 13, 2015 at 2:02PM

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Oscar Stegland
DP/Steadicam
1130

Dynamic range blah, blah. I have the original BMCC and it's perfect. If that's not enough, you don't know what you're doing.

April 14, 2015 at 5:33AM

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Do you seriously think BMCC is perfect? It's good for the money, no doubt.

But the screen is practically useless, the interface seems to be made by someone who's never used a camera, the ergonomics are absolutely horrible, non-removable battery that barely drives the thing, rather awkward gamma curve in regards to highlights, etc.

It's a lot for the money but to call any camera perfect is kind of contradictory. Different tools for different jobs.

April 20, 2015 at 5:12AM

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Oscar Stegland
DP/Steadicam
1130

As I said, if you can't make a great image on a BMCC...
There are other careers.

June 15, 2015 at 12:49AM

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Have you chosen one yet?

January 3, 2016 at 3:22AM

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Jonathon Sendall
Stories
1827

Have you seen the footage from the FS7? It's horrible! It doesn't even compare to the pocket.

The footage from the 4.6k looks like a red epic as far as I can tell. I'm all for it. Canon fanboys can be as bitter as they want.

April 16, 2015 at 6:28AM

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Marko Hila
Cameraman/DOP
236

I have used the FS7 and in my mind and experience from both cameras it runs circles around every BMD-camera so far, especially the pocket.

What exactly do you think is so horrible about the FS7? It's got robust codecs, great internal recording, battery life that's great, good ergonomics, great package out of the box and a very similar image to the F5/F55.

Personally i prefer Sony's look over RED so I don't mind that it looks like a Sony.

To me the Ursa 4.6K footage looked more like Alexa than it did RED. The world is Black Magic's oyster. If they can release a camera that works as advertised when they bring it to market and it's reliable enough, they'll be on to something. But so far, they've mainly put out high-end consumer cameras.

April 20, 2015 at 5:16AM

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Oscar Stegland
DP/Steadicam
1130

What reliability problems are you talking about? I have a BMPC 4K, and most of its issues are design issues (for example, the uselessness of its screen in daylight). I haven't had any failure.

April 14, 2015 at 9:00PM

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David Gurney
DP
1780

Some people get lucky with them I guess.

April 15, 2015 at 11:58AM

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Google BMPC 4K Sensor problem... Pocket and Ursa have also had sensor issues.

April 20, 2015 at 5:10AM

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Oscar Stegland
DP/Steadicam
1130

I wish BM would have their stuff ready to ship when announced. There's no way they'll meet the summer/late fall estimate.

Also, what is "Windowed HD"? Is that just center crop or what?

April 13, 2015 at 12:12PM, Edited April 13, 12:12PM

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I was wondering what that meant as well. Any thoughts?

April 13, 2015 at 12:24PM

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Bennett Johnson
Director
13

Yeah it's just a crop factor; crops in for HD Slow-Mo not using the full sensor.

April 13, 2015 at 1:07PM

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Ben Meredith
Cinematographer/Filmmaker
1035

Maybe a crop factor, something similar to RED when switching resolutions?

April 13, 2015 at 12:36PM

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Correct

April 13, 2015 at 3:21PM

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Taylor Russ
Director of Photography
654

I'm happy to see the move back to usuable form factors when it comes to "indie" film cameras. The DSLR rig sensation was getting ridiculous. I bought a GH4 for $1600 but needed an additional $1500 in gear to really get it going for production use. When you really look at it you could buy an Ursa Mini kit for the same as a kit'd out DSLR but be ready to shoot right out of the box.

April 13, 2015 at 12:21PM

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Saskamodie
Filmmaker
414

But the original 4k sensor is riddled with issues. It's more accurate to compare the 4.6k sensor to something like the fs7.

April 13, 2015 at 12:36PM, Edited April 13, 12:36PM

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Between the codec, frame rates, resolution, and form factor I'd say the BMUM is an easy win over say a GH4 + Rails + Speedbooster sans RAW or ProRes. I agree the old sensor has some issues that need to be addressed (black hole sun) but honestly I'd take that over having to carry "Transformers: Rise of the Rig" everywhere.

April 13, 2015 at 12:53PM

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Saskamodie
Filmmaker
414

Why no built in ND filters? Kind of defeats the object of it being a run and gun camera then. The reasons why they didn't include it also don't really make sense to me when the FS7 has them with no additional bulk as the gentleman suggested in the video. Almost the full package Blackmagic but not quite! Shame really.

April 13, 2015 at 12:26PM

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Darren Wolff
Self Shooting PD
474

I fully agree. If its meant for single operator then built in NDs are so useful. Blackmagic doesn't seem to like them. Thats a big plus for the Sony FS7 over this.

April 13, 2015 at 12:43PM

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Tom Kelly
Director / Cameraman
154

Yea but for half the cost you can get the Ursa Mini with the 4k sensor. Honestly with the savings I'd rather slap a Variable ND on the lens and keep it pushing.

April 13, 2015 at 12:47PM, Edited April 13, 12:47PM

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Saskamodie
Filmmaker
414

Yeah, but the old sensor has all sorts of issues like the FNP one.

April 13, 2015 at 1:11PM

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The old sensor is miles behind the FS7 though. Slap on the extension arm and the EVF on the 4.6k version and you're at about the same price as an FS7.

One is proven to be reliable and gives a great image, the other we'll just have to wait and see. I love BM's ambitions but they have yet to prove they belong in the same league as the big boys of the business.

April 13, 2015 at 2:12PM

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Oscar Stegland
DP/Steadicam
1130

And that is the reason why BM hasn't caught on. Too many bugs, underwhelming results, and true cost of ownership. I have had BM cameras bite me in the ass one too many times to ever use them on a professional set again.

April 14, 2015 at 7:15PM

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That's what I thought. What a strange reason to give for no internal ND... it's as if he's saying it's totally impractical on a super35 sensor, when obviously it's not! If they can't hit their price point with internal NDs, then so be it - just say so. I'm still very excited about the camera, but turned off by his obviously false answer to the question.

April 13, 2015 at 2:52PM

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Did smack of a bit of BS to me as well. Think sometimes they forget who they're pitching to. i.e. relatively clued up technical bods!

April 13, 2015 at 8:07PM

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Darren Wolff
Self Shooting PD
474

Well the fact that Amira has ND's proves that it's not impossible to have a ENG type super35 sensor camera with ND's.. I think BMD haven't had time to develop the technology or maybe they're wanting to keep cost/size down.

But I agree with Saskamodie, just add variable ND on your ENG zoom lens and you're good to go. GenusTech's Eclipse worked a treat for me in Africa.. Plus it gives finer control over stepped and limited inbuilt ND's.

April 14, 2015 at 5:24AM

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PJ Palomaki
Cinematographer | Motion Graphics
400

BM don't make ENG cameras. They're for filmmakers. Take your run and gun elsewhere.

April 14, 2015 at 5:31AM

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Ah right. Cinéma vérité doesn't count then I suppose. Take your lack of knowledge elsewhere.

April 14, 2015 at 5:29PM

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Darren Wolff
Self Shooting PD
474

I think you'd be better off with a camcorder with auto everything.

June 15, 2015 at 12:54AM

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The Mini Ursa looks awesome but I love the size of the Production/Cinema Cameras.

They do have a new 4K Mini camera on their website, but it doesn't record on-board (a studio camera), and their new "Hyperdeck" doesn't do 4K or Raw.
What's going to happen to the Production/Cinema cameras? Are they getting phased out? Will there be new versions with the 4.6 sensor?

April 13, 2015 at 12:29PM, Edited April 13, 12:29PM

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Sathya Vijayendran
Writer/Director/Editor
381

SORCERY!!!!!!!!

April 13, 2015 at 12:41PM

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Edgar More
All
1178

Built in NDs ?

April 13, 2015 at 12:41PM

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Tom Kelly
Director / Cameraman
154

No built in ND Filters.. Damn.. Camera looks amazing though

April 13, 2015 at 12:43PM, Edited April 13, 12:43PM

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Kyle Lamar
Director Producer DP
1034

Looks like the manufacturers are chasing the Aaton ergonomics.

April 13, 2015 at 12:48PM

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Peter Phillips
Filmmaker
626

Great camera. Please offer a Nikon mount. Glad that Joe got dressed up for the interview.

April 13, 2015 at 12:58PM

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treykaiza@gmail.com
Cat Herder
234

Hey Canon, this is how its done!

April 13, 2015 at 1:04PM

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Kayode
983

Ahhh, the shutter-dynamic range tradeoff again! I wonder how much worse the dynamic range will go down in the global shutter mode, and if it'll be even worse than the original sensor. Also how bad the rolling shutter is going to be? Worse than the good old 2.5k sensor? or worse?

April 13, 2015 at 1:05PM, Edited April 13, 1:05PM

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Mida Chu
independent filmmaker
121

Yep, I'm totally buying this.

April 13, 2015 at 1:14PM

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William Stewart
Director of Photography
569

Black Magic fixed a lot of issues with the cameras that exist now (BMCC BMPC BMPCC). They have proven that they now belong in this race and i believe this camera is going to Give RED and Sony Hell.... I'd stand in a Line right now and wait on this Camera :D . This is suppose to be a great camera... i wait with great anticipation.

April 13, 2015 at 1:19PM

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Wentworth Kelly
DP/Colorist/Drone Op
2714

Clearly they are a company that listens to the users as they have made great strides with their firmware updates fixing almost all of the problems they had with their original models. The URSA is a very well reviewed camera and the images are just stunning, the new sensor looks even more filmic. Everyone loves the FS7 but I haven't seen anything image wise that I absolutely love from that camera (very video look for the most part). BM have a very organic feel to their images and that has more value to me then say built in ND filters. Seems like the right direction and the prices are really revolutionary. They are driving all of the competition downwards including Sony. The Mini is a steal, and considering the cfast cards are used on Amira, C300 Mark 2, they become a much better investment than cheaper sony only cards in the long run (plus they come down in price yearly). In two years they will be as cheap as SSD's.

April 13, 2015 at 1:30PM

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Brad Jones
Director/Producer/Writer/Editor
513

A lot of BM cameras still have loads of issues, especially in regards to the actual sensors. Various patterns, black suns, noise, less than advertised dynamic range, etc. Their forums are still full of people who have problems with their cameras.

I feel like they've proven the opposite when it took them 3 years to incorporate a simple thing like formatting in-camera which should have been there day one. At the other end of the spectrum Sony are adding completely new features, and useful ones at that, with basically every firmware update.

The Alexa also uses SXS+ cards for ProRes but in the long run it definitely seems like CFast 2.0 will be the better investment.

April 13, 2015 at 2:23PM

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Oscar Stegland
DP/Steadicam
1130

Sadly you may be right but in the end about BM and their foibles but to me, Sony looks like Video. ARRI, RED & BM and to a lesser degree Canon looks much more cinematic. For a corporate gig, its great. Wonderful. Has everything you need but I've yet to see any single clip that has a pleasing cinema look to it. Its like its too sharp or too perfect. I know people say its how it is graded but there are thousands of Sony clips in which I think look video-like and thousands of BMCC that look wonderful. Im not bashing you so don't take it that way, but to me, I would never buy one if I was shooting a film.

Sorry, every one has their

April 15, 2015 at 10:54PM

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This has me seriously thinking about selling my RED.

April 13, 2015 at 9:55PM

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Ian Mora
Writer, Director, Editor, Camera Operator
271

https://i.imgflip.com/k474d.jpg

"No internal ND? Great. Everyone's fired -- the tech's f**ked it up for everybody." - Grant Petty

But seriously, can we get any more ridiculous in what we (SOME) demand of a camera these days? A slew of breathtakingly beautiful films have worked with much less. I'd predict that 90% of all people frequenting this site shoot projects under 500K. More than likely, 85% of us shoot with less than 50K. Is using a mattebox and 4X4 ND gonna' kill ya'?!

This camera -- if, indeed, the specs are true (ie. DR range) -- is incredible. There's tons of warranted criticism for the camera (reliability, etc.) but the ND remarks has me dumbfounded.

If only Orson Welles lived long enough to see this stuff...

April 13, 2015 at 1:26PM

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As per the ND remark, thank you. And I mean it.

May 18, 2015 at 8:16PM

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Amazing!, this is the first time I am almost sold for a Blackmagic camera, the specs and the price are incredible, switching between global and rolling?, very nice, of course all is still on paper, and first I expect to see some footage and tests to click the BUY button, but this is really the way I was expecting some companies to evolve on time, and of course like others here I enjoyed the jokes of the new releases from Canon, Sony and Samsung are the only competitors today for Blackmagic in the indie market.

April 13, 2015 at 1:28PM, Edited April 13, 1:28PM

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Very happy with 3K anamorphic option! I hope it's in both version (4.6K & 4K) I still believe in a nice 2048x858 resolution for my short films.

April 13, 2015 at 1:37PM, Edited April 13, 1:37PM

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Franky Hill
Director - Writer - Producer
154

We will see on that sensor, but the test footage does look pretty amazing. Not much better than we see on other cameras, but I think it's a little more filmic looking than the FS7 - and I own an FS7. (By filmic I mean it's not so sterile looking, with a little grain and softness but remaining detailed. You can get that on the FS7/F5 too but you need to work the footage in post to get there).

Low light looked good but the camera only goes up to 1600 presently and that's pretty poor. The FS7 et al are far better in this regard, unless you are coming from a GH4.

No ND is a pain in the ass if you are doing any kind of news or doco shooting that this camera would otherwise be perfect for. It's not a deal breaker (use vari ND or a matte box) but the sacrifice in image and/or speed is worth noting because they got lazy in their design.

I also find the lack of function buttons except 2 programmable ones appalling. No one should have to dig through touch screens with the screen flipped out to change more than two settings. That's almost criminal in its stupidity.

BMD stuff is getting better for sure. But it's always lacking something. It's a classic case of you can have good, fast, cheap pick two. This thing (much like the FS7) is good and cheap, but not fast.

The FS7, for all its faults and horrible menu system, has a more capable grip, far more buttons and switches to quickly access essential controls like white balance, and has a strong set of NDs. It also shoots a very high quality image in a lightweight codec (XAVC) which takes up less space. You get what you pay for, even in this crowded mid-line space.

April 13, 2015 at 1:54PM, Edited April 13, 1:54PM

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Paul Antico
Producer
161

Spot on analysis Paul!

April 13, 2015 at 2:40PM

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Darren Wolff
Self Shooting PD
474

This is exactly what I was thinking when I saw the features. Looked good on paper, but then the ergonomics and the BMD reliability is always in question.

August 5, 2015 at 12:18AM, Edited August 5, 12:18AM

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Jason Han
Cinematographer
272

Um? Okay... it just posted like 10 times automatically. Not sure how to delete

August 5, 2015 at 12:20AM

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Jason Han
Cinematographer
272

My biggest question is will the Ursa mini with the original sensor be limited to 12 stops of DR like the original Ursa or have they made improvements on that as well? Also is the original sensor even capable of switching from global to rolling shutter or is it just the new one? As exciting as the new sensor is, many people will not get the new sensored version because of its 2000 dollar price difference.

April 13, 2015 at 1:47PM

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Adam Akopyan
Director of Photography
87

The FS7, to me, was the closest anyone has gotten to a really good budget camera that would be to the modern filmmaker what the Super16 format was for so many years. You could stick it on your shoulder, you could control the camera easily while it was on your shoulder, it had well-implemented audio, and you could shoot high frame rates and log, in 4K. There were some issues though. Lenses could be a problem, but adapters fixed that for the most part. It didn't always balance super well on the shoulder especially if you had a heavier lens. It still required third party rigs if you wanted rods, a follow focus, or a heavier mattebox. The viewfinder was detestable. The URSA mini takes everything that was good about the FS7, and made it better. A better built-in screen, a better viewfinder, better lenses mounts, a (potentially) better sensor, better shoulder balance, pro battery options, internal RAW and the most important thing that really set the URSA apart: A simple, streamlined, easily navigable menu system. This is THE camera for anyone making videos for YouTube or Vimeo, anyone who's shooting for SXSW or Sundance or any other festival, anyone making documentaries. The people who should be jumping on board with this camera are the Stillmotion's, the Joe Simon's, the Ryan Conolly's. Basically anyone who is using a C-Series camera for their regular work, and renting a RED for more polished stuff, you should be using this camera. Blackmagic has won NAB, now for the 4th year in a row.

April 13, 2015 at 1:49PM

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I disagree. EF lenses work fine on the FS7 with the latest firmware and adapters (although I admit the iris wheel is a little slow, it is usable.) The EVF is fine. It's not "detestable". The URSA Mini still needs a proper shoulder mount (not their own) to position the camera's center of gravity over the shoulder, not where it is with their addition - either front or back heavy depending on the lens load. The E-Mount is far more adaptable to a far wider range of lenses. The URSA Mini lacks buttons or switches for almost everything, forcing the operator to mess around with a flipped open touch screen to do anything beyond two extra functions. And let's not get started on the NDs, or BMD's horrific record with firmware (though improving) and delivery dates. Let's also not forget that Cfast cards are now more expensive than XQD cards and you will need more of them because this camera doesn't have a lightweight high quality 4K codec like XAVC-I or the new Canon version of that. ProRes is nice, but it's going to be expensive when you buy those cards to get the same run time.

I have used all the C cameras (I had a C300 for years), the F5, I own an FS7, etc. This camera has promise, but operations wise? It mostly seems like another half-baked BMD product full of compromise. No one has "won" anything. Unless you want to save a few thousand bucks, which you will likely end up blowing on more CFast cards and NDs anyway.

April 13, 2015 at 2:02PM

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Paul Antico
Producer
161

Don't forget that this thing comes in at almost the exact same price as the FS7 if you add the EVF and extension arm.

April 13, 2015 at 2:28PM

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Oscar Stegland
DP/Steadicam
1130

I agree, ease of use in actual operation is what will make or break this one for it's intended use. In all the photos and video I've seen so far of the new handle, it doesn't appear to have an iris wheel at all. Just the same auto iris button that appears on the BMCC, etc. So, I gotta wonder how easy manual control of the iris is going to be achieved on this camera. Also, their mention of third party lanc control is nice, but so far I haven't seen any that work well enough to yield decent, fast results that compare to the beautifully thought out controls on the C300 side handle. I hope Joe can ask some more questions about this and get some answers.

April 13, 2015 at 2:53PM, Edited April 13, 2:53PM

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Jamie LeJeune
Director of Photography
285

People are forgetting that the true cost of ownership on this cam is likely to be higher than an FS7. CFAST cards aren't cheap, neither are vmount batteries to power this thing. I can pack an FS7 or C300 in a backpack with everything I need to shoot for 3 days. Good luck getting that kind of flexibility out of this cam.

The reason cameras like the FS7 and c300 are so popular is because they work without any of the silly workarounds that some of their competitors have.

April 15, 2015 at 12:08PM

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Aside from the frame rates, are there any other important spec differences between the URSA Mini and the regular URSA? Is the picture quality going to be the same?

April 13, 2015 at 1:54PM, Edited April 13, 1:54PM

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Benjamin Lebeau
Cinematographer, Colorist, Editor
335

Same sensor so I imagine same picture quality. URSA will do a little more than the mini because of the processing power internally...mostly with frame rates. URSA can do 120 4k whereas it appears the mini maxes out at 60fps, but still 160 in HD which is VERY nice!

April 13, 2015 at 3:07PM

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Ben Meredith
Cinematographer/Filmmaker
1035

Is the sensor in the URSA the same as in the production 4k?

April 13, 2015 at 9:32PM

0
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It is, yes. The difference is the URSA has a lot more processing power behind it, so it can get more out of the sensor without overheating or any of that dangerous stuff.

April 14, 2015 at 4:41PM

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Ben Meredith
Cinematographer/Filmmaker
1035

Eagerly awaiting the ISO sensitivity tests...

April 13, 2015 at 2:14PM

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Dean Mermell
Filmish Person
118

No ND and weird place for XLR, this is not going to make the sound ppl happy: headphones and XLR too far apart of regular multicable spider.

Interesting camera, I liked the image from my BM 4K, but was not practical and shooting on a Sony for now. The handgrip would need aperture control to be really useful for EF lenses. The FS7 can do 4 audio channels with the XLR adapter, this only does 4 which, to be honest, I think is very weird, by now I would expect at least an extra two drop-in wireless channels receiver options on shoulder camera's.

In that respect Sony seems to be still ahead: ND, and 4 channel audio plus a huge range of lenses you can use on the FS7, it still is the camera to beat, but I do like this camera.

April 13, 2015 at 2:53PM

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Mark Paterson
Filmmaker
232

I wonder if they have fixed the IR problems…

April 13, 2015 at 3:01PM

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Carlos Luis Pujol
Director of Photography
204

In all honestly...just considering price and features...if this has even somewhat a similar image and color science as the BMCC (which is appears to have judging by the test video), as well as improved low-light performance on the 4.6 sensor (no FPN please! I imagine this is improved as well on the 4.6)...then really...this seems like an amazing camera. Want to wait for a little more info...but I'm pretty sure all my savings are going towards this guy!

April 13, 2015 at 3:09PM

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Ben Meredith
Cinematographer/Filmmaker
1035

Joe Marine looks like Jim from The Office...

But wow, I'm really impressed with Blackmagic as a company and camera manufacturer.

April 13, 2015 at 3:13PM

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I feel like Blackmagic did a really good job of achieving a balance between value and price with the ursa mini. You up to 4.6k, with an EF or PL mount, that dynamic range, and up to 120 fps, for that price? I think sacrificing built in ND's is worth it if you get all of that. From what I understand, cameras are about making trade offs and I would trade built in ND's for these specs anyday. But as with anything, only time will tell. Definitely would like to try one.

April 13, 2015 at 3:58PM

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Jerald Roberts II
Filmmaker
363

They've got a great thing going, hopefully the noise level doesn't completely take over at 7pm while you pump the shutter to 360. The obviously are user friendly but after owning both a BMCC and a BMPCC I would choose my A7s any day of the week over any Blackmagic ( right now ). You obviously get what you pay for and just looking at the affordable price gives me a hint BM is at it again where they are making definitely a really great tool but the sensor just won't compete with Sony, Canon etc.

Just my two cents, don't take it to heart.. Tarantino can make a movie with used underwear instead of 4k i get it..

April 13, 2015 at 4:29PM

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John Fitzpatrick
DP/Director
154

sorry for the grammar.

April 13, 2015 at 4:32PM

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John Fitzpatrick
DP/Director
154

Considering the price of the C-Fast cards and the space needed for RAW, most people will have to shoot ProRes.

April 13, 2015 at 4:30PM

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Sathya Vijayendran
Writer/Director/Editor
381

But ProRes is a way better codec than .mp4 like some DSLRS or the annoying AVCHD. Ive used the URSA with only two 64gb Cards and our production was able to shoot in RAW and still get the shots we needed. I agree cards fill up fast but if you have a good DIT on set then you really don't have much of issue with shooting in RAW with small gb C-Fast cards.

April 13, 2015 at 7:39PM

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Bert Beltran
Filmmaker | Editor | Motion Graphics | Drone Op
204

They listen. They really listen.

April 13, 2015 at 4:41PM, Edited April 13, 4:41PM

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I've been shooting professionally for more than 20 years now. Lately, the bulk of my work has been EPK/Behind the Scenes video for major motion pictures and television series.
This camera is so close to being perfect for my style of shooting, except for the glaring omission of built-in neutral density filters.
I've read the posts from others trying to shout down people like me who view built-in filters as not a luxury, but a necessity. I'm fully aware that adding a matte box and a set of glass filters is one possible solution, but if I take the time to remove the filter frame from the matte box, remove the glass filter from its frame, replace the glass filter into its pouch, remove another glass filter from its pouch, insert that glass filter into the frame, then replace the frame back into the matte box... I've missed the shot.
Grant Petty's explanation of why Blackmagic decided not to implement built-in filters into the Ursa Mini doesn't wash. Canon's C100, C300 and C500 have built-in filters, as does Sony's FS700 and FS7. None of them have massive housings to accommodate a filter wheel for their super-35 sized chips. (I'm sure there are others that I've forgotten.)
Still... I really like the form factor of this camera. Canon should take note--this is how to design a camera. Well done, Blackmagic! It's so close to perfect, I may have to pull the trigger.

April 13, 2015 at 6:03PM, Edited April 13, 6:03PM

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Rob Stivers
Director of Photography
154

It is very tempting, especially with the codec / bitrates but after several sidesteps away from conventional eng cameras (red, BM4K etc. ) I really don't want invest in anything that doesn't have ND. To be honest I'm hoping someone will come up with a simple but clever LCD based ND that can go from clear to 12 stops. BTW I don't think the new camera's use filterwheels like we used to have, I think they are more motorised little arms that flip in and out and can even use two filters at the same time. Probably something that is too expensive for BM to put in any of their camera's. I also have a problem with the additional $2K for viewfinder, shoulder mount and v-lock.

April 13, 2015 at 7:17PM

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Mark Paterson
Filmmaker
232

BM don't make cameras for you. They're not interested in the ENG hurrying-to-get-the-shot types. They're for people doing filmmaking. People making considered filmic decisions. If you're run and gun look elsewhere - easy.

April 14, 2015 at 5:27AM

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Seriously, variable ND on your zoom lens (which you will not change if you're doing BTS stuff) and with the same action you'd flick a build-in ND, you can twist the variable ND... I don't see the issue here for this type of work?

April 14, 2015 at 5:39AM

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PJ Palomaki
Cinematographer | Motion Graphics
400

The problem is: no ND and with the shoulder mount / viewfinder / battery option it is another $2K, that is passed the FS7.

April 13, 2015 at 7:11PM

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Mark Paterson
Filmmaker
232

Blackmagic!!! You are at it again, showing up the rest of the competition! At the creative agency I work for we have a URSA and we have used it for studio shoots to on set commercial productions. The URSA is a great workhorse camera with all its built in features. The image it produces is lovely and I think it compares to the RED Epic in certain situations. I have edited and colored footage from an Epic and URSA for a commercial, and in post the URSA was holding strong against the RED footage. If you never worked with the URSA then you are missing out on a easy to use camera that has features for everyone, from pro consumer to professionals. Having RAW and Prores is hands down the best for post and beats any DSLR for sure or other cinema cameras out on the market. Im very excited to see BM pushing for cameras that have all these features built in, not like some camera that need external recorders to be able to shoot in 4K. Oh and they are always priced affordably. Can anyone out there name a camera that can shoot in 4k RAW and 4K prores for less than 5,000. I know of one Blackmagic's Production 4k camera for 3,000.

April 13, 2015 at 7:29PM

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Bert Beltran
Filmmaker | Editor | Motion Graphics | Drone Op
204

Every NAB we get closer to a well designed camera for under 10k....
FS7 - shitty menus and a clunky evf
URSA mini - great menu and cool evf....no ND's, no buttons

Guys! Copy the Amira. Arri already figured all of this out.

April 13, 2015 at 9:49PM

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Frank
340

p.s. All the physical buttons are for playback, and the recording functions are on the touch screen. Isn't that obviously backwards, or am I crazy?

April 13, 2015 at 9:55PM

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Frank
340

p.p.s. Am I the only one who hates touch screens?

April 13, 2015 at 9:56PM

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Frank
340

p.p.p.s. No hate intended to any BM guys who might read this. Keep up the craziness guys. I love it!

April 13, 2015 at 9:58PM, Edited April 13, 9:58PM

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Frank
340

I agree with all of the above. Easy access to recording functions while shooting should be a top priority. Canon got this right with the C100. You can change ISO, shutter speed, f-stop and white balance without ever taking your eye away from what you're shooting. All those functions are accessed via the thumb joystick on the handgrip. Strangely, it's set up a little differently on the C300. You can access all those but white balance. You have to find the white balance button on the camera body before changing the value with the joystick. Not a fan of thouch screens either. For me, the screen is for monitoring and if you touch it, you smudge it. Not optimal.

April 13, 2015 at 10:06PM, Edited April 13, 10:06PM

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Rob Stivers
Director of Photography
154

The fact that they haven't published ISO numbers is unsettling. But, wow, this camera looks amazing.

April 13, 2015 at 10:39PM

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Raafi Rivero
Director

4K RAW for $3K in a useable form factor? That's a pretty darn sweet deal, even if it is with the older sensor which lacks in Dynamic Range and doesn't have crazy high frame rates.

I mean, really, that is the perfect entry level camera. No need to recommend DSLRs and the hassles of their rigs to any newbs from now on.

April 14, 2015 at 6:37AM, Edited April 14, 6:37AM

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Ben Howling
Writer / Director
586

WOW! Just 2 problems for me. $2000 more for the sensor upgrade. C fast cards.
I would buy one tomorrow if the sensor upgrade were more reasonable and it took SD, HD's or SSHD's. Just to many alternatives out there.

April 14, 2015 at 7:19AM

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Jerry Roe
Indie filmmaker
1069

This question is really bugging me:

Does the URSA MINI 4k do record 160 fps in 1920x1080 crop mode?

Y/N? :D :D :D

Thanks, VTS

April 14, 2015 at 7:23AM

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At their webpage it says
"URSA Mini can capture full resolution 4.6K recordings at up to 60 frames per second and up to 160 frames per second in regular 1080 HD!"

April 14, 2015 at 8:04AM

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Viktor Ragnemar
Director/Cinematographer
1250

Yes, but 4.6K is the better sensor for like 4.995,- $

April 14, 2015 at 8:08AM

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....and thanks for the effort. :D

April 14, 2015 at 8:12AM

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So the question still remains (I found out, that there is no delete button here...)

Do those 160 fps HD also count for the smaller sensor, not just the 4.6K one?

April 14, 2015 at 8:27AM

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I think the old sensor can still go up to 60fps on the URSA Mini. Not sure about the 160fsp...probably not that high.
However I would imagine the new 4.6 sensor will be worth every penny of the 2,000 dollars. I've worked with the BM4k (same old 4k sensor). It needs a lot of light and a lot of care. Some really ugly noise can show up. If it was grainy, that's another story, but it was quite blocky and ugly.

April 14, 2015 at 6:32PM

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Ben Meredith
Cinematographer/Filmmaker
1035

-No interchangeable mount. What a pity. We all cannot afford PL lenses. We can rent them in high-end projects, but in low projects (news, interviews...), it would be nice to have the EF option. Don't care about upgrading sensor like URSA, just switching the mount. I won't buy it cos of this. Seems meaningless but for me is not.
-Will Blackmagic upgrade to 120fps in one or two years while the URSA will get more? I mean, if mini has the same sensor than URSA, it must be able to record at 120 fps, right? I understand that BMD won't let mini record at the same fps than URSA cos it would be bad to their business, but maybe, just maybe, in one or two years from now, URSA 200 fps and mini 120? Would be awesome.

In the other hand, 15DR, 4,6K, the ergonomics, that beautiful grip, two shutters mode, full hd slowmo,... AMAZING!

About URSA, what a killer upgrade. But I won't buy it cos the same reason of last year: weight. We have equipment to 5kg (camera+accesories). URSA is so damn fat.

Give me a URSA mini 6k raw 120fps global shutter, s35, EF&PL switchable mount, 14

April 14, 2015 at 9:58AM

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Regarding the mount... If you are going to rent lenses, why don't you just rent Canons Cinema Lenses to the EF Mount?

April 14, 2015 at 10:18AM

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Viktor Ragnemar
Director/Cinematographer
1250

I love anamorphic. I know I can shoot in anamorphic mode with MINI but is not the same. Do I have a chance to shoot with Canon's Cinema Lenses with 1.33x? Depends on your answer if I click the pre-order button or not XD

April 14, 2015 at 10:24AM

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That's really the problem -- there aren't a lot of great cinema lenses available in EF mount. There are more coming out now, but if you want a vintage look, or something buttery and high-end PL is the only game in town. That said, once you're looking at being able to rent high-end PL lenses, your budget will most likely accommodate a different camera.

April 14, 2015 at 12:02PM

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Raafi Rivero
Director

Its funny how every year people buy into their hype and when the products actually hit the market they aren't as good as people hoped. However I will say, they do have some interesting products and at very competitive prices. However the Ursa Mini which everyone is raving about might not be as amazing a deal as people might think it to be. When compared to the closest competitor the FS7 it does fall noticeably short especially for the compared price. The old Ursa sensor isn't that great it had a lot to be desired so you would have to go with the new 4.6 sensor. To get that URSA mini setup, camera and viewfinder you're looking at 6500 dollars, yes 1500 dollars cheaper then the FS7 but, 1. You're capped at 1600 iso and thats max so don't expect it to be good in low light (the FS7's base ISO is 2000, the mini is probably gonna be around 800, they claim 15 stops of DR, FS7 has 14 its only a stop difference it won't be noticeable, but Black Magic has always been shown to over state their DR. The body lacks hard controls which makes it a bit more cumbersome for run and gun shooting. It has not built in ND filters which is a big headache. Also it doesn't have an efficient recording format. Raw is not efficient nor needed, pro rez is good but eats a lot of memory.

April 14, 2015 at 12:44PM

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You bring up valid points. But as for codecs, Proxy Prores. At HD it's about 50mbps, which is fairly close to h.264 but it's 10-bit.

April 15, 2015 at 7:23PM

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Zachary Will
Cinematographer
822

I have put in an order with my local shop now for the 4.6K version with EF Mount, plus the viewfinder and all the other accessories.

Now I just have to cancel my order for the FS7 also :)

Really looking forward to see what I can do with this camera. Coming from the 5D Mark III I feel it really can't get worse atleast.

April 14, 2015 at 1:16PM

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Viktor Ragnemar
Director/Cinematographer
1250

Why on earth would they put the audio controls hidden by the monitor when you give it an EVF??? Might as well not have XLR for anything other than reference track if you can't adjust levels while shooting handheld.

April 14, 2015 at 4:36PM, Edited April 14, 4:36PM

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Jason Blevins
Director / Producer / Videographer
140

Too bad about the switch to overpriced CFast cards. BM did so much right with the first couple of cameras, including the use of standard SSDs; it's unfortunate to see this kind of poor decision-making.

And have they addressed the annoying lack of HDMI out on these larger cameras?

April 14, 2015 at 9:09PM

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David Gurney
DP
1780

They do have HDMI out, plus sdi-s x 2, plus great monitors, raw/prores internally. You actually wouldn't even need a HDMI out. For say a monitor or wireless transmitters, you would use SDIs anyway.

Now, CFast is the new standard. High fps in 4k requires it and even canon adopted it with the new c300. They're still way way cheaper than red mags and because they are not monopolised they will come down in price quicker than you'd expect.

I think they've done an incredible job with the mini and on top of that they're giving them away for nothing.

April 15, 2015 at 9:05AM

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Marko Hila
Cameraman/DOP
236

I don't think there is an HDMI out on the URSA Mini or URSA. I agree with you anyway, SDI is better, but just clarifying according to specs there does not appear to be HDMI out.
I have a Zacuto so a tad unfortunate for me, I'll need to get an HDMI to SDI connector for my EVF. Or maybe just buy the Blackmagic EVF :) haha.

April 15, 2015 at 12:39PM

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Ben Meredith
Cinematographer/Filmmaker
1035

I'm in love again. Blackmagic, take my wallet because I.love.you.

April 15, 2015 at 8:55AM

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Marko Hila
Cameraman/DOP
236

Something else I just noticed... It doesn't look like you can adjust the audio levels unless the screen is open. That could be a real problem in the real world. Hope I'm wrong about that.

April 15, 2015 at 10:48AM, Edited April 15, 10:48AM

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Rob Stivers
Director of Photography
154

Does anyone know about the frame rates? The blackmagic website seems fairly vague. What is the max frame rate at Full Sensor HD? Is the frame rates such as the 160fps the same for the 4k version? Everyone is talking 4.6K vs FS7 but what about the 4k version vs fs100, fs700, and c100.

April 15, 2015 at 7:19PM

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Zachary Will
Cinematographer
822

This is a bet, nothing for sure.

Mini 4K version is the same sensor of URSA 4K (v1). 4.6k (v2) is the same on Mini as the URSA. That sensor can grab 120 fps (rolling shutter) and 60 fps (global shutter), the half on the Mini model (so I guess sooner or later the Mini will be able to that frame rate too, but only if the URSA can upgrade to a better one, like the v1 upgraded to 80fps). Full HD 160 fps seems the same on the Mini version than the URSA, but with full sensor maybe 120 (rolling shutter) 60 (global shutter). Anyway, BMD doesn't usually release a "full" software on their cameras at the beggining, for example, RAW recording wasn't available when the 2.5K, pocket or 4K were released and they implemented by an update months later.
About the other modes on the 4.6k version. I guess up to 60p global shutter. With rolling shutter I guess between 60-120 fps (less would be no sense I think).

April 15, 2015 at 11:35PM

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Another flip out screen that will get in your way, just like the big Ursa? So if you're hand held, using the eyepiece...but you have to adjust something, you've got to get your face out of the way to open the screen. Another brilliant design, like the downward facing fan that will be blocked by every normal baseplate design (also...heat rises...) These guys are coming from rack mount hardware and software and it shows.

April 16, 2015 at 7:43AM

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Daniel Mimura
DP, cam op, steadicam op
2040

That fan I was talking about...I was talking about the original BMCC...

April 16, 2015 at 7:45AM

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Daniel Mimura
DP, cam op, steadicam op
2040

This is a great camera that has one major minus point: cfast
If they had used Ssd instead of cfast sales might have gone sky high.
The cfast technology is very good, but the price is for rich people only.
I saw the slots of the cfast, imo it can easely replaced by SSD.
I love the 4 k production camera i have just for the fact that it is using SSD

June 11, 2015 at 6:08PM

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