Blackmagic URSA FAQ

NewMagic recently published a Top Five questions FAQ about the Blackmagic URSA. Give it a read!

URSA – Revolutionary user upgradeable digital film camera with 4K Super 35 sensor and global shutter, built-in 10” monitor and more

Blackmagic URSA, the world’s first high end digital film camera designed to revolutionise workflow on set. Built to handle the ergonomics of large film crews as well as single person use, URSA has everything built in, including a massive 10 inch fold out on set monitor, large user-upgradeable Super 35 global shutter 4K image sensor, 12G-SDI and internal dual RAW and ProRes recorders. Because the sensor and lens mount assembly can be changed, you can choose EF or PL lens mounts, or even a broadcast video sensor with B4 mount. This means you can upgrade to the latest sensor technology in the future and keep your investment in the camera body!

We get a lot of questions about the URSA so we thought a “Top Five” question and answer list would be beneficial for many people out there, in no particular order here are the most common questions and answers:

CFast 2.0 (storage) Cards:
Blackmagic URSA features dual recorders so you never need to stop recording to change media; additionally the built-in recorders use new CFast card technology which allow recording up to 350 MB/s for incredible speeds, perfect for high frame rate RAW recording. CFast is based on the Serial ATA bus and offers the speed required for flawless high-resolution video. Blackmagic will publish a list of tested CFast 2.0 cards as soon as the URSA ships. CFast 2.0 cards are readily available from all quality storage distributors.

Upgradeable Sensor
The Blackmagic URSA features a modular camera turret which can be simply removed 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. This means your next camera will be a fraction of the cost of buying a whole new camera! There are currently 4 models to choose from:

  • URSA EF – 4K Super 35 image sensor with global shutter and an EF lens mount with active lens control. 
  • URSA PL – 4K Super 35 image sensor with global shutter and the film industry PL lens mount.
  • URSA Broadcast – sensor optimised for Broadcast Video in Ultra HD, combined with a broadcast B4 lens mount and broadcast lens control connection plus built-in ND filter wheel.
  • URSA HDMI – includes no sensor because it features an HDMI 4K input and mount plate for connecting any camera such as DSLR cameras.

SDI Input
The SDI input allows the camera operator to view the Program (PGM) output. Simply press the PGM button to toggle between live camera output and Program output from a switcher control room (or another SDI camera).

Industry Standard Connections
URSA features industry standard broadcast quality connectors so you can connect without buying expensive custom cables. Having standard connections on location is important because you never know what equipment you’re going to need to connect to. You get the latest technology 12G-SDI video connections, separate HD-SDI output and 12V power for adding an external electronic viewfinder. Also included are 2 professional XLR balanced analog audio inputs with switchable phantom power for professional microphones, LANC, an industry standard 4 pin XLR power connector and more. No matter where in the world you travel, you’ll always have the confidence you can connect your camera.

Professional Batteries: Professional mounts and external power
URSA features a universal standard 4 pin broadcast power connector which is compatible with most 12V – 30V power supplies. When you’re location shooting and want to integrate a battery solution into the camera itself, then URSA includes mounting holes on the rear of the camera, compatible with both V-Mount and Anton Bauer Gold Mount back plates and batteries. The power connection for these battery mounts is under the plate itself so all power connections are hidden and protected from damage. With V-Mount or Anton Bauer battery support built into the camera, you can use your existing battery solutions and get hours of location use from a fully integrated battery solution which becomes part of the camera.

In other news, a cinematographer friend of mine recently got to play with a pre-production model of the URSA, and he seemed very positive about it. I can’t wait to see more!

(For those who also can’t wait, you can Preorder here!)