Now that the 2015 NAB show in Las Vegas is over it’s time to do some coverage! Starting on April 17th and going until the end of the month I will be doing a spotlight on what was good at the show. Each day I’ll focus on something new or exciting that I saw. These are being released in no particular order.
Blackmagic Design Ursa Mini
I said this with my XC10 post, but I really try not to cover the hotter items since there’s so much floating around about them; but since I’m in the market for a 4K capable camera it’s hard to pass by the Blackmagic Design Ursa Mini. Last year when BMD released the Ursa I wasn’t super impressed, but the Ursa Mini seems to be right up my alley.
The Ursa Mini comes in one of four models: 4K/EF mount, 4K/PL mount, 4.6K/EF mount, and 4.6K/PL mount. Each variation uses a Super35 sensor which may be scoffed at by some saying, “it’s not full frame;” but the Super35 size is plenty big enough for everything I shoot. Plus the camera has 15 stops of dynamic range and since it’s a BMD camera is perfectly suited for grading in Resolve.
The body itself is very compact, weighing only 5.5lbs, and the optional accessories package (top handle, shoulder pad, and grip extender) adds nominal weight and runs only $400. The on-board 5″ monitor is touchscreen capable and has full 1920×1080 resolution, making it a great for cinema applications. One of the things I dislike about the XC10 is the lack of SDI output, and the Ursa Mini has two SDI outs; which is a huge thing for me.
The camera itself is a great option, but the biggest selling point is that it ships with a full version of DaVinci Resolve; the software normally runs ~$1000, so this is a major add-on for the Ursa Mini. Even if you don’t plan on using Resolve personally to grade your footage, if you know any colorists in need you can sell the dongle off to them and offset some of the already minimal cost for the camera.
If the on-board monitor isn’t enough for you then BMD still has you covered with a new external monitor and EVF. The Blackmagic Video Assist is a 5″ monitor with 1920×1080 resolution, SDI in/out, HDMI in/out, has signal cross conversion, and also records ProRes or DNxHD; for only $500 it’s a steal. BMD also released a new 1920×1080 EVF that is camera agnostic and runs with SDI, but will set you back $1400.
The Ursa Mini packs a big punch in a small frame and an even smaller cost. The 4K/EF model will only run you $3000 and the 4.6K/PL jumps up to $5500, putting all four versions well within the grasp of shooters looking for 4K but not wanting to spend an arm and a leg. Blackmagic is saying the Ursa Minis, Video Assist monitor, and EVF will ship in July; but their track record hasn’t proven faithful for release dates. The Ursa Mini is available for pre-order right now on B&H.
Post NAB 2015 Spotlight: Blackmagic Design Ursa Mini