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DP Benjamin Brown Has A ‘Change of Heart’ With The Ursa Mini 4.6K

There’s been a variety of footage from the Blackmagic Design Ursa Mini 4.6K recently, and much of it has come from cinematographer Benjamin Brown. Brown is a longtime Blackmagic shooter, using many of Blackmagic’s cameras for the feature Harbinger Down and has also been a beta tester for the Ursa Mini 4.6K, which he absolutely loves.

Cinematographer Benjamin Brown on the set of “Change of Heart” with the Ursa Mini 4.6K

He recently completed a series of shorts using the Ursa Mini 4.6K including a story about a wee photographer who meets an unexpected stranger in the woods he calls “Change of Heart”. The story is touching and the footage is stunning.

You can check it out below:

We spoke with Brown about the shooting with the Ursa Mini 4.6K specifically about concerns over the spec change from global shutter to a rolling shutter. Here’s what he had to say.

HDSLRShooter: Do you feel not having a global shutter on the 4.6K is a problem?

BB:  I don’t feel it’s a huge issue. I’m happy with the rolling shutter and that incredible dynamic range. It’s a trade-off that’s worth it for me.

Ariella Hershey and Tom Woodruff, Jr. “I’ve worked with Ariella before and when I was developing the project, I knew she would be great. It’s important when working with Tom and the gorilla suit to make the introductions before he gets in the suit. It throws you seeing a gorilla right in front of you.” -Benjamin Brown, Cinematographer


HDSLRShooter:  Did you find any “jello” shots or any of the usual problem one might find with rolling shutter?

BB:  I didn’t have any issues when shooting with it. For a recent project, I was shooting B Cam to the Arri Mini. The footage dropped right in and the client was very happy with the end result.

“This video was done with Amalgamated Dynamics, Inc. which Alec Gillis and Tom Woodruff, Jr. are the owners. I’ve worked them on various projects including Alec’s Harbinger Down. When I was asked to shoot some beta footage, the gorilla suit was the first thing came to mind. They quickly assisted me in putting this project together.” -Benjamin Brown, Cinematographer


HDSLRShooter: Have you shot with both the Ursa mini 4K and 4.6K, and if so, do you think the Ursa Mini 4k is the best choice for fast paced action?

BB:  I’ve shot the Ursa 4K, but not the Mini 4K. Same sensor, different housings. The 4.6K sensor is a different beast entirely. I can see the place in the lineup for the 4K and how it could be used. It would depend on what the fast paced action is for. I haven’t done any tests to cut the 4K footage in with the 4.6K. The 4K sensor has its strengths. If you play to them, use it. The 4.6K is quite spectacular. I’m quite happy with it.

“If you look on top of the Ursa Mini, you see a tiny handicam taped to it. This is for Tom inside the suit. He cannot see out of the gorilla head and has two tiny monitors inside the headpiece. The camera enables him to see his eyeline, actions, and reactions with fellow actors and his surroundings. The ADI ( crew watch the monitor for the closeup to create the facial movements.” -Benjamin Brown, Cinematographer


HDSLRShooter:  Do you think people should worry about the global shutter?

BB:  I don’t think so. Global peace, yes. Global shutter on the 4.6K. Not so much…

“I cannot say thank you enough to Tom, Alec, and the ADI crew. If anyone is interested in seeing more BTS from incredible creature effects films over the years, check out the StudioADI channel on YouTube.” -Benjamin Brown, Cinematographer

For more information about Cinematographer Benjamin Brown, go to his website at

For more information about the Blackmagic Design Ursa Mini 4.6K, go to their website at

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Written by Clint Milby

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