Cinematographer & Filmmaker
Corey Steib
New Black Magic Cameras Part 1: URSA Mini
by Corey Steib on April 16th, 2015

I am sure many of you know by now that the guys at Black Magic Design came out with not one not two but three new cameras to their line up at this year's NAB (URSA Mini, Micro Cinema Camera and Micro Studio Camera 4K) .This blog will be split up into 3 different ones because their is so much to cover on each camera. So without furture ado let's get to what we all love and that is videos, images and specs :). 
​Introducing URSA Mini, a lightweight miniaturized URSA featuring an incredible 4.6K Super 35 image sensor with global shutter and a massive 15 stops of dynamic range! The super compact and lightweight design is perfectly balanced for handheld use and comfortable enough for all day shooting.

That means you get a handheld camera with higher resolution and better dynamic range than most Super 35mm film! URSA Mini shoots up to 60 frames per second, has a super bright 5 inch foldout viewfinder, dual RAW and ProRes recorders and more. You can select from four models of URSA Mini with 4.6K or 4K image sensors and either EF or PL lens mounts.

Handheld Digital 

Film Camera Perfect for feature film, television 
production and more!

​Blackmagic URSA Mini is designed to be used on feature films, television shows, commercials, indies, documentaries, music videos and more. The stunning quality of its 4.6K sensor with 15 stops of dynamic range lets you capture epic cinematic shots, while its compact size is perfect for solo shoots or smaller crews! You can easily customize URSA Mini with high quality cinema lenses, rails, matte boxes and more. The optional shoulder mount kit features a quick release mounting plate so you can go from handheld to shoulder or tripod in seconds, making it perfect for pickup and run shooting situations. It’s the handheld Super 35mm digital film camera that you can use anywhere and, because it’s an URSA, everything you need is built right in!

Revolutionary URSA Design

All the big camera features you need built into a lightweight, portable design

​URSA Mini features a compact, perfectly balanced body made out of advanced technology magnesium alloys so it’s rugged, lightweight and comfortable enough to be used all day. Like all URSA cameras, it includes everything you need built right in! You get a super bright 5 inch fold out 1080 HD touch screen for on-set monitoring and to change camera settings, professional connectors such as 12G-SDI, a high quality stereo microphones and a side grip with control buttons mounted on a standard rosette. The optional Blackmagic viewfinder and shoulder mount kit allow you to go from tripod to over the shoulder shooting in seconds, so you can keep up with the action!

Highly Customizable

Flexible enough to be rigged for any production

​Blackmagic URSA Mini is completely customizable so you can create a rig that’s built specifically for your production! You can add accessories like the Blackmagic URSA Viewfinder and Blackmagic URSA Mini Shoulder Kit, or choose from hundreds of third party accessories. URSA Mini has 9 standard ¼” threaded mounting points on the top and bottom of the camera so you can mount it directly to a tripod as well as add accessories such as rails, sliders, matte boxes, microphones, ring lights, batteries and more. Whether you’re building a feature film rig or outfitting the camera for an ENG style shoot, URSA Mini has all of the mount points and connections you need!

Cinematic 4.6K

Sensor Capture incredible digital film images with 15 stops of dynamic range

​URSA Mini operates at a resolution and dynamic range that goes well beyond traditional motion picture film. You get a 4.6K image sensor that captures up to 4608 x 2592 pixels, that’s bigger than full DCI 4K! The sensor features global shutter up to 30 frames per second and rolling shutter up to 60 frames per second with 15 stops of dynamic range. Built in refrigeration cooling ensures maximum dynamic range so you get incredibly clean pictures with amazing detail in both the dark shadows and bright highlight areas of the image. You can also choose a lower cost 4K model of URSA Mini with 12 stops of dynamic range when you don’t need the performance and are on a tighter budget.

4.6KUltra HD Sensor with 15 StopsWide Dynamic Range

High Frame Rate 

RecordingCapture the action with crystal clear slow motion

​URSA Mini can shoot at high frame rates and then play it back at the edit frame rate so you get smooth slow motion video. Simply set the sensor frame rate to get different types of slow motion effects. URSA Mini can capture full resolution 4.6K recordings at up to 60 frames per second and up to 160 frames per second in regular 1080 HD! When you need even more dramatic, higher frame rate slow motion shooting, you can use the regular URSA which can record high resolution 4.6K images at an amazing 120 frames per second!

Stunning Ultra HD

Higher resolution creates smooth vivid Ultra HD images

​Because URSA Mini features a 4.6K native resolution image sensor it can capture much higher resolution than Ultra HD. This means when you’re working in Ultra HD you have a lot of extra resolution that can be used through the de-bayering image processing so you can recover full color for incredible images. The wide dynamic range blows away high end broadcast cameras to give you dramatically better images that can be colored corrected for a truly cinematic look. For faster post production, quickly switch settings to use regular video dynamic range, so you can shoot great looking video without the need for color correction.

Non Stop Recording

Change memory cards even while recording

​Blackmagic URSA Mini features dual CFast 2.0 recorders so you never have to stop recording when you need to change the media! When the current card is full, recording continues onto the second card so you can swap out the full card and just keep shooting. URSA Mini uses the latest, incredibly fast CFast 2.0 technology for recording speeds up to 350 MB/s. You get perfect high frame rate RAW recording and instant play back on the built in 5 inch screen. Files can be saved as lossless 12-bit CinemaDNG RAW for the highest possible quality, or as ProRes for easy post production workflows with minimum storage requirements!

Four Incredible Models

Choose the sensor resolution and lens mount that’s right for you

​Blackmagic URSA Mini 4K EF-Blackmagic URSA Mini 4K PL- Blackmagic URSA Mini 4.6K EF- Blackmagic URSA Mini 4.6K PL

​URSA Mini comes in four models so you can choose from two different sensors and two different lens mounts. You can choose the 4.6K sensor with 15 stops of dynamic range in EF or PL lens mount models. If you’re on a tight budget, you can choose the more affordable 4K sensor with 12 stops of dynamic range with either EF or PL lens mount models. The PL mount works with professional cinema lenses and the EF models let you choose from an incredible selection of high quality photographic lenses from manufacturers like Zeiss, Canon, Sigma and more. Because EF lenses are used on high resolution DSLR cameras they have incredibly precise optics that can handle the high resolution of the URSA Mini 4.6K sensor.

High Resolution ViewFinder

Full HD display and glass optics makes precise focus easy

The optional Blackmagic URSA Viewfinder has been designed to be the perfect match for URSA and URSA Mini digital film cameras. The Blackmagic URSA Viewfinder has the specifications demanded by high end cinematographers. ​​You get a high resolution 1920 x 1080 color OLED display matched with precision glass optics, adjustable diopter and built in digital focus chart so you get perfect focus every time. To preserve OLED screen life there’s a built in sensor so the OLED only turns on when you’re looking through the viewfinder. The Blackmagic URSA Viewfinder is adjustable so it can be used on both the left or the right eye. There’s even a built in record light.

Touchscreen Control

Change settings and monitoring with the touch of your finger

​The high resolution 5 inch fold out monitor includes a touchscreen so you get easy access to the revolutionary URSA camera interface. All of your settings, controls and monitoring tools are at your fingertips. That means you don’t have to hunt through confusing menus to make changes. You can see and change all camera settings, view timecode, histograms for checking levels, audio levels and a focus peaking indicator for checking focus!

Professional Connections

All the connections you need for virtually any use!

​Blackmagic URSA Mini features multiple connections such as 12G-SDI out, HD-SDI monitoring out, 2 LANC inputs, balanced XLR audio with phantom power, timecode in and reference input. On the front right side of the camera the 4 pin XLR DC and HD-SDI monitoring output are located in the perfect position for connecting to an optional viewfinder or on set monitor. The 12G-SDI output handles up to 2160p60 using a single BNC cable and also switches to 6G-SDI or HD-SDI depending on the shooting format.

Advanced 12G-SDI

Get the latest in SDI video technology

​12G-SDI is an incredible 8 times faster than regular HD-SDI which makes it fast enough for Ultra HD video at up to 60 frames per second, all over a single regular SDI cable! The high quality BNC connections are multi rate so it can automatically switch and work with 6G-SDI, 3G-SDI, and regular HD-SDI equipment. That means URSA Mini is compatible with all of your existing HD and Ultra HD equipment so you can plug it into things like ATEM live production switchers, on-set monitors, decks and more!

Professional Audio

Built in production quality sound recording

​URSA Mini has the highest quality built in microphones and professional audio recording built in so you don’t have to carry around extra sound equipment. Use the built in stereo microphone to record natural location sound or connect professional microphones using the two XLR wide dynamic range mic inputs.

​The XLR connections have 48V of switchable phantom power so you can plug in everything from shot gun to wireless clip on mics for capturing every detail of the performance. You can quickly adjust levels using the physical knobs and monitor audio using the onscreen audio meters.

Embedded Metadata

Store location, camera orientation, scene details and more

​The built in touchscreen makes it astonishingly simple to set up and enter metadata for tagging clips. Metadata is saved directly in the video files so you don’t have to worry about managing extra sidecar files. Some models of URSA Mini also include GPS and gyroscopic sensors so that information can be stored as metadata in the video files. That means you can import the files directly into software like DaVinci Resolve, Final Cut Pro and Avid Media Composer then use the metadata to sort, search and find the clips you need so you can spend more time on creative editing and less time managing mountains of media!

Optional Shoulder Mount Kit

From tripod to shoulder and back in seconds

​URSA Mini includes multiple ¼” mount points on the bottom so you can attach it directly to any tripod. When you need to rapidly move URSA Mini from tripod to handheld and back multiple times on a shoot the best solution is to use the optional Blackmagic URSA Mini Shoulder Kit. This kit includes the shoulder pad with built in rosettes, rail mounts and integrated quick lock release attachment points so you can instantly latch it into the quick release plate without needing to remove the shoulder pad. The kit also includes a top handle for carrying the camera and attaching accessories.

Flexible Power

Compatible with industry standard batteries and power

​URSA Mini includes a 4-pin XLR industry standard power connector that works with 12V to 30V external power supplies. That means it’s easy to use the camera with all of your existing power supplies and batteries! URSA Mini uses the same battery power connector and mounting points on the rear of the camera as used on URSA so you can use the same range of battery plates from a wide range of manufacturers such as IDX, Frezzi, Anton Bauer and more. You can also add the optional Blackmagic URSA VLock Battery Plate for using popular V-Mount batteries.

Includes 

DaVinci ResolveProfessional editing and color 
grading included free!

​URSA Mini includes the full version of DaVinci Resolve for Mac and Windows for editing, color grading, media management, mastering and delivery. DaVinci Resolve can easily handle the 12‑bit log RAW images from URSA Mini so you can take advantage of URSA Mini’s amazing image quality and wide dynamic range. DaVinci Resolve features advanced, multi layer timeline editing with powerful trimming tools, along with the industry’s leading suite of creative grading tools! The combination of URSA Mini and DaVinci Resolve gives you a complete production and post-production solution!

Prices of the Cameras

​Blackmagic URSA Mini 4K

  • Blackmagic URSA Mini 4K EF $2,995
  • Blackmagic URSA Mini 4K PL $3,495

​Blackmagic URSA Mini 4.6K

  • Blackmagic URSA Mini 4.6K EF $4,995
  • Blackmagic URSA Mini 4.6K PL $5,495 
So now you have seen everything, what are your thoughts? (Leave your comments below). In my opnion I think this was a smart move by BMD even though I was 50/50 on them coming out with new cameras until the fixed the firmwire and updates to the current cameras already out. But again I must say I am really loving the URSA Mini as it's everything I want in a camera and the guys at BMD hit an out of the park home run. The new CF2 cards are nice (fast) but they remind me of the P2 Cards from Panasonic and it came down to price with them as the new CF2 cards do as well. So if you bought the camera, viewfinder and cards you would be speding around $5K instead of the listed price ($2,995) but a 4.6K camera with everything for $5K is still one sweet deal :). I know I use but a lot in my blogs but the best thing about it is that has a real shoulder mount which looks pretty comfe on the shoulder and it has a Super 35mm sensor (bingo) :),. I must give BMD a big thumbs up for this as they are listening to their customers and working as hard as they can to meet our every need. I would love to get my hands on one and test the crap out of it, but until then I thank you for always reading my blogs and stay tuned for part 2 in a little bit. 


Posted in 4K, Black Magic Cameras    Tagged with Black, Blackmagic URSA, Blackmagic URSA Mini, www.blackmagicdesiign.com, 4.6K


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