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Blackmagic Announces Public Beta for URSA Mini User Interface & OS

New user interface, dozens of features and improved camera performance.

The public beta for testing and trial has opened up for the Blackmagic URSA Mini’s new User Interface and Operating System. At NAB 2016 Blackmagic CEO Grant Petty called this update the other half of the URSA Mini’s architecture. Think of this as the kind of update which can make a shooter’s experience operating the URSA Mini better.

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For example, the new heads-up display should reduce the number of menus and submenus needed to find settings. Shooters will be able to quickly change settings like ISO, White Balance, Shutter Angle, Iris, Frame Rates, Frame Guides, and more without needing to menu dive. Could this be the end of menu diving for Blackmagic?

Function buttons! Finally, the function buttons can be assigned. I immediately set my F1 to an off-speed setting and my F2 to change the ISO. There are, obviously, many different options. I just chose those because I need them the most.

URSA 3K Anamorphic is another update very interesting. From my understanding, and I allow myself to be wrong, the anamorphic setting turns the sensor record area into 4:3 by cropping the left and right out. Meaning 2x anamorphic lenses should find a great home on the 4.6K URSA Mini. But, in the menu Blackmagic has a 1.33x de-squeeze function for the monitor. It would be nice to have the option to choose between 2.0x, 1.5x, and 1.33x de-squeeze functions for the monitor. To find the rest of the new features I’ve listed them below.

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Blackmagic URSA Mini 4.6K and 4K

  • New URSA Mini OS.
  • New heads up display.
  • New menu system to allow faster operation.
  • New monitoring options separately configurable for different SDI outputs.
  • Added ability to load 3D LUTs (Look Up Table) for monitoring.
  • Added ability to save and load camera settings presets.

New Heads Up Display Features

  • Swipe up or down to show and hide the heads up display.
  • Added pan-able focus zoom.
  • Added ability to change frame rate directly from heads up display.
  • Added ability to change iris from heads up display on electronic lenses.
  • Added ability to toggle timecode or duration from heads up display.
  • Added ability to toggle favorite off-speed frame rate quickly.
  • Added ability to change shutter angle from heads up display.
  • Added flicker free shutter angle suggestions.
  • Added manual shutter angle option for up to 2 decimal places.
  • Added indicators for genlock, timecode status, and sensor window in heads up display.
  • Added ability to change ISO from heads up display.
  • Added ability to change white balance from heads up display.
  • Added white balance presets including daylight, tungsten, fluorescent, mixed lighting, and overcast.
  • Added tint control.
  • Added auto white balance feature.
  • Added audio input and headphone level control from the heads up display.
  • Added media status page for formatting cards and media information.
  • Added ability to toggle battery indicator from heads up display.
  • Added monitoring option controls from heads up display including zebra, focus assist, frame guide and grids.

New Metadata Features

  • Improved slate and metadata functionality.
  • Added lens data information to slate metadata.
  • Added auto-fill lens metadata from electronically controllable lenses.
  • Changed slate shortcut from a single tap to a sideways swipe on the LCD.

New Record Features

  • Added additional ProRes resolutions for URSA Mini 4.6K including 4.6K 16×9, 4.6K 2.4:1, 4K DCI, 3K Anamorphic, 2K 16×9 and 2K DCI.
  • Added additional RAW resolutions for URSA Mini 4.6K including 4.6K 2.4:1, 4K 16×9, 3K Anamorphic, 2K 16×9 and HD.
  • Added option to select the preferred card for recording.

New Monitor Features

  • Improved screen colorimetry for the built-in LCD.
  • Added ability to switch 3D LUT on and off for each output individually.
  • Added ability to switch false color, zebras, focus assist, frame guides, grids and safe area guide on or off for each output individually.
  • Added clean feed toggle for each output.
  • Added program tally indicator for the built-in LCD and Front SDI when using ATEM.
  • Added monitoring option for tally, crosshairs, and center dot as part of grids.
  • Added 14:9 frame guides.
  • Added configurable safe area guides.
  • Expanded options for focus assist to include red, green, blue, black and white as well as peaking.
  • Added option for viewing codec and resolution setting instead of meters on the built-in LCD.

New Settings Features

  • Added ability to program function buttons as a preset for frame rate, iris, white balance, ISO or shutter angle.
  • Added ability to program function buttons for Up or Down frame rate, iris, white balance, ISO or shutter angle.
  • Added ability to program function buttons as a toggle for clean feed, display LUT, frame guides, focus assist, false color, zebra, grids, safe area guides, off-speed and color bars.
  • Added flicker free shutter frequency selection for 50Hz or 60Hz.
  • Added support for drop frame timecode.
  • Added ability to trigger color bars from the camera.
  • Added factory reset function.
  • Added hardware ID display.
  • Added software version display.

New Presets Features

  • Added ability to create up to 12 global camera settings presets.
  • Added ability import and export camera presets to CFast media.

New 3D LUT Features

  • Added ability to monitor with 3D LUTs.
  • Added ability to import 3D LUT from CFast media.
  • Added ability to store up to 6 custom 17 point or 33 point LUTs into the camera’s internal flash memory.
  • Added the ability to export one of the camera’s 3D LUTs to CFast media so you can pass the 3D LUT to a colorist or editor.
  • Added ability to delete 3D LUT from camera’s internal memory.

New General Features

  • Improved timecode functionality for external timecode and jam timecode.
  • Improved white balance performance.
  • Added option for a single clip or all clip playback.
  • Added loop playback feature.

Blackmagic URSA Viewfinder

  • Improved colorimetry for the viewfinder.
  • Improved proximity sensor sensitivity.
  • Improved proximity sensor timeout settings.
  • Improved frame guide appearance.
  • Added support for URSA Mini OS metadata settings.
  • Added support for new frame guides, safe area guides, and grids.
  • Added menu items for configuring overlay settings.

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Brian Hallett, is an award winning cameraman, editor, and producer. He has shot everything from Network broadcast news, promotional image campaigns, music videos, short films, and documentaries. Check out his reel at hallett-brian.com

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