It’s been a long wait and now Blackmagic announces their URSA Mini 4.6K and Micro Cinema Camera are now shipping. But, there is a hitch in their original plans. The URSA Mini 4.6K and Micro Cinema Camera will lose Global Shutter.
The good news is these cameras are shipping. Some will feel like the 4.6K URSA Mini and the Micro Cinema Camera without a Global Shutter is bad news. I tend to disagree. The Global Shutter setting for these cameras would have reduced the sensors dynamic range. From my perspective, I would way rather have 15 stops of dynamic range than a global shutter.
To see Blackmagic release these cameras without it means their engineers were hard pressed for time to make it work and have units shipping before the NAB2016 deadline we’ve all come to expect from them when it comes to new cameras.
Now the $2995.00 URSA Mini 4K and $4995.00 USRA Mini 4.6K are more different from originally planned. The 4K camera has a global shutter, but with the cost of less light sensitivity and less dynamic range. The 4.6K camera has more light sensitivity and more dynamic range, but fast moving images or fast camera pans may jello.
Blackmagic commissioned a 4K short film to show-case the 15 stops of dynamic range and new color science found in the more expensive 4.6K URSA Mini. Blackmagic also has made available three separate camera RAW files so you can color grade them yourself. They also made a behind-the-scene film talking about their process and how they utilized the 15 stops of dynamic range during their production.
All of this to show shooters why the more expensive 4.6K URSA Mini is a good owner/operator camera for them. In many ways, Blackmagic makes a very smart move here. They are shipping the cameras before NAB2016. They are moving the PR conversation toward a more positive voice. They are giving customers every option to see and test footage coming off what will be their flagship camera.