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Old April 15th, 2014, 04:34 PM   #1
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Is the Blackmagic URSA a game changer?

Behold, URSA. URSA starts off by taking the 4K global Super35mm sensor and processor out of the Production 4K camera and putting it into a larger housing. Format and image wise URSA can do all of the same things you expect from the Production camera. ProRes and RAW 4K are recorded internally, no outboard recorder necessary. 12-stops of HDR and a global shutter round off the image parameter list. Video is recorded onto CFast cards. Whats new is the housing. URSA is in a more familiar shoulder mount camera body (although it looks like an actual shoulder pad will have to come from 3rd parties). The body has 2 XLR inputs, SDI output, and timecode in and out. It even has a headphone jack. Although it doesn’t ship with a eye level viewfinder it does include 3 separate LCD screens. The primary monitor is a ten inch (yes 10”) flip out LCD screen that is 1080p resolution. On the left side of the camera you’ll find a 5” touch LCD for navigating camera settings. On the right side you’ll find another 5” LCD you’ll find read outs of all your key setting, a histogram, focus assist features, and audio meters.

read more at Blackmagic Introduces Their First “Ready to Shoot” Camera, URSA | News from the NW Digital Cinema Dealer

We're taking URSA pre-orders now. We have a very special offer for those who get their orders in early. epetrie@provideoandtape.com
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Old April 16th, 2014, 12:18 AM   #2
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Re: Is the Blackmagic URSA a game changer?

Are you just advertising, or are you looking for some real life comment on the camera ?
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Old April 16th, 2014, 10:18 AM   #3
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Re: Is the Blackmagic URSA a game changer?

I saw this at NAB, it's a monster. As for the shoulder pad, even with it, how will you hold the camera? Your right hand traditionally goes onto the zoom rocker on an eng lens, but these lenses don't have anything to hold. If you set up a cage or handles for this beast, you'll be looking at more than 30lbs of gear on your right shoulder...correct?
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Old April 16th, 2014, 10:24 AM   #4
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Re: Is the Blackmagic URSA a game changer?

Sure not a "game changer" for me. I'm not sure who it's aimed at, but it sure as heck isn't me.
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Old April 16th, 2014, 10:34 AM   #5
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Re: Is the Blackmagic URSA a game changer?

Whenever you see a headline with a question mark at the end, the answer is almost always a "no".
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Old April 16th, 2014, 11:12 AM   #6
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Re: Is the Blackmagic URSA a game changer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Warren Kawamoto View Post
I saw this at NAB, it's a monster. As for the shoulder pad, even with it, how will you hold the camera? Your right hand traditionally goes onto the zoom rocker on an eng lens, but these lenses don't have anything to hold. If you set up a cage or handles for this beast, you'll be looking at more than 30lbs of gear on your right shoulder...correct?
The Fujinon Alura 18-80mm weighs in at about 10 lbs, you need a certain amount of weight to balance that. It also depends how the camera weight is distributed, I gather with the URSA it's at the back and it does balance the cine lenses quite well with a V lock battery fitted. It's something to be tried out, but I don't think it's a single person, fly on the wall documentary camera.

In 35mm weight terms it's not that bad, it's not too far off a 35mm Aaton. Although, it seems rather over featured in screens.
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Old April 16th, 2014, 11:35 AM   #7
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Re: Is the Blackmagic URSA a game changer?

Well, they certainly went for it. I am happy to see shoulder-mount, XLRs, and a handle. Personally I don't mind heavy, although I can certainly understand why many might.

My burning question, still: where are the internal NDs? Doc shooters really, really need them, and more of us are using s35 all the time, especially those upgrading from the DSLR crowd, so the B4 model won't do.

Ergonomically I prefer the way that the AJA Cion looks, but again with the filters, for heaven's sake.

Actually, I'm glad that these guys are taking so long to get it right, because I want to be able to drive my used F3 into the ground over the next 5 years without having to shell out all my income.
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Old April 16th, 2014, 11:59 AM   #8
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Re: Is the Blackmagic URSA a game changer?

The intent of the post is both advertising and having an engaging and honest discussion of the product. Those don't have to be mutually exclusive.

I do agree that it will take bit of kitting to fit well on the shoulder. I don't think it will take any more then 3 pieces though, certainly not an awkward "cage" system like the Production 4K camera.

It's certainly not perfect but it appeals to me far more then their box camera designs. I'm very interred to see how users respond to the 10" screen. My knee-jerk reaction is that it would be really annoying, but people used to say the same thing about flip out LCDs on ENG cameras.

The lack of NDs on both this and the AJA is a killer. Such an essential tool. A lot of people buying $6,000 cameras are on-man-bands. They don't have first A.C.s standing right next to them with the filter collection standing by.
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Old April 16th, 2014, 12:35 PM   #9
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Re: Is the Blackmagic URSA a game changer?

+1 (or more) on the ND filters.I use a 6-stopper on the BMCC anytime I go outdoors in the AZ sun. And a focusing cloth over my head like a view camera so I can see anything on the screen. Would have liked to take the URSA out in the Las Vegas sun to see if you could really see anything on the screens. I sort of doubt it.

I also nearly fell over when I checked the prices on the CFast cards! Made SSD's look dirt cheap. It wouldn't be hard to spend more for a few cards than the price of the camera.

All that said, they do seem to have crammed a lot of function into a box with a pretty attractive price point.
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Old April 16th, 2014, 12:48 PM   #10
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Re: Is the Blackmagic URSA a game changer?

My first reaction to this camera was with respect to the monitor. Why on earth a 10 inch flip out monitor ? Especially if it has the same mirror finish that the other Black Magic lcds have.

The whole thing seemed like an exercise in designing something different, but not necessarily something you would really shoot with.

On top of that, at least in watching one of Dan May's interviews (President of Black Magic Design), there seems to be a lot of things they are planning to add (and advertising) that won't be there when the camera ships. We Black Magic Cinema Camera buyers are well aware of that trap. Black Magic keeps saying they are going to fix things on our rigs, then they bring out this whole new development project that has a bunch things yet to add, and then claim they couldn't work on our issues because they were working on this new set of equipment. Watch out next year when all of the URSA features have not been added as promised, and yet they add another bunch of products.
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Old April 16th, 2014, 01:02 PM   #11
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Re: Is the Blackmagic URSA a game changer?

IMO in the next year you are going to see CFast cards drop like a rock in price as production is ramped up. CFast has traditionally been used in the industrial setting thus the high prices from being a niche market.
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Old April 16th, 2014, 02:35 PM   #12
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Re: Is the Blackmagic URSA a game changer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Barcellos View Post
We Black Magic Cinema Camera buyers are well aware of that trap.
You will probably get one additional sensor option: the 2.5K sensor from the original BMCC. After that, newer sensors will only be available in the camera that Blackmagic announces at NAB 2015.
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Old April 16th, 2014, 02:57 PM   #13
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Re: Is the Blackmagic URSA a game changer?

Maybe there will be a good business selling dark cloths for the URSA. I bet we could velcro them onto the frame of the display

Last edited by Jim Andrada; April 17th, 2014 at 03:13 AM. Reason: deleted
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Old April 16th, 2014, 08:27 PM   #14
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Re: Is the Blackmagic URSA a game changer?

+1 on a reseller getting on DVinfo and talking about what they sell...

URSA means "bear".

As in, "This camera is a bear". Weighs 16 pounds?
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Old April 16th, 2014, 11:25 PM   #15
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Re: Is the Blackmagic URSA a game changer?

Time for some of you guys to hit the gym. Build those arms up!
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