Jump to content

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

Andrew Reid

Recommended Posts

EOSHD Pro Color 5 for Sony cameras EOSHD Z LOG for Nikon CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

Black Magic is quickly becoming the Walmart of camera companies. How many models to they have now? 6 or 7? That's a lot of models for only making cameras in the last two years, none of which function at 100% capacity. My friend bought the 4K BM, we tested it and got all the known sensor issues and he smartly re-sold it while it's still "Hot."


Yeah, it has a nice color science and yes it's cheap, but those factors are definitely well below reliability, which is the number one consideration on any paying job. From our tests on the 4K BM, it's definitely not ready for any paid job. It's fine for art / fun / non-paid projects, but the sensor issues make it too risky for anything serious.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd say this is the first actual Cinema Camera they've introduced.


No idea why the shape is looking futuristic to people - it looks like a film camera, or a tube video camera.  It's a classical design for a reason. I'd love to think there have been innovations, but based on the ridiculous rigs out there, there haven't been.


Personally, I'd love something the size of my Iphone with the operation cababilities of these larger, professional market cameras, but they don't exist. Nor do they exist in a DLSR or any other smaller camera. If the sensor is there, or the ergonomics are there, something else major is missing. The inability to measure how much record time you have left is one example of a flaw I can't work around. Menus buried or only being able to adjust one function at a time (exposure? audio?) are dealbreakers.


I love that so many of you can juggle these limitations ....but I personally can't. The limitations stifle me. They probably stifle a lot of you more than you realize.


I also can't afford to buy 4 backup cameras a year.


My shoots involve other people. Impatient people that get bored really easily and could care less about technology.

And I can't afford to rent an Alexa, or the tech to go with it.


So I think you guys are very mistaken about who they're marketing to. I think there are lot of people like me who have either outgrown, or just can't get past the shortcomings of using a 5d, GH4, BMCC for creating long form content, not to mention general purpose shooting.


Let's be honest. These cameras really aren't competing. Blackmagic didn't do what they set out to do, so this is a Hail Mary.


Most indie stuff getting distributed is made with a crew, and used the top tier cameras. Considering how good the image of a $5,000 camera is, that's a remarkable, sobering truth.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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?




I thought about that.


On their website they show a picture of someone with the camera mounted on the shoulder. I found it curious that it was conveniently shot from the opposite side of the camera's LCD where you can't see where the LCD is located in relation to the operator's face. . . . I too thought the LCD is useless when the camera is shoulder mounted.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just add an EVF and Amira style shoulder pad and it would be usable on the shoulder without that unnecessary 10" screen.


Pretty cool it folds against the side like it does then.  The other thing the screen does when you've got an EVF arm mounted to one of the rosettes and a lightweight pad mounted to the bottom is, when closed, protects the screen and controls on the left side of camera from being bashed by your head, hat, glasses, headphones, etc.  It also keeps the left side screen from needlessly shining onto the side of your face, possibly glaring into your glasses, etc.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The large LCD should be detachable, and with a cable you could mount it somewhere else or take it off for shoulder usage when you'd rather have an EVF.




They should just add support for iPad and other tablets, they're cheaper and more versatile than dedicated displays, plus it would make the cameras cheaper.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The URSA is way too big, way too heavy and way too expensive.


1) Since they share a common code base, let's see if we get zoom via LANC for the pocket now.

2) I really hope that 2015 there will be a "camcorder" version sitting between the URSA and Pocket.

I don't need 4K (although it's nice to have for reframing), I don't need 3 workstations on a camera.

But I want/need XLR, phantom power, audio levels, sensible battery uptime, sensible recording time per medium

and I'd LOVE to have realtime scopes (parade for exposure and tint not just for the recording but also while setting up light very quickly, vectorscope to help with white balance/tint on lots of skin).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The URSA is way too big, way too heavy and way too expensive.


I keep thinking that its not THAT heavy or way too big nor way too expensive.


Here's a look at AlexaPlus weight:

ALEXA Plus camera body + SxS Module: 7.0 Kg/15.4 lb

ALEXA Plus camera body + SxS Module + EVF-1 + Viewfinder Mounting Bracket VMB-2 + viewfinder cable + Center Camera Handle CCH-1: 8.4 Kg/18.5 lb


And in terms of Dimensons:

ALEXA: Length: 332 mm/12.95", width: 175 mm/6.89", height: 158 mm/   6.22"

URSA: Lenght:                12.35", Width:             6.12" Height (w/handle): 9.63"


So, in theory it'll be like handling an ALEXA. If we compare it to a DSLR or other small camera like a BMPCC, Cinema EOS, even a RED Scarlet well yeah its THAT heavy.


Price.... well... $6k vs an $8k up to $80k market?  Think about it... I mean it can't be any cheaper.


I agree that URSA is kind of a heavy-overkill alternative for us DSLR shooters but I'm glad it's budget friendly and by the looks one of good quality.


Remember, there is no perfect camera.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Definitely not expensive. This Ursa isn't for me, but I like the hdmi version much more than the Panasonic UGUYAYAYHHAYUA for example. A smaller/cheaper version of this would actually be pretty nice for the dslr crowd. A complete external recorder, screen + audio solution + battery in a box for one price.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Seriously the form factor and quality of my 550d are way better than this, PLUS an articulating screen and MAGIC LANTERN. duh 550d > URSA


Hahaha now that's hilarious! And I guess you don't even know which camera you have, because the 550D doesn't have an articulating screen...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It will probably ship with the two giant audio meters disabled or something :)


The giant screen will be activated in a firmware update, released May 2015. All upgradeable sensors were not good enough, so instead they announce the Blackmagic Army Tank - an actual tank with a POV camera that drives at 120fps. For $1500. Comes with shoulder mounting options built in. 

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.

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...