April 14, 2015

Blackmagic Ursa Mini 4.6K camera

Blackmagic Design’s new Ursa Mini is a much more compact and lighter weight version of its large Ursa Super 35 digital film camera, and should appeal to a wider range of users, with prices starting at $2,995/£2,149/€3,519 for the 4K EF-mount model. It can also come with a 4.6K image sensor, with either EF or PL lens mounts, switchable global or rolling shutter, up to 15 stops of dynamic range, a 5-inch fold out viewfinder and dual Raw and Apple ProRes recorders.

Ursa Mini has multiple mounting points so it can be easily accessorized with lenses, rails, matte boxes, etc. There is also an optional Blackmagic Ursa Mini Shoulder Kit ($395/£289/€475), with a quick release mounting plate for moving between handheld or shoulder to a tripod, and the 1920x1080 colour OLED Blackmagic Ursa Viewfinder ($1,495/£1,079/€1,759), which is adjustable so it can be used on either the left or the right eye.

The camera weighs about 2.3kg (5lbs) and includes built in histograms, focus assist, audio level meters and an integrated stereo microphone.

The 4.6K sensor captures 4608x2592 pixels and a global shutter for shooting up to 30 frames per second plus those 15 stops of dynamic range, which is better than traditional motion picture film. To maximise the dynamic range, the unit includes sensor refrigeration. The lower-cost 4K sensor has 12 stops of dynamic range, and shoots at HD, Ultra HD (3840x2160) and 4000x2160 resolutions (the latter in CinemaDNG Raw).

The Ursa Mini can also shoot up to 60fps, but that is using a rolling shutter, which will probably result in some skew on fast pans or action shots. Images are saved using 12-bit lossless CinemaDNG Raw, or ProRes for UHD and HD. Having higher resolution than even DCI 4K (4096x2160) for cinema production means that users can more easily stabilise images, if necessary, in post without losing any resolution. The camera can also record up to 160fps in HD.

The camera includes a full copy of DaVinci Resolve software colour grading and editing software.

  • Four models with the choice of 4.6K or 4K sensor with either a EF or PL mount
  • Dual CFast 2.0 card recorders
  • Support for CinemaDNG 4.6K Raw files and ProRes 4444 XQ, ProRes 4444, ProRes 422 HQ, ProRes 422, ProRes 422 LT, ProRes 422 Proxy recording at Ultra HD and HD resolutions
  • Dual XLR mic/line audio inputs with 48v phantom power
  • 12G-SDI output for monitoring with camera status graphic overlay
  • 4-pin 12v DC connection (for 12v to 30v power)
  • XLR 4-pin power output for viewfinder power
  • Headphone jack
  • LANC remote control
  • Both BNC Timecode input and reference input
  • Built-in gyroscope allowing recording of camera pitch, roll and yaw movements when working in Raw
  • Removable, rotatable hand grip

The 4.6K model also includes:
  • Selectable global and rolling shutter sensor
  • 15 stops dynamic range
  • Up to 60fps 4.6K resolution capture in Raw
  • GPS for location tagging


Ursa Mini 4K EF - $2,995 / £2,149 / €3,519
Ursa Mini 4K PL - $3,495 / £2,495 / €4,125
Ursa Mini 4.6K EF - $4,995 / £3,565 / €5,885
Ursa Mini 4.6K PL - $5,495 / £3,909 / €6,479

The Blackmagic Ursa Mini will be available in July.

By David Fox

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