Blackmagic Design Ursa Mini Professional four.6K G2 sensible
"The fabric is nice, however Blackmagic RAW is a game-changer for impartial, low-budget productions."
Blackmagic RAW codec
120 fps four.6 Ok
Accessible person interface
Constructed-in ND filters
Awkward iris dial placement
A bit of nickel and dimming for equipment
"Bear" is an applicable identify for the beast which is Ursa Mini Professional four.6K G2 from Blackmagic Design, the corporate's flagship cinema digital camera. However it’s a properly skilled bear. The place different machines of this kind appear terrifying of their complexity, the Ursa is docile. I’ve by no means been so shocked by the convenience with which a digital camera takes skilled caliber photographs.
It actually looks like dishonest. Flip it on, level to one thing, hit Document, and a photograph is prepared for the massive display. If you understand how to make use of a DSLR, you may perceive Ursa in minutes.
Effectively, it takes just a little extra work than that. First it is advisable resolve which recording button to press – there are like 4. However when you've settled into your favourite, there's nothing else left to stay out your director's goals. From a technical standpoint, anyway.
Regardless of my techno-lust, the Ursa stays out of my league – and but, not past my finances. At lower than $ 6,000, I gained't be shopping for any anytime quickly, however it’s rather more reasonably priced than comparable film cameras from different producers.
I don't know what makes a Purple or an Arri, the cameras of alternative in Hollywood, price tens of 1000’s extra. However as an individual filming movies on a hybrid hybrid digital camera, I can see the worth of switching to Ursa. Six large is some huge cash. But right here with Ursa it appears like a superb deal.
Design and person interface
The unique Ursa Mini Professional four.6K was the primary Blackmagic digital camera that regarded completed. After just a few years of hanging and weird designs, Blackmagic has landed on a well-recognized type that straddles the hole between the cinema digital camera and the ENG camcorder.
The G2 refines the method with small however vital enhancements to the electronics, with out altering what was already working. The end result just isn’t solely a professional-level video digital camera that shames my getting older however devoted Fujifilm X-T2, however one of the best worth on the planet of cinema, interval.
Blackmagic strikes at a low worth by promoting you a unadorned digital camera. A viewfinder, a battery and a deal with are all add-ons that may add a whole lot or 1000’s to the worth. This will make cameras just like the Canon C200, at $ 6,500 with viewfinder and battery included, extra reasonably priced. However the Ursa has a benefit, with 15 dynamic vary video games introduced in comparison with Canon's 13, increased body charges and a extra versatile RAW format.
Whereas not new, a key characteristic of the Ursa – and plenty of devoted video cameras – is the built-in management of the impartial density filter. You may choose zero, 2, four or 6 density stops by turning a dial, which implies you by no means have to fret about screw-in lens filters. Consider sun shades to your digital camera. ND filters cut back gentle and mean you can keep a slower shutter pace for easy movement and / or a wider aperture for a shallow depth of subject when capturing in brilliant environments.
Whereas the viewfinder isn't customary, a touchscreen monitor does, and it's probably the most accessible person interface you will get on a digital camera. Blackmagic has made it some extent of honor to unify its person interface throughout all digital camera fashions, so when you have a Pocket Cinema digital camera, you’ll really feel proper at house with Ursa. The interface is straightforward to study when you have by no means used a Blackmagic digital camera earlier than.
Ursa has many bodily buttons and toggle switches to entry generally used features like ISO, shutter pace / angle and white stability. A criticism? The iris dial is tough to achieve when the monitor is open, a design flaw that Blackmagic may have neglected as a result of administrators of pictures utilizing actual cinema lenses will use the iris ring on the iris ;purpose.
Not me. I used customary photographic lenses within the Canon EF mount. Except for iris management of the iris, I really like that concerning the Ursa. Photographic lenses are rather more reasonably priced than their cinema counterparts, however typically not much less optical high quality. (Ursa's autofocus capabilities, nonetheless, usually are not good – follow guide focus.)
For this assessment, Sigma lent me its 18-35mm and 50-100mm f / 1.eight lenses, a pair of zoom lenses that make a strong case for being the one lenses you want. They’re price about $ 1,900 collectively. Certain, that’s a chunk of change, however that’s removed from the $ eight,000 required for the cinema variations of those lenses. (In fact, it’s nonetheless fairly reasonably priced within the subject of cinema glass.)
As well as, the Ursa Mini Professional has interchangeable lens mounts. Along with the lively Canon EF mount, you may go along with PL (the cinema digital camera customary), B4 for broadcast lenses, or perhaps a passive Nikon F mount. The latter opens the Ursa to a legacy of photographic lenses relationship again a number of many years. I’ve a small assortment of Nikon glass from the time of the movie that I might have appreciated to check on Ursa. The subsequent time.
Certain, Cinema lenses have sure benefits – more often than not, they make you appear to be a tricky man – however Blackmagic's willingness to mean you can go up native any previous DSLR lens is a large benefit for crowds of impartial movies and college students. From data gathering to movie manufacturing, the Ursa Mini Professional will be configured to meet quite a lot of roles. The Digital Traits video workforce even used it on the bottom at CES 2020.
Efficiency and picture high quality
The up to date electronics of the Ursa Mini Professional G2 is a matter of pace. Most notably, this implies new high-frequency body price (HFR) choices for gradual movement. four.6K footage will be recorded as much as 120 frames per second, whereas 1080p can attain 300 frames per second. four.6K / 120 footage is recorded throughout the complete width of the sensor and is mechanically performed again in gradual movement (as much as 5X when capturing 24p).
It’s completely stunning. I additionally appreciated the way in which the digital camera information sound in HFR mode, which many smaller cameras don't. This permits you both to decelerate the audio in put up to match the footage (consider the dramatic "Noooooo!" Shouted by a personality approaching a sure future), or to hurry up the footage to hurry in time actual and use it extra or -like an abnormal clip, when you want it.
The up to date electronics push the utmost ISO as much as 3200. That is nothing in comparison with fashionable cameras, with ISOs of a whole lot of 1000’s, but it surely makes the Ursa usable in indoor locations. Above all, this excessive ISO sensitivity is beneficial when capturing HFR footage, which requires quicker shutter pace and requires you to compensate by opening the iris or rising the ISO sensitivity.
Pictures shot at ISO 3200 could appear grainy, particularly in case you are attempting to elevate the shadows in place, however at no time did I believe it regarded unhealthy. That's what it’s, and it’s best to attempt to follow decrease ISOs when attainable, however I appreciated having this further cease once I did. ; wanted it.
Quicker processing signifies that the studying time of the sensor is decreased, which makes it attainable to regulate the "jello cam" impact of the digital curler shutter. In observe, I didn't discover it in any respect, besides in very quick pans the place I used to be searching for it willingly.
File high quality and suppleness
Once I examined the primary technology of Ursa Mini Professional four.6K, it was earlier than Blackmagic launched its RAW video format. It may run Cinema DNG, an open RAW format from Adobe, however I didn't have the space for storing or the processing energy to deal with it. With the G2, I lastly received to expertise the facility of Blackmagic RAW, and it was nothing in need of revolutionary.
It is a RAW video format for the remainder of us. With selectable compression ranges as much as 12: 1, .braw clips will be saved to plain SD playing cards. In truth, at 12: 1 compression, the bit price is decrease than non-RAW codecs of 400 megabits per second in cameras just like the Lumix GH5 from Panasonic and the Fujifilm X-T3. You’ll nonetheless need a quick V90 card to be secure, however you now not have to be knowledgeable studio or have an enormous finances to work with RAW video. It’s superior.
Pattern photographs shot on the Ursa Mini Professional G2 Daven Mathies / Digital Traits
I shot all of my take a look at sequences in .braw at 12: 1 compression, and it was magnificent. I edited and coloured the clips in Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve 16 on my eight yr previous iMac and, properly, it labored. Efficiency was awkward after including greater than probably the most primary colour setting, however the truth that it labored is spectacular.
If you’re involved about enhancing efficiency, Ursa can save proxy information with RAW photographs, saving you from having to create proxies throughout import.
I’m not at all an skilled colorist, or perhaps a competent person of DaVinci Resolve, however from the world of pictures – the place RAW information have been frequent for a few years – working with RAW video appears acquainted to me. In some methods it’s simpler than working with different codecs, like h.264 and even ProRes, which is usually recorded utilizing a flat log tone curve to protect the dynamic vary, and appears like rubbish earlier than making use of colour correction.
However, the Blackmagic RAW footage can be utilized proper out of the digital camera. Additionally it is versatile. Even at 12: 1 compression, I used to be amazed on the quantity of element I may get out of the shadows.
Not everybody wants RAW video, however as Blackmagic defined to me, Blackmagic RAW provides the very best quality / file measurement at each compression stage in comparison with any stage non RAW format. There isn’t a motive to not use it. Effectively, until you wish to import instantly into Ultimate Minimize Professional X, which at present doesn't have a plugin to assist .braw information. (A plugin exists for Adobe Premiere Professional.)
The Ursa Mini Professional G2 is proof that we live in unbelievable instances for picture and video gear. I envy at present's movie college students who might need entry to it. They will produce large display films of their dorms and by no means know the ache of filming and enhancing customary definition footage on MiniDV tapes.
In fact, for many people, $ 6,000 would possibly as properly be $ 60,000. If it's out of your finances, it's out of your finances. However a few of Ursa's important options – like Blackmagic RAW – can be found within the extra reasonably priced pocket cinema digital camera collection. The Ursa Mini Professional can nonetheless be an formidable product for individuals like me, however in contrast to a Purple or an Arri, this isn’t a dream. I can no less than afford to lease it.