Blackmagic Design have unveiled yet another 4K camera at NAB2014 :The URSA
Introducing Blackmagic URSA, the world’s first high end digital film camera designed to revolutionize workflow on set. Built to handle the ergonomics of large film crews as well as single person use, URSA has everything built in, including a massive 10 inch fold out on set monitor, large user upgradeable Super 35 global shutter 4K image sensor, 12G-SDI and internal dual RAW and ProRes recorders. Because the sensor and lens mount assembly can be changed, you can choose EF or PL lens mounts, or even a broadcast video sensor with B4 mount. This means you can upgrade to the latest sensor technology in the future and keep your investment in the camera body!
The URSA ticks a lot of boxes for professional camera-folk who are used to the more traditional ‘shoulder-mount’ design – it’s the right shape!
The added ability for the user to change the lens mount so that Canon EF, movie standard PL or B4 broadcast lenses can be used makes this a very versatile camera. There is a 10-inch flip out screen which will prove very useful at times, although the lack of a proper integrated viewfinder is a bit of a disappointment! Whilst this keeps the price down and allows for flexibility/customisation/use of existing equipment it still leaves the camera operator with having to rig and stabilise some sort of monitor/eyepiece. this can work out OK, but can be a real pain if the viewfinder isn’t rock solid or doesn’t have a sunshade. The AJA CION is the same
The URSA records to RAW format or Prores, same as the CION, although to non proprietry media, CFAST cards, which will be very expensive at launch, although the prices should become more affordable within a year or two. Again, like the CION, there is no support for legacy ‘broadcast’ codecs such as 50Mbps XDCAM, and no plans to do so currently.
In response to my question about theses legacy codecs Matthew Plant,Sales Administrator EMEA, Blackmagic Design, replied:-
At this moment in time the only compressed recording formats that the URSA will support are: lossless compresses CinemaDNG RAW and Apple ProRes (HQ)
There are no plans to implement any new recording formats at this moment in time, however I recommend you check the forums for any information firmware updates.
As with all these cameras, there is the option to use third party devices to record to different codecs which allow longer record times/smaller media file sizes, and cheaper recording media, all of which become a big factor if you are shooting several hours of footage a day on a documentary – which the shape and styling of the URSA and the CION were surely designed for?
These devices will add extra weight and bulk to the cameras and require power, all a hassle when this could be implemented in the camera, to my mind, as Sony have shown us by announcing new codec support for the F5/55 (albeit through a hardware upgrade, but why not design it into a new camera from the start – apart from the obvious licensing and cost implications).
Blackmagic URSA EF
Get the URSA camera with the EF lens mount and amazing 4K Super 35 image sensor with global shutter installed. The EF lens mount includes active lens control for compatibility with both active and passive EF mount lenses. URSA EF makes it easy to use a wide range of high quality lenses such as low cost DSLR photo lenses from companies such as Canon, Zeiss and more!
Effective Sensor Size
21.12mm x 11.88mm (Super 35)
3840 x 2160
3840 x 2160, 1920 x 1080
3840 x 2160p23.98, 3840 x 2160p24, 3840 x 2160p25, 3840 x 2160p29.97, 3840 x 2160p30, 3840 x 2160p50, 3840 x 2160p60, 1920 x 1080p23.98, 1920 x 1080p24, 1920 x 1080p25, 1920 x 1080p29.97, 1920 x 1080p30, 1920 x 1080p50, 1920 x 1080p59.94, 1920 x 1080p60, 1920 x 1080i50, 1920 x 1080i59.94 and 1920 x 1080i60
Sensor frame rate support
Up to 60 fps
Focus button turns on peaking, focus bubbles, auto focus available on active lens mount.
Iris button automatically adjusts the lens iris settings so no pixel is clipped in film mode. Scene average auto exposure in video mode.
1 x 10.1” – 1920 x 1200
2 x 5” – 800 x 480
10.1” – TFT-LCD
5” – Integrated LCD capacitive touchscreen
Automatic camera data and user data such as shot number, filenames and keywords.
Touch screen menus on 5” screen. Push button controls for navigating menus.
Integrated mono microphone
Integrated mono speaker
Multiple 1/4”-20 UNC thread mounting on top of camera and on handle bar. Rosette on bottom. Integrated rods mounts compatible with 15mm Light Weight Support standard.
Approx 880 Mbps using Apple ProRes 422 (HQ) at 3840 x 2160. Approx 220 Mbps using Apple ProRes 422 (HQ) at 1920 x 1080.
Compressed Recording Formats
Lossless compressed CinemaDNG RAW with film dynamic range at 3840 x 2160. Apple ProRes 422 (HQ) at 3840 x 2160 and 1920 x 1080 with either film or video dynamic range.
SDI Video Output
1 x 12G-SDI 10-bit 4:2:2. 1 x 3G-SDI down converted for external monitoring
SDI Video Input
1 x 12G-SDI
1 x Reference Input
1 x Timecode Input
1 x Timecode Output
Analog Audio Input
2 x XLR analog switchable between mic and line levels. Phantom power support.
Analog Audio Output
1/4” jack output for headphone monitoring
SDI Audio Output
1 x 2.5mm LANC for Rec Start/Stop, Iris Control and Focus.
USB 2.0 Mini-B port for software updates.
SDI Audio Sampling
48 kHz and 24-bit
DaVinci Resolve grading software including Resolve USB dongle for Mac OS X and Windows.
Blackmagic Media Express software.
External Power Input
1 x 4-pin XLR port for external power or battery use.
External Power Ouput
1 x 12V output using 4-pin XLR for powering external accessories such as EVF.
Rear camera mount compatible with industry standard V-mount or Gold Mount battery plates.
Adapter plate with 15mm Light Weight Support and Rosettes.
0° to 40° C (32° to 104° F)
-20° to 45° C (-4° to 113° F)
0% to 90% non-condensing
Active EF Mount turret
Turret Dust Cap
12V AC Adapter
Tripod mounting plate adapter
12 Month Limited Manufacturer’s Warranty.
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