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Old February 4th, 2018, 09:55 AM   #1
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New BM Ursa Broadcast cam

A new shoulder-mount or studio 4K/HD cam that uses B4 lenses. The sensor is 1" sized, but uses 2/3" for the B4 lenses.

https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/pro...cursabroadcast
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Old February 4th, 2018, 10:18 AM   #2
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Re: New BM Ursa Broadcast cam

Looks very good. Though it's too early to tell if performance equals the hype, I am guessing that they will sell a ton of these to broadcasters if the marketing is true. Well done, Black Magic Design.
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Old February 4th, 2018, 03:40 PM   #3
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Re: New BM Ursa Broadcast cam

No DNxHR means there's going to be more generational loss on Windows NLEs because ProRes is still the dominant format, and Windows still can't properly render ProRes.

Hoping this will integrate with the Shogun Inferno in some way, otherwise it's kind of smoke and mirrors for those stuck on Windows.
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Old February 4th, 2018, 03:45 PM   #4
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Re: New BM Ursa Broadcast cam

I render ProRes files using Vegas Pro 15 on a Windows machine. Looks very clean.
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Old February 7th, 2018, 05:50 AM   #5
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Re: New BM Ursa Broadcast cam

Yes, but if you told them it was "MAGIX ProRes," No QC for broadcast is going to accept that. They only accept Apple coded ProRes from macOS Native.
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Old February 14th, 2018, 02:47 AM   #6
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Re: New BM Ursa Broadcast cam

Great to see another option hit the market.

So... if I am keeping track correctly, there are now 2 camcorder models at both ends of the price spectrum that are 2/3" CMOS QFHD: This BMD URSA Broadcast and the Sony PXW-Z450? It looks like the other brands have 4K studio camera options, but no self-contained camcorder offering as of yet.

I'm interested in whether we will ever see prism triple-chip native 2/3" QFHD sensors fitted in a camcorder (like the ones used in the Sony HDC-4300/4800) or is it just going to be colour filter, single chip now?

It's interesting that we have lots of QFHD options for larger formats like Super 35mm and bigger, and smaller formats right down to action cams and chips integrated in cell phones, but the 2/3" shoulder mount form factor is pretty much the last to get the 4K touch.
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Old February 14th, 2018, 01:35 PM   #7
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Re: New BM Ursa Broadcast cam

There are 3 chip 2/3 4k cameras for studio and OB use, I suspect that the market for these cameras is less price sensitive, plus there is a range of high zoom ratio lenses, which are optically designed for use with 3 chip cameras. The BM Ursa Broadcast cam would make more sense as a locked off remote camera with this type of kit.
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Old February 14th, 2018, 07:33 PM   #8
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Re: New BM Ursa Broadcast cam

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Zhang View Post
No DNxHR means there's going to be more generational loss on Windows NLEs because ProRes is still the dominant format, and Windows still can't properly render ProRes.

Hoping this will integrate with the Shogun Inferno in some way, otherwise it's kind of smoke and mirrors for those stuck on Windows.
The camera can deliver the following, including Avid DNxHD and most of theses codecs are acceptable by most networks. This camera could end up being used a fair bit for news gathering and I know of no network doing the daily grind of news in 4K as yet.

Supported Codecs
Codecs

DNxHD 220X, DNxHD 145, Apple ProRes 4444 XQ QuickTime, ProRes 4444 QuickTime, ProRes 422 HQ QuickTime, ProRes 422 QuickTime, ProRes 422 LT QuickTime and ProRes 422 Proxy QuickTime, CinemaDNG RAW, CinemaDNG RAW 3:1, CinemaDNG RAW 4:1.

Jack you say no broadcaster will take ProRes unless it genuine Apple ProRes. This is a myth perpetuated by Apple fanboys. In reality that statement really doesn't hold water these days and is totally contrary to my experience. We have had broadcasters from around the globe, including the US, UK and Europe take material from us in Apple and non Apple encoded ProRes, 35 m-bit XDCam MXF, AVCHD, GV HQX and various forms of AVI, plain old MOV and XAVC in both L and I frame. My experience is if you have it and they want it and it's well shot and edited it is not an issue. In most cases if there is a preference it still seems to be the good old reliable workhorse 50 m-bit 8-bit 422 1080 interlaced XDCam MPEG-2 format as that is still the easiest for most broadcasters to use. It is almost the defacto standard for program interchange. Nearly all our broadcast material is shot 1080i, edited 1080i and delivered on XDCam disc for network ingest. I know some broadcasters who won't touch ProRes from any source as it doesn't suit their ingest and network workflow. One of my favorites editing codecs was Cineform and it is probably one of the hardest formats to offload. Today GV's HQX, which is a VFW codec, is finding a lot of acceptance as it will play in almost any Windoz environment, is super well written is pretty light on CPU encodes well and is blisteringly fast with its smart rendering. GV HQX murders ProRes is virtually every aspect.

If you are talking about, bonnnet dramas, high end doco and factual programming and TV series most of those are now shot in LOG or RAW and are rapidly going to 4K but then again I don't think a 2/3" camera from Blackmagic is going to be their first port of call as far as cameras go for that type of programming material. Most of networks here in OZ have moved over to S35 for their serious current affairs and doco programs and are generally using F55's and Canon 17-120 glass. Shooting to SxS cards and shooting 1080i in MPEG-2 or 25p in XAVC-I either in HD or 4K.

My advice is ask the network what codec they want delivery in and these days there far fewer are opting for ProRes for delivery. Acquisition for shooting for yourself, well that is a different matter.

Chris Young
CYV Productions
Sydney

Last edited by Christopher Young; February 14th, 2018 at 08:42 PM.
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Old February 14th, 2018, 08:37 PM   #9
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Re: New BM Ursa Broadcast cam

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I'm interested in whether we will ever see prism triple-chip native 2/3" QFHD sensors fitted in a camcorder (like the ones used in the Sony HDC-4300/4800) or is it just going to be colour filter, single chip now?
Yes it is nice to see more camera options out there but I don't think Sony see a big market for three chip camcorders of the 2/3" variety because of the costs involved. The HDC-4300 and the likes of those are designed specifically for sports and event work in UHD. An area where 2/3" three chip cameras still dominate and where there is a market that can justify the development and production cost for this type of camera. For example NEP UK recently purchased 66 Sony HDC-4300 4K complete cameras chains, 52 Canon UHD lenses and 20 EVS units. For these types of OB sales around the world the market justifies the investment required. Beautiful cameras. I've worked alongside these on countles sports shoots on Fox Sports OBs but sports is where they shine.

Look at the price of the 4300, about $40,000 for the head. If it was a camcorder it would probably be more. Add something like a Fujinon UA22x8BERD UA Series 22x Zoom for about $46,000 plus and it's adding up. A) not many people have that kind of cash lying around for that sort of purchase and B) that's a pretty serious lease to maintain unless you have long term contract commitments. Not many people spend that sort of money on kit these days, especially 2/3" kit. As you say Sony offer a 2/3" single chip 4K camcorder to address the market that wants a 2/3" UHD camcorder but by all accounts it is not really flying off the shelf. I guess that is why one of the top rental cameras for many rental houses world wide these days is the bottom end Sony FS7. Set up correctly with good glass is can deliver pictures good enough for most TV production requirements. Talk to the rental houses and they will tell you the demand for 2/3" cams of almost any kind is dropping except for the very high end sport and event level kit.

I think your last comment re single chip 2/3" UHD is probably hitting the nail on the head as for non sport and event productions 2/3" in no longer the flavor of the month. I have an XDCAm disc camera sitting here gathering dust with its beautiful 22 x lens and the only time it gets called out is for sport, stage show and event productions and then usually in a multi cam environment. I'm currently working on an 8 part doco and the producers wouldn't have spoken to me if all I had to offer was 2/3" UHD when nearly all of them now want S35 in true DCI 4K at 24p or UHD in 50hz 25 or 50p and in 60Hz 30 or 60p.

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Old February 15th, 2018, 03:54 AM   #10
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Re: New BM Ursa Broadcast cam

Sobering statements Chris, but very much in-line which I have heard from others recently.

Like most other technologies, cost generally does go down with technology maturity, and technical limiting factors such as high power consumption, and needs for ever higher throughput storage mediums are eventually overcome. However the niche-within-a-niche that this has become, and the telling sales numbers will likely steer a manufacturer to decide whether or not they want to pour any more resources into such a product and its associated market. As for cost sensitivity, historically this segment was named after the news gathering market however that is no longer a world of unlimited budget but rather workflow efficiency. Many industry folks I've spoken with just don't see television news embracing UHD of any sort, anytime soon. 1080i59.94 at 35Mbps MPEG-2 4:2:0 is still the staple of local news, in my market anyway - with some of the content never even making it back to the studio in that format, instead just playback streamed over Dejero so they can work with it immediately.

It seems like although the lines between television and digital cinema markets are blurring more than ever before, I find there are still fundamental differences ...
  • ENG/EFP camcorders tend to revolve around the single operator, "one man band" and arrange the controls appropriately for convenient access, often in familiar layouts that have not changed in several decades. Gain, bars, white balance - in that order. From my observations, cinema products tend to expect that there will be a crew around, an A.C., and some models put control panels and displays on the opposite side of the device for that purpose. Gain shown in ISO or EI instead of dB is also another sign. Grant mentioned in the URSA Broadcast launch that even they confused themselves with their gain nomenclature and will be addressing it in a future firmware update.
  • Multichannel audio with AGC/Limiters implemented in analog upstream of the ADC, and native digital (IS or AES) interface slot-mount receivers are also typical on shoulder mount camcorders whereas audio functions can be more limited on cinema models as they expect audio to be handled externally. Statuses and control of the wireless audio equipment via the viewfinder/menu interface. I love how well the DWX system integrates with XDcam and the ability to adjust things like transmitter pack pad dB from the viewfinder menu interface. No additional powering requirement as in the case of external receivers. Additionally, a built in monitoring speaker at 'ear level' and selectable individual channels or mixdown. Blackmagic implemented this even on their swing-out display (a carry over from the URSA Mini Pro).
  • For lenses, field portable 2/3" B4 lenses come with the expectation that they are packaged with at least servo zoom and iris, if not also servo focus and extender switching - all contained within the grip which forms part of the camera ergonomics... there would be nothing to hold on to, otherwise. (Stationary box lenses are a different story of course.) With the other lens mounts... E/EF/PL/etc. generally they expect you to run it manually, or with third party follow focus products attached to the gearing. There are fewer servo-grip style lens kits available, although more now than before. In reality, a 2/3" lens can be upgraded as a separate item and newer camera bodies still used with today's HD glass one might already have. (Doug posted a demo elsewhere on these forums with the Z450 and a Fuji HA19x7.4... HD-rated lens.)
  • I touched on ergonomics, it goes without saying the shoulder mounts come with a shoulder pad and the familiar V-lock tripod bases and plates, also ubiquitous in the industry; other models this is an additional cost option or require you to turn to third party hardware to build a "rig". IMHO the CBK-F5/F55 build up kit is the closest to something that well integrated. Sony products generally also offer the V-mount for powering, while others offer Gold mount or customer choice of plates - regardless, they often come with one or the other. All of these extra parts factor in to building up a more modular platform which may initially appear to have a lower entry price tag.
  • Most ENG/EFP camcorders offer integrated connectors to hang a Fibre (or Triax) module on the back with fully integrated intercom and returns; Blackmagic emphasized this big time in their URSA Broadcast product launch. Many cinema cameras simply do not have such provisions or third-party equipment must be used. As an individual and not a fleet, I'm going to want the most versatile kit that can go from fully self contained, power-and-go to fully tetherable, CCU/RCP manageable. (Whether I will actually use it that way or not is a different question, but the option remains available.) I'm not sure if the companies who have the budgets to buy equipment like those HDC-4800s will even consider something like the Blackmagic offering even if it is nothing beyond a brand name stigma, although in sports there still is that niche for a lower cost camera to be sent to more perilous locations (see the AJA Rovocams all over the place for example).
  • Live, minimal latency output (even without the triax/fibre modules) ... the FS7 can't output its QFHD over SDI at all as it is a 3G Level-B device, for example. The PXW-Z450 can only do it with a software license key and as quad-link 3G. Blackmagic emphasized as well its implementation of 6G- and 12G-SDI over copper built in to the base camcorder with no external attachments necessary, although it won't have anywhere near the distance reach as fibre. This is still relevant if mating to directly attached microwave transmitters or outboard streaming devices, with the proliferation of hardware accelerated H.265/HEVC that will enable QFHD streaming using similar bandwidths as HD on H.264/AVC today. Some cinema-oriented models have live outputs with LUTs only intended for viewfinder, or preview, "video village" applications but often the only full-resolution output is via the recorded files.
Those are just a couple thoughts that came to mind, anyone feel free to pick it apart.
I still run 2/3" myself with my PMW-350, and I do hear some "that's so old school" type of commentary from friends and colleagues who decided to buy into RED or EOS C systems instead... this all interests me because I don't want to lose all those great aspects of the "traditional form factor" but would like to still keep up with more modern codecs and sensor resolution. Apparently I'm quite alone in this corner to want that though. I still reach for my 350 for most things over the X70 unless I need compact size and unobtrusiveness, and even though the X70 does 59.94p on XAVC-L422/50 which is a technically superior codec to 59.94i on EX-420/35... just because of the controls layout (and responsiveness), superior audio, simultaneous live outputs, and very long continuous runtime on a 175 or 190Whr battery. I can't see myself making the next equipment purchase move without it being a product that can do QFHD though, so again reasons why I'm watching the market trends in this space even if I'm lamenting the lack of product variety as of this writing.

Bringing this back to the URSA Broadcast, some folks are interested in the low-light performance of the device which is important to the target market and also something users of the other variants of URSA products have noted as deficient. That said this sensor is supposed to be completely different than the Super35 in the URSA Mini Pro but it is still not a native 2/3" size chip, you'll see in the body-only pictures there is an additional optical element in the lens mount barrel. Supposedly this optical element also compensates for all of the 2/3" lenses being designed for use on a prism block instead of converging directly onto a single sensor surface. Colour aberration correction was also not mentioned in great detail on Blackmagic's product, or what lens models they will officially support. Grant stated that the product launch video was captured with the URSA Broadcast and run through a chain of their own equipment, so that might be the first example we've seen of anything shot on it thus far. Another detail that is unclear is whether the 12-pin Hirose connection will support older lenses that return analog voltages for zoom (2-7V) and iris (3.4-6.2V) position, as well as the newer ones that report their servo positions and other metadata over the serial connection (pins 11/12).

Finally... is any competing manufacturer particularly threatened by this announcement? I feel this fills a gap that was never met by any of the other names. Obviously they should pay attention to their presence, but I don't think any of this product or its associated system hardware particularly 'steps on' anything offered by the other players.
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Old February 15th, 2018, 06:26 AM   #11
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Re: New BM Ursa Broadcast cam

Agreed on most points for sure.

Re the URSA broadcast 2/3". Blackmagic have stated that BOTH the sensor and optics in the mount have been optimised to work with lenses that were originally designed to work with beam splitters, prisms in other words. This sensor is actually a hair over 13mm diagonal as opposed to 11mm for a stock 2/3" sensor. I wonder if this 1.18 lens crop is compensated for in the 2/3" adapter. Haven't been able to find out as yet.
Most ENG guys who have to shoot in various light including very low light sometimes will be asking how this sensor behaves in those conditions. If it is a poor performer in low light and only performs reasonably well at its base dB / ISO then as keenly priced as it is I don't think it will set the world on fire.

The big omission I'm seeing for a camera supposedly aimed at ENG as well as studio is no interlace frame rates. Sorry but as much as a lot of us are not great fans of interlaced video for one reason or another if you have run live video to an ENG truck in 99.9% of cases it needs to be interlaced and in some cases even SD interlaced depending on the microwave up links available. Unless you can set an output to interlace for live news feeds this will be this camera's Achilles heel. Under breaking news scenarios you can't expect or rely on someone else or the news cruiser's crew to have a format converter ready for your progressive output.

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Old February 16th, 2018, 02:30 AM   #12
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Re: New BM Ursa Broadcast cam

The specifications do list 1080i59.94 as a recorded file format, as well as a SDI output format (1.485Gbps). The current URSA Mini Pro 4.6K can also do this, as there are plenty of scenarios and downstream equipment that top out at HD-SDI and not 3G or higher rates.
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Old February 17th, 2018, 03:53 AM   #13
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Re: New BM Ursa Broadcast cam

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Lau View Post
Bringing this back to the URSA Broadcast, some folks are interested in the low-light performance of the device which is important to the target market and also something users of the other variants of URSA products have noted as deficient. That said this sensor is supposed to be completely different than the Super35 in the URSA Mini Pro but it is still not a native 2/3" size chip, you'll see in the body-only pictures there is an additional optical element in the lens mount barrel. Supposedly this optical element also compensates for all of the 2/3" lenses being designed for use on a prism block instead of converging directly onto a single sensor surface. .
The cinema type URSA goes no further than 1500 ISO. That could be limiting if shooting news with available light, you don't always want to use a light.
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Old February 17th, 2018, 06:24 AM   #14
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Re: New BM Ursa Broadcast cam

Tim Schumann of BMD has stated:

"On the URSA Broadcast -6dB is 200ISO, 0dB is 400ISO, 6dB is 800ISO and 12dB is 1600ISO. That is the current range. We are driving the sensor differently to how it has been done previously, more similarly to a traditional broadcast camera, and are happy with the results we have been getting out of it at each of these settings. You will need to update your ATEM switcher and software to 7.3 and the camera to Camera 5.0 Update so that these line up correctly between camera and switcher."
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Old February 17th, 2018, 09:51 PM   #15
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Re: New BM Ursa Broadcast cam

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Originally Posted by Kevin Lau View Post
The specifications do list 1080i59.94 as a recorded file format, as well as a SDI output format (1.485Gbps).
Thanks for that Kevin. I must be blind as I now see the 1080i details on the specs page. I do notice though that 1080i is classified as output only not as a recording format which is a shame.

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