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Blackmagic URSA - a $6k 4K professional cinema camera with interchangeable sensor


Andrew Reid

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I wonder if the improved MFT lens support means they finally managed to get non-physical-switch OIS to work? Glass half full kind of guy right here.

 

In case you missed it, Kristian Lam (from BM) posted this (http://forum.blackmagicdesign.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=20956):

--

Hi

We are working on an update that is in testing and already with some beta testers. 


This next updates includes:

1. New debayering for shooting directly to ProRes or DNxHD on the Blackmagic Cinema Camera 

2. Improved MFT lens support on the Pocket Cinema Camera. 

3. RAW support on the Production Camera 4K. 

4. Autofocus support for EF lenses on Blackmagic Cinema Camera EF and Production Camera 4K

This release should be out within a month's time from today.

--

 

Great I guess. To be honest I posted stating that I'm a glass half full kind of guy but I think not mentioning this at the beginning of today kind of backfired. The forum is going nuts.

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Geeze, lay off it a bit. Everyone's rather polarized here. We haven't seen jack squat out of most of these cameras, GH4 and A7s included.    1. Just because the GH4 does 4K and is a lightweight Mirr

Looks like Blackmagic brought these guys aboard...    

spec wise it ticks all the boxes super 35mm size sensor 4k and global shutter in a usable body form like an Alexa - what more do you want Blackmagic have listened to all the feedback off their othe

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It's a divisive camera.

 

Probably no sure right or wrongs in this. It will work great for some people and for others not.

 

I still think the trend for cameras in general is to go smaller and lighter though.

 

Look at Red as they went from Red One to Epic. Look at Sony between F3 and F55. Canon between XL1 and C300.

 

Lots and lots of people want the convenience.

 

I just don't see how that iMac screen on the end of a hinge is going to hold up to rough & tumble / rental either.

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I don't understand the incredible backlash here.  No offense intended, but this piece reads like Andrew did in fact get fired from a job due to not changing the battery or media in a BMCC on time.

 

Blackmagic gets 10x the criticism it derseves and about 1/4 the praise.  Yes, they should have addressed their firmware issues before launching 2 new cameras at NAB.  Yes, their customers are fair to expect support first for their cameras.

 

But put it into perspective people.  You can shoot incredible digital cinema with the three cameras they already had out.  Whether the lack of in-camera card formatting or lack of time code, etc. are flaws that are so big to render the cameras not worth your money/time/etc.-- that's for you to decide.

 

But I can handle the unaddreseds firmware issues in order to get the stunning imaging these cameras provide.  If Blackmagic didn't offer these cameras, how much would you have to pay to get similar quality imaging out of another camera today, or a year ago?

 

Also, if it wasn't for Blackmagic's innovation, I don't think we'd be seeing Sony, Panasonic and others making the moves they are right now.  Their cameras and video cameras would liekly be crippled and less capable.  That's how those compannies make money-- not by taking big risks (like the a7s) that potentially kills off their big money makers (like the FS-100, FS-700, etc.).

 

Quotes like:

 

"Their existing Cinema and Pocket Camera user base is lost. It’s over."

 

"[BM] completely turns its back on [its] existing indie filmmaking user base."

 

"[The] trend is to go smaller and lighter. This goes in complete opposite direction."  (BM has done nothing but buck the trend with their cameras.)

 

"It smacks of greed to go after the production market before you have even satisfied the indie crowd."  (Greed? Just take a look at the Sony/Canon/Nikon financials as well as their business practices-- you might change your mind.)

 

These quotes are not just someone's rather venomous opinion- but they do harm to the very companies and interests we should be looking out for as artists/hobbyists/filmmakers who desire immense quality at a relatively tiny price.

 

Just chill y'all.  Blackmagic shoud've adressed the firmware issues first, but don't overlook the incredible thech they're trying to bring us at very low prices (or declare their effort failed and futile).  Nor should you be taking for granted the innovation they are driving.  (In other words, stop throwing the babay out with the bathwater.)

 

 

T

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I don't understand the incredible backlash here.  No offense intended, but this piece reads like Andrew did in fact get fired from a job due to not changing the battery or media in a BMCC on time.

 

Blackmagic gets 10x the criticism it derseves and about 1/4 the praise.  Yes, they should have addressed their firmware issues before launching 2 new cameras at NAB.  Yes, their customers are fair to expect support first for their cameras.

 

But put it into perspective people.  You can shoot incredible digital cinema with the three cameras they already had out.  Whether the lack of in-camera card formatting or lack of time code, etc. are flaws that are so big to render the cameras not worth your money/time/etc.-- that's for you to decide.

 

But I can handle the unaddreseds firmware issues in order to get the stunning imaging these cameras provide.  If Blackmagic didn't offer these cameras, how much would you have to pay to get similar quality imaging out of another camera today, or a year ago?

 

Also, if it wasn't for Blackmagic's innovation, I don't think we'd be seeing Sony, Panasonic and others making the moves they are right now.  Their cameras and video cameras would liekly be crippled and less capable.  That's how those compannies make money-- not by taking big risks (like the a7s) that potentially kills off their big money makers (like the FS-100, FS-700, etc.).

 

Quotes like:

 

"Their existing Cinema and Pocket Camera user base is lost. It’s over."

 

"[BM] completely turns its back on [its] existing indie filmmaking user base."

 

"[The] trend is to go smaller and lighter. This goes in complete opposite direction."  (BM has done nothing but buck the trend with their cameras.)

 

"It smacks of greed to go after the production market before you have even satisfied the indie crowd."  (Greed? Just take a look at the Sony/Canon/Nikon financials as well as their business practices-- you might change your mind.)

 

These quotes are not just someone's rather venomous opinion- but they do harm to the very companies and interests we should be looking out for as artists/hobbyists/filmmakers who desire immense quality at a relatively tiny price.

 

Just chill y'all.  Blackmagic shoud've adressed the firmware issues first, but don't overlook the incredible thech they're trying to bring us at very low prices (or declare their effort failed and futile).  Nor should you be taking for granted the innovation they are driving.  (In other words, stop throwing the babay out with the bathwater.)

 

 

T

 

Unless I fired myself, no it didn't.

 

And I'm a big fan of Blackmagic which you'd know if you had read EOSHD for more than 5 seconds.

 

I have done a lot to put Blackmagic in the spotlight. Recently put them in a major print magazine in the UK on every shelf.

 

Don't lecture me on my opinions... I'm entitled to them... and this camera is just not for me.

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I don't understand the incredible backlash here...

Just chill y'all.  Blackmagic shoud've adressed the firmware issues first, but don't overlook the incredible thech they're trying to bring us at very low prices (or declare their effort failed and futile).  Nor should you be taking for granted the innovation they are driving.  (In other words, stop throwing the babay out with the bathwater.)

 

As a customer, I have a choice. When a camera arrives on the market, I am allowed to decide whether I wish to buy that camera or not. There are many factors that make up that decision, one of which, quite obviously is price and the features you get for that price. One very important feature is aftersales support. I get it, you and a few others are happy with bare minimum after sales support due to the incredible features you get for such a low price. That's fine, that's your choice. But when I make my choice, why do you feel it is appropriate to tell me to "stop throwing the babay (SIC) out with the bathwater?" Its my choice to make and you need to respect that, if you wish to be treated with respect for the consumer choices you have made.

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The Ursa is like Blackmagic have acted on a satire and made it real.

 

It reminds me of that joke ENG box for DSLRs to make them look more 'professional'!

 

Ha! A friend of mine spend well over £1000 for a matte box.... for no other reason than to make his camera look a bit more professional.

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very good specs and design, again blackmagic impresses on paper as usual,

 

I would be saving money right now if that camera was from sony, panasonic etc...

but it's from blackmagic, which means they won't likely deliver nowhere near on the schedule they claim and it will most likely have a lot of issues.

 

I'll just quote some of the comments on nofilmschool:

 

"Personally, I’m very skeptical of anything BM puts out. My friend got the BM 4K and it’s pretty bad IMO. Yes, it’s cheap but the vertical banding, black hole sun and white pixel issues which he got all of on his tests makes it borderline not unusable in a real shoot, at least until the issues are fixed."

 

"Agree 100%, I’ve been testing multiple 4K BMPC models, and all of them have sensor issues – some are better than others, but some are not usable in any lighting scenario."

 

and that is after being what, 1 year late?

 

blackmagic is all hype and they don't deliver imo.

 

But I do very much like how they put a lot of pressure on the market and shake things up, that is awesome.

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The Ursa is like Blackmagic have acted on a satire and made it real.

 

It reminds me of that joke ENG box for DSLRs to make them look more 'professional'!

 

thats what real cameras look like , they are square , boxy and sit on your shoulder,  all 16mm film cameras I ever used where like that, Aaton and Arri

 

'>

 

for me Im quite excited about this camera it has good form factor and on paper loooks great

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As a customer, I have a choice. When a camera arrives on the market, I am allowed to decide whether I wish to buy that camera or not. There are many factors that make up that decision, one of which, quite obviously is price and the features you get for that price. One very important feature is aftersales support. I get it, you and a few others are happy with bare minimum after sales support due to the incredible features you get for such a low price. That's fine, that's your choice. But when I make my choice, why do you feel it is appropriate to tell me to "stop throwing the babay (SIC) out with the bathwater?" Its my choice to make and you need to respect that, if you wish to be treated with respect for the consumer choices you have made.

 

I actually think we're in agreement here.  If you find the camera's features and support lacking (because you speculated they'd be better), then sell it and move on.  It's fair to voice your concern/opinion, too-- I've purchased expensive cameras I wasn't happy with.  But what I don't agree with is deriding and condemning an entire brand and proclaiming the death of an entire product line/segment simply due to a singular personal opinion.  It's a little harsh and unfair at best.  Just asking for people to take it easy and keep it all in perspective.  I know it's frustrating but we're not children.  Jeez.  Also, sorry for misspelling "baybay."  I know that's super annoying, too-- but spell check doesn't work on this site in my browser, so I'll paste this in word first before posting.  :D

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thats what real cameras look like , they are square , boxy and sit on your shoulder,  all 16mm film cameras I ever used where like that, Aaton and Arri

 

'>

 

for me Im quite excited about this camera it has good form factor and on paper loooks great

 

OK glad you mention the shoulder, because I have no idea how URSA is supposed to go on there...

 

The 10" flip screen is way too big to be used on the shoulder. It would be smack right in front of your face. So it is necessary to close the screen... then that blocks the control interface and 2nd screen, along with a bunch of physical buttons.

 

Not ideal.

 

OK it does have the saving grace of the right hand side panel and good for a second camera op whilst the shooter concentrates on getting the shot with an offset external EVF on the left.

 

I thought the point was you didn't have to add any bits?

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If you find the camera's features and support lacking (because you speculated they'd be better), then sell it and move on. 

 

Well, no - as I said in my first post, I love that camera and I use it every day. But now I have one black magic camera, I wouldn't buy a second because, for whatever reason they cannot or will not add simple cheap to implement features widely requested by the community - it's not like I'm bemoaning the battery life, design or other features that are difficult and expensive to change. I'm talking about software features a primary school child could code. Formatting a card, deleting a clip and displaying recording space left.

 

Now Blackmagic have demonstrated firmly, as a company, they will not listen to their community. They have had over a year now and these features that exist on my £15 digital camera (no brand visible) have not yet been implemented, despite being asked repeatedly over and over. I would understand if they explained that it was impossible to put these features in, but they haven't. They haven't even acknowledged that people are asking for these features.

 

Which is fine, I'm not going to attack them on how they run their business, but I won't buy from them again, because I don't wish to financially reward that attitude to their customers. I'm not going to enforce my opinion on others who have different priorities either, I'm glad there are customers out there for their new cameras, and I'm glad there are people out there who are happy customers - I'm a happy customer - did I mention, I love my BMPCC!

 

But now just because I wouldn't buy another camera from them, I have to sell it??

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Im pleased Andrew as they are now going in the right direction with this camera , the first 3 had a 'unique' form factor

we desigened and built a rig for the first camera they sent me one early on to work with so I could shoot with it on my shoulder with a Cineroid EVF ,

 

http://www.eoshd.com/comments/gallery/image/180-tecnoir-blackmagic-anamorphic-cinema-rig-lores/

 

 

this new camera is following the form factor of the big boys and yes you will still need to add bits but they are making something very cheap compared to the big boys and this hopefully will be the way forward for Blackmagic evolutions of this camera now they are on the right path

 

this camera COULD be the big seller as they have addressed all the design issue of the previous models

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Look I am not saying it doesn't have a place at all or is 100% wrong, I just think it is definitely not for me and not really the form factor anyone who bought the Pocket or BMCC was really looking for.

 

With your own rigging you have tons of flexibility and it can be adapted to a job.

 

With this you are essentially stuck with 10kg of stuff whether you like it or not.

 

For crews and studio based stuff then I can see the purpose of it.

 

What about being nimble though?

 

It's really important.

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you know Im a Panasonic fan as they just work and are small and light

 

but some jobs / projects / companies need this type of camera

 

I hope this is the start of an evolution of Black Magic cameras thay follow this style as it has a proven pedegree in film and broadcast

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I can see where BM are coming from (kinda) but they now have a range of cameras from the Pocket and Cinema that have many usability problems like lack of tilting screen, poor audio, no audio meters, poor software, poor functionality and the requirement to use many add ons like EVF, power and audio recorders/boxes to work properly, to the the URSA that has 3(!) articulating screens, great audio monitoring, seemingly great funtionality etc but needs at least two people to operate etc. Two extremes and none of them really cater to 95% of BM potential customer base.

 

A 10inch flip out screen is ridiculous and this would have been a great April fools joke. Look at most cameras used on a film set and you will see that almost no operator uses a screen that big in that position. How do you go about shoulder mounting ursa, it has no viewfinder and I wouldn't want that 10inch monitor at the tip of my nose.

 

This camera has tried to address so many issues and created so many more. Well done BM for creating something modular and trying to address the usability of the cinema range but how about creating a camera somewhere between Ursa and the cinema range?

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