Blackmagic Launches Next-Generation URSA Broadcast Camera Early

Credit: Blackmagic Design
Usually, we have to wait for spring to see Blackmagic showcase its latest camera designs.

But Christmas has come early, with BMD announcing the Blackmagic URSA Broadcast G2 with some great new features.

"Customers love the flexibility of the original URSA Broadcast and have been asking for a camera that also delivered the quality of digital film quality for broadcast use," said Grant Petty, Blackmagic Design CEO. "We’ve listened and the new URSA Broadcast G2 means that customers now don’t have to choose between a broadcast-focused camera design or digital film images. With URSA Broadcast G2, they get both! URSA Broadcast G2 can be used as a production camera, a studio camera, or a digital film camera, so it’s really 3 cameras in 1. We think both traditional and online broadcast customers are going to really enjoy the creativity of being able to shoot Hollywood quality digital film!"

Credit: Blackmagic Design
With 13 stops of dynamic dual gain ISO of up to +36dB range, the URSA Broadcast G2 is capable of spectacular low light performance from its newly redesigned 6K sensor.

On top of that, the URSA Broadcast G2 is also capable of recording ultra-high definition video at full resolution straight to an SD card, M2 flash drive, or USB SSD drive through the optional hard drive enclosure. The camera records to Blackmagic RAW, ProRes, H.265 or a host of other codecs made available through its simple touchscreen interface.

And though the URSA Broadcast is designed with B4 lens mount out of the box for shooting broadcast video, Blackmagic has also included a Canon EF mount, which can easily be swapped with a few simple screws. An optional PL mount is also available.

What that means is this camera is great as a studio, ENG, or cinema camera with a simple change of the mounts.

Additionally, the camera has livestreaming capability through the URSA Broadcast G2s connection via a mobile phone, or through the Blackmagic ATEM Streaming Bridge. This option is currently in BETA, but BMD says the feature will be finalized shortly. Users can also use a standard USB to Ethernet adapter to connect online as well.

The URSA Broadcast can also stream in one codec and record in another. So broadcast can make use of the H.265 coming out of the SDI or HDMI port, while the camera itself is recording in 12-bit Blackmagic RAW.

When connected, the camera can be directed to the streaming bridge, anywhere on the internet through a simple text file saved to an SD card in the camera. As an added feature, once connected to the internet, a technical director can control the URSA Broadcast G2 from anywhere in the world via the Blackmagic video switcher. There’s even a built-in tally light on the back of the optical-electronic viewfinder.

Credit: Blackmagic Design
The 13-stop dynamic range is also bolstered by the URSA Broadcast G2 built-in neutral density filters. The 1/4, 1/16th and 1/64th stop filters have been specifically designed to reduce light streaming onto the sensor, without limiting the latitude and colorimetry of the finished image. The IR filters have been designed to evenly filter both optical and IR wavelengths, eliminating IR contamination. Plus the filter status on the LCD can be displayed as a fraction, number, or stop reduction.

So to sum up, the features of this completely redesigned URSA Broadcast G2 are as follows:

  • Native 6K sensor with 13 stops of dynamic range.
  • Up to +36dB ISO for incredible low light performance.
  • USB-C port allows recording directly to external disks.
  • Includes Blackmagic generation 5 color science.
  • Features incredible quality Blackmagic RAW recording.
  • Optional focus and zoom demands for lens control.
  • Compatible with new Blackmagic URSA Mini Recorder.
  • Includes full DaVinci Resolve Studio for post-production.

Broadcast, production, streaming, and cinema options provide shooters with a host of options. The more options a shooter has, the more work they get, the more money they make. The only drawback to this is that the B4 lenses are limited to 4K resolution, but considering that there isn’t really a broadcast standard for resolutions beyond HD, the drawback is not a big deal at this stage.

And the best feature is the URSA Broadcast G2’s price: $3,995.

You read that right. Under 4K for a true jack-of-all-trades broadcast and cinema camera. Yes, please.     

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1 Comment

Holy what!? That price is ridiculous!

November 16, 2021 at 1:26PM

Ian Mora
Writer, Director, Editor, Camera Operator