Cinematographer & Filmmaker
Corey Steib
Is the Black Magic URSA Mini Pro the best all around all in one camera?
by Corey Steib on March 7th, 2017

So if you have not heard by now Black Magic Design announced a brand new camera called the URSA Mini Pro. I am pretty sure you have seen social media blowing up about this camera both good and bad. But before I give you my thoughts and what I think, let me show you some specs which everyone loves to see first :).

Digital Film Quality for Every Project
 

URSA Mini Pro is “three cameras in one” because it combines high end digital film quality with the ergonomics and features broadcasters need. It’s ideal for any kind of work from high end feature films, television shows and commercials, to independent films, broadcast news, and even studio and live production! URSA Mini Pro features beyond Ultra HD 4.6K resolution plus 15 stops of dynamic range, all with a super wide color gamut and DaVinci color science so you always capture cinematic quality images. The super compact body features broadcast camera ergonomics and advanced operating software that make it faster to set up and use than any other camera! Whether you’re on set, on location or shooting run and gun, URSA Mini Pro has the image quality and features you need to work on any type of project!
Digital Film
Broadcast
Studio

Two Incredible Models
 

Choose URSA Mini or URSA Mini Pro models
 

Compatible with EF, PL and B4 lenses!
 

The URSA Mini family are powerful and robust cameras that are available in five different versions, so you can choose the camera that best suits your needs. Choose the affordable URSA Mini 4K and URSA Mini 4.6K models with cinema quality, fixed EF or PL lens mounts, and dual C-Fast card recorders. Or choose the all new, advanced URSA Mini Pro 4.6K that adds built in ND filters, an interchangeable lens mount, dual C-Fast UHS-II SD card recorders and powerful broadcast features and controls!

Built in ND Filters
 

High quality neutral density filters with IR compensation!
 

URSA Mini Pro features high quality neutral density (ND) filters that let you quickly reduce the amount of light entering the camera. The 2, 4 and 6 stop filters have been specifically designed to match the colorimetry and color science of URSA Mini Pro, providing you with additional latitude, even under harsh lighting conditions. This lets you use different combinations of aperture and shutter angle to achieve shallower depth of field, or specific levels of motion blur, in a wider range of situations. The IR filters have been designed to filter both optical wave lengths and IR wave lengths evenly to eliminate IR contamination of the images that most ND filters can suffer from. The ND filters are true optical filters with a precision mechanism that quickly moves them into place when the ND filter dial is turned. The filter settings can even be displayed as either an ND number, stop reduction or fraction on the LCD!

Quickly change settings without taking the camera off your shoulder!
 

Like the world’s best broadcast cameras, URSA Mini Pro features powerful tactile control buttons, switches, knobs and dials, giving you direct access to the most important camera settings. The controls are laid out in a logical order that makes them easy to remember, so you’ll be able to adjust settings, use ND filters, change frame rate and even snap a still photo without having to look at the buttons or take the camera off of your shoulder. The external controls are so fast to use, you don’t even have to stop shooting! That’s what makes URSA Mini Pro both a powerful broadcast and studio camera, as well as a digital film camera!

Cinematic 4.6K Sensor
 

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

When it comes to image quality, URSA Mini Pro operates at a higher 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, which is bigger than full DCI 4K! The sensor features a massive 15 stops of dynamic range, making it perfect for high dynamic range (HDR) projects. The built in active refrigeration ensures maximum dynamic range and low noise so you get incredibly clean pictures with amazing detail in both the dark shadows and bright highlight areas. You can also choose the lower cost URSA Mini 4K model with 12 stops of dynamic range when you don’t need the performance and are on a tighter budget.

Non Stop Recording
 

Works with both C-Fast and SD card media!
 

URSA Mini Pro features both dual C-Fast 2.0 recorders and dual UHS-II SD card recorders so you can choose the media that works best for you. C-Fast cards are ideal for full resolution RAW recording, while SD and UHS-II cards are inexpensive and commonly available, making them perfect for recording ProRes Ultra HD files or RAW HD files. Simply choose the media type, insert the cards and start shooting! With dual slots for each media type, you never have to stop recording because when the first card is full, it automatically continues onto the next card. You can even swap the full card for an empty one, all without having to stop recording! URSA Mini Pro can record lossless 12-bit CinemaDNG RAW files for the highest possible quality, or 10-bit ProRes files for easy post production workflows with minimum storage requirements!

Advanced URSA Mini Software

Incredibly fast software with revolutionary new user interface!

 

All URSA Mini cameras feature a new user interface that revolutionizes the way you work! The advanced camera operating software lets you use simple tap and swipe gestures to control all features, setup, the digital slate and more. You get powerful and super fast software with a unique heads up display that puts commonly used functions at your fingertips. Simply touch an on screen icon to make changes for things such as audio levels, white balance, shutter angle and more! You’ll instantly see sliders and controls for making adjustments without ever having to navigate through any menus! The new digital “slate” makes entering metadata faster than ever before with a built in dictionary, predictive entry and on screen keyboard. Using a professional digital film camera has never been faster!

Professional Connections

Full size, durable connections that work with standard cables

 

Professional Audio

URSA Mini Pro has a high quality microphone and professional audio recorder built right 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 external knobs and monitor audio using the onscreen audio meters.

Optional Shoulder Mount Kit
 

URSA Mini cameras include multiple ¼” mount points on the bottom so you can attach it directly to any tripod. When you need to quickly move from tripod to handheld and back, 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 for instantly latching onto the quick release plate without removing the shoulder pad. The kit also includes a top handle for carrying the camera and attaching accessories.

Full BMD Press Conference

My Thoughts

Ok so now that we have seen the specs and everything else in between. The question becomes, is this the all in one camera that we all have been waiting for?

I truly do believe that it is the all in one camera, will it work for every single job, I think it can given that you have three cameras in one.

The biggest thing I think people will agree with me on is that they finally added the built in ND'S. Black Magic it's about time and thank you for listening to yours customers. The added bonus is that it allows for three different lens mount options and two different modules.

So to wrap up I do think that this is the best all around all in one camera as it adds to many wonderful features and accessories.

Most of all the price is what it comes down to which considering what you are getting it could be more then double the cost with other brands.

BMD key goal as been trying to give us digital film cameras in a price that work for us owner and operators. 

I am sure not everyone will agree with me on this but you are the artist, use the camera as your canvas. Until next time everyone Happy Shooting. 


Posted in 4K, Black Magic Cameras, News    Tagged with www.blackmagicdesign.com, Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro, 4.6K, URSA Mini Pro Camera


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