Jump to content

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


Andrew Reid

Recommended Posts

  • Administrators

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

 

The jobs and projects that need Ursa already have Alexa or F55.

 

Surely productions that the Ursa is aimed at consider $6k as small. If they have the budget for a crew and all the other stuff necessary to operate the Ursa, then surely they can use an F55 or an Alexa?

 

The beauty of Blackmagic so far, for me, has been the high image quality for low prices in small boxes.

 

Very artistic tools.

 

The Ursa is more a workhorse in search of work.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 160
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

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

Looking at the ergonomics, I don't think it's really meant as a shoulder cam. Sure you can put it up there, but designed for it, no. With built in scopes I think 10" is fine. Yes it's a bit big, but I think it's useful. If you want to go mobile with this camera, it's going on a big steadicam.

Link to post
Share on other sites

People buy cameras for what they can do.  At the level this is priced at, where people have been buying cameras, they haven't been buying cameras almost universally bad, with respect to form factor, but they do it because there have been pretty much no alternative.

 

The DSLR form factor is hideous for anything but taking snippy-snap pictures.  They became useful for more than that despite their terrible design with respect to motion pictures.  They spawned new products designed to work around the faults of using a square peg in a round hole.  The previous BMD cameras were no worse in this respect and better in others but definitely no worse.  

 

Now we're back on the right track.  That flip out screen will be very useful for low-angle, minimally rigged, top handle shooting.  For steadicam.  For in the field review.  Folded up and used with an EVF in a proper shoulder mount configuration, the same as you would have to do for any other camera, and it's an amazing and useful "gimme".  Let's also not forget the HDMI, sensor-less configuration paired with another camera.  

 

It serves multiple functions, or you can fold it away when rigged.  The equally impressive looking Aja CION is $3K more and you have no way at all to use the camera without already having or purchasing an EVF.  Unlike other cameras you don't have to ignore the fact of a mildly useful screen now partially blocked by a battery plate or some dinky little eyepiece now just hanging out like some vestigial limb, both of which will or would have never given you as much use as you'll get out of that 10" screen.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Administrators
At the moment I don't see how it fits into the market.
 
Low budget filmmakers have rental options like C300.
 
They also have the BMCC and BMPC which give comparable images I assume to the Ursa.
 
For 4K they have the BMPC, GH4 and A7S for far less than $6k.
 
The Aja Cion - now this is how to design an indie filmmaking camera. It is like a poor man's Arri Amira. Lovely ergonomics and presumably same 4K sensor as is in the Ursa.
 
I just think that running around with a generator, lights, heavy bulky equipment, is so last decade though...
 
And so is native ISO 400.
Link to post
Share on other sites

The jobs and projects that need Ursa already have Alexa or F55.

 

Surely productions that the Ursa is aimed at consider $6k as small. If they have the budget for a crew and all the other stuff necessary to operate the Ursa, then surely they can use an F55 or an Alexa?

 

The beauty of Blackmagic so far, for me, has been the high image quality for low prices in small boxes.

 

Very artistic tools.

 

The Ursa is more a workhorse in search of work.

there is a mid price range of productions that will jump on this like music videos

 

Record companies have slashed video budgets this past 10 years as record sales have dropped , but you could buy this camera outright with the budget of one job these days, yet these productions would not buy outright an Alexa or Eric they just rent them.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Administrators

The DSLR form factor is hideous for anything but taking snippy-snap pictures.  They became useful for more than that despite their terrible design with respect to motion pictures.  They spawned new products designed to work around the faults of using a square peg in a round hole.  The previous BMD cameras were no worse in this respect and better in others but definitely no worse.

 

It depends on the DSLR.

 

DSLR as in 1D C - horrible to use for motion.

 

DSLR as in mirrorless camera / GH3 - actually pretty good.

 

I think the GH4 has come a long way ergonomically.

 

Peaking, OLED monitor, very high res EVF, CineLikeD, pedestal, luma settings, zebra, large battery, weather sealed, stronger magnesium alloy body, video optimised live view and video info display modes...

 

I don't agree with lumping in all the DSLRs into the same boat when it comes to ergonomics for motion.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Administrators

there is a mid price range of productions that will jump on this like music videos

 

Record companies have slashed video budgets this past 10 years as record sales have dropped , but you could buy this camera outright with the budget of one job these days, yet these productions would not buy outright an Alexa or Eric they just rent them.

 

Yes but look at what these guys are using already... C100, C300 and rental of Arri or Red.

 

What does the Ursa do that these don't?

 

If it has the same sensor as the Production Camera it will be unusable on a music video shoot because you can't point it directly at lights or flare up the lens. Black holes!

Link to post
Share on other sites

1DC, GH4, GH2, they're all horrible.  It's not about the image.  The layout is terrible and the screens are only useful when viewed through a loupe, which imposes a very specific kind of shooting.  Properly rigged they're just treated as boxes of various sizes housing the sensor that have to be reinforced and protected and augmented in every way because you can't attach anything else useful to them and you're dealing with correcting for a bad viewing position.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Most prodictions need lights and crews for commercial jobs , I just shot this weekend with a whole new LED light rig like used in 'Only God Forgives' , its superb and quick to rig and small ..and no heat on set - tungsten lights get like a greenhouse on my sets.

 

think of the big picture Andrew - this is good news as others will have to respond ....will we get a new cheaper Red camera soon? - they know how to make them .

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

 

Low budget filmmakers have rental options like C300.

 
They also have the BMCC and BMPC which give comparable images I assume to the Ursa.
 
For 4K they have the BMPC, GH4 and A7S for far less than $6k.
 
 
 

And they have the BM Ursa for 6K.

What's wrong with that? It's a complete 4K camera for 6000, with proper audio, proper monitoring, scopes, records to Cfast cards, has a proper form factor, rugged as hell, and can swap sensors and mounts, so a wise investment. What were you expecting from BM? An Alexa for 300 dollars? 

The firmware issues with the old cameras is a shame, but that doesn't make this camera any worse in it self. Especially since it addresses every problem that was in the older ones. Not to say that we don't even have confirmation that there aren't firmware upgrades for the old cameras. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Administrators

The integration of all the rig stuff you might use on a BMCC is a good idea on the Ursa but I think you are swapping one practicality mess for another.

 

The weight makes it impractical for a ton of stuff. How many times have we heard people sing praises of lighter cameras like the 5D or EPIC because it makes rigging lighter. Lots of stuff is shot form 3 axis gimbals and MoVi is pretty groundbreaking. I'd rather have that freedom of shot getting, than having to lug around 10kg on sticks like some nostalgic throwback to the film days.

 

Drones are great too... GH4 can go on one. This can't.

 

With the GH4 you can strip it down or build it up and buy 3, keeping each on set in a different configuration depending on the shot you need to get. Rather have 3 of those bespoke rigs than one big heavy Ursa that is only suitable for half the shots I need to do.

 

So much great work has been shot on location with the smaller cameras, without a large crew. I have tried shooting in a small crew with a heavy camera - the Kineraw S35 was very heavy - I hated every second of it. I was seeing shots and angles all over the place and the camera just wasn't nimble enough to go there quick enough.

 

Fact is big heavy cameras slow you down.

 

I am all for getting rid of the stupid spidery arms and bits hanging of DSLRs and BMCCs.

 

But this is wrong way to go about it.

 

All this time, effort and money - some of it ours - spent on two new cameras rather than updating the BMCC form factor to something much more usable. Like a Mini Ursa. It's a tragedy.

 

Just give us a BMCC in a small but integrated and capable cinema camera, that's all I want!

Link to post
Share on other sites

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

 

...

 

What about being nimble though?

 

I completely agree that smaller, lighter and more flexible is the future. But they already have those cameras. While I am disappointed that it's going to be another month before the next firmware comes out, I would have been much more annoyed if they announced something like Pocket 2.0 today as the first one is barely a year old.

 

--Edit

 

Written before I saw your most recent post. The tradeoff for blackmagic has always been price and quality vs it's usability quirks. We're almost at the "dream" camera, just a little ways to go.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Administrators

Since I have used the GH4 I wonder when I pick up my Pocket camera why I am not just shooting with the GH4 instead.

 

I didn't get the feeling with the GH3 because the image just wasn't as nice, but now...

 

Especially with 10bit 4:2:2 output and 4K it is nicer.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think I would prefer the dynamic range, 12bit lossless raw and 1 2/3 speedbooster over 100Mb 4:2:0 4k. But not having played with the GH4 (lucky you  :) ) I can't say for sure.

 

But if the pocket wasn't an option though I'm sure I'd be counting down the days to a GH4.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The integration of all the rig stuff you might use on a BMCC is a good idea on the Ursa but I think you are swapping one practicality mess for another.

 

The weight makes it impractical for a ton of stuff. How many times have we heard people sing praises of lighter cameras like the 5D or EPIC because it makes rigging lighter. Lots of stuff is shot form 3 axis gimbals and MoVi is pretty groundbreaking. I'd rather have that freedom of shot getting, than having to lug around 10kg on sticks like some nostalgic throwback to the film days.

 

Drones are great too... GH4 can go on one. This can't.

 

With the GH4 you can strip it down or build it up and buy 3, keeping each on set in a different configuration depending on the shot you need to get. Rather have 3 of those bespoke rigs than one big heavy Ursa that is only suitable for half the shots I need to do.

 

So much great work has been shot on location with the smaller cameras, without a large crew. I have tried shooting in a small crew with a heavy camera - the Kineraw S35 was very heavy - I hated every second of it. I was seeing shots and angles all over the place and the camera just wasn't nimble enough to go there quick enough.

 

Fact is big heavy cameras slow you down.

 

I am all for getting rid of the stupid spidery arms and bits hanging of DSLRs and BMCCs.

 

But this is wrong way to go about it.

 

All this time, effort and money - some of it ours - spent on two new cameras rather than updating the BMCC form factor to something much more usable. Like a Mini Ursa. It's a tragedy.

 

Just give us a BMCC in a small but integrated and capable cinema camera, that's all I want!

 

Not trying to stir up things here, but I don't think BM imagines the Ursa as the *only* camera on set.  It seems like it would be great on a tripod or maybe even hand held from the grip for certain shots.  I think, however, that BM would expect there to be a lighter camera like their BMPC or a GH4, or whatever, to be used in addition to the Ursa, on gimbals and in all the places a small, light cameras work best.  Since it's priced at $6K there's definitely room to add some smaller cameras to the budget, too.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Administrators

I think I would prefer the dynamic range, 12bit lossless raw and 1 2/3 speedbooster over 100Mb 4:2:0 4k. But not having played with the GH4 (lucky you  :) ) I can't say for sure.

 

You see I prefer not to have that.

 

I'm happy to trade 1 stop dynamic range for some levels and an OLED screen / EVF so I can expose properly in the first place.

 

I'd trade 1080p raw for 4K 8bit, because of the more manageable file sizes, especially long term for archival of the master files. 4K on the GH4 grades extremely well as I showed in some of my production diary posts.

 

I still love colour in raw but again I am happy with colour on the GH4, and it makes for very smooth 10bit 2K 444.

 

1 and 2/3rd Speed Booster is nice on the Pocket but I would trade that 2/3rd of an extra stop for the better low light performance in the GH4 from the sensor.

 

Same goes for BMCC 2.5K MFT.

 

I am not all of a sudden a Blackmagic hater but I think the Ursa is not an appealing direction as far as I am concerned and I think the A7S and GH4 have more features as well as images which are a huge step up to what we had before from mirrorless cameras.

Link to post
Share on other sites

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

 

OMFG, who cares what cameras LOOK LIKE!!! Are you making films or are you trying to stand around in public while on-lookers gawk at your camera gear? What is the film world coming to?

 

And stop using buzz-words/terms like "form factor"... just say what you mean. Just say that you're not confident in your abilities and you want to just impress people with giant gear set-ups. I'm so f-ing sick of hearing "form factor" I could puke. There is no better form factor that something small like the Pocket Cine cam size. It's tiny, it fits on the back of the lens, and you can add whatever you want to it... bigger shoulder mount, more weight, whatever. Arguing against small cameras (which is really just innovation) is an irrational one, and can only be explained by the desire to have something "bigger looking" for the sake of impressing people and the facade of "professionalism".

 

Seriously, if you fall into this category of big-camera chasers... quit film making. Go buy a Harley Davidson or a Ford F-450 truck. It's not an insult... it's a genuine suggestion. You're probably just looking for some kind of personal validation.

Link to post
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.


×
×
  • Create New...