Blackmagic Ursa Review

Few days ago the Blackmagic Ursa arrived. First thing I did, was check the firmware and I needed to update it to 2.0 for the 4K Raw 3:1 for 80fps It also conforms the footage too, so no post work needed. Just set your Project frame rate to 25fps and your sensor frame rate to 80fps…or set it to what ever frame rates you need 🙂 The camera boots up and shuts down nice and fast too 10917814_846802035383940_5616144089413038581_n  After messing with the camera, I shot a quick video for a few tips that might help out exsiting Ursa owners and for the future buyers. You don’t have to go buy the most expensive, sturdy tripod. Watch below: As I was recording this video tip, it randomly started to snow here, so I quickly tried to capture some footage. Here is some of that footage, shot at 4K Prores 422 at 80fps with the Sigma 50mm Art lens 1.4, using my Sachtler Ace L Tripod 10386275_848258245238319_2727439851815903040_n Then I thought….how would this camera do for run n gun style shooting. So I was surprised to see it fits perfectly in my Tiffen Domke F2 bag 🙂 ursa domke 2 The Stealth slider by Kessler Crane can also handle the weight of the Ursa, but if you plan on tripod slider shots…maybe use 2 tripods kessler ursa  At the moment, CFast 2.0 Cards are very hard to get hold of, unfortunately quite pricy at the moment too. 10612782_846802662050544_291823384414457076_n I  k now CFast 1 cards can record 1080p and some 4k, but Id rather be safe getting 2.0 cards and be able to shoot 80fps. So I took my only IDX DUO 150 battery and single 120GB Cfast 2.0 card, thought i’d see how long they both last out in the field today. 1964857_849206081810202_7914035221414317305_n Unfortunately when I timed myself…I started filming (non continuously) at 10am and the card was full at 10:30. But while saying full, it also gave me a minute, to two minutes more record time after displaying full card. I shot at 4K Prores 422HQ at 80fps, Shot with Sigma 50mm 1.4 Art lens, Tiffen Vari-ND filter, Sachtler Ace L Tripod It was pretty much overcast today and the screen to my surprise, was really hard to see anything. Even when the screen isn’t in your face from shoulder shots….outside its still pretty hard to see. So with the screen being close to your face while on the shoulder, an EVF is also needed for when its bright. I put together a piece long enough for what the card recorded. It delivers colors nicely and the skin tones looks great too, 80fps in UHD is also a nice thing to have 🙂 betty camera 3 betty camera Regarding card space, If your out in the field with only one C Fast 2.0 card, a 120GB card takes about 45 min to offload. So if your with a client, keep shooting times and offload times in your head. Plan wisely, like ”hey”, lets get a quick coffee break, (translation offload offload offload) haha BLACKMAGIC URSA UHD vs 1080

Ive been getting a lot of emails recently, regarding card space with the Blackmagic Ursa

As we know CFast 2.0 cards are hard to come by and expensive…let alone they eat up space fast, very fast if you shoot 80fps So, Ive done some quick tests here. Shooting UHD 25fps and 80fps, then the same shot at 1080p etc 1080p out of this camera is amazing, get the DSLR 1080p out of your mind. Remember most Alexa footage is shot at 1080p and that camera rocks. To show how good 1080p is, when I edited this….I upscaled the 1080p shots to UHD. As you can see, it looks almost identical So now, unless the client demands it. Is there any need to shoot UHD!!!. Save a bit of card space and shoot 1080p Here is some more info regarding space: 1920×1080 Prores 422 with Sandisk 120GB Cfast 2.0 80fps = 35min 25fps = 1hr 13min 1920×1080 Prores HQ with Sandisk 120GB Cfast 2.0 80fps = 23min 25fps = 76min 1920×1080 Prores 444 with Sandisk 120GB Cfast 2.0 80fps = 15min 25fps = 50min UHD 3840×2160 422 Prores with Sandisk 120GB Cfast 2.0 80fps = 8min 25fps = 28min UHD 3840×2160 422 Prores HQ with Sandisk 120GB Cfast 2.0 80fps = 5min 25fps = 18min UHD 3840×2160 Prores 444 with Sandisk 120GB Cfast 2.0 60fps = 5min 25fps = 12min UHD 4000×2160 RAW 3:1 with Sandisk 120GB Cfast 2.0 80fps = 4min 25fps = 16min More options, if only shooting 1080p. This means you can use CFast 1.0 cards rather then 2.0 Cost difference is: CFast 1.0 Atomos 128GB = £230 CFast 2.0 Sandisk 120GB = £650/£700 Just not 100% if the 1.0 cards support 80fps at 1080p Hope this helps some people Past few days I’ve been directing, shooting a piece in Paris, Ive been using 3 120GB Cfast 2.0 cards IMG_4967 Screen Shot 2015-02-10 at 19.23.03 I’ve found 3 120GB CFast 2.0 cards got me through the days ok. Only had to offload every night, not during the shoot. Although… if shooting #musicvideos #narrative then maybe shoot, offload when card is full, then carry on shooting on the next card and repeat etc Clients love watching footage back on the monitor IMG_4940 Even though its not a lowlight camera, I was quite surprised that it looks pretty good at night over looking paris IMG_4909 I shot and moved around with the camera nice and quick, just how I do with my RED EPIC. From location to location, to even rooftops 🙂 Regarding my earlier statement, about not being able to see the screen sometimes, with certain lighting conditions. I didn’t seem to have that issue once while shooting in Paris, it was sunny and overcast. Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset


  1. Hey Daniel, what’s the low light actually like? I know you say it’s not a low light camera, but at what levels does noise start to get seriously introduced? I know that’s been a problem for the earlier Black Magic cameras so I’m interested in hearing how this more ‘pro’ cam deals with those conditions.

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