KitPlus - The TV-Bay Magazine

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ACQUISITION URSA MINI - 1 ST IMPRESSIONS Ben Sherriff The Mini packs a punch in regards to resolution, functionality and on paper specs I must have been one of the myriad of shooters who awaited the URSA Mini with bated breath. The promise of the USRA sensor packaged into something manageable that didn’t require one to lift heavy things and count to ten for months in order to operate was, back in mid 2015, quite exciting. Thankfully, earlier this year the camera finally shipped and what a good job Blackmagic Design managed to finally bring it to the European marketplace. Now we have the updated 4.6k version and I’m very pleased to be given the opportunity to test and review the camera in the next issue of KitPlus. This text is a precursor, one to entice you, if you will, for my hugely anticipated full review next month! The packaging is slick as is the overall design and vastly improved functionality of then camera compared to the popular Cinema Camera offerings. I’ve been using Blackmagic Design products in the edit suite for almost ten years. They work. I also own a Cinema Camera. Traditionally a post production company, one would expect Blackmagic to be highly capable in producing a sensor that captures images that are suited to post production, they know what editors, and (essentially in this era of HDR), colourists require. However, you have to wonder whom this camera is aimed at? According to Blackmagic Design it’s something for everyone - ENG, Indies, Corporate, Features - but let’s face it, it’s hard to imagine the next blockbuster movie being acquired on the URSA Mini - or is it? The Mini packs a punch in regards to resolution, functionality and on paper specs. At the time of writing I’ve been unable to shoot much with 52 | KITPLUS - THE TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 118 OCTOBER 2016 it but I have a couple of jobs coming up in the next week or so that I’m going to take it along to and give it a darn good go. It’s been supplied by Blackmagic Design with three Samyang primes which I’d imagine many customers will already own, or at the very least be able to afford. I’m planning on shooting B-Roll with it alongside Sony F55 / FS7 and see how it performs in relation to Sony’s flagship 4K production camera system. Now of course, these cameras can’t really be compared as like for like - they are nowhere near the same price point and eons apart in terms of their frame rate capabilities and other customisable features. But, the Mini has greater resolution, on-board RAW and a much simpler menu system, might these be its strong suite? I think it’s got to be some sort of litmus test to see how the images stack up against one another, I’m certainly interested. I don’t want my review to be another like the rest you can read about this camera online so I boldly set it up alongside a long established giant. I want to love it. I want Blackmagic Design to invent, cause a storm and stir up the marketplace. My true first impression was that the camera is not exactly a looker. It looks to me as if it was designed in 1970s Russia, but who cares about the aesthetics, I mean ergonomics yes but aesthetics? I guess a camera needs to look, like a camera and this certainly does. The only aesthetic that really matters is the one that comes out the other end - the image. The image is pretty impressive. So it is with excitement, trepidation and fear that I ask you to indulge me and read the full review next month. Watch this space.