Blackmagic URSA Mini

Show: NAB 2015

Release Date – July 2015

Estimate Price – US$5495 for 4.6K PL

The biggest shakeup Blackmagic have dished up this year comes in the form of the URSA Mini. We spoke, they listened. With a much smaller form factor and, most importantly, smaller, sensibly sized side LCD, this is the first real competitor to Sony’s FS7. Four camera options, namely EF or PL mount with 4K resolution, and EF or PL mount in 4.6K resolution mean prices start at under US$3000 for the 4K EF model and go up to under US$5500 for the top of the line 4.6K sensor model with PL mount (you will need to add US$400 for shoulder pad and handle, and fork out US$1500 for the OLED viewfinder). 

No word on base ISO as yet but has a very interesting sensor setup, which is user-switchable between a global shutter and a rolling shutter! The advertised 15 stops dynamic range is only available in the rolling shutter mode – quite a compromise, but astonishing still. Flipping over to a more sensible global shutter still gives a respectable and completely usable 12 stops dynamic range. Professional connectivity in XLR inputs, SDI outputs, power outputs, timecode, and audio monitoring provide sensible options for easy filming. 

Blackmagic have a following for their “look” and it is a bit of a Marmite situation but if you like their film curve this camera certainly delivers it in (finally!) a usable package (not too dissimilar to the FS7 in form). Recording many different iterations of 4K/UD (4608 x 2592, 4096 x 2304 (4K 16:9), 4608 x 1920 (4K 2.4:1), 3840 x 2160 (Ultra HD), 3072 x 2560 (3K Anamorphic),2048 x 1152 (2K 16:9), 1920 x 1080) with various combinations of raw (Lossless CinemaDNG 3:1, 4:1) or ProRes (444 XQ, 444, 422 (HQ), 422, and 422 (LT) all to CFast cards.

One of their more sensible and interesting offerings of late, this is one we will certainly be testing on release.

Key features:

  •  EF of PL mount
  • 4K or 4,6K sensor
  • Global / Rolling shutter switchable
  • 15 stops DR (Rolling shutter)
  • 12 stops DR (Global shutter)
  • CinemaDNG 1:1, 3:1, or 4:1
  • ProRes 444XQ, 444, 422HQ, 422, 422LT

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