Although we just saw it two short months ago at NAB 2014, it was great to see Blackmagic Design’s URSA again at Cinegear 2014. Blackmagic’s Tina Eckman demonstrated the URSA and all its capabilities, of which there are many. The URSA was designed to be a an all-in-one solution for shooting and on this front it delivers.
Typically, when one purchases a camera, the second thing they jump into is support gear such as external audio recorders, monitors and the like. With the URSA, you can bet you’ll have everything you need to start shooting immediately without having to spend more on gear than you do on the camera.
Features include three (that’s right, three) built in screens, each with waveforms, focus peaking, and other monitoring assists found in many other monitors on the market today. Eckman points out that these three screens are perfect for having multiple people on camera during a large shoot. So focus pullers, camera assistants etc. can all functionally use the camera at the same time. The URSA also has an internal liquid cooling system, as shooting in higher frame rates causes the camera to become hotter. As Eckman mentions above, the URSA had been running for hours by the time of our interview, and the camera was cool to the touch.
The URSA’s Key Features
- Large high resolution 4K Super 35 mm sized sensor with superior handing of image detail.
- Professional global shutter for smooth pans and image motion.
- Wide 12 stops of dynamic range allows capture of increased details for feature film look.
- Compatible with extremely high quality PL or EF mount lenses.
- User upgradable design allows customers to upgrade and change the sensor and lens mount.
- Built in dual CFast 2.0 card recorders allow unlimited duration recording in high quality.
- Open file formats compatible with popular NLE software, such as Apple ProRes and compressed CinemaDNG 12 bit RAW. No custom file formats.
- Support for ProRes HQ, ProRes 422, ProRes LT, ProRes Proxy recording at resolutions up to Ultra HD.
- Features all standard connections, including dual XLR mic/line audio inputs with phantom power, 6G- SDI output for monitoring with camera status graphic overlay and separate XLR 4 pin power output for viewfinder power, 6G-SDI monitoring input, headphone jack, LANC remote control and standard 4 pin 12V DC power connection.
- Built in stereo microphones for recording sound.
- 3 separate built in LCD monitors for camera settings and metadata entry. Large 10 inch screen folds out for full resolution HD monitoring with wide viewing angle and high brightness.
- Supports Ultra HD and 1080 HD resolution capture in 23.98, 24, 25, 29.97, 30 up to 60 fps.
- Features liquid cooling system allowing higher frame rates when future sensors support this feature.
- Supports quick release tripod mounts and adding V-Mount and Anton/Bauer mount battery plates.
- Includes full copy of DaVinci Resolve software color grading and editing software
The Blackmagic Design URSA ships in several different packages/sensors:
- Blackmagic URSA EF: $5,995, Shipping July 2014
- Blackmagic URSA PL: $6,495, Shipping July 2014
- Blackmagic URSA Broadcast: TBA
- Blackmagic URSA HDMI: TBA
You can find out more about the Blackmagic URSA at www.blackmagicdesign.com
See HDSLR Shooter’s Coverage of the Blackmagic URSA from NAB 2014 here: indieshooter.com/nab-2014-blackmagic-designs-ursa
This interview answered every question I had about this camera after seeing the NAB coverage. It appears to be an excellent value. I can’t wait for the first comprehensive reviews.
Thanks Marc – yea, you and me both, but if it holds up to the reputation of its little brothers the BMCC, BMPCC it should do fine.