December 21, 2015

Here's a Huge Collection of Blackmagic URSA Mini 4.6K Footage Released So Far

Blackmagic URSA Mini HERO with Guy
Though it seemed like we might be a bit closer, it doesn't look like officially shipping URSA Mini 4.6K cameras have made it to the public just yet.

The URSA Mini 4.6K is the first camera from Blackmagic that supposedly doesn't just contain an off the shelf machine vision sensor, and it's also a brand new body design that has a lot of people excited. Unfortunately, like most of Blackmagic's products, it's been delayed from its original release date (which was Summer 2015).

We have seen a number of clips, however, and some new ones have appeared recently. All of these clips have been shot in different ways, some are RAW, some are not, and some have used a bit of filtration, while others were just clean. Be sure to check out our previous post for some more details, and any relevant links are included below. I thought it would flow a lot better just being able to watch all of them right in a row so you can make some decisions about what you're seeing and whether you might want to order one. 

First up, is the very first clip we saw at NAB from Hook:

And here are some clips from Kholi, who has been working with Blackmagic for a long time. These are a mix of 4.6K and UHD:

Roman Alaivi was part of the newer batch of clips, with most of this shot in ProRes UHD, and you can read more about his process here at least for the last clip here: 

This was just recently posted by Oddio Works, completely shot in 4.6K RAW:

 Tom Majerski also showed off a few clips, mostly shot in 1080p:

There's no question this footage has a certain Blackmagic feel, and those who have shot with it have compared it similarly to the original 2.5K Cinema Camera. Blackmagic is also releasing this camera body with the Production Camera 4K sensor for a few thousand cheaper, but that sensor is limited in sensitivity and has experienced other issues like fixed pattern noise (some of which Blackmagic has worked to address).

In addition, the company is releasing this 4.6K sensor in the larger URSA body, and there was a point in time where they mentioned that users would be able to upgrade their old URSA bodies with the new 4.6K sensor carriage. We're still waiting for all of those details to finally shake up, but hopefully it happens soon as NAB 2016 is just about 3 months away — and I'm sure we're going to see them announce new products at the show, even though there's plenty from NAB 2015 that isn't really shipping yet, including the Micro Cinema Camera.      

Your Comment

41 Comments

Aaaaand...not one of them a proper test.

December 21, 2015 at 9:29AM, Edited December 21, 9:29AM

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Jonathon Sendall
Stories
1897

Very true. Still though, it is interesting to see them in real run and gun situations. For many of us that might actually constitute as a "proper" test.

The colors seem a bit weird to me. As if an Osiris LUT was applied to everything. I'm not a fan of that particular look but I know many people are.

December 21, 2015 at 10:37AM

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Do you remember when Dragon was announced, and RED set up a neat little shoot with a crew, and then released some footage? That was neat.

December 21, 2015 at 1:00PM

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Zack Wallnau
Cinematographer & Tinkerer
650

What would you like to see in a proper test?

December 21, 2015 at 2:36PM

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Manuel Imboden
Producer
256

DR tests, noise floor tests, colour fidelity tests. Good enough?

December 22, 2015 at 11:16AM

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Jonathon Sendall
Stories
1897

C'mon, your showreel looks like Dslr stuff, yes? Let's not get too carried away with the technical crap...

December 25, 2015 at 3:44AM, Edited December 25, 3:50AM

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Steve...I'm...I'm deeply shocked, how can you be so..so cruel! Perhaps we could see your work? Technical? You can't be technical with a DSLR? Nooo! Why did nobody tell me?

January 3, 2016 at 3:03AM

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Jonathon Sendall
Stories
1897

Ah, no wait. I had a look at your vimeo page. That explains everything. Life is so simple. https://vimeo.com/user2203592

January 3, 2016 at 3:12AM

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Jonathon Sendall
Stories
1897

I'd say on an actual set - it could be another tool to choose from in the long list of available camera bodies. But there's nothing that stands out.
There's superior GH4 run-and-gun stuff out there. ... But it could be another fun camera to play with, I think.
We'll see when people use it in controlled scenarios I guess.

December 21, 2015 at 11:38AM, Edited December 21, 11:38AM

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Kris Monroe
Director of Photography / Writer
93

GH4, Video Devices PIX-E5.

December 21, 2015 at 11:56AM, Edited December 21, 11:56AM

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Jerry Roe
Indie filmmaker
1026

Just read a review of the PIX-E5 when it debuted in August. Has the company added much stuff via firmware upgrades? It seems you can pick up a similarly kitted Atomos Shogun for only a couple hundred bucks more, and take advantage of higher frame rates, Sony compatibility, etc.

December 21, 2015 at 1:07PM

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...and a nest of cables, more batteries, still no xlr inputs, no option to put it on your shoulder, no decent evf... At the end of the day, it's a DSLR and therefore a pain in the arse to use. The Ursa mini has the picture AND the ergonomics/practicality and there didn't seem to be anything else around at the moment that will give you that, especially at the price.

December 22, 2015 at 5:32PM

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I'm not super impressed with any of this footage really. I'm sure if I got my hands on one I might be able to find a look that's more to my taste. Is it just me or are the shadows looking super crushed? I'm sure it's in the grade but still. Idk why people like to shoot the sides of buildings instead of faces for tests...

December 21, 2015 at 12:49PM, Edited December 21, 12:49PM

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Devin Pickering
Cinematographer/Editor/Composer
246

Digital has gotten to a point now where 99% of the general public don't notice a difference.

December 21, 2015 at 1:58PM

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The general public is also dumb and uncultured.. They also cant tell the difference between .mp3 files and high bitrate .wav files

December 21, 2015 at 7:56PM

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Brice Pardo
Cinematographer/Film Student/Creative
236

Except you are making a film for filmmakers, this "dumb and uncultured" public is who we make films for!

December 22, 2015 at 7:33AM

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Kayode
1112

Well that's a dumb statement. Do you think that film makers should deliberately not care about the quality of their films? Oh hang lets make stories that aren't particulalrly good because people wont notice since we're applying the same philososphy to other aspects of the film making process. For goodness sake, up your game!

December 22, 2015 at 11:19AM

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Jonathon Sendall
Stories
1897

Buts that's why we need to focus on feeling and not the stupid technical stuff that everyone is in to. Only technical dicks focus on equipment. Everyone should shoot with an iPhone until they know how to stage a scene correctly.

December 25, 2015 at 3:35AM

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Steve, did it ever occur to you that both technical and creative can be applied to the work you do?

January 3, 2016 at 3:14AM, Edited January 3, 3:14AM

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Jonathon Sendall
Stories
1897

"Idk why people like to shoot the sides of buildings instead of faces for tests..."

Aint that the truth. Made me laugh out loud.

December 24, 2015 at 9:00PM, Edited December 24, 9:00PM

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James Manson
Photographer
249

I, for one, am definitely impressed. The "A Land Before Time" video - wow. I mean, I know much of it is in the grade and all that, but that darn near looks like film.
The rest is good, too. Sure, you can achieve similar looks on all sorts of cameras. But for 5,000 bucks, this is definitely some nice footage that seems to rival anything else out there. We'll see once more "tests" come through, but to me, looks pretty nice!

December 21, 2015 at 2:10PM, Edited December 21, 2:10PM

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Ben Meredith
Cinematographer/Filmmaker
1148

At this point, with digital, it's so hard to tell because so much of the "look" is done in grading. Basically, if you just get the information to post (color/DR) you can tweak it to your liking.

So yeah, on paper it does just about anything you could possible want for a good price. If you aren't happy with the look of these videos, blame the colorist.

December 21, 2015 at 2:41PM, Edited December 21, 2:41PM

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Luke Neumann
Cinematographer/Composer/Editor
2757

I must say that the colors are actually good, I was checking the c300 mark II footage from Canon website and it just looks like "Video" Very "Sony" kind of look. I enjoyed the colors on the old 300 but on the mark II it just doesn't feel right. This little camera feels good even when shooting on a Tamron 2k to rec709. I think this guys at blackmagic are getting it right.

December 21, 2015 at 3:05PM, Edited December 21, 3:05PM

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luis enrique
Director of Photography
81

c300 MKII footage looks like video? c300 MKII just doesn't feel right? Have you shot anything with one?

December 24, 2015 at 9:06PM

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James Manson
Photographer
249

Totally underwhelmed. Soft, unsharp images. Sony a7s and a7rII kill this thing.

December 21, 2015 at 3:12PM, Edited December 21, 3:12PM

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Kaster Troy
Director, DP, Editor
1127

The softness will be a result of the operator. Those clips from Kholi were all extremely soft. Actually I'd say they were straight up out of focus most of the time. I wonder if he shot that way on purpose.

December 22, 2015 at 2:23AM

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Logan Fish
Video Journalist, Gulf News
98

There's more than enough footage here for me to make an assessment and to me, it looks better than anything else in the price range - very Alexa-like actually. I predict it selling like hotcakes.

December 21, 2015 at 3:55PM, Edited December 21, 3:55PM

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Stu Mannion
writer/dir/dp
676

I love the colours, dynamic range and natural light capabilities of this camera. It's great to see some more footage in the field, so thanks to everyone who's testing and uploading.

I can't wait to have a play with one of these bad boys.

Sony F5 and FS7, C300 mk II, Red Scarlet-Dragon, Blackmagic URSA 4.6K, Sony A7Rii and A7Sii, GH4 - there's a price and look for everyone amongst these guys.

December 21, 2015 at 4:58PM, Edited December 21, 4:58PM

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Ben Howling
Writer / Director
513

I don't see how people can compare this to a DSLR. It's 10-12 bit and the colors and dynamic range is very film like. If you pay attention to highlights it handles them very nicely, simlar to an Alexa. It's sharp as hell at 4.6k and you can see every pore in someone's face. If you're on a 1080p monitor you might not see it as well so don't jump to conclusions until you have the proper tools. IMO this is the closest you're gonna get to an Alexa for about $6500. It sounds like a steal to me. A shoulder mounted camera, great EVF, great sensor and codec and all kinds of options to suit any situation. Full SDI, HDMI, etc as well, which a DSLR can't even compare to. Stop comparing GH4's to this because the colors, low light and range are on a different playing field.

December 21, 2015 at 5:31PM, Edited December 21, 5:31PM

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Brad Watts
Filmmaker/Creative Director - Redd Pen Media
376

Fully agree. Can't believe people say it's underwhelming & compare it to GH4. This is the best camera you can get for such amount of money & nothing comes close to it tbh atm.

December 21, 2015 at 6:02PM

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Andy Tokarski
Director, Editor, Colorist
1174

For 5 thousand dollars this camera rocks right out of the box. With a bigger than super35 sensor and switching from global to rolling, the options on this camera looks like it's a winner. Not only that, the footage looks fantastic. Great job Blackmagic. Hopefully all the issues that needed to be addressed have been with this camera.

December 21, 2015 at 6:10PM, Edited December 21, 6:10PM

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Joe Gonzalez
Filmmaker/Editor/Photographer
154

This definitely looks 'Blackmagicy' to me. I feel I could easily achieve most of these looks with the Pocket cam actually. Still those Tom Majerski clips are great. The man can shoot alright no doubt.

December 22, 2015 at 2:25AM, Edited December 22, 2:25AM

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Logan Fish
Video Journalist, Gulf News
98

I think that's kinda the point though - achieve the quality of the pocket, but in a s35 sensor, integrated XLR audio, 4.6k instead of HD, tilting monitor, PL mount, slow motion etc.

December 22, 2015 at 3:39PM

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Clayton Arnall
Camera Pointer
221

The one on the canyon reminded me of those old Nat. Geographic films shot back in the 80-90s, by the looks of the film. This would be a good camera for documentary or aerial cinematography with a proper multirotor setup.

Always good to see economical alternatives to the RED/Canon line of cams.

December 22, 2015 at 2:26AM, Edited December 22, 2:27AM

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J. Fandino
Drone sales at www.providentialsystems.com
217

"some are RAW"

What does "RAW" stand for?

December 24, 2015 at 4:45PM, Edited December 24, 4:45PM

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David Gurney
DP
1796

Who cares? The camera is the least of most of your problems.

December 25, 2015 at 2:59AM, Edited December 25, 3:00AM

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Right?

Like the other day we brought three actors out to a remote location and had makeup and wardrobe done there. We waited for the perfect time of day and had a couple of HMIs set up. We did a read through of the scene and everyone nailed their lines.
By the time we realized we had forgotten the camera we were losing the light but since having a camera is the LEAST of our problems we just played pretend and "filmed" the scene anyways (I had a lens so I looked through it and moved it around like I was on a dolly). Made for a great memory at least.

:)

December 26, 2015 at 3:29PM

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Luke Neumann
Cinematographer/Composer/Editor
2757

Luke, I looked at Steve's work. The camera is definitely the least of his problems ;0)

January 3, 2016 at 3:17AM

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Jonathon Sendall
Stories
1897

Does someones work (good or bad) invalidate their point if its true? Or if someones work is better than yours, does it validate everything they say?

December 15, 2016 at 3:35AM

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Kayode
1112

Is that Marty McFly in the lead photo?

December 28, 2015 at 7:05PM, Edited December 28, 7:05PM

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Thomas Culton
Writer / Producer / Director
85

I would like to know when these cameras will be shipping... I thought they were suppose to ship in September of 2015....

January 7, 2016 at 5:16PM, Edited January 7, 5:16PM

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Walter Wallace
Spokesperson/Entrepreneur
1156