Blackmagic URSA Mini 4K Review By Frame Fury

So, we won’t be doing a Blackmagic URSA Mini 4K review, but we have our opinions of it. Opinions that are apparently very similar to FrameFury, and they did a fantastic job reviewing it, so here it is.

It’s a pretty comprehensive review broken down into a few sections, I’ve taken the liberty of pulling those out for you below.

Blackmagic URSA Mini 4K ReviewBlackmagic USRA Mini 4K_2

0:27 TL;DR (Too Long Didn’t Read)
01:36 Background
02:50 Image Quality
06:39 Form Factor
08:07 Functionality
14:49 – Light Sensitivity
17:03 Power
18:08 EVFs
19:09 Workflow
20:22 Audio



A lot is covered, much of which we as a team we agree with, here are some pros and cons (in no particular order) I’ve pulled from the review that we concur:


  • Great on-the-shoulder form factor
  • Fantastic OLED viewfinder
  • ProRes is a very easy post workflow
  • Incredible price>image ratio
  • Global Shutter
  • CFast Cards
  • Universal Battery Mounting Options


  • No ND Filters
  • Poor in Lowlight (anything above 400)
  • Same Sensor as AJA Cion (DR not as described)
  • No Shutter Speed (Shutter Angle only)
  • No LUT send to EVF
  • Clunky XLR ports
  • Poor Pre-amps
  • Menu On/Off behind LCD Screen
  • Clunky Touchscreen Display

For me personally, the last point is killer for me. I simply can’t own/hire a camera that I can’t operate instinctively, knowing the technology won’t slow me down on set. I became increasingly frustrated with how long it took to adjust simple procedures like switching between standard/higher framerates and audio levels in the touchscreen menu.


Blackmagic USRA Mini 4K_1

That said, with enough light the image is fantastic and very easy to deal with in post.

Fame Fury epitomise Blackmagic in two simply sentences:

“[Blackmagic are]…a younger, smaller disruptive company that offers powerful products with unbeatable prices”

“[Blackmagic are]… the worst company at delivering products on schedule & sometimes their products suffer from defects and glitches”

Like any camera, the Blackmagic URSA Mini is a tool that is compatible for certain roles, and not for others. This and the 4.6K would be perfect indie filmmaker tools, best bang for buck that with patience, you can get some fantastic results.

I would not trust this on a commercial shoot, one where a glitch (frame freeze, accidental power down) or slow touchscreen menu means you’re wasting a lot of peoples time and money.

Hopefully reviews like this help you decide a little more whether this is the right tool for you. But like any online content, it is not the be-all-and-end-all, it is merely a well educated point of view that should be second only to personal experience and opinion.

via/ FameFury

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Anonymous April 2, 2016

Wow really a hard look at these cameras. I must admit they make allot of sense to me given my experience with BM.

 Hans Zimniak Reply
Hans Zimniak April 2, 2016

What about that stupid music as a too loud, disturbing background? Should I consider this a serious review from a “pro” point of view? 😕

 Fergus Cahill Reply
Fergus Cahill April 2, 2016

As he states in the beginning he does not call himself a DP. But I have met many DP’s with less working knowledge of cameras. Observations are observations and from what I can tell his are quite accurate and unbiased.

Markus Magnon April 2, 2016

Good Review. Really Love the left Sidebar with the text. So good for long video Reviews… but the backround music is to loud. maybe you can rerender it… with less music.

Frame Fury April 3, 2016

Thanks for the note – I’ll tweak the sound mix and replace the Vimeo upload and see if The C5D guys can swap in that embed.

 Philip Johnston Reply
Philip Johnston April 2, 2016

I would prefer a review done by someone who uses cameras professionally this is a nonsense why do camera manufactures do this.

Frame Fury April 3, 2016

Hi Philip- To clarify, I do use cameras professionally. I have been working in production for 11 years. It’s just that I’m a producer and director first and foremost, so I don’t consider myself a DP. Shooting (and editing) are things I enjoy, but I haven’t dedicated my career to cinematography, so when I do higher end commercial work, I hire a specialized DP.

Also, to be clear, I purchased this camera on my own, and made this review of my own accord. Blackmagic had no involvement (hence I could be honest with criticism as well as praise). If you have any specific feedback on the review, I’d love to hear. Always looking to learn and improve. Thanks

 Philip Johnston Reply
Philip Johnston April 4, 2016

Thanks for the clarity, I had come to the conclusion that you may have bought the camera and this had nothing to do with BM. No good above 400ISO must be very limiting !

Solorio Marco Reply
Solorio Marco April 3, 2016

To note, the AJA CION 4K sensor and Blackmagic 4K sensor are not one in the same. They each have a slightly different physical size from each other (minutely, but different nonetheless), and the CION has a true 4K DCI pixel count at 4096 wide, where the BMD 4K sensor has an even 4000 pixel count on the width. BMD would never use 4000 width if 4096 was available in their sensor. And although I’d gladly welcome the addition of shutter speeds, the lack of knowing how to use shutter angles (or because they’re “too hard to convert in [one’s] head”) shouldn’t be cause for a negative point on any product. It would be like giving a negative point on a DSLR camera review for not having shutter angles on it. Lastly, a major “pro” point that was over-sighted in the bullet list was no mention of internal HFR 4K RAW. Not many cameras on the market offer this, especially nowhere near this price range. I’m happy to see CFast 2 was added to the “pro” list and not the “con” list… definitely my favorite media of choice, but only personal opinion! Cheers!

raul Demarco April 3, 2016

Owning the BMCC 2.5K, I will put my money elsewhere.
The red Raven is the most attractive package right now in the sub 10K$ and well worth it.
Image and color science cannot be beaten, way better than blackmagic or sony.

Miklos Nemeth April 4, 2016

Listing the hell very expensive CFast2 as PRo is funny; it’s a big Negative. I’d prefer (huge capacity, affordable) SSDs or simply SD cards. I am nearly sure CFast is a dead-end technology and remains very expensive rarity.

Tim Fok Reply
Tim Fok April 4, 2016

SSDs not a long term practical solution for recording media, too big.

SDs don’t have the speed.

Unfortunate that CFast are still in an expensive new phase but over time they’ll come down. The more adopters the better

Solorio Marco Reply
Solorio Marco April 5, 2016

I have to agree with Tim Fok. After using CFast 2 for a couple years now, I can’t stand using SSD. They’re bulky a generate a lot of heat. The URSA and URSA Mini would be even larger to accommodate two SSD slots. The heat would be atrocious. I can pack a half dozen CFast 2 cards, literally in my pocket in a secure hard case. ARRI and Canon have also adopted CFast 2 for good reason. Definitely a “pro” mark in my book!

Oscar Goldman Reply
Oscar Goldman April 7, 2016

It’s disappointing to see another review of the 4K version of this camera. It’s the same chip as the Production Camera, although (if purchaser reviews are to be believed” BlackMagic somehow managed to create a camera with worse performance around it.

We were all waiting for the 4.6K chip. We need an exhaustive look at the 4.6K Mini, because based on reviews thus far, it looks like Black Magic has laid a real turd. And this is coming from a BMPC owner who’s used it on several paid jobs, with very good results.

 Bush Benjamin Reply
Bush Benjamin May 12, 2016

Excellent review. I got this for a shoot in November. In fact, it was ordered a full four months prior and (surprise surprise) it only turned up in February. And guess what? Thank God. Shooting in Rio I was forced to hire the Canon C100 mkII which I had never used before but I can only imagine what a mess shooting a documentary in the favelas with no ND filters would have been (a last minute omission by black magic after our pre-order). This camera seems OK – I am looking to move on to something more fitting for run-n-gun work – this was a complete mistake in terms of a purchase for my needs. Great review – as a newbie to the world of cinematography I was impressed with the depth you went to with your review. Thank you