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Blackmagic URSA 4K Camera: $6k Professional Cinema Camera Announced

By Leujay Cruz on April 7th 2014

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Blackmagic Design is drawing extensive crowds at this year’s NAB event in Las Vegas. Since attendees have been allowed to walk on the tradeshow floor, filmmakers have flooded the Blackmagic display. Attracting attendees is the new Blackmagic 4k URSA camera.

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Some of the camera’s accessory highlights are:

  • An interchangeable sensor design which allows users to swap out the Canon EF lens mount and Super 35 global shutter for a sensor compatible with a PL lens mount.
  • Internal dual processors capable of RAW and Apple ProRes recorders
  • Built in dual CFast 2.0 card recorders
  • Several SDI inputs and outputs, XLR mic jacks, VU meters
  • Liquid cooling system to allow higher frame rates
  • Includes DaVinci Resolve color grading and editing software
  • Two 5” 800 x 480 touch screen monitors to display the camera’s vitals, settings, timecode, histogram, or used as a duplicate preview screen
  • A gigantic 10.1” inch fold out monitor viewing at 1920 x 1200

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Available at a later date will be a B4 mount and a sensor-less HDMI input mount, which allows users to connect another camera to the URSA. This allows other cameras to utilize URSA’s ProRes recording and 12 bit lossless compressed Cinema DNG RAW for simplifying post workflow and minimizing storage needs.

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Designed to be versatile in all forms of shooting, the Blackmagic URSA could be used from high-end feature films, news documentation, high-budget commercials, music videos, to various television programming. When utilized for large film crew productions, the URSA can be outfitted with high quality cinema lenses, follow focus systems, barn doors, a rail-slider system for maximum capability.  When used as a standalone system, a single shooter would be able to take advantage of URSA’s extensive built-in features allowing a full production with only a one-man camera crew.

With the URSA’s 12 stops of dynamic range in its 4k sensor along with the enormous Super 35 size sensor, no wonder why this new camera has become this year’s showstopper at NAB. The Super 35 sensor provides creative possibilities through shallow depth of field and the optical features allow this camera to render better images that view much more like true digital film.

This is an impressive piece of new equipment, but we’re already seeing some backlash from loyal Blackmagic fans. Scared they won’t be seeing support for their current setups, the loyal Cinema and Pocket Camera users are forced to watch from the sidelines. It will be interesting to see how much support Blackmagic gives their current camera lineup. Users would have been thrilled with resolving the current bugs, updating the firmware and complimenting those expected moves by new features, instead they are left with a decision to move on or hope for future support.

[REWIND: BLACKMAGIC 4K CAMERA NOW SHIPPING, PRICE DROPS $1000]
Having all the right buzzwords, accessories and features that any filmmaker would dream of, the price isn’t too shabby either. With other cameras like the RED epic hitting the wallet at a hefty 5 figures of around 15-25k for a full setup, the URSA surprises with a retail price of $5,995, planned availability for June/July.

[Via @Black Magic/Business Wire]

About

Leujay is a full time wedding photographer with Lin & Jirsa Photography and a freelance runway fashion photographer. He currently lives in Palm Desert with his wife and two dogs. When he’s not enjoying quality family time he fancies himself as a work-in-progress world traveler.

Connect with Leujay on Facebook and follow him on Instagram.

2 Comments

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  1. Northwest Wedding Photography

    I’ve been looking for quite a while for the perfect video camera to create high end wedding films. This looks like the answer!

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  2. Rick

    I wouldn’t compare this to a Red Epic; that’s at least a 5K setup (the Dragon being 6K). You also get much more framing options with the Reds and not limited to the 3840 width. Better dynamic range, etc.

    Still, it’s very nice to see a 4K broadcast quality solution come in well under 10K! Once upon a time, the Red Scarlet was supposed to hit a much lower price point (think it was to debut as a 3K solution). But alas, it too is up there quite a bit.

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