NAB 2014 video – A quick look at Blackmagic’s 4K URSA camera

Blackmagic-URSA-PLOne would think we can’t be surprised anymore when it comes to new cameras by Blackmagic. But here we are again at this year’s NAB where we’re seeing yet another way to design a camera.

The new Blackmagic “URSA” was announced in a press release this morning and leaves us both positively surprised and wondering if the concept can really work. Blackmagic calls it a “high end digital film camera” and one that would “revolutionise workflow on set”.

In the video above you can see Tim and Nino go over the basic features of the camera and they noticed the massive 10″ screen which is intended to replace your regular on-set production monitor. This does make sense, but if it will be used and needed the way Blackmagic seems to imagine is a question that remains to be answered. After all, on a full scale production client monitors are usually separated from the camera by intent.
We know Blackmagic’s design ideas are well thought through, but with the first Blackmagic cameras we noticed they might not always be ideal for real cameramen.

different-sensors-URSA-fstoppers-710x273

The other interesting design element is the detachable / user upgradable sensor module. Very interesting concept indeed.

We can confirm the pictures coming from the camera look truly amazing. They did on the screen right next to the camera.

What remains to be seen is if the lowlight capabilities are any better than on the Blackmagic Production Camera 4K which were not very convincing in our tests and are becoming a more and more important sales argument for modern filmmakers. Rumor has it that we won’t be seeing much improvement here.

The camera is said to start shipping this summer.
For more information and pictures on the camera see the press release here.

Leave a Comment

You are not subscribed to this post. Follow new comments

Login to comment

Reply
david April 8, 2014

it may have the same dynamic range as the $3k 4k camera but the idea is in the future you change out the sensor and then bam!…. you have a low light camera. i bet lots of people who have red cameras will sell theirs and buy this. it just needs the right sensor. it will come for sure. the red cameras have the ability to upgrade the sensors but the sensors are so expensive. time will tell.

Reply
Peter Kent April 8, 2014

I don’t like big monitors on my rig (prefer one 5.6″ at the most) but this actually looks nice. How good are the monitors? True 8bit or dithered 6bit? IPS or OLED …or TN? Looks impossible to hand hold and hard to shoulder too, anyone try yet? Price and features are good, hopefully the image is too.

Reply
Alex April 8, 2014

I believe this is one of the first cameras to use an actual tablet screen instead of a lower priced lcd. Much, much better.

Reply
Myles April 8, 2014

Audio is also very often handled separately with a mixer/recorder e.g. Sound Devices (unlike the vision projected by BM in their URSA marketing graphics).

Blackmagic Cinema Camera User Group Reply
Blackmagic Cinema Camera User Group April 8, 2014

Pre-ordering is already up! Getting early in line had some importance with the prior product launches: http://www.focuspull.in/bmdursa (B&H) and http://www.focuspull.in/BMURSA (Adorama).

Blackmagic Cinema Camera User Group Reply
Blackmagic Cinema Camera User Group April 8, 2014

Pre-ordering is already up! Getting early in line had some importance with the prior product launches: http://www.focuspull.in/bmdursa (B&H) and http://www.focuspull.in/BMURSA (Adorama).

Reply
Grant April 8, 2014

Any info on sensitivity? Is this the same sensor as the production camera? Vertical Banding? Noise? Low light? What about battery consumption? I wish I was able to make it to NAB this year!

Reply
andy nnawuihe June 19, 2014

judging by its specifications i want to agree with its performance.