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Andrew Reid

New Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro looks great, but where's the new Pocket Cinema Camera?

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I think they are trying to address the "blackmagic are always delayed" issue. The easiest start to this is a production camera that will ship much smaller numbers. Which is the case with the mini pro.

Hopefully, once they streamline their production process, they can then look at a smaller product that will shift 10,000s... on time!

I think it's a smart, long term move.

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7 hours ago, jonpais said:

At a Black Magic party in Ho Chi Minh I attended last month, the company representative from Singapore was saying one of Black Magic's chief obstacles to being adopted by professionals here was their low price (the perception that less money = lower quality). Has anyone ever heard this before? 

In my experience, there is some truth to this. I know people who would rather like something to be shot on an expensive camera, because if i bring my GH4, they are like "i have that camera, so i can shoot it myself"... They are not just paying for skills, but for equipment..

I think a lot of people think more expensive gear = better outcome...

Am i wrong?

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As for the pro not adopting them.... Well a lot of high end pro go to rental houses, who invested tons of money on expensive system.
A red epic package is usually around 1k usd per day , for the price of a week of shooting you can buy a 4.6k mini package, so I won t be surprised if some rental house are being protective toward their equipment by saying that the ursa mini is not usable for pro work. It s probably the same thing for operator/owner of red/arri.

If people hire you for your past work they won t care much on what you shoot. If they hire you just to operate they will probably expect something else.

At the end of the day, the image coming out of the 4.6k is on par with arri and red, for a fraction of the price.
The camera is flexible enough to do what most jobs require, without being too big or need to many batteries.

People usually have a distorted view of what arri and red do, they create solid production cameras, but they don t do miracle, if you underexpose, all camera sucks.

I think blackmagic have their own market, a weird niche, but IMO they have the best company philosophy .

As for a new pocket/micro camera, I m not sure it s very useful, maybe replace the S16 4k sensor  as the DR is low.
Blackmagic released fair amount of cameras over the last years because there was a lot of improvement to be done, but today, they have a solid lineup.

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The idea that the current minis are now nearly obsolete is a bit daft.... most rigs will have a mattebox/ND setup and the extra interface dials, while nice, are hardly essential 

Ps - the mini pro is a stunning camera ... easily up there with the big boys for just $6k... insane

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37 minutes ago, ulrikjepsen said:

In my experience, there is some truth to this. I know people who would rather like something to be shot on an expensive camera, because if i bring my GH4, they are like "i have that camera, so i can shoot it myself"... They are not just paying for skills, but for equipment..

I think a lot of people think more expensive gear = better outcome...

Am i wrong?

There is some truth to this that perception is reality. You turn up to shoot with big camera and some clients will think 'they must be really good' but equipment is not just a camera - it's lighting, lenses, grip, etc - and ultimately you'll be judged on the work you deliver. I've occasionally had clients mention about camera when I've been shooting stuff on A7s and I explain why it is the most suitable for that particular shoot. And also offer that I can shoot it on an Amira if they want to shell out the extra £400 a day!

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I can't see how they abandonded the indie market.
This beast is still SUPER cheap. And if you need something cheaper you still have the previous models (from BMCC to URSA Mini 1 and the Pocket and Micro).

I own a Pocket and I love it (even if the LCD and battery are crap), but I can't understand the hate for the Micro. For me it's clearly the way to go. And I believe they think the same way, as clearly the URSA Mini is the way to go for them (the Major is pretty dead).

It seems they learned fro their mistakes and that's why they didn't announce new cameras at NAB last year. Announce things if you can actually ship them, that's the way to go.
If they announced this now, instead of saving it for NAB and steal the show it's because they have something else in mind. Clearly, It can't be URSA or big model related, so meybe a new Micro model with new 4K sensor, extra modules...

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I'm pretty sure they're going to combine the BM Cinema Camera, Pocket Camera, and Ursa Mini into one line of DSLR sized cameras. Of course it wont have the features of the Ursa Mini but possibly use the same 4"-5" touchscreen and SD or CFast2 recording. Resolution and frame rates capped. It seems clear that they've setup the Micro Cinema Camera as the tiny beast that alot of people used the pocket camera for, but have something better in store for people who use the Pocket Camera as a mini accessorized A cam.

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The most revealing thing about the Pro camera is that BM have now dropped their use of "Cinema" to describe this camera & have re-aligned themselves towards the "Broadcast" moniker, which means TV & I don't mean Drama. It looks very much like they realised that there was no way they were going to be able to compete with ARRI or RED & have gone all out to try to grab a share of the Broadcast TV market.

Jobbing TV cameramen don't rent, they buy a camera system that works & is on the acceptable list of cameras that TV companies will accept. When TV moved from SD to HD, people did rent to try out what was the best system to invest in (30-40k investment) - hell, camera companies even lent cameramen stuff to try out, because they knew producers were being very picky about what they would accept. As far as Broadcast TV is concerned, they want a good image that is pretty much ready to go & requires the least amount of work being done to it - this is why the Pro has the ability to use SD cards, is 4K TV ready & the ProRes Video mode WILL be used.

The Pro, once it has been able to convince people that it is stable, useable & gets onto the right approved lists for TV, might start to break into smaller budget Drama projects & that's where ProRes Film mode will come into it's own & for a few projects RAW will be used (for greenscreen work probably).

If anyone has a Pocket, have you tried using the Video mode recently or at all? If you haven't, then you almost certainly missed one of the biggest updates to this tiny camera a few years ago - it's very very useable & is far better than anything you'll get coming from a DSLR with H264.

I believe that they didn't see that numerous people would buy & kit out the Micro - this is why we might not see a Pocket v.2.

The only camera that they will almost certainly produce a v.2 of will be the BMCC - in a new body, with a flip screen, removeable battery & the ability to use handheld or rigged.

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5 hours ago, marcuswolschon said:

Some here seem to be under the impression that the URSA Pro records raw onto SD -cards...it doesn't.

From the tech specs:

"2 x CFast for 4.6K RAW and ProRes recording. 2 x SD UHS-II card slots for HD and Ultra HD recording."

It can record some form of UHD (the TV-standard, not cinema DCI 4K) onto SD cards. For 4.6K RAW it needs these expensive CFast media... and obviously a lot of that......

It does record RAW to SD cards. For now its only 1920x1080p lossless RAW but i cant see why it couldn't take higher resolutions in compressed forms with software update. as 1080p30 lossless RAW is about 95MB/s. Thats about the same as 4K DCI 4096x2160p30 in RAW 4:1 at 100MB/s.

Theoretical it could also do full sensor 4608x2592p30 in 4:1 RAW with a datarate around 135MB/s and UHS-II fullduplex is at (theoretical) 156MB/s - not a lot of overhead though.. So lets see how it evolves..

Also Grant showcased a SSD recorder (like the Atoch - but MUCH better design like the Rex Tech http://www.rextech.it/#home ) with would output RAW through the back SDI ports and there you can record to CFast and SSD as the same time (a BMD support has said).

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What the Mini Pro shows me the most, is that BMD is really listening to the crowd. When they made the BMCC and saw how everybody rigged it up, they made the Ursa (major) so people didn't have to rig it up and big crews could make it. When people said that it was too big they made it smaller with the Ursa Mini. When people said that they wanted NDs, swabble mount, external control for power on/off and better preamps, SSD cage they gave it to the people.. Just like the Pocket, they made the Micro for POV mounting when people wanted that..

Sooo... Try to ask for the same with Canon :-D

The problem with this is.. people always want more - for less. I hope BMD won't break their back doing this. Look how sexy the Ursa Mini looks.. and look at how not sexy the new "Pro" looks. It looks hacked if you ask me. I know aestictis is not the most important feature but BMD has always made sexy cameras if you ask me. Their designs are so unconventional. The mini Pro looks like a hack between Ursa mini and Panny hvx 200. But atleast they can deliver on time as its not a totally new design.

They have given so much to the community if you ask me.

I have an exellent A7Sii i use for almost all projects. However i still love the image coming out of my BMCC much more. Don't get me wrong the A7Sii is superb! But i still have trouble with the colors.. i don't know why.

QC issues... well.. Remember RED when they came?..

And yes the price does convince some that it is a inferieor products and it also is (you almost always get what you pay for - maybe not in physical material - but often it more thought out - not always) but not at the things people think it is at.

-------------------------------------------

I made some  calculations.. If they take a MFT cut of the 4.6K sensor you get ~3145 x 2363 pixels (+/- few pixels depending on actually size)..

So thats with M43 format (4:3).. if you would want to use a 16:9 of that sensor it would yield a 3145x1769 pixels sensor.

Just like RED does with fx the RAVEN. It's just a cutout of a bigger wafer in a smaller size of the Dragon sensor. They could essential make a 3K pocket/BMCCv2/DSLR MFT camera. The biggest problem is power consumption. BMDs firmware is very power hungry. But i think with Canon LP-E6 batteries they have a better chance then with the smaller Nikon Pocket battieres.

 

UM46K MFT sensor.png

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The BMPCC was the best $500 I ever spent.  I'd gladly pay in the $1500 range for a Pocket mk 2. that does 4k in prores, even if the sensor stays the same size.  Higher frame rates (like the GH5) would be nice too.   The BMPCC fills the niche that 16mm film left behind, and can use all the same lenses.  There has to be a market for an updated version.

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1 hour ago, Tim McC said:

The BMPCC was the best $500 I ever spent.  I'd gladly pay in the $1500 range for a Pocket mk 2. that does 4k in prores, even if the sensor stays the same size.  Higher frame rates (like the GH5) would be nice too.   The BMPCC fills the niche that 16mm film left behind, and can use all the same lenses.  There has to be a market for an updated version.

There totally is, but I've read that the Ursa Mini 4.6K interior is basically one massive heatsink, so I don't think it's physically possible to make a pocket like that just yet. 

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13 hours ago, dbp said:

There totally is, but I've read that the Ursa Mini 4.6K interior is basically one massive heatsink, so I don't think it's physically possible to make a pocket like that just yet. 

If they could just put a Digital Bolex type sensor in a pocket body, for $1500, I'd buy one tomorrow.  

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4 hours ago, Tim McC said:

If they could just put a Digital Bolex type sensor in a pocket body, for $1500, I'd buy one tomorrow.  

I'd like to see: 

"The New Ursa Micro"....

- MFT Sensor. 

- Can record in 4K, but has a "golden" 2.8k mode at up to 60fps. 

- Tiltable and Removable Micro Video Assist (so you can put it in a convenient place on a pistol grip gimbal, or monitor from strange angles if adapted for action shots). 

- Pro option Ursa Micro slots into an accessory which gives you audio options and a handle. 

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It does not in fact make sense for BMD to hurt their professional market.  BUT they could easily do a mirrorless sized camera with some upgrades without going all the way there.   Or they may choose to go the Canon route (at the consumer price point) and instead put ALL their camera resources to slowly ramping up their professional line to eventually go head to head with people like Canon but at a fraction of the cost.  Professionals in the industry may not see the Ursa the same was as  they see Canon C300/C700 right now, (for whatever reason)  but Id guess its just a matter of time and maybe not much time at that.

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32 minutes ago, Clayton Moore said:

It does not in fact make sense for BMD to hurt their professional market.  BUT they could easily do a mirrorless sized camera with some upgrades without going all the way there.   Or they may choose to go the Canon route (at the consumer price point) and instead put ALL their camera resources to slowly ramping up their professional line to eventually go head to head with people like Canon but at a fraction of the cost.  Professionals in the industry may not see the Ursa the same was as  they see Canon C300/C700 right now, (for whatever reason)  but Id guess its just a matter of time and maybe not much time at that.

The beauty of the Pocket and the original BMCC was that enthusiasts and young filmmakers could afford the cameras... these are the same people who are buying the Ursa now. Those Ursa Pro owners will eventually graduate to a Red or maybe an Alexa and that Pro will collect dust or be sold on the used market. Without a base cinema model with updated specs... it doesn't have to be 4K, but 2.5K at multiple frame rates, maybe no need for IR filtratation, and a better screen and BM will secure the next "generation" of filmmakers to climb the BM ladder on their way to an Alexa.

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41 minutes ago, mercer said:

The beauty of the Pocket and the original BMCC was that enthusiasts and young filmmakers could afford the cameras... these are the same people who are buying the Ursa now. Those Ursa Pro owners will eventually graduate to a Red or maybe an Alexa and that Pro will collect dust or be sold on the used market. Without a base cinema model with updated specs... it doesn't have to be 4K, but 2.5K at multiple frame rates, maybe no need for IR filtratation, and a better screen and BM will secure the next "generation" of filmmakers to climb the BM ladder on their way to an Alexa.

Thats actually a good point that Id forgotten.  

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1 hour ago, mercer said:

The beauty of the Pocket and the original BMCC was that enthusiasts and young filmmakers could afford the cameras... these are the same people who are buying the Ursa now. Those Ursa Pro owners will eventually graduate to a Red or maybe an Alexa and that Pro will collect dust or be sold on the used market. Without a base cinema model with updated specs... it doesn't have to be 4K, but 2.5K at multiple frame rates, maybe no need for IR filtratation, and a better screen and BM will secure the next "generation" of filmmakers to climb the BM ladder on their way to an Alexa.

I also agree.  May I add that I am an owner of the large URSA, which I love by the way, and I'm still waiting for the 4.6K sensor!!!  The reason I bought the large URSA is because of the ability to add new sensors, but alas I am waiting like everyone else.

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