Being able to crank the gain without losing quality is essential when filming, according to MixOne Cinema’s Director Kevin Garcia. The Blackmagic URSA cameras deliver under difficult conditions.
No test compares to the real-world experience, when one has to evaluate how cameras work, both for stills and video. We’ve shared here at ProVideo Coalition multiple examples, usually presented by the companies behind the products. Here is a new example: Blackmagic Design announced that Pentatonix’s “The Evergreen Experience” concert was shot with Blackmagic URSA Broadcast G2 and URSA Mini Pro 12K cameras in Blackmagic RAW by video production company MixOne Cinema.
While you might read some comments about gear with a grain of salt, when those comments are related to footage you can watch, it’s easier to see if what is said is really true. Furthermore, when professionals share their experience, based on real-world situations that they were faced with, their story becomes even more interesting. In the end, what we learn is that, as the title from Blackmagic Design implies, the Blackmagic URSA Broadcast G2’s lowlight performance shines during Pentatonix’s The Evergreen Experience.
During the performance, which was streamed across four time zones on premium social live media platform Moment House, Grammy Award winning a cappella group Pentatonix performed songs from its latest album Evergreen. Among the many advantages Moment House brings to both creators and fans is the focus on providing cinematic experiences with high quality, Hollywood level imagery from multicamera productions. MixOne Cinema, which specializes in high profile entertainment events, was chosen to produce the performance and used Blackmagic Design products to achieve a high quality look.
The resulting footage was incredible
According to MixOne Cinema’s Director Kevin Garcia, there were many dimly lit, intimate moments during the show, and the URSA Broadcast G2’s lowlight capabilities allowed him to capture them without worrying about grain or noise.
Here is some more information about the experience as shared by Blackmagic Design:
Citing the URSA Broadcast G2’s 6K sensor and dual gain ISO, Garcia noted: “Being able to crank the gain without losing quality was very helpful for some of the darker moments of the show that otherwise may not have come out as clean; it made a world of difference. At times I was concerned, but we leaned on the URSA Broadcast G2s, and the resulting footage was incredible and maintained the very clean and polished look that the band and I had in mind for the show.”
“The 6K sensor and dual ISO are things I’ve always loved as part of my Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Pro. Now with the URSA Broadcast G2, I can really maximize the workflow due to the additional features that come with the URSA body, such as being able to mount to a gimbal or jib for more control, the additional ports and the dual CFast card slots, which allow for nonstop recording. For example, once we let the audience in during the show, there was no way to bring the jib down to swap cards. By having camera control via the ATEM Software Control and two cards in there, it was never a concern. I’m fully supported no matter what the job throws at me,” he added.
Seven Blackmagic Design cameras used
In addition to the URSA Broadcast G2s, Garcia used four URSA Mini Pro 12Ks, noting that the two cameras matched very easily, and the high dynamic range, along with Blackmagic RAW, delivered a cinematic look. Garcia also relied on a Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Pro and Pocket Cinema Camera 4K, ATEM 1 M/E Production Studio 4K live production switcher, Blackmagic Video Assist 7” 12G HDR monitor/recorder, Mini Converters Optical Fiber 12G and DaVinci Resolve Studio for grading in post.
“We routed everything into the ATEM using fiber, as we were in an arena and had a lot of long cable runs. The Mini Converters aided in being able to go long distances very quickly with fiber and allowed camera shading via the ATEM. We recorded ISOs in each camera and the program out onto an SSD with the Video Assist,” said Garcia. “The ease of all the Blackmagic Design units working together allowed our team to be up and running incredibly quickly and efficiently and helped create a seamless show.”
“With an ever changing industry going from live events into streaming and now a hybrid of both, it’s been a very exciting time working with Blackmagic Design products as the tools fully support any workflow,” he concluded. “The hybrid model is especially advantageous as it brings live performances to an audience at home who otherwise wouldn’t have the ability to view these events. I personally think this hybrid model is here to stay, as now artists are planning streams as part of a tour or as a special event; for example, a new release or an anniversary of a record. It’s a new and exciting business model for the industry.”