Australian John Brawley Director of Photography, known for testing Blackmagic Cameras before they are released, shows off the first footage from Blackmagic's new URSA Camera. In predictable Brawley fashion; it is spectacular.
Blackmagic announced the 4K URSA camera at NAB 2014. Now we have an chance to see the first official footage from the $6,000 camera, and it’s absolutely stunning. Brawley says, “I received an Blackmagic design URSA PL mount camera late last week. Although I’ve been involved in other behind the scenes testing at BM, this was the first chance I’ve had to take a camera out and do my own thing. I start shooting “Hiding”, a new ABC TV series tomorrow morning so I’ve been flat out getting ready for “Hiding”, but I managed to sneak out early this morning before sunrise to the wonderful Bronte beach.”
You might have heard of Brawley. He was an early tester of the Cinema and Pocket Camera. In this video he used the URSA's high dynamic range to help capture the beauty of the sunrise and the rolling waves while using the camera's 4K 60p frame rate to slow the footage down a bit.
The video was shot over a period of 90 minutes, filled three 128Gb SanDisk CFast 2.0 Cards, and all the shots were shot at ISO 400 with a Cooke 25-250 MK3 T 3.7 zoom. Pretty impressive visuals with a camera shooting 400 ISO and a T3.7 lens.
Everything was shot at 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) ProRes HQ at 60 FPS except for the sun rising shot. That sunrise shot was shot at 24 FPS. True ND 9 and 1.5 were used once the sun was up and shining. Lastly, single node grade in Resolve, no Noise Reduction, and he had to fix two Black Sun Spots shots.
John Brawley is an award winning Director of Photographer. A link to his wordpress page is here: http://johnbrawley.wordpress.com/2014/08/11/ursa-does-bronte/ His site is a great place to read about his other camera tests, as well an always interesting behind-the-scenes peek into his life as a Cinematographer.
ABOUT THE URSA
Blackmagic URSA is designed to be used on high end feature films, commercials, episodic television production, documentaries, electronic news gathering, music videos and more. When used on jobs with a large crew, customers can easily dress the camera with high quality cinema lenses, rails, follow focus, matte boxes and more. With built in scopes for exposure, focus and audio levels, built in dual recorders and the large 10 inch fold out on set monitor, customers can dramatically reduce on set equipment because it’s all built into the camera.
The Blackmagic URSA features a larger professional size that has the space for powerful cooling that allows higher frame rates while keeping the chassis cool and the fan quiet. The sleek futuristic machined aluminum design is incredibly strong and has been designed for large film crews while being able to be field upgraded to new sensors by the user. Each area of the camera has been divided into separate DOP, camera assistant and audio engineer work stations. The DOP station features a large 10 inch fold out on set monitor and separate 5 inch screen for settings, camera status and scopes. The camera assist station features a separate screen for camera settings, status and scopes and an audio station features audio meters, controls and audio connections.
Blackmagic URSA is a true professional digital film camera with a 4K sensor, global shutter and a wide 12 stops of dynamic range. The wide dynamic range is superior to regular video cameras or even high end broadcast cameras and results in dramatically better images that look like true digital film. The large Super 35 size sensor allows for creative shallow depth of field shooting and high resolution Ultra HD, 12 bit lossless compressed Cinema DNG RAW and Apple ProRes™ allow for easy post production workflow with minimum storage requirements.
The Blackmagic URSA features a modular camera turret that can be simply replaced by removing 4 simple bolts! The camera turret includes the sensor, lens mount and lens control connections and can be upgraded in the future when new types of sensors are developed. There are currently 4 models to choose from, URSA PL supports PL mount lenses and URSA EF supports EF mount lenses from Canon, Zeiss and more. Both of these models include the large Super 35 sized global shutter digital film sensor. The URSA Broadcast B4 model, available late 2014, features a broadcast video Ultra HD sensor and B4 lens mount used in broadcast. The URSA HDMI model has no sensor and its lens mount is replaced by a “cheese plate” of mounting points and a HDMI input, allowing any third party camera to get the benefit of the URSA camera body features.
“Our goal when developing the URSA was to build a camera that had all the cooling capacity for higher frame rates, and a large on set monitor as well as built in scopes so you had everything you need built into the camera itself. The problem with spending so much money building in such incredible accessories is that they become outdated as sensor technology moves on. So we designed the ability to upgrade the sensor so customers can simply bolt on a new sensor and turret assembly in the future!”, said Grant Petty, CEO, Blackmagic Design, “We think this is a revolution and this upgradable design means we have been able to put a lot more effort into the design of the camera body itself and the quality of the screens, recorders, cooling system and processing power than would normally be offered. The result is one of the most amazing television products I have ever seen!”
Blackmagic URSA PL and URSA EF Key Features
- Large high resolution 4K Super 35 mm sized sensor with superior handing of image detail.
- Professional global shutter for smooth pans and image motion.
- Wide 12 stops of dynamic range allows capture of increased details for feature film look.
- Compatible with extremely high quality PL or EF mount lenses.
- User upgradable design allows customers to upgrade and change the sensor and lens mount.
- Built in dual CFast 2.0 card recorders allow unlimited duration recording in high quality.
- Open file formats compatible with popular NLE software, such as Apple ProRes and compressed CinemaDNG 12 bit RAW. No custom file formats.
- Support for ProRes HQ, ProRes 422, ProRes LT, ProRes Proxy recording at resolutions up to Ultra HD.
- Features all standard connections, including dual XLR mic/line audio inputs with phantom power, 6G-SDI output for monitoring with camera status graphic overlay and separate XLR 4 pin power output for viewfinder power, 6G-SDI monitoring input, headphone jack, LANC remote control and standard 4 pin 12V DC power connection.
- Built in stereo microphones for recording sound.
- 3 separate built in LCD monitors for camera settings and metadata entry. Large 10 inch screen folds out for full resolution HD monitoring with wide viewing angle and high brightness.
- Supports Ultra HD and 1080 HD resolution capture in 23.98, 24, 25, 29.97, 30 up to 60 fps.
- Features liquid cooling system allowing higher frame rates when future sensors support this feature.
- Supports quick release tripod mounts and adding V-Mount and Anton/Bauer mount battery plates.
- Includes full copy of DaVinci Resolve software color grading and editing software.