Hands-On with Blackmagic URSA Mini 4.6K – Their First Run-and-Gun Camera?

Blackmagic Design just announced over 30 new products. Among several new cameras is the Blackmagic URSA Mini, an ergonomic single-shooter shoulder camera with an all new 4.6K sensor and an impressive list of specs.

USRA-Mini-PLWe got our hands on the new Blackmagic URSA Mini, had a chance to play with it, see the images coming out of it and what we can tell you right now is that this is a camera to look out for. At $5000 for the 4.6K version and $3000 for the 4K version this camera is extremely competitive and worth considering.

USRA-Mini-PL-RearPlease watch the video for an in-depth look and all the features and specs the camera has to offer. Stay tuned for more, much more.

Mini-URSA-PL-FrontHere are the most important specs at a glance:

  • New 4.6K Global Shutter Sensor
  • Improved Dynamic Range and Low-Light-Sensitivity
  • Ergonomic Design
  • New OLED 1080p viewfinder ($1500) looks really nice
  • internal 12-bit RAW / ProRes recording
  • supports New ProRes 4444 XQ codec
  • up to 60p in 4k
  • up to 160 fps in 1080p windowed
  • up to 30p with Global-Shutter
  • built-in 5 inch 1080p monitor
  • LANC control

The Blackmagic URSA Mini 4.6K is already available for pre-order HERE
This will be one popular camera for sure.

The camera is said to ship in July starting from US$2,995 for the URSA Mini 4K EF, US$3,495 for the URSA Mini 4K PL, US$4,995 for the URSA Mini 4.6K EF and US$5,495 for the URSA Mini 4.6K PL models.

The URSA Mini shoulder mount kit will be sold separately.
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Black-Frame BF Reply
Black-Frame BF April 13, 2015

it to autofocus? thank you

Sebastian Wöber Reply
Sebastian Wöber April 13, 2015

Yes, but this might not work so well. We’ll see

Martin Saer Larco Reply
Martin Saer Larco April 13, 2015

Hi, did the new sensor fix the black hole problem.
And how is the ISO native in with the new sensor?
last question what is the frame rate in 1080p.

THANK YOU…FOR BEING IN NAB.

Reply
Patrick Murray April 14, 2015

The official demo video for the 4.6K Ursa on the company website has shots with the low-hanging sun right behind the subjects. Assuming they would not stoop to fixing it in post, it looks like they may have addressed that issue.

Martin Saer Larco Reply
Martin Saer Larco April 14, 2015

Hi, yeah i thought the same thing…
not to honest to fix that in post ..

Arslan Oguzhan Reply
Arslan Oguzhan April 13, 2015

Any info regarding the base ISO ?

Sebastian Wöber Reply
Sebastian Wöber April 17, 2015

I heard it’s ISO800, but not confirmed

Will David Anlezark Reply
Will David Anlezark April 14, 2015

Craig The-Pirate Newman your next camera ?

Ross McSpedden Reply
Ross McSpedden April 14, 2015

I think the mini drone camera could be more exciting! Don’t know the specs yet but

Craig The-Pirate Newman Reply
Craig The-Pirate Newman April 14, 2015

Will David Anlezark : I learnt my lesson from using the mother URSA… I’ll get my hands on one and see! That said… super excited!

Will David Anlezark Reply
Will David Anlezark April 14, 2015

Yeah was super easy to use. but full of bugs

Craig The-Pirate Newman Reply
Craig The-Pirate Newman April 14, 2015

Sooooo many bugs. The post was a nightmare.

Craig The-Pirate Newman Reply
Craig The-Pirate Newman April 14, 2015

But once you are aware of them, you can skirt around them.

Emrah Dorterler Reply
Emrah Dorterler April 14, 2015

guys watching NAB from your videos is just great keep up good work..

TOUCHDOWN … Blackmagic!

awesome stuff . gyro feature blew my mind… !

Reply
Jamie April 14, 2015

Any answer as to the open question of how the side handle controls the aperture of EF lenses? You asked it in the video, and it’s a great questions.
Based on the photos I fear the URSA mini only has the same auto iris button as the BMPCC and BMCC. Please let us all know what you find out. Thanks!

Sebastian Wöber Reply
Sebastian Wöber April 17, 2015

Maybe it’s only auto-iris. Sorry, we didn’t have time to check

Reply
Jamie LeJeune April 17, 2015

I had two friends at NAB ask Blackmagic reps directly and both confirmed that it is auto-iris only. No one is talking about this, but I find it to be a large problem for loads of people likely imagining that they will be able to use Canon EF lenses (or any other EF lenses with only electronic iris control) on the URSA mini. Shoulder mounted work would be quite difficult when it’s limited to only auto focus. Why they didn’t spend the time designing a decent iris wheel like the C100/C300 is a mystery. Some news outlet (perhaps Cinema5D…) should cover this issue in more detail as so far it has gone completely unmentioned.

Sebastian Wöber Reply
Sebastian Wöber April 18, 2015

I think there’s little reason to get all worked up about the iris control (yet). They have 2 LANC connections and you can use third party controllers. Some of these do have iris control. I’m sure there is a way. Also in my interview with Simon he was talking about the possibility to assign custom buttons. Don’t remember if that was on or off camera.
https://www.cinema5d.com/talk-blackmagic-ergonomics-ursa-mini/

Reply
Jamie LeJeune April 18, 2015

I hadn’t caught the reference to custom buttons. That would be great if they make that happen!
Over on the Blackmagic Design forums, John Brawley posted a link to what looks like a very promising (though expensive relative to the price of the camera) third party solution:

https://www.shootingmachine.net/products/cinegrip-mark-3

Jonathan Clifford Bergqvist Reply
Jonathan Clifford Bergqvist April 14, 2015

No ND? =( Why make it so portable of you still have to use mattbox and other bulky stuff..

Oscar Goldman Reply
Oscar Goldman April 18, 2015

Why do you need a matte box? Just put an ND filter on your lens. Buy big ones and use cheap step-up rings to adapt them to whatever lenses you have.

Reply
Silton Buendia April 14, 2015

Its funny how every year people buy into their hype and when the products actually hit the market they aren’t as good as people hoped. However I will say, they do have some interesting products and at very competitive prices. However the Ursa Mini which everyone is raving about might not be as amazing a deal as people might think it to be. When compared to the closest competitor the FS7 it does fall noticeable short especially for the price. The old Ursa sensor isn’t that great it had a lot to be desired so you would have to go with the new 4.6 sensor. To get that URSA mini setup, camera and viewfinder you’re looking at 6500 dollars, yes 1500 dollars cheaper then the FS7 but, 1. You’re capped at 1600 iso and thats max so don’t expect it to be good in low light (the FS7’s base ISO is 2000, the mini is probably gonna be around 800, they claim 15 stops of DR, FS7 has 14 its only a stop, but Black Magic has always been shown to over state their DR. The body lacks hard controls which makes it a bit more cumbersome for run and gun shooting. It has not built in ND filters which is a big headache. Also it doesn’t have an efficient recording format. Raw is not efficient nor needed, pro rez is good but eats a lot of memory.

Ryan O'Rourke Reply
Ryan O'Rourke April 15, 2015

Totally agree. The UrsaMini might be better as a short and feature length film work camera, but as a cinematographer that shoots mainly corporate stuff, I frequently find myself run and gunning a lot, and shooting A LOT of interviews. The big things the Ursa lacks, efficient codec, higher ISO’s, and internal ND’s, are really the bread and butter of what I need at my disposal to get the shots I need, in the frequent time crunch I always am shooting in.

Sebastian Wöber Reply
Sebastian Wöber April 17, 2015

Hi Silton,
You cannot compare a camera like that. ISO specs and DR specs say absolutely nothing about how the camera actually performs. The base ISO of the Arri ALEXA is ISO 800 and comes close to the lowlight capabilities of the FS7.
So before it’s in the lab we can’t judge the camera in these regards. This is a new sensor by blackmagic, maybe it is much better and can be boosted for lowlight shooting. Maybe not.

Reply
Jamie LeJeune April 17, 2015

I completely agree with Sebastian. I’m currently grading a documentary feature that was shot on a BMCC and a C300, often simultaneously. And, to my surprise, the BMCC has yielded a better graded result in nearly all cases. The C300 log image looks fine, but the moment you I contrast and color it begins to fall apart quickly. And it’s impossible to push it even a single stop. The BMCC, on the other hand, can often be pushed much farther before it breaks down. And, the noise the BMCC exhibits has been easier to clean up. In general, I find that I have to crush the blacks on the C300 to hide noise much more often than I have to do the same on the BMCC. So, as Sebastian says, we’ll have to see how the new sensor actually performs in real shooting and grading to judge it.

Reply
Iain Philpott April 17, 2015

Totally agree. we have just had a total nightmare grading a log file shoot from a C300. It took triple the time of the RED Epic and BMPCC footage we shot. Never again. It would have been cheaper to shoot both A & B cameras RED Epic/BMPCC.

 Nimmi Abeynayake Reply
Nimmi Abeynayake November 8, 2015

Jamie: You are talking total BS. The BMCC does NOT do any where near that what you say on your post. This camera is soft in whatever it captures and does NOT have the dynamic range the manufacturer claims to have.It is just a pipe dream of the manufacturer. We put this camera through true scientific analysis and the image capture science the manufacturer claimed fell wayyyyyy short of what the actual test results and analysis of our tests. Blackmagic has to go few more steps to get to the league of ARRI and their brood of cameras. And if you are thinking of challenging what RED camera guys had done so far, you are sadly mistaken. Them guys are at least four or five generations ahead of anything out there!

Reply
Jamie LeJeune November 8, 2015

Nimmi: I’m not sure what you are reacting to. I was comparing the difficulties in managing noise in underexposure on the BMCC versus the Canon C300 and made no mention at all of Arri or Red in my comment. Nor did I make any claims about dynamic range or sharpness.

Oscar Goldman Reply
Oscar Goldman November 8, 2015

And why are you talking about the BMCC anyway? This is a small-chip camera that’s several years old now.

Oscar Goldman Reply
Oscar Goldman April 18, 2015

The FS7 has no raw recording, or even ProRes without a ridiculous add-on board. And can the camera control other manufacturers’ lens apertures through adapters? Probably not, so you’re stuck with Sony’s lens lineup.

 Andrea Daviddi Reply
Andrea Daviddi May 23, 2015

I can confirm you can control iris on ef lenses with the fs7. I have tried it with a 55mm ef otus and a metabones speedbooster for adapter. The old firmware showed some “flashes” when changing the aperture though they might have fixed this behavior meanwhile (still not sure if it was the adapter or the camera).

Oscar Goldman Reply
Oscar Goldman November 8, 2015

Thanks for the info.

Reply
Tim Naylor Naylor April 14, 2015

Can you tell us more about the weight? Stripped down what do you see the body coming in at. I was thinking about this for gimbal work.

Sebastian Wöber Reply
Sebastian Wöber April 17, 2015

About 2.3 kg

Sharif El Neklawy Reply
Sharif El Neklawy April 14, 2015

I’m pretty unfamiliar with blackmagic cameras, but am very intrigued by this camera. So, you have to choose between the EF-mount or PL-mount? Are interchangeable mounts out of the question? Can you adapt EF to PL or PL to EF with any ease? Also, I noticed on their site that they’re offering shims for the PL mount, is there a known issue that these solve? I’ve never had to shim an alexa or any red camera w/ PL glass.

Sebastian Wöber Reply
Sebastian Wöber April 17, 2015

There are no interchangeable mounts. You can use an adapter for PL lenses on a EF camera, but I wouldnt recommend it and not all lenses might fit.
I believe the camera has no backfocus, but not sure. Maybe that’s why they need shims.

Reply
Stevo April 16, 2015

Does it cut sensor for lower resolutions beside 16FPS HD windowed mode? I mean does it utilize whole sensor in Full HD or 2K resolution?

Sebastian Wöber Reply
Sebastian Wöber April 17, 2015

At 160fps the HD is windowed

Reply
Stevo Vasiljevic April 16, 2015

Does it utilize whole sensor (S35) for lower resolution or croping out like Windowed 160FPS mode?

Sebastian Wöber Reply
Sebastian Wöber April 17, 2015

I don’t know

Reply
Stevo Vasiljevic April 17, 2015

On some other sites say “25.34mm x 14.25 mm Super 35mm Sensor at 4608 x 2592” which suggest to me that on other resolutions it`s get croped…B( Would be blast if u can figure it while NAB last…

Sebastian Wöber Reply
Sebastian Wöber April 17, 2015

Well, NAB closed about 24 hours ago, so no chance now.

Oscar Goldman Reply
Oscar Goldman April 18, 2015

Their other cameras downscale to HD from the whole sensor, so I don’t see why this one wouldn’t.

Oscar Goldman Reply
Oscar Goldman April 18, 2015

The failure to put an iris-control wheel on these things is baffling.

Reply
akbar mohsin July 27, 2015

Complete package within low price and lightweight.