bdg wrote on 4/7/2014, 10:56 AM
Figure I'm going to be meeting up with that baby in the near future!
VMP wrote on 4/7/2014, 2:28 PM
Wow thanks for the heads up!

This is finally a BM camera that I am interested in and find useful. I was looking forward to purchasing the Canon EOS C100 but now I think this is going to be a true contender. Especially considering the price.

- Changeable Battery pack
- 60 FPS
- Nice size

Many things that I found other BMC lacked.


Serena Steuart wrote on 4/8/2014, 1:48 AM
Actually records both ProRes and raw.

"URSA also includes an upgradable Super 35 4K image sensor with global shutter, 12G-SDI connections, XLR audio inputs with phantom power and dual CFast based RAW and ProRes recorders. There is a total of 3 LCD’s built into this camera".
FilmingPhotoGuy wrote on 4/8/2014, 4:12 AM
I've seen the sensor shape and it's square. How does this help us when we're using 16x9 aspect ratio?
Marc S wrote on 4/8/2014, 4:48 AM
I got to play with the camera today and all I can say is WOW! It's a beauty and the full size monitor is amazing. It's the perfect size for framing and focusing. Plus you get two additional smaller monitors on each side of the camera that display info (menus, histogram etc.) or video at the touch of a button. You can actually have video on all 3 monitors at the same time.
Dach wrote on 4/8/2014, 7:17 AM
A lot of potential here, even the HDMI setup is sound by having all your recording needs right there. The size is refreshing to see, I had been discouraged by the small form factors as of lately.
VMP wrote on 4/8/2014, 5:25 PM
Pitty that it uses the Cfast cards, which is very expensive at this moment.

I have so many class 10 SD cards laying around.

Have any of you good experience with CFast Adapters for SD / MMC Memory Cards?
Like this one:

I wonder how fast the cards should be to be able to use it on the Ursa.

SDXC should be fine though, but not sure if this 'common CF' PhotoFast CF7600XC SDXC/SDHC to CF adapter would be compatible with the Cfast connector in the camera.

At first I will be shooting HD anyway so the size shouldn't be a big problem at first.

Cliff Etzel wrote on 4/8/2014, 5:47 PM
LightAds - sensor isn't square - just appears to be. It's actually rectangular.
rs170a wrote on 4/8/2014, 5:57 PM
Pitty that it uses the Cfast cards, which is very expensive at this moment.

You weren't kidding about being expensive. How does $1,200.00 sound :(
SanDisk 120GB Extreme Pro CFast Card (450MB/s)
The 60 GB. card is a mere $650.00
SanDisk 60GB Extreme Pro CFast Card (450MB/s)

VMP wrote on 4/8/2014, 6:08 PM
Indeed Mike, two of those cards is half the camera price!

SDXC card has similar data transfer speed as the CFast cards. So using them would probably be sufficient.

SDXC 300 MB/s

SanDisk’s New CFast 2.0 Card 450MB/s

But I can't seem to find a dedicated SDXC to Cfast adapter.

This one is a CF (Compact flash) adapter for the SDXC, CF is the predecessor of CFast, so I am not sure if it is going to fit the connector in the camera.
PhotoFast CF7600XC SDXC/SDHC to CF Adapter

Evolution of the CompactFlash® Interface

Edit: I don't think the second SDXC to CFlash adapter is going to fit the new Cfast socket in the BMD camera. "both format required NEW CARD READERs"

So what is needed is a SDXC to Cfast adapter.

Hopefully the cards will become cheaper next year.
But considering that it wouldn't be used as much as the SDHC cards, I am not sure.

paul_w wrote on 4/8/2014, 7:10 PM
Looks really interesting.
Not just swap out lens mounts, but swap out sensors too! I think thats a first.

I think i like this camera.

VMP wrote on 4/14/2014, 3:28 PM
Luckily it seems the Cfast cards are going to get cheaper, sooner than one might expect.

128GB Apacer CFast-M(APCFA128GQAHS-DCM)MLC Embedded CFast Card.

Got the update from Atomos Facebook page.

It's Cfast V.1 I think the Ursa requires V.2. but still.

Just to be sure I am going to wait till Ibc 2014 and maybe even till the next NAB and observe the situation then before I consider purchasing the Ursa :-).

It seems that all these manufacturers are just getting into the 4K workflow with the Cfast cards.

I am sure the prices might drop much more then.

GeeBax wrote on 4/14/2014, 4:27 PM
Blackmagic cameras do not work with all cards, many found this out to their dismay with the Pocket Camera. So I would not be thinking about substituting any card other than those recommended by Blackmagic. At present, because the camera is not available, the Blackmagic web site has no information on recommended cards for the Ursa.

Also, this camera uses the same sensor as the recently released BlackMagic 4K Production Camera, and a reported high number of cameras are suffering from fixed pattern noise, and also the infamous 'black hole' highlights. These issues were observed in at least one of the cameras they had one their stand at NAB, so I would want to wait until there is confirmation that they have solved these problems before considering a purchase.

Jay M wrote on 4/14/2014, 5:03 PM
When I looked at the new cameras form Black Magic at the show, the images all seemed to be a bit soft. The images looked great for the price, but the image didn't look as good as a more expensive camera.

I don't know why. My assumption is because they shoot a raw image that needs to be processed, so maybe the end result will look sharper because of added contrast, and sharpening.

My fear is that maybe they just aren't as good, and you really do get what you pay for.

The camera at the show that really blew me away was the Canon XF205
It was a small 1/3" CMOS with a fixed lens that had 3 rings for focus, zoom, and iris. It was attached to a good monitor and the image was razor sharp, and had enough depth of field to look pleasant.

Another cool camera, also from Canon, was the C100, now with auto-focus. The auto focus worked remarkably well. It's image was also razor sharp.

In a low budget environment, the Black Magic studio cameras will be pretty awesome because they include a big enough to be useful display, headset communication, integrated fiber connectivity, and perfect integration with the cheap Black Magic ATEM product line.

But just don't think you'll get the same results you'll get with real camera system which happen cost 10 to 20 times as much.

VMP wrote on 4/14/2014, 5:40 PM
Thanks for the input GeeBax and Jay.

I didn't know that BMD cams were so sensitive for the storage media.

Indeed the CFast card is a big issue here. Time will tell what the cost will be for a compatible card.
It could be a deal breaker for me if it stays expensive. Storage capacity Vs price wise.

SSD are also expensive, but they are more affordable.

I heard something like that about the sensor, I am curious. I wasn't able to attend NAB. I hope I can get my hands on the Usra and test its image at IBC this year.

4 K isn't a priority for me yet, but it is an assurance that Usra has it if needed.

C100 was my first choice indeed with the Autofocus upgrade. I am glad to hear that you liked it.
They are both around the same price, which I am aiming for. Excluded all the accessories which comes on top.

It would have been better if the autofocus of C100 wasn't just limited to the center portion though. Probably the next model upgrade would have an fix for that.

I really like the size of Usra and indeed the large display.

The C100 without a rig looks like a Dslr cam to many, which I find a minus.

But if the C100 Image is much better than the Usra (even after all the BMC bugs are fixed) Then I guess I am going to go for the C100.

GeeBax wrote on 4/14/2014, 7:23 PM
[I]But just don't think you'll get the same results you'll get with real camera system which happen cost 10 to 20 times as much.[/I]

Well I cannot agree with that statement. There is nothing 'unreal' about their cameras.

You cannot judge much from the pictures at NAB, as all Blackmagic cameras do not produce finished footage straight from the camera, they rely heavily on being processed afterwards using Resolve.

The general consensus is that the Blackmagic cameras punch way above their weight. Experienced DOPs are using them in films as B cams with amazing results, and I have to say my Pocket camera produces pictures way better than my previous Sony cameras.
Jay M wrote on 4/15/2014, 1:24 PM
Can you point me to some Black Magic camera footage that isn't soft and washed out looking?

To my eyes the Black Magic cameras all have a look that is great for some content. But what concerns me is that their studio camera has that same look, and I don't think it's a good look for TV. In a studio environment, what comes out of the SDI port needs to look broadcast ready. It would be great if that is possible.

Please prove me wrong, and I'll be a happy camper! The price and feature set of their cameras is awesome.

VMP wrote on 4/15/2014, 2:36 PM

I agree but on the other hand, one is free to choose and maybe one wants that kind of look and goes for the BMD camera on purpose, knowing that it is their trademark.

That (kind of)t washed out 'cinematic' look is the main reason I am going for that camera. Or any other Cinematic camera like the C100, it has different dynamic range than say a broadcast camera.

I have never used a BMD camera but I am sure you can boost the contrast (light vs dark) due to it having enough dynamic range. I am sure you know all about it. I will be mainly using it for documentary and feature films that requires a cinematic atmosphere.
Rather than a 'realistic' look that a broadcast camera produces out of the box, which is more of a 'video look' (I know, one can endlessly discuss and debate in defining these video vs cinematic labels). Anyway I have played around for a while to make my broadcast cam look as 'cinematic as possible' but it is hard to change the fact that is a broadcast camera. This can be especially seen in the highlights vs shadow range. Which is also probably due to the sensor size and its overall dynamic range.

Sure there is so much more to a 'cinematic look' than the camera itself, lighting, framing, lenses etc. But even with the same scene /settings on can perceive the difference.

Camera Comparison: Arri Alexa – Red Mx – Canon 7D – Sony F65 – Sony FS700 – Canon C300

Even with similar sensors, I find the footage of C100/C300 to look more cinematic than the FS100/FS700 which to my opinion looks 'video like'. To me the only Sony camera that produces true cinematic/ 'film like' footage is the Cinealta F65. Every model below it produces a 'video like' footage.
If budget was not an issue then I woud say Arri Alexa! But the EOS Cinema line from Canon really comes close to it even side by side. And it is affordable for me (to have).

I am sure with some correction and tweaking the footage of Ursa could be tweaked to a typical broadcast look. But I will be sticking to traditional Sony broadcast cams for the typical broadcast work, and use the Ursa for high end, artistic/fictional scenes. But I think this 'Cinematic' look for tv production is becoming a trend now. Considering that the C300 is most used and wanted for TV documentaries these days.

Here is a comparison of how close the Cinema line of Canon comes to the Arri Alexa. (I know the girl is freezing)

Now imagine how this would look shot on a typical broadcast cam out of the box :-D. Just too real.

Camera Comparison: Arri Alexa – Red Mx – Canon 7D – Sony F65 – Sony FS700 – Canon C300

GeeBax wrote on 4/15/2014, 6:00 PM
[I]Can you point me to some Black Magic camera footage that isn't soft and washed out looking?[/I]

The output of the camera can be anything you like, that's the beauty of shooting in RAW. Most people who choose these cameras are doing so for this reason, and they avoid the lollypop pictures coming out of the other cameras. Want it sharper, sure, add some sharpness in Resolve. Want more colour, sure do the same.

There heaps of films over on Vimeo taken by these cameras, and most of them are stunning.

Here is one:
Another by the same person:

As for the studio camera, I don't think anyone can say much about it at present as it is not in the wild yet. But Blackmagic claim the fibre output allows it to be connected up for live grading, so the results may be whatever you want them to be.
farss wrote on 4/15/2014, 7:37 PM
Yip, that's the thing.
Shooting RAW is the same as shooting negative plus of course there's no edge enhancement in camera and the colour matrix, gamma and the colour space are all decided in post.

There's one feature on the F5/F55 that makes it a cheaper camera to own, it'll shoot 1080p windowed which means you can use S16 or B4 glass. I know someone who owns an F5 and she's found this a great feature as she's bought some cheap S16 zooms for when she shoots indie stuff. For work if they want her to shoot 4K RAW then work pays for the expensive glass. Other cameras can also shoot this way but I'm told Sony's F5/F55 simply does it better.

As for the 4K BMD cameras, yes the image through the RAW viewer does look a bit soft but that's because of the lack of detail enhancement. To my eye that's more filmic but one can always add detail to taste. Also once you get up into this domain the difference between lenses plays a part in how the image looks too.

GeeBax wrote on 4/15/2014, 8:53 PM
[I]Also once you get up into this domain the difference between lenses plays a part in how the image looks too.[/I]

Yessir. I was thinking that when I wrote my previous reply, but forgot to mention it. Quite often a camera is matched very closely to a given set of lenses, when both are made by the same proprietary company. Even to the extent where the camera provides internal correction for known aberrations produced by its lenses.

Good or great lenses are the key to good pictures, and the BMD cameras lend themselves to this at a budget price, because now you can use a huge range of lenses on them, courtesy of the adapters being developed specifically for the BMD range. And that can range from cheap and nasty up to beautiful primes.

Although the BMD Pocket camera is cheapish, I still had to spend around $5K to get everything I needed to shoot with this camera, as I had to start almost from scratch (with some very valuable help and recommendations from a member of this forum, thanks Serena). But I am loving every picture it produces.
VMP wrote on 4/16/2014, 1:05 PM
By the way.

Can the color correction be done solely one Vegas? While preserving the 12 stops?
Or is Davinci resolve or Lightroom the only option for this?

I can imagine that correcting raw footage is something else than other file formats.

Even for this previous model:

Vegas would have to be set to 32 bit pixel format I am guessing? What are the other things to look for when grading?

I rather do as much as possible within Vegas.

K-Decisive wrote on 4/17/2014, 1:24 PM
You can do CC in Vegas, but it's a little tricky because of all that crazy 'color science stuff'. I.e. using LUTs really help to nail the color out of these cameras. When I've tried to do it in Vegas it's always a bit wonky because it's coming from a log source, plus the colors need to be shifted around a bit in some cases.

When I first got my BMCC, I felt like you did, I didn't want to bother learning Resolve. But after spending a couple weeks leaning it, it really is the way to go. Plus you get NR and sharpening, all GPU rendered very fast.

Round tripping between Vegas 12 and Resolve is working really good now, and with Resolve 10 I'm going to start doing my final renders out of Resolve instead of the other way around.

I really suggest you give it a try ( there's a free version that just limits size and no NR ). There's also a wealth of information and free LUTs on the BMCUSER forum.
There are a number of the typical online tutorials out there also.

Hope this helps.
VMP wrote on 4/17/2014, 1:49 PM
Thanks K-Decisive.