At long last, early versions of the URSA Mini 4K are starting to make their way into the hands of filmmakers.
A group of wedding cinematographers based out of the Netherlands — a group collectively known as The Dreamers — recently got their hands on two URSA Mini 4K cameras (not the new 4.6K sensor), and in their typical style, they went out and shot a pair of weddings this past weekend. The footage not only looks great, but it covers a wide range of lighting situations. If you're interested in seeing how this camera handles daytime exteriors with lots of vibrant colors and backlighting, as well as a dimly-lit club with lots of mixed lighting, this footage is for you.
Also, keep scrolling to get a sneak peak of a full review of the URSA Mini written by a member of The Dreamers, Hugo van Dijke, which details the group's experience working with the camera is a challenging and fast-paced environment.
Even though much of the attention for URSA Mini cameras has been given to the version with the 4.6K sensor — and rightly so, considering the impressive specs and diminutive price compared to anything comparable on the market — the 4K version of this camera has a lot to offer for its price. At $3000 for the EF mount version ($500 more for a PL mount), this camera packs one hell of a punch considering that it offers way better ergonomics and slightly better specs than the Production Camera 4K at exactly the same price.
No word yet on when exactly these cameras are going to start shipping to those who pre-ordered them back during NAB, but Blackmagic is hoping to have the first batch out by the end of the month, with more and more shipping throughout the fall.
Clearly though, since the URSA Mini has the same sensor as the big URSA and BMPC 4K, the footage isn't really what we're curious about -- it's the form factor and new features. So, here's a sneak peak of Hugo's review of the Mini, detailing his first impressions unboxing it and a bit about the approach he and The Dreamers took in order to compare it to the BMCC.
As soon as we unpacked the Ursa Mini, two things were clear. First, this thing is light. It isn’t small (especially with a lens and a V-lock battery attached), but it isn’t that big either. With a Lanparte V-lock, top handle, Blackmagic Viewfinder and a Sigma 18-35 in place, it weighs just 12.1 pounds. And second, the Ursa Mini looks badass. Batman black. It is incredibly well designed -- everything is exactly where you expect it to be.
After a few tests in the afternoon, we were excited to try the Ursa Mini 4K in a real life situation. And doing what we do, we brought it to a wedding the next day. And to another, the day after. We decided not to shoot from the shoulder, as we didn’t have any time to practice and get used to it. Usually, our BMCC’s are stuck to a monopod all day -- monopods are great for wedding videography as they allow for very steady shots. Also, it doesn’t put as much strain on your body as a shoulder mounted camera does. Weighing in at 13lbs (the Ursa Mini, Viewfinder, battery and Sigma 18-35), the camera is easily carried around all day. We decided to only bring one Ursa Mini, and have Yael (my colleague) shoot with the BMCC. This would give us a good opportunity to compare them.
Again, be sure to check back soon to read Hugo's full review of the URSA Mini.