While it may not look much different, the URSA Mini Pro G2 is packed with new features. We spoke with Blackmagic Design President Dan May for more information.
Upping the electronics and recording capabilities of its Mini Pro predecessor, the Blackmagic Design‘s URSA Mini Pro 4.6K G2 Digital Cinema Camera brings expanded control set and even more functionality. The G2 introduces an updated Super 35 4.6K sensor featuring 15 stops of dynamic range at 3200 ISO, high frame rate recording up to 300 fps, and additional recording functionality.
First, the addition of external camera controls allows menus to be accessed to change exposure settings, activate slow/fast motion, or engage focus assist or other functions. The exterior of the camera also gains a monochrome LCD panel which displays essential shooting data at a glance. Another welcome pro feature is the built-in ND (neutral density) filter wheel. The four-position wheel switches between two, four, and six stops of neutral density, plus a clear filter for no exposure reduction.
Behind the display, two SD card slots beside the CFast 2.0 slots enable more affordable media to be used for less intensive recording formats. The G2 introduces a USB-C expansion port so you can record directly to external drives. The default electronic EF lens mount is user-interchangeable and adjustable to ensure proper flange focal distance.
At the heart of the camera is Blackmagic Design’s acclaimed Super 35mm 4.6K sensor block, known for its ability to capture cinematic images with subtle gradients and large dynamic range rated at 15 stops. The G2 can now capture Blackmagic RAW footage in film and extended modes which makes it more versatile to meet your production needs. Probably the most impressive update with the G2 is the ability to capture 4.6K footage at 120 fps, 4K DCI at 150 fps, or even 1080p footage at 300 fps which is well suited for fast-action shooting.
Like the URSA Mini, the URSA Mini Pro G2 can record high-resolution raw sensor data in CinemaDNG format onto CFast 2.0 or SD memory cards at up to 60 fps. The raw files preserve the full dynamic range and color tonality output from the sensor, so you can have greater control over the look in post-production. However, data-heavy uncompressed raw files aren’t always easy to deal with on set so in addition to uncompressed raw recording, the URSA Mini Pro provides compressed raw recording at 3:1 and 4:1 compression ratios to save space while retaining post-production flexibility.
If raw capture is not necessary for your production, the URSA Mini Pro G2 offers ready-to-edit industry standard Apple ProRes files in many different flavors within the 444 and 422 chroma subsampling variations depending on your workflow. The 4.6K, 4K, 3K, 2K, and HD recording resolutions can be captured as ProRes files either using the “Film” dynamic range for a flatter image for grading in post-production, or “Video” dynamic range for a finished look right out of the camera. ProRes can be recorded to either CFast 2.0 or UHS-II SD cards (SD cards top out at UHD 4K; please check the Blackmagic Design website for updated card compatibility and limitations).
Since the form factor of the original URSA Mini has been adhered to, the ergonomic benefits have remained as well. With separately available accessories like the VCT shoulder pad, side handgrip, broadcast battery plate, and EVF, the camera can be kitted out for comfortable shooting over extended periods. For studio-style shooting, the same shoulder pad is compatible with 15mm LWS rods for mounting lens supports for long lenses, follow focuses, lens drive motors, matte boxes, and more.
For more information, be sure to visit www.BlackmagicDesign.com/products/BlackmagicURSAMiniPro