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Blackmagic URSA Mini 4K ships!


Andrew Reid
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...because it still hasn't shipped!

Blackmagic really need to learn the trade secret of "under-promise, over-deliver." They've made a bad habit of doing just the opposite.

Last month their website said, "Shipping in September." They've now updated it to say "Shipping in October."

I'd rather them just not give a date. I'm sure when it ships, it will be awesome. But they're hurting their reputation by doing this on literally EVERY product release. 

I'm just imagining them resorting to Kickstarter! :)

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It's the consumer's fault for being upset that they announce dates they don't deliver on?

I don't have a problem with the amount of time they're taking to deliver products.  Their specs and prices are ahead of everything else out there! I just wish they would learn from their own mistakes, and quit quoting dates they can't hit.  It should not be the consumer's responsibility to learn to distrust a company by not taking them at their word. I don't think Blackmagic would even agree with your suggestion to do that. 

Could you imagine if we handled our clients this way? Even if we missed deadlines but our end-product was amazing, we lose favor with our client. It's bad business, nothing else to it. And it's okay to call them out. It may not move the shipping date up, but it's doing what we can to hold them accountable to their word. And I think that's a good thing :) 

 

We don't lose clients, that's the way things are......

 

You can deliver on time with an average product or off schedule with an amazing one.....

 

NO company is doing what Blackmagic is doing/done, sit back and relax. Blackmagic has SEVERAL amazing cameras out right NOW, when their new models are ready that's when they will be in our hands. I currently am looking to buy a Micro and an Ursa Mini, till then I will shoot on an A7s......

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

Blackmagic sensors: 

-Fairchild Imaging 2.5K, 2.3x crop, 800 base ISO with 13 stops DR, Rolling shutter

-Fairchild Imaging HD, s16, 800 base ISO with 13 stops of DR, Rolling shutter

-Fairchild Imaging HD s16 V2, similar to V1 but has a switchable Global shutter mode. 

-CMOSIS 4K, S35 200 base ISO with 12 stops of DR, Global shutter, 4K 60p

-CMOSIS 4K V2, identical but unlocks 4K 120p frame rate 

-Fairchild Imaging 4.6K, S35 800 base ISO with 15 stops of DR, Rolling shutter, switchable to Global shutter with 2-3 stops loss of DR. 

These are the names and companies' own specs, not real world testing parameters, 

Onto the actual implementation: 

The Blackmagic 4K s35 sensor from CMOSIS has had a tweak to allow 4K 120p frame rate. It's the exact same sensor, just with that minor re-route. 

It's available in the new serial number versions of the URSA 4K cameras and the camera shoots 4K 120p while the earlier cameras shoot at 60p 4K. 

Since the URSA Mini 4K doesn't support 120p 4K due to heat management (as stated by Blackmagic) I don't see any benefit in using the V2 sensor, except if they were the same cost and just what's available, but in anyway it's not going to make a difference for you as an URSA Mini buyer. 

The CMOSIS sensor is 4K, Global shutter, 12 stops of DR, S35 size (slightly on the smaller side of 1.65x crop). This sensor is implemented in various cameras most notably the AJA Cion and Axiom Beta (both have the V2 120p version) and the earlier Blackmagic 4K production camera.

The sensor produces astonishing results that's comparable to any high-end cinema camera available but with only one huge downside, sensitivity is extremely limited. 200 ISO is best and 400 ISO is pushing it. So think of it as a camera for Alexa/Epic MX/35mm film type shoots (features, studios, commercials, anything with proper lighting gear and a competent crew). Using it as a documentary, wedding, events camera and in any situations where you need to ramp up sensitivity with confidence is the reason why the sensor is extremely hated, it's just bad beyond 400 ISO and gorgeous below. Most buyers were upgrading from the the extremely sensitive Canon 5DIII systems at the time (that was usable up to 12800 ISO) and expected the Production camera to behave the same in ISO performance therefore had a bad reputation when suddenly 400 ISO was showing noise and FPN, while all of those who used the camera from day one knowing its target type, are extremely happy and producing images that are miles apart from what the earlier SLR systems could deliver at 200 ISO, in resolution, DR and global shutter stability. 

The new URSA/URSA Mini 4.6K sensor is a completely new chip from a different manufacturer, Fairchild Imaging, newly released and hasn't been yet implemented into any production cameras. It's very large a s35 (almost APS-H-ish 1.4x in 4.6K mode), has switchable global/rolling shutter modes, claimed 15 stops of DR in rolling shutter mode and 12-13 stops in global shutter mode. Base sensitivity is 800 ISO. 

From inside blackmagic, they find the new sensor to be almost identical to the original 2.5K Cinema Camera sensor in lowlight performance (both are base 800 ISO). So it's good news as it's in the same league as the 2.5K/pocket league of sensitivity rather than the extremely light-hungry 200 ISO. Although, still bear in mind the lowlight performance is not going to be the best and is topped by at least 3 stops advantage with modern s35 rivals. But certainly usable in lowlight at 800 with fast primes and where you have a bit of time and control, just not a run and gun type that cam ramp to 6400/10.000 ISO with super clean images (C100II, C300, C300II, FS7, FS5, FS700, on which, you can actually go as far as locking Iris/shutter and go through an entire project just ramping ISOs if you want to) but remember that many users of these cameras also leave it at 800 base ISO so if you're one of them the BM is not going to be any restriction. 

This, I predict is going to be the most prominent downside of the camera. It's a sacrifice that has to be made for having a global shutter design. So see of it fits your needs first before blindly ordering. 

On another notes aside from sensors and to talk in a personal tone:

-Don't expect the Ursa Mini to be perfect. Blackmagic has a bad history with having glitches that grossly under value their cameras.

We still have no idea how the camera/sensor performs. Light examples, it can have terrible FPN, sun spots, aliasing, moire, unacceptable rolling shutter, overheating, camera freezing, low quality audio, laggy buttons and UI, very bad reflective LCD, strange balance in hand, harsh highlight clipping, bad shadow noise patterns, extremely high power draw. All I am saying is that specifications only give us the camera's approximate size and weight, everything else is still unknown except from the claimed resolution, DR and ISO performance. Still LOTs to know about it. 

These are all unconfirmed issues that might (but most likely won't) be there, hopefully. But the downsides we can gather are a few ones 

-Lack of ND filtration therefore needing a mattebox/rails system for quick use 

-The short battery running time plus the V-lock size and weight in back-ups.

-The extreme cost of Media 

-The extreme size of files (hence very short recording times) 

-The lowlight performance 

-Lack of EVF with the camera and is a 1500$ addition 

-The EF mount meaning non compatibility with all shorter FL lenses including SBs

-Lack of usable Autofocus system with usable tracking 

An FS7 has a smaller much longer battery, extrenelly smaller files, much better lowlight performance, included EVF, E mount and FF with SB, to name a few. Ursa Mini has the raw and claimed better DR and global shutter mode. 

So it's not going to be perfect and the FS7, FS5, C100II, URSA Mini are going to have ups and downs and you decide based on what you can give up and what you need. 

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We don't lose clients, that's the way things are......

 

You can deliver on time with an average product or off schedule with an amazing one.....

 

NO company is doing what Blackmagic is doing/done, sit back and relax. Blackmagic has SEVERAL amazing cameras out right NOW, when their new models are ready that's when they will be in our hands. I currently am looking to buy a Micro and an Ursa Mini, till then I will shoot on an A7s......

 

IMO, its the consumers that need to learn how it works.

They have done it 4 years in a row.

But still we have these never ending amount of posts and threads, "When?", "Im angry!", "If its not here by..", bla bla bla

It will ship when its done and all there is to do is wait or buy something else. Bumping or starting threads like this wont make shipp any faster or make Blackmagic change their way.

Its the price we pay for the best image produced by a CMOS in the world :)

While what you are saying is true that doesn't give them the right or justification to deceive people which is what they are doing and if you reallly did business the way they do you would loose clients I know I would. If the Mini has FPN or corrupted audio or promised features that are not available for months and months later via a firmware update or the Mini drops $1000 a few months after you finally get your pre-order are you still going to feel the same way? I mean if you knew their history you would have known it might happen so the fault is yours not theirs, right?

BM has a reputation for being unreliable and not trustworthy, I think they have earned that reputation.

 

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When did delivering on time and delivering an amazing product become mutually exclusive?

What if... you quoted the appropriate amount of time it takes to deliver an amazing product rather than quoting not-enough time, and having to miss your deadline?

It's a simple concept. Reminds me a little bit of this...

 

You must have never worked in the industry, from Films to Video Game development I can tell you the countless amounts of times things have been delayed so we can deliver a better product, it's very common. Now if you're doing a simple corporate video, sure no reason to delay something that doesn't have anything complex.

 

 

 

 

While what you are saying is true that doesn't give them the right or justification to deceive people which is what they are doing and if you reallly did business the way they do you would loose clients I know I would. If the Mini has FPN or corrupted audio or promised features that are not available for months and months later via a firmware update or the Mini drops $1000 a few months after you finally get your pre-order are you still going to feel the same way? I mean if you knew their history you would have known it might happen so the fault is yours not theirs, right?

BM has a reputation for being unreliable and not trustworthy, I think they have earned that reputation.

 

Blackmagic isn't going to lose any clients, no camera manufacturer in the world is delivering what they will with the Ursa Mini.....

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But you decided to bump an almost 1 month old thread about it shipping because.....

I've oonly just seen the article but that fact that iIam bumping an old thread really has nothing to do with anything does it Matthias.  Do you like being lied to for the sake of click bait? 

 

TThe article was false the day it was written and it is still false today.  

You may not value the truth but I do

So the Ursa Mini has been delayed,  that stuff happens.  False reporting though is not really acceptable.  

 

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You must have never worked in the industry, from Films to Video Game development I can tell you the countless amounts of times things have been delayed so we can deliver a better product, it's very common. Now if you're doing a simple corporate video, sure no reason to delay something that doesn't have anything complex.

 

 

Blackmagic isn't going to lose any clients, no camera manufacturer in the world is delivering what they will with the Ursa Mini.....

They already are and have been for a long time, there are many out there who won't use BM cameras due their bad rep. Granted they are more higher end and have more options but regardless they don't have a good reputation out there. Also for the time being they have lost me as a customer too. I had the Mini on pre-order and decided I was going to give them a chance but cancelled shortly after the July deadline, yes I knew their history as a previous BMCC owner. I also was interested in the VA, but for now I am done with BM and will only purchase second hand used items from them. I have no way of verifying it but I imagine they have lost or will lose some customers that move over to the FS5 instead.

Not a single one of BM's camera related items shipped on time or even close to it. It is not a case that they were on target and delayed so they could fix something, they never had any intention of making the deadline it was all BS, that is the difference. I don't care that the products ship late I care about the obvious deception. The thing that sucks is that I love BM for what they are trying to do, but I hate the unecessary BS - "yeah we considered internal ND's but adding them would have made the mount to bullky". By the way the Ursa Mini is not the best camera on the planet maybe it is for you but you don't speak for everyone, I am sure many customers will purchase the FS5 instead of the Mini because they feel no other manufacturer is delivering what sony will with the FS5 and guess what they are releasing the A7s early...

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"yeah we considered internal ND's but adding them would have made the mount to bullky".

Yes exactly. They are doing what is good for themselves, which one can't exactly fault them for, but this just does not add up for folks like me.

All they have to do is just look at what the other camera companies are designing and do the same but with the better codecs, sensor etc. and price that they are known for. Not being in the camera manufacturing business myself, maybe this is just to much to ask for. But methinks it should somehow be possible. Alas.

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You must have never worked in the industry, from Films to Video Game development I can tell you the countless amounts of times things have been delayed so we can deliver a better product, it's very common. Now if you're doing a simple corporate video, sure no reason to delay something that doesn't have anything complex.

 

 

Blackmagic isn't going to lose any clients, no camera manufacturer in the world is delivering what they will with the Ursa Mini.....

Thou peasant and your measly corporate video. Scram.

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Personally I thnk no internal ND's was a mistake especially since they advertised as being a run and gun camera. I think they like to think of themselves as making cinema cameras, shich they do, but forget their main market is more of the DSLR crowd that would prefere to not use a mattebox and to keep something like the Mini, mini. Regardless that was there decision and that is fine but that was not really my point. The answer given as to why they didn't add it was total BS. 

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