Articles tagged #URSA
Articles tagged

Blackmagic Design Announces New URSA Mini Pro 4.6K Camera

New camera combines incredible digital film image quality with broadcast camera features, built in ND filters, interchangeable lens mount and more.

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NAB Show 2016 - Day 1 Highlights

The first day of the NAB Show has wrapped up in Vegas. The Videocraft team on the ground have been posting snippets of what is on the show floor and we have been wading through the press release announcements here at the office. Here are a few things that caught our eye and there will be more, make sure you are following us on social media (see the links in the footer of this page) for the most up-to-date information.

  We highlighted the Sony Press conference on our social media yesterday but in case you missed it, you can view it here . Sony's key announcements were across a wide range of products including a NEW 4K HDR Monitor the PVMX550 which supports High Dynamic Range display and a wide colour gamut supporting DCI-P3 and most of the ITU-R BT.2020 standard. It also has inbuilt a quad view display, with Individual settings of EOTF(SDR/HDR), colour space, Transfer Matrix, Color Temperature, contrast, brightness, SDI/HDMI, RGB/YCBCR, etc. for each display There was a new recorder for F5 and F55 Cameras announced - the AXS-R7. Compared to previous Sony 4K recorders, the AXS-R7 Portable Memory Recorder doubles 4K RAW recording from 60 fps up to 120 fps from the F55 camera*. For shooting at higher frame rates, the recorder captures 2K RAW at up to 240 fps from the F55 and F5, for playback with 10x super slow motion.** Note that the 4K RAW 120 fps recording only available for F55. And also the AXS-R7 Portable Memory Recorder is not compatible with the HXR-IFR5 interface unit. Another interesting camera development was the NEW PXW-Z450 an XDCAM Camcorder with a wide range of recording options including 4K QFHD (3840x2160) at 50p/59.94p, as well as a variety of HD formats including XAVC Intra, XAVC Long GOP, MPEG HD 422 and MPEG HD 420. Thanks to a specially-developed 4K 2/3-type Exmor R CMOS sensor, the PXW-Z450 is ideal for a wide variety of 4K operations, allowing you to use a wide range of commercially available B4 mount lenses without having to use an adapter. It also has great networking features such as built-in wireless module, embedded RJ-45 Ethernet 100B-T connector and Near Field Communication (NFC) function for easy Wireless LAN setup and operation via a mobile or tablet with Sony’s Content Browser Mobile™ application. There was also some great discussion on the 2nd generation of their Optical Disc Archive solution and a release of generation 2 products including a stand alone disk archive drive unit and new 3.3TB write once optical discs. Sony has a long white paper on their generation 2 ODA solution which is a lengthy read, but if your're interested, you can find it on their website here
  A surprise is not that Ross Video just keep innovating, but how great to see them hit the ground at NAB with a camera offering. If you missed our social media posts about it yesterday, Ross Video have released the Acid Cam purpose built for Studio production. It integrates perfectly with their robotics systems such as the Furio Remote Control system in Videocraft's rental fleet (you would have seen it on the Arias Red carpet). There are two models in the range - the ACID H200 is a full HD 1080P, 3 imager camera that utilizes the very latest 2/3” UAIT CMOS sensors that provide unrivaled performance of the very highest quality. Sensitivity, Signal to Noise and overall picture resolution are unmatched by any competitor with its three 2.6 Mega Pixel image sensors and standard 2/3” B4 lens mount. For moderate budgets and less critical applications, there is the ACID Z50. This is an excellent three CCD sensor 1080i/720P HD camera. This camera is also equipped with the UltraChromeHR output to provide a cost effective solution for awesome keying when combined with the Ross UltrachromeHR chroma keyer. Its lightweight, yet rugged construction also makes it the perfect companion for the Ross Robotic Furio Pan/Tilt heads for legislative bodies, House of Worship, educational, and corporate communication systems. For more information check out the Ross Video webpage
  An interesting one for Post-Production was the announcement of Avid NEXIS. Avid NEXIS is the world’s first and only software-defined storage platform, enabling fully virtualized storage for all media environments. What does that translate to for you? The NEXIS intelligent software system does some incredibly powerful things like offer a real-time scalable set of definable/resizable workspaces and a solid protection scheme that can cover you for up to 5 drive failures. Intelligent also means it is a media aware next-generation file system with pre-integrated hardware, which means it’s purpose built and tested to work as a cohesive system (unlike generic storage and third party software). The bottom line is that NEXIS delivers unrivaled flexibility, scalability, control, and extensibility not only to the Avid MediaCentral™ Platform, but also key workflow enabling third-party media applications like Adobe Premiere and Final Cut Pro X, so you can meet any production challenge. From the smallest production teams to the largest media enterprises, NEXIS is the only storage platform with the flexibility to easily scale and grow with you at every stage of your business. For more information check out the Avid Blog page about NEXIS.
  Miller Tripods announced a new Arrow X Series of fluid heads - key feature is the 16 Counterbalance PLUS settings so you can add in half settings and are able to rig or re-rig your setup as required. Watch the launch video which covers most of the main points or read their press release for more details. There are three new models in the Arrow X Series - X3, X5 and X7
  As always, there was lots to say from our friends at Blackmagic Design in press releases. They also released a 50 minute video overview of all their announcements on their site and you can view it here - yes, there are more than a dozen and we found these ones were certainly interesting. First up was the new Blackmagic URSA Studio Viewfinder, a high resolution 7” studio viewfinder with variable tension mounting points, tally, external controls. For those of you who have already purchased an URSA Mini, then you will be excited by the announcement of the FREE OS providing URSA Mini with a new user interface and heads up display, which dramatically reduces the number of menus and sub-menus needed to find specific settings and commands. You can now quickly change settings such as ISO, white balance, shutter angle, iris, frame rate, frame guides and more without ever having to navigate through any menus. There are now custom white balance and white balance presets, along with tint control settings. Customers also get more accurate shutter angle selection, including a large easy to use on screen keyboard for easy entry of settings. When entering the shutter angle, the new URSA Mini camera OS will even offer smart flicker free shutter angle suggestions to assist the camera operator. For recording and monitoring you could also take a look at the Blackmagic Video Assist 4K features two built in high speed UHS-II recorders that work with the latest high performance SD cards, making them fast enough to record Ultra HD video up to 2160p30 on widely available, inexpensive SD cards. Files are saved as broadcast quality 10-bit 4:2:2 video in either ProRes or DNxHD formats, making them compatible with all popular editing software, so you can start editing immediately without having to transcode or convert files. Recording can be triggered to start and stop using LANC or over HDMI or SDI from the camera. With two built in recorders, customers get non-stop recording because when one card is full it automatically continues onto the next. Not sure if Blackmagic are going for best pocket-sized product awards - they introduced the Blackmagic Micro Converter SDI to HDMI and Blackmagic Micro Converter HDMI to SDI, two new super small, pocket size broadcast quality video converters. This converts signals from professional broadcast equipment such as cameras, decks, switchers and routers into HDMI so customers can monitor video using big screen televisions and projectors. The Micro Convertors are powered via the same micro USB connection that’s used on smartphones so customers can use the included DC plug pack, any USB device, or even a smartphone charger to power the converters. If multiple inputs and monitoring are your thing, then check out the Blackmagic MultiView 4, a new multi viewer that lets customers monitor 4 completely independent SDI video sources on a single display. Customers can monitor any combination of SD, HD and Ultra HD formats and frame rates all at the same time. Blackmagic MultiView 4 can output to regular HD monitors, however, when customers plug in an Ultra HD display, they will get four times the resolution of a simple HD only multi viewer.   Connecting and controlling formats is hard work, so why not try the latest product announcement from Blackmagic Design featuring the latest 40Gb/s Thunderbolt 3 technology. UltraStudio 4K Extreme 3 has a wide range of digital and analogue connections and is designed to work with virtually all formats ranging from SD and HD all the way up to Ultra HD and digital cinema. Thunderbolt 3 performance allows customers to work with the highest quality 12-bit RGB and highest frame rate video, including stereoscopic 3D and DCI 4K, making it perfect for high end feature film, television and commercial work. UltraStudio 4K Extreme features a hardware codec that can encode in real time into the new H.265 format. Well, with the Shogun and Ninja Flame products hitting our inboxes and showrooms only weeks ago, here we are again with a new fire burning in our pockets for latest release from Atomos - the Shogun Inferno is the combination of the most advanced monitor technologies – 1500nit/10bit/HDR, the latest recording capability – 4Kp60 over Quad-SDI, along with playback and editing functionality that encourages on set collaboration. Shogun Inferno makes mastering a high resolution, high frame rate, high dynamic range workflow available to all filmmakers. Read more on the Atomos Website.

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Blackmagic Design Announces Blackmagic URSA Mini

When we saw the URSA, we were impressed with its image quality and features and super robust chassis. At the same time, we had all hoped that it was a little bit smaller and lighter. So, the fairies at Blackmagic have obviously listened and brought out the new Blackmagic URSA Mini. Much smaller, more like the size of the Sony FS7. There are two models, either with UHD or 4096x2160 4K sensors. The other great news is that Blackmagic Design have now brought out a new viewfinder to suite the URSA and URSA mini! This is a great step forward and from my point of view, and really turns the URSA in to a much more credible production tool.Blackmagic URSA Mini will be demonstrated on the Blackmagic Design NAB 2015 booth at #SL219, We were fortunate enough to have a preview on Sunday in Las Vegas, here is some very fuzzy sneaky shots getting to check out the URSA Mini for the first time Here is the press release below with more detail... Blackmagic Design announced today, Blackmagic URSA Mini, a compact and lightweight Super 35 digital film camera that’s perfectly balanced for handheld use and comfortable enough to be used all day. URSA Mini features an incredible 4.6K image sensor, switchable global or rolling shutter, up to 15 stops of dynamic range, a large 5 inch fold out viewfinder and dual RAW and Apple ProRes recorders. Blackmagic URSA Mini is available in 4 models, customers can choose either EF or PL lens mounts and 4K or 4.6K image sensors. Prices for the Blackmagic URSA Mini start at $2,995 for the 4K EF model.   Blackmagic URSA Mini is designed to be used on feature films, television shows, commercials, indies, documentaries, music videos and more. The stunning quality of its 4.6K sensor with 15 stops of dynamic range lets customers capture epic cinematic shots, while its compact size is perfect for solo shoots or smaller crews. URSA Mini features multiple mounting points so it can be easily accessorized with high quality cinema lenses, rails, matte boxes and more. The optional Blackmagic URSA Mini Shoulder Kit, which features a quick release mounting plate so it can go from handheld to shoulder or to a tripod in seconds, and the Blackmagic URSA Viewfinder, make URSA Mini perfect for pickup and run shooting situations. Crafted from an advanced technology magnesium alloy, Blackmagic URSA Mini is rugged, yet extremely lightweight and comfortable enough to be used all day. It includes built in histograms, focus assist, audio level meters, dual RAW and ProRes recorders, high quality stereo microphones and a 5 inch fold out screen that can be used as an on set monitor. That means customers can dramatically reduce on-set equipment because so much of what they need is already built into URSA Mini, making it easier for smaller crews to use in tight locations. Blackmagic URSA Mini is a true professional digital film camera with a 4.6K sensor that captures 4608 x 2592 pixels. The sensor features a global shutter for shooting up to 30 frames per second and up to a super wide 15 stops of dynamic range that delivers more latitude than traditional motion picture film. Blackmagic URSA Mini can also shoot up to 60 frames per second with rolling shutter for customers that need to work at higher frame rates. Built in sensor refrigeration ensures maximum dynamic range for incredibly clean images that have amazing detail in both dark shadow and bright highlight areas of the picture. Images are saved using 12-bit lossless CinemaDNG RAW, or ProRes for easy post production workflows with minimum storage requirements. URSA Mini includes ¼” mounting points on the top and bottom of the camera for attaching standard accessories that customers are accustomed to using with larger, full size cameras. There is also a range of Blackmagic Design accessories that are designed to match and work perfectly with URSA cameras. Customers can choose from the Blackmagic URSA Mini Shoulder Kit which includes a shoulder pad with built in quick release tripod mount and a top handle. The Blackmagic URSA Viewfinder features a high resolution 1920 x 1080 color OLED display and glass based optics that’s incredibly accurate and sharp so customers get a viewfinder that allows perfect focusing and operates just like an optical viewfinder. “URSA Mini features a new 4.6K image sensor with an incredible 15 stops of dynamic range. That’s almost more dynamic range than the human eye can see, and far more than most traditional film!” said Grant Petty, CEO, Blackmagic Design. “Building on the phenomenal success of URSA, we’ve miniaturized the camera, included all of the essential tools filmmakers need, and still managed to make it light enough to use all day. URSA Mini puts true Super 35 digital film quality in the palm of your hand and is, quite simply, the most exciting camera I’ve ever seen!”

Blackmagic URSA Mini Key Features

  • Four models with the choice of two sensors, 4.6K or 4K sensor in EF or PL mount.
  • Built in dual CFast 2.0 card recorders allow unlimited duration recording in high quality.
  • Open file formats compatible with popular software, such as CinemaDNG 12 bit RAW. No custom file formats.
  • 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.
  • Features all standard connections, including dual XLR mic/line audio inputs with phantom power, 12G-SDI output for monitoring with camera status graphic overlay and separate XLR 4 pin power output for viewfinder power, headphone jack, LANC remote control and standard 4 pin 12V DC power connection.
  • Built in high quality stereo microphones for recording sound.
  • 5 inch foldout 1080 HD touchscreen for on-set monitoring and menu settings.
  • Optional URSA Mini Shoulder Kit, allowing both tripod and shoulder use interchangeably.
  • Built in gyroscope allowing recording of camera pitch, roll and yaw movements when working in RAW.
  • Includes full copy of DaVinci Resolve software color grading and editing software.

Additional Blackmagic URSA Mini 4.6K Model Features

  • Selectable global and rolling shutter sensor.
  • Wide 15 stops of dynamic range allows capture of increased details for feature film look.
  • Supports up to 60 fps 4.6K resolution capture in RAW.
  • Built in GPS for location tagging of recorded files for easy media management when editing.

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Blackmagic Design Announces Camera Update 2.3

Major new software update adds improvements for Blackmagic URSA digital film cameras

Blackmagic Design announced today the Blackmagic Camera 2.3, which is a major update for Blackmagic URSA cameras. This new software adds support for HD window mode allowing 150fps recording in 1920 x 1080 resolutions, adds support for ProRes 444 XQ, allows recording onto 2 CFast 2 cards simultaneously in RAW allowing higher frame rates in RAW and also adds support for the new V2 4K URSA image sensor which allows Ultra HD capture to 120 fps. This new software update is available now to download from the Blackmagic Design support web site. Since its introduction, Blackmagic URSA has been used on multiple television commercials and feature films worldwide. These high end customers have provided some great feedback on features most needed and this free software update incorporates many of the requests. The new “window mode” allows customers to select up to 150 fps for allowing slow motion effects and other creative cinematography. The window mode keeps data rates lower, even when running at high frame rates because it does not use the whole 4K image sensor, but takes a 1920 x 1080 resolution window from the center of the sensor. This allows the camera to capture to higher frame rates than possible when using the whole sensor. The new ProRes 444 XQ codec allows Blackmagic URSA cameras to record into the highest quality ProRes format and this allows incredible compatibility with both DaVinci Resolve and also Final Cut Pro X. ProRes 444 XQ is ideal when you need extremely high quality, but also need compatibility with a wide range of software that might not handle RAW files. This software update also allows recording RAW to two CFast 2 cards simultaneously. This allows every second RAW frame to be sent to alternate CFast 2 cards so the recording data rate is doubled in comparison to using a single card. Because CFast 2 cards are extremely fast, being able to use two of them at the same time when recording allows extremely high data rates, which is vital when recording RAW. Because the frame rate is not fixed in RAW files, this means shooting RAW is ideal for high frame rate shooting and is more flexible when customers need to change the speed of the clips during post production. This new Camera Update 2.3 also adds support for a new version of the URSA image sensor that allows higher frame rates. This new 4K v2 sensor is now rolling out in new URSA cameras and allows high frame rates full resolution 4K of up to 120 fps. This means customers can now go beyond 80 fps and up to 120 fps when running high resolution. Because Blackmagic URSA is user upgradable, this new sensor will also be offered as an upgrade so customers can increase the frame rate of their URSA cameras if required. Details on availability and cost of this 4K v2 sensor update will be available late in April. “We are extremely happy to make this software update available free of charge for URSA customers!,” said Grant Petty, CEO, Blackmagic Design. “Blackmagic URSA customers have been giving us some great feedback on features they would like to see added to the camera and because URSA has so much power, we have been able to say yes! We have added these new features and there is more to come so we cannot wait to see what our customers do with this new update when they get the chance to use it in production!”

Camera Update 2.3 Key Features

  • Adds support for windowed recording up to 150 fps in 1920 x 1080 HD resolution.
  • Adds new ProRes 444 XQ codec for recording and playback.
  • Adds support for recording to 2 CFast 2 cards at the same time in RAW allowing higher frame rates.
  • Adds support for new Version 2 4K image sensor for recording to 120 fps in 4K.

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 capture to 120 fps on v2 4K sensors and 150 fps in 1080 HD resolution.
  • 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.

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#NAB2014 Blackmagic Lowers Cost Of Entry To Cinema And Broadcast Production

by Michael Curwood

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