April 21, 2015 at 9:52AM


My first Camera: Can you help me decide?

So, my first camera isn't quite accurate but; it is the first camera I will be spending ~£3000+ on with the view of returning my investment.

I'm in the process of setting up a Small video production company with a fellow partner with the view to produce corporate videos for small to mid range businesses and am finding it hard to make a definite decision on what camera to invest in.

My initial thought was the Canon C100 MKI with DAF (Digital auto focus upgrade), but in the same week I had set my mind on it, the NAB came along to confuse me and threw the Blackmagic URSA mini right in to the mixing pot.

The long term goal with the camera we eventually invest in, is to use to to produce our own short films along side anything we do as part of our corporate production side of things. As well as this, we are also (to begin with) looking down the wedding/event videography side of things as well.

My question is, which is better for my needs? I have produced a feature by feature comparison and get the result I expected but this is from no real world testing of either camera (especially since the URSA mini is set for a July launch - I have been using the standard URSA as a fill in for any blank information such as ISO performance.)

Any help / advice / suggestions or alternatives are highly appreciated!

Many thanks


I expect the Ursa Mini will produce a more "cinematic" image than the Canon C100 does, but then the C100 can produce a great low noise image up to 6400 ISO. ( current speculation is that 1600 ISO will be the maximum low noise image from the Ursa Mini )

You can also shoot all day on just two batteries with the C100, something that might be possible with the big ( and heavy ) V-lock batteries with the Ursa Mini.

CFast 2.0 storage cards for the Ursa Mini will cost a fortune, and will likely fill up much faster than the cheap SDXC cards that the C100 camera uses.

If your main goal is to shoot cine films, then I would go with the Ursa Mini.

If your main goal is to have an easy to use "turn it on and start shooting" production workhorse, then I would go with the C100. You can always rent the Ursa Mini or the Canon C300 Mk2 when you want to shoot with something that will produce a 4K more "cinematic" image.

April 21, 2015 at 2:12PM

Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer

Many thanks, these are basically the same thoughts I was having - I suppose the C100 MK I with DAF is the safe choice as it's ready to go out of the box and produces a good HD image. I've read you can also get something like the Ninja 2 as an external monitor and recorder in order to get 4:2:2 8 bit output via the HDMI instead of the 4:2:0 AVHC output from the camera - my understanding is that this would then meet the bbc broadcast standard.

This standard of course could be met by the URSA mini... but yes you are right, if we needed to rent then so we should.

Thanks for your help

April 23, 2015 at 1:46PM

Luke Shoesmith
Start up Filmmaker and Videographer

I would have reservations about going into the video business without enough experience or knowledge to choose your own camera.
Rome wasn't built in a day, have you thought about mastering the camera you have and being in demand for what you can do? I suggest you invest in yourself first.

December 30, 2015 at 7:46PM


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