May 9, 2016 at 4:38PM

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Red Raven vs. BlackMagic URSA Mini 4.6K?

Thinking of buying one of these two. Leaning towards the URSA. Just wanted to get people's input. What do you think?

19 Comments

Hard to compare, I do not think they are in the same league.

The Raven in full operation would cost almost twice as much.

I think the answer is really in your average production budget.

For high profile productions the camera price is peanuts for low profile productions the camera price is significant.

May 9, 2016 at 7:14PM, Edited May 9, 7:19PM

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Cary Knoop
Member
1911

If you are building out a TV/Broadcast studio, and you want to be able to switch 4K video through an ATEM, the BlackMagic is hands-down the better choice (see https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/products/blackmagicursamini/liveproduction).

If you are looking to work your way into high-end cinema productions, either as a 2nd camera operator or, someday, first camera operator, survey your market of course, but in my neck of the woods, RED gets very high respect. RAVEN can record higher frame rates and, based on my own experience with other DSMC2 cameras (WPN-W and WPN-M), I suspect (much) higher image quality than Ursa Mini.

Cary is right about the cost: RED media is very expensive. But at least you don't need nearly as much when you shoot 4K as you do 6K (as one might on the WEAPON).

Another consideration is availability: the RAVEN is so popular that RED has temporarily stopped producing other cameras just so they can make some progress on the RAVEN backlog. Nobody knows how long it will take to receive a RAVEN ordered today, but I suspect it will be months, not weeks or days. They are offering a special lending program so you can have a RED EPIC DRAGON for paid jobs while you wait, but that's also something to take into account.

May 10, 2016 at 4:47AM

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Rent both. I've heard issues with both, especially with the Ursa Mini 4.6k. Get a feel for them - you might find your needs are suited better with a Sony Fs7 or a Canon C300 Mark ii, if you put the money up. Those are tried and true brands.

May 10, 2016 at 11:56AM

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Ben Meredith
Cinematographer/Filmmaker
1564

And Red's customer service is much better than BMD. Red has always gone out of their way to try and resolve any issues I've had.

May 12, 2016 at 3:28PM

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I honestly think you'll be happy with the image that comes out of either camera. In comparison of the companies themselves people need to remember BMD has only been in the camera market for 4 years so they're still ironing out some processes. Red has over a decade behind them so that always helps. I personally use both companies cameras prefer BMD for price and quality they can't be matched so far but as far as clients who have the bigger pockets I always find the RED name alone usually gets me more $$$. Not really fair to the Ursa which is looking like its going to make a huge push in the industry but it is what it is as of now. That may change in the near future as more and more experience DP's are shooting with BMD cameras

May 12, 2016 at 3:55PM

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Charles C.
Editor/ Director/ Director of Photography/ Wannabe Thinker
1290

I honestly don't think you can go wrong with red.

May 13, 2016 at 3:31AM

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RED will most likely be more reliable, given all the bad sensor issues with the URSA Mini 4.6 reports, amongst other things. REDs proprietary stuff does turn me off a bit, though. Just personally speaking. Costs way too much to get it up and running. My only kind "wagging finger" with RED, but obviously the cameras, given enough light and post work, produce amazing images.

May 13, 2016 at 10:58AM

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Ben Meredith
Cinematographer/Filmmaker
1564

It's funny how everyone sings the RED reliability praises over here - when I started reading up on cameras around 6 years ago this was the main gripe levelled at RED; that you just couldn't count on the camera in the field. The internet was littered with horror stories of shoots gone south because of faulty hardware, faulty software and faulty media, or all at once. People said that if you were using a RED One or the Epic, you better bring at least two to set. They would overheat, they would freeze, they would do erratic random shit and they would make you wait forever for boot, missing golden shots (this last point made Werner Herzog adamant about never touching a RED again).

Slowly but surely, RED have mended this dire reputation, and really cleaned up their act, but this idea still lingers with older, more established DP's who don't compulsively follow every tech blog out there for the latest and greatest camera that's being beta-tested on the public. 6 Years really isn't that long ago.

Let's hope BMD can transition into a similar second phase of making camera's soon. I believe they will.

May 13, 2016 at 9:25PM, Edited May 13, 9:26PM

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100% agree

Charles C.

May 13, 2016 at 11:03PM

Ninjamonkey.

This, to everyone on this website is how you read

"I am good because of my gear. I am better than you because of my gear. I know more than you because I've used RED Cameras.
My girlfriend is a RED camera" and on other posts you brag about your customer base only wanting X, Y or Z. You're abhorrent, you're arrogant and your attitude is disgusting. It's like you're always trying to brag your bigger and better. You help no body whilst trying to constantly put yourself onto a pedestal.

This is a forum about exchanging ideas and helping one another - Other than your first comment, at no point did you add anything to this discussion which was remotely useful. People like you in the industry should be ignored, not because of your work, but because of your disgusting attitude.

Help people and don't get defensive over labels such as RED or BMCC.
I've never got into heated comments on this but you take the biscuit, then the rest of the packet, and clear out the biscuit tin, when I only offered you a cup of tea. You over stayed your welcome by 2 hours and took a bath as well.

None of us will miss you.

Of course you're the only professional film-maker here. (Whatever that means)

There is nothing wrong with being an ammeter (which is what you have clearly insinuated) and there is nothing wrong with wanting to learn, and not just jump straight into producing 3 feature films a week with a clientele base that demands only the HIGHEST quality of BLURAY (of course BLURAY is better quality than DVD)

You Myopic, arrogant, self-centred gear orientated dullard.

May 17, 2016 at 11:53AM, Edited May 17, 12:32PM

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I'm guessing this is Ninja Monkey's site: http://www.ninjamonkeymedia.com/

He bragged a lot but didn't have any links to his work.

Tony Adalbert

May 17, 2016 at 12:37PM

So was just poking around Ninja Monkeys site, read his bio and wedding info. Not sure why he got all Red crazy cause it specifically says he uses Sony camera's.

http://www.ninjamonkeymedia.com/#!wedding-info/o37c4

Tony Adalbert

May 17, 2016 at 12:40PM

Ah Tony, great find.

I had a look at some of his videos on vimeo and wasn't hugely impressed either (not that my videos on there are really anything to go by either, but I'm not the one always bragging)

The way he spoke I was expecting something on the Scale of Luebezki's talent with the budget and content of Bay.

What a let down ay?

David David

May 18, 2016 at 3:08AM

Haha, a giant letdown considering how much he was tooting Red cameras but doesn't actually really use them.

Saw this post: http://nofilmschool.com/boards/discussions/film-gear-cinematography-today

One of the NFS users comments to Ninjamonkey was hilarious, Ninjamonkey would always complain he was losing business because of "amateurs" with a "Red Camera". Now we really know the real reason ;)

Tony Adalbert

May 18, 2016 at 8:00AM

To prevent being rude, I'll just say..."wow." "Wow" to this whole thing haha.

Ben Meredith

May 18, 2016 at 10:26AM

I wasn't even really trying to argue with him but I'd gotten tired of him spewing his vitriol all over the forums or in the comments of new post. It's like if you're so good that all you can do is bash and criticize why are you even here? So I gave him the benefit of the doubt and checked his website out months ago and like you guys left unimpressed especially after how rude he is. Like your work is good (by no means great he has somethings to learn like us all) but why are you here talking like your David Fincher.

So I got sick of him being rude thought I'd call him out haha. Sorry to anyone that may have bugged

Charles C.

May 18, 2016 at 6:17PM

You had every right Charles. People like that don't get too much work in the industry luckily, unless you are insanely talented. I mean, Roger Deakins has a forum and he is very gracious and will answer any question about filmmaking. So having someone like Deakins, who works at the highest level who answers and joins in on conversations and is humble about it. Then we have Ninjamonkey, who is very vitriol and complains the guy with the Red will always get the job, etc., etc. At some point, he needs to wake up cause after a while people will tire and not want to work with him.

Tony Adalbert

May 18, 2016 at 8:27PM

I doubt you made anyone unhappy, Charles! You're right on the mark.

Ben Meredith

May 19, 2016 at 11:10AM

i was scared about the ursa and tried it on a zero budget art project just because i had one available. It wasn't too bad tho. I dont like the menu and stuff and the file size is enormous. it's also a very big camera. even the mini. But for the price/performance, all the problem people complain are like ehhh. but it is very noisy camera.
Every camera, you have to consider 2x the price once you include all support. reliable Vmounts are around 300 each.

about media.
120GB reg minimag is 850
120GB CFast 2.0 is 500

it's not like you're paying SD card prices.

May 19, 2016 at 6:37AM

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Kazu Okuda
Filmmaker
1691

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