Jump to content

Ursa mini...is this the end of blackmagic?


Ed_David
 Share

Recommended Posts

23 hours ago, Kino said:

I posted a sensor spec sheet from Fairchild that demonstrates how BMD uses off-the-shelf (or slightly modified) sensors in its cameras and does not manufacture its own sensors like Canon or Sony. You respond with insults and personal attacks. But please, carry on there . . .

 

Can you buy the same sensor that is in the Ursa Mini 4.6K off the shelf and get the same result ?  No.  You can't.

Is it an off the shelf sensor ?  No it isn't.  

Do you keep saying it is ?  Yes you do.

Do you say stuff like

"I think it has something to do with the fact that they source parts and do not manufacture their own circuits and sensors as with RED and the electronics conglomerates"

That's your quote...you forgot that you said RED as well didn't you ? :-) Never mind....

So, you're wrong because RED don't do what you claim. Blackmagic DO make their own circuits and like RED, go to a sensor fab company and customise a sensor to their own specs that you can't buy.  So do Arri for that matter.

So how would you KNOW ?  Seriously ?  How do you know that it's off the shelf ?  If it's only slightly modified, what does that ACTUALLY mean ? Is it the package size ? What EXACTLY is the benchmark for a slight modification ? What is it that was tweaked ? Was it one thing or many ? Did they just put the BM logo on it ?  What other products use the same sensor ? Why doesn't someone else buy the same sensor and make a better camera ? 

I call you out because I've called you out before sir and I'm just cutting to the chase.  You're wrong.

Have an opinion.  Don't post it as fact when you don't know if it's true.  That's all I'm asking.

JB

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

38 minutes ago, Ed_David said:

As John said, it's all about the image.  And what the hooey is going on with that image?

And for me, it's also about customer support and ergonomics and day-to-day strength of a camera - can it handle on-set abuse?

I've had a UM4.6K for nearly a year.  

It's done many weeks of work on my sets.  Most of the images in my twitter feed are of the same body, the very first one I got.  I've had another two PL bodies for about 7 months that have also seen a lot of use.

The camera can handle on set abuse.  My main body has lots of scuff marks, scratches and dings.  It's been rigged on a steadicam, Movi, to cars, in my hands, in production mode, in studio and remote locations. It's had extra transmitters, timecode clocks, plugged in, audio connections used, additional on board monitors, UMC's for remote focus....

There are many many sequences now in the last two TV drama series I shot that have Ursa Mini 4.6K shots and no one ever picks them.  

I managed to rip one helicoil out early on when an overzealous grip overtightened a rig. 

I lost a lock off screw that controls the tension on the EVF rotation.  I've never replaced it, because the tension hasn't needed to be changed !

My cameras boot up, they don't overheat, they don't loose frames, my shots have passed a zillion INTERNATIONAL broadcast tech checks that specifically go looking for things like noise and FPN and image problems.

Directors love the shots I can only get with an Ursa Mini 4.6K, so I'm going to keep using it.

JB

 

 

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So it's just a coincidence that the BMD 4.6k sensor and the Fairchild 4.6k sensor have exactly the same specs and were released at the same time, right down to the switchable global/rolling shutter we were originally promised in the Ursa Mini?

Having said that, there have been no statements from either company on where these sensors came from. BMD reps have claimed in interviews that the company spent $10 million developing the sensor, but that tells us nothing about what its relationship is to the Fairchild sensor that came out in 2015.

And no one said you would get the same results if you put the same sensor into different cameras as there are so many other important components that contribute to the camera's image quality. The point was simply that BMD uses off-the-shelf sensor technology in contrast with RED and the electronics conglomerates.

In fact, their CEO, Jarred Land, makes this claim about RED's sensors and boards:

"We are the only company other than Sony in this market that designs both our own ASICs and sensors, so we can leverage yields in the manufacturing process to accommodate an array of products in different price points that all share the same DNA."

http://nofilmschool.com/2016/02/red-scarlet-w-5k-camera-shipping

Essentially, you are arguing against his position, which I have simply restated here.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't think Ursa Mini will be the end of Blackmagic, but as a long time BMCC user, all the problems that have popped up after its release have made me wait and see if any of the competitors can put out a less risky proposition. The magenta issue was bad enough, but people bricking the camera by having the side handle take a hit is what kills it for me. I shoot often in difficult environments, do action shots and generally things that put the camera at risk. BMCC never failed me at that, it's taken a 1,5 meter fall to concrete like a champ, twice. I have no faith in URSA mini being able to withstand that kind of abuse.

The Mini 4.6K is frustrating. The image seems to be pretty much untouchable at the price point - but with way too many caveats and risks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

50 minutes ago, Ehetyz said:

I don't think Ursa Mini will be the end of Blackmagic, but as a long time BMCC user, all the problems that have popped up after its release have made me wait and see if any of the competitors can put out a less risky proposition. The magenta issue was bad enough, but people bricking the camera by having the side handle take a hit is what kills it for me. I shoot often in difficult environments, do action shots and generally things that put the camera at risk. BMCC never failed me at that, it's taken a 1,5 meter fall to concrete like a champ, twice. I have no faith in URSA mini being able to withstand that kind of abuse.

The Mini 4.6K is frustrating. The image seems to be pretty much untouchable at the price point - but with way too many caveats and risks.

So put a small cage around it. I bet a very simple light weight cage adds a ton of useful connection points and will protect your investment. Also, don't drop your cameras. It's not good. I've been shooting for over a decade and have never dropped one. Ever. When it's in my hands, I'm careful. But it's bound to happen at some point so you take precautions with rigs and cages and... insurance. 

What are the risks and caveats exactly? Cameras can break when you drop them. So don't do it. If I dropped a camera I would blame myself, not the camera. Sometimes sensors or parts are faulty. So test right away and return or RMA if there's something wrong. And for other quirks, BM has a long history of solving issues and delivering things they never promised. They're cool like that.

No problem with waiting until wrinkles are ironed, but they've given you a camera that has never failed you. That's pretty awesome. So give them a little more benefit of the doubt and some positive shout outs. They could use it. 

On August 28, 2016 at 4:21 AM, Ed_David said:

The LCD touch  screen was broken. The camera feels like it was thrown together last second.

This was the display  model camera. At b and h.

Not a good sign.

Does anyone else have that feeling that this will be their last camera and they will leave the camera business?

I just cant see them selling many of these.

I learned today from another site that this month is roughly the 4 year anniversary of BM's first camera delivery. Yep. Just 4 years. In only 4 years they've given us the BMCC, then added the MFT mount. Then the BMPCC and BMPC 4K with global shutter. Then the URSA. Then URSA mini with 2 flavors, one of them being a whopping 4.6K sensor with 15 friggin stops of DR. Also the BMMCC with 60P, and don't forget 2 VA's, an EVF, and free versions of Resolve and Fusion. I've probably missed some things too. At a crazy low price point, BM has given us RAW and prores in all flavors and sizes, in cameras that, may have some quirks, but somehow deliver without fail. (I just had a paid shoot this week with my BMPCC that had rolled around in storage for 4 months and then pulled through like a champ ALL DAY LONG WITH ZERO ISSUES.) 

These guys are flippin amazing. If the URSA mini is the last camera BM makes, Mr David, it could very well be the single most disappointing event in cinema camera history. In place of any negativity, our words should contain constructive optimism at the worst. Words that educate and inform and provide perspective, yet laced with support and hope for a tremendous camera company. BM has earned it. Man have they earned it. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 minutes ago, Jonesy Jones said:

So put a small cage around it. I bet a very simple light weight cage adds a ton of useful connection points and will protect your investment. Also, don't drop your cameras. It's not good. I've been shooting for over a decade and have never dropped one. Ever. When it's in my hands, I'm careful. But it's bound to happen at some point so you take precautions with rigs and cages and... insurance. 

What are the risks and caveats exactly? Cameras can break when you drop them. So don't do it. If I dropped a camera I would blame myself, not the camera. Sometimes sensors or parts are faulty. So test right away and return or RMA if there's something wrong. And for other quirks, BM has a long history of solving issues and delivering things they never promised. They're cool like that.

The camera never dropped from my hands. But shit happens on set and I need to have at least some assurance that when it does it won't instantly mean I become an owner of a 5000 euro brick.

I've thought about the cage solution though. It might work.

Other risks and caveats? The magenta issue. The screendoor effect (though this is nothing new, still irritating and seems to be more pronounced than on the BMCC), reported variance in ISO performance, getting a straight up bad one - Blackmagic's QA is all over the place. From my circle of friends there are multiple people who got faulty Blackmagic products.

The BMCC has served me well, niggles and all. But I'm not putting blind faith on Blackmagic.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, John Brawley said:

Can you buy the same sensor that is in the Ursa Mini 4.6K off the shelf and get the same result ?  No.  You can't.

Is it an off the shelf sensor ?  No it isn't.  

Do you keep saying it is ?  Yes you do.

Do you say stuff like

"I think it has something to do with the fact that they source parts and do not manufacture their own circuits and sensors as with RED and the electronics conglomerates"

That's your quote...you forgot that you said RED as well didn't you ? :-) Never mind....

So, you're wrong because RED don't do what you claim. Blackmagic DO make their own circuits and like RED, go to a sensor fab company and customise a sensor to their own specs that you can't buy.  So do Arri for that matter.

So how would you KNOW ?  Seriously ?  How do you know that it's off the shelf ?  If it's only slightly modified, what does that ACTUALLY mean ? Is it the package size ? What EXACTLY is the benchmark for a slight modification ? What is it that was tweaked ? Was it one thing or many ? Did they just put the BM logo on it ?  What other products use the same sensor ? Why doesn't someone else buy the same sensor and make a better camera ? 

I call you out because I've called you out before sir and I'm just cutting to the chase.  You're wrong.

Have an opinion.  Don't post it as fact when you don't know if it's true.  That's all I'm asking.

JB

 

 

And John with all due respect, please act civil and use empathy.

You are a really established DP.  Having someone of your caliber swearing at a person on here is quite shocking to the person receiving it.

Whether he is right or not, know thy power.

1 hour ago, Jonesy Jones said:

So put a small cage around it. I bet a very simple light weight cage adds a ton of useful connection points and will protect your investment. Also, don't drop your cameras. It's not good. I've been shooting for over a decade and have never dropped one. Ever. When it's in my hands, I'm careful. But it's bound to happen at some point so you take precautions with rigs and cages and... insurance. 

What are the risks and caveats exactly? Cameras can break when you drop them. So don't do it. If I dropped a camera I would blame myself, not the camera. Sometimes sensors or parts are faulty. So test right away and return or RMA if there's something wrong. And for other quirks, BM has a long history of solving issues and delivering things they never promised. They're cool like that.

No problem with waiting until wrinkles are ironed, but they've given you a camera that has never failed you. That's pretty awesome. So give them a little more benefit of the doubt and some positive shout outs. They could use it. 

I learned today from another site that this month is roughly the 4 year anniversary of BM's first camera delivery. Yep. Just 4 years. In only 4 years they've given us the BMCC, then added the MFT mount. Then the BMPCC and BMPC 4K with global shutter. Then the URSA. Then URSA mini with 2 flavors, one of them being a whopping 4.6K sensor with 15 friggin stops of DR. Also the BMMCC with 60P, and don't forget 2 VA's, an EVF, and free versions of Resolve and Fusion. I've probably missed some things too. At a crazy low price point, BM has given us RAW and prores in all flavors and sizes, in cameras that, may have some quirks, but somehow deliver without fail. (I just had a paid shoot this week with my BMPCC that had rolled around in storage for 4 months and then pulled through like a champ ALL DAY LONG WITH ZERO ISSUES.) 

These guys are flippin amazing. If the URSA mini is the last camera BM makes, Mr David, it could very well be the single most disappointing event in cinema camera history. In place of any negativity, our words should contain constructive optimism at the worst. Words that educate and inform and provide perspective, yet laced with support and hope for a tremendous camera company. BM has earned it. Man have they earned it. 

I still think DJI is more innovative :) But well said.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

47 minutes ago, Ehetyz said:

The camera never dropped from my hands. But shit happens on set and I need to have at least some assurance that when it does it won't instantly mean I become an owner of a 5000 euro brick.

I've thought about the cage solution though. It might work.

Other risks and caveats? The magenta issue. The screendoor effect (though this is nothing new, still irritating and seems to be more pronounced than on the BMCC), reported variance in ISO performance, getting a straight up bad one - Blackmagic's QA is all over the place. From my circle of friends there are multiple people who got faulty Blackmagic products.

The BMCC has served me well, niggles and all. But I'm not putting blind faith on Blackmagic.

I'd recommend gear insurance if you're owning expensive equipment.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, Ed_David said:

Wow

As John said, it's all about the image.  And what the hooey is going on with that image?

And for me, it's also about customer support and ergonomics and day-to-day strength of a camera - can it handle on-set abuse?

I hope they can fix it with a firmware, because the camera does produce fantastic images for that price. It might not have the push/pull of arri exposure but  image-wise it rivals it.

The problem is that these smaller companies send their gear to these bloggers prerelease. Then you have all these 'professionals' hype it up, they don't want to piss off these companies who are giving them early access and a massive spotlight, so all their fans keep defending the gear even as problems slowly creep out of the shadows. It takes so much time and energy for the general user to fight off that fervor.

I just don't see how they can fix it with lines of code when the problem effects each camera differently, some have stronger magenta corners than others. BMD knows what the problem is. They probably knew before the release, and it was probably one of the reasons why the long delay besides the failed global shutter. The customers who are buying the camera and using it already either don't care they are cutoff at f8 on certain focal lengths or are content lying to themselves probably won't effect BMD's business, so they  should do the right thing and just clear the air since its already taken them a year to admit that the problem does exist.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

47 minutes ago, Hanriverprod said:

The customers who are buying the camera and using it already either don't care they are cutoff at f8 on certain focal lengths or are content lying to themselves probably won't effect BMD's business, so they  should do the right thing and just clear the air since its already taken them a year to admit that the problem does exist.

Just out of curiosity unless you are going for mega depth of field why would you go past f8 on a super35 sensor?  Sharpness really starts to drop at f/11 on a lot of lenses.

I'm not trying to defend a camera flaw but unless I am being sloppy and not using the correct amount of ND I really avoid stopping down that much.

I actually inadvertently discovered this with a film 35mm camera.  I mean I knew about it theoretically but I thought it was just something pixel peepers worried about.  Well I had a must get shot so I bracketed it at various apertures just to cover my depth of field bases and the results were astonishing.  Sharpness at f/16 and f/22 was obviously less on a 35mm negative, not a print.

Maybe people haven't worked with their camera much at f/11 and beyond.  I never realized simply stopping down could reveal something like this magenta issue.  I'll have to make sure I test all my future cameras.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, Damphousse said:

Just out of curiosity unless you are going for mega depth of field why would you go past f8 on a super35 sensor?  Sharpness really starts to drop at f/11 on a lot of lenses.

I'm not trying to defend a camera flaw but unless I am being sloppy and not using the correct amount of ND I really avoid stopping down that much.

I actually inadvertently discovered this with a film 35mm camera.  I mean I knew about it theoretically but I thought it was just something pixel peepers worried about.  Well I had a must get shot so I bracketed it at various apertures just to cover my depth of field bases and the results were astonishing.  Sharpness at f/16 and f/22 was obviously less on a 35mm negative, not a print.

Maybe people haven't worked with their camera much at f/11 and beyond.  I never realized simply stopping down could reveal something like this magenta issue.  I'll have to make sure I test all my future cameras.

I talked to my dp who shoots korean studio films regularly, and he said he could use the camera since he probably won't go past 5.6. But this is for a narrative project. If you are filming landscapes, architecture, real estate, or for scientific purposes I can see the need to stopping down past 5.6/8.

Still, I think it's messed up if this issue was known by bmd and prerelease reviewers but swept under the rug to get it out there and see how it plays out by keeping quiet as long as possible. If you read through the magenta thread in balckmagic's forum an early adopter was being attacked for identifying this issue very early on, even pointing it out on some prerelease footage. I find it hard to believe that bmd was not aware of this  developing the camera when a few users picked up on it right away on it's release. They're qc can't be that bad. If they knew, that's just shady. But hey in this day and age, screw integrity when a buck is a buck.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Hanriverprod said:

I talked to my dp who shoots korean studio films regularly, and he said he could use the camera since he probably won't go past 5.6. But this is for a narrative project. If you are filming landscapes, architecture, real estate, or for scientific purposes I can see the need to stopping down past 5.6/8.

Still, I think it's messed up if this issue was known by bmd and prerelease reviewers but swept under the rug to get it out there and see how it plays out by keeping quiet as long as possible. If you read through the magenta thread in balckmagic's forum an early adopter was being attacked for identifying this issue very early on, even pointing it out on some prerelease footage. I find it hard to believe that bmd was not aware of this  developing the camera when a few users picked up on it right away on it's release. They're qc can't be that bad. If they knew, that's just shady. But hey in this day and age, screw integrity when a buck is a buck.

Yeah I have no idea.  I'm not a pro.  It just would never occur to me to point my camera at a white wall and stop down to f/11 when kicking the tires.  My inclination would be to get the sharpest lens I could and open it up to it's sharpest aperture and then stress test the sensor.

Having said that if I was buying a camera for thousands of dollars I would not be amused if it went magenta in the corners just because I visited f/11.  Shame on them if they snuck this out the door with that kind of known flaw.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

They knew or they are utterly incompetent, it was spotted in beta footage by a non beta tester just looking at footage. The mega thread on BM's form dates back to Sun Dec 06, 2015. It also can be found at larger stops that F8, it is just that 35mm at F8 is universally bad on the affected cameras. There were some who had issues at even F4 at 35mm. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 9/2/2016 at 4:49 AM, Kino said:

So it's just a coincidence that the BMD 4.6k sensor and the Fairchild 4.6k sensor have exactly the same specs and were released at the same time, right down to the switchable global/rolling shutter we were originally promised in the Ursa Mini?

My guess/assumption is BMD was very heavily involved in the development of this new sensor, and to help Fairchild recoup some of the costs they've got permission to sell it to others after BMD has used it

 

On 9/2/2016 at 4:49 AM, Kino said:

In fact, their CEO, Jarred Land, makes this claim about RED's sensors and boards:

....

Essentially, you are arguing against his position, which I have simply restated here.

Right, so you're a RED repeater fanboy? And Jarred's word is gold. 

There is exactly zero chance RED has their own sensor fab.

They'll outsource this part, just like BMD/Nikon/Canon/Arri/etc

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On September 2, 2016 at 3:08 AM, Ed_David said:

And John with all due respect, please act civil and use empathy.

You are a really established DP.  Having someone of your caliber swearing at a person on here is quite shocking to the person receiving it.

Whether he is right or not, know thy power.

I still think DJI is more innovative :) But well said.

I think John Brawley has shown great tact. On the other hand, someone starting a topic about the demise of a company based solely on a camera sitting on the shelf at B&H seems preposterous to me. And really, I don't see the point of comparing DJI to Black Magic. DJI makes drones, not NLE systems or cinema cameras. DJI's Osmo X5 Raw, while innovative, has enough drawbacks to fill a page, so they aren't god either.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, IronFilm said:

My guess/assumption is BMD was very heavily involved in the development of this new sensor, and to help Fairchild recoup some of the costs they've got permission to sell it to others after BMD has used it

 

Right, so you're a RED repeater fanboy? And Jarred's word is gold. 

There is exactly zero chance RED has their own sensor fab.

They'll outsource this part, just like BMD/Nikon/Canon/Arri/etc

Land claims that RED is the only cinema camera company other than Sony that designs its own sensors and ASICs (integrated circuits). He makes no claims about where the sensors are fabricated. Of the cinema camera manufacturers, only Sony, Canon and Panasonic have their own sensor fabrication plants and have the potential to do everything in-house.

Like BMD, RED would have to "outsource" the fabrication itself, which involves many steps, including the wafers from a semiconductor plant and the various other components that are then attached. The finished sensor just doesn't come from one place or even one factory. It's an elaborate process that is almost always outsourced for companies like RED and BMD.

The difference is that RED designs their own sensors and boards and those are exclusive to them. You can't buy off-the-shelf versions of the Dragon sensor made by Fairchild or any other semiconductor company.

It appears that BMD has to involve third parties like Fairchild in sensor design, suggesting that they don't have the same mastery that RED currently has. This lack of expertise may lead to problems such as we have seen with magenta-gate, considering how the sensor and its integration into the surrounding circuitry and the larger image processing chain would have to be designed with absolute precision. Perhaps they will get there eventually, such that they will have custom designed sensors that are exclusive to their products and not sold simultaneously as off-the-shelf sensors as with the Fairchild/BMD 4.6K. At that point, I would expect better quality control, which was the entire basis of our discussion.

And, yes, it is entirely possible that BMD contracted Fairchild for the 4.6K with an arrangement to create two versions of the sensor: one for BMD and one off-the-shelf version. But the fact that they have to go to Fairchild would be proof that they did not design the 4.6K sensor on their own and do not hold the exclusive license or the patents involved.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is something off on the 4.6k image with this magenta issue even in the latest videos. I see it pop up on various shots on so many videos and it's not just the overall cast or magenta corners. It's in the way the camera handles highlights in some shots as well as edges. It might have more dynamic range but these issues make the 4k ursa look better overall.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On September 3, 2016 at 9:11 AM, Hanriverprod said:

I find it hard to believe that bmd was not aware of this  developing the camera when a few users picked up on it right away on it's release. They're qc can't be that bad. If they knew, that's just shady. But hey in this day and age, screw integrity when a buck is a buck.

Enough with the unfounded accusations and smear campaign already.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Go to youtube or vimeo and look at some of the latest uploads and you tell me if you dont see magenta pollution all over the image in some shots. Even the videos saying there is no magenta problem you can see it in the skin or highlights. 

Also having an opinion is not a smear campaign. You are paranoid for no reason. I think some of the images are terrific but some are still marred by this issue. What's even sadder is owners who are showing the problem in their own videos saying their cameras are fine. The cognitive dissonance is like an example of the problems with hype and fanboyism in modern culture

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, Hanriverprod said:

Go to youtube or vimeo and look at some of the latest uploads and you tell me if you dont see magenta pollution all over the image in some shots. Even the videos saying there is no magenta problem you can see it in the skin or highlights. 

Also having an opinion is not a smear campaign. You are paranoid for no reason. I think some of the images are terrific but some are still marred by this issue. What's even sadder is owners who are showing the problem in their own videos saying their cameras are fine. The cognitive dissonance is like an example of the problems with hype and fanboyism in modern culture

I'm not talking about technical issues with the cameras, I'm talking about accusing BMD of knowingly releasing faulty products.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...