A talk with Blackmagic about the Ergonomics of the URSA Mini

Yesterday we reported about the new Blackmagic URSA Mini that appears to be a big step up in terms of ergonomics to the previous Blackmagic cameras. We were particularly interested in how Blackmagic thought about the evolution of their cameras and we’re happy to see how they’ve put an effort into the new camera design.

Mini-URSA-PL-FrontIn this interview we talked to Simon Westland who took us through some of the ergonomic features with a special focus on the new OLED viewfinder they produced. I got a quick look through the viewfinder and while I’m surely reserved in the interview, I can tell you that the image is very impressive with no disturbing elements of the eyepiece or distortion as seen on other finders. For $1500 the Blackmagic OLED viewfinder will surely kill many other products in this market. It’s a steal and it might also work with other cameras (not confirmed).

Blackmagic-Video-AssistWe then went on and also looked at the Blackmagic Video Assist. This is a small 5 inch monitor that takes SDI and hdmi signals, loops them through and records in ProRes onto an SD card. Fascinating, because other solutions of this kind cost 2x the $. For $500 Blackmagic seems to have another hit in terms of the specs at least.

We’ll test all these products in depth when they’re out. For now we’re waiting for the items to be delivered as scheduled in late July.

The Blackmagic URSA viewfinder is available for pre-order for $1,495 HERE

The Blackmagic Video Assist is available for pre-order for $495 HERE




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Jamie LeJeune April 15, 2015

Please, please will someone ask Blackmagic how they intend for that side handle to work with EF lenses. They write in the specs that the side handle controls start/stop, iris and focus. I look at the photos and I only see three buttons. That means one button for start/stop, one button for focus, and one button for iris. How are we meant to manually control the iris of EF lenses with a single button? Please can you investigate this issue. No one covering NAB has asked once about this.

Sebastian Wöber Reply
Sebastian Wöber April 17, 2015

I’m not sure, but I think one button is for iris open, the other for iris close, and half press on the red button would do autofocus?

Mattia Santino Merli Reply
Mattia Santino Merli April 15, 2015

It would be nice if that monitor could downconvert Sony 4K Raw to Prores HD….

Andrei Goldobenko Reply
Andrei Goldobenko April 16, 2015

it does