The URSA Mini 4K Digital Cinema Camera from Blackmagic Design can record cinematic images with its Super-35mm 4K, global-shutter sensor with 12 stops of dynamic range. The ergonomic body design is balanced and can be used for many different styles of filmmaking. The EF-Mount is compatible with a plethora of popular lenses, opening different aesthetic options. A rosette on the side of the camera accepts the included side handle, which can control Start/Stop via a LANC connection.
To produce cinematic images, the URSA Mini can record raw sensor data in the CinemaDNG format onto CFast 2.0 memory cards at up to 60 fps. The raw files preserve the full dynamic range and color tonality output from the sensor, so you can have greater control over the look in post-production. However, data-heavy uncompressed raw files aren’t always easy to deal with on set, so in addition to uncompressed raw recording, the 4K URSA Mini provides compressed raw recording at a 3:1 compression ratio to save space while retaining post-production flexibility.
The URSA Mini also records UHD 4K (3840 x 2160) and 1080p video using ready-to-edit ProRes files in many different flavors within the 444 and 422 chroma subsampling variations, depending on your workflow. Starting at the high end, UHD footage can be recorded in ProRes 444 XQ at a rate of 312.5 MB/s all the way down to 1080p in a ProRes 422 Proxy file coming in at a relatively paltry 5.6 MB/s data rate. Since the camera accepts dual CFast cards, you can record for long periods of time by having the camera switch cards when one is full.
Power for the URSA Mini can be supplied via a 4-pin XLR jack at the rear of the camera. With an optional plate, the URSA will accept professional V-Mount or Gold Mount batteries on the back. Once connected to power, the URSA can even distribute power through a second 4-pin XLR jack.
Sizing down the familiar URSA shape enables the URSA Mini to fit into feature and indie film, broadcast TV, commercial, documentary, and music video workflows with crews of any size. Using the optional shoulder mount with a built-in quick release plate, the URSA Mini can go from handheld to shoulder to tripod in a matter of seconds. Despite its size, the URSA Mini still fits essential I/O for professional workflows.
The body is made from magnesium alloys to keep the URSA Mini lightweight at 5 lb. To make the camera more acceptable for handheld usage, a side handle is included. With the optional shoulder mount, the handle can be extended off the side of the camera to be used in a doc-style configuration.
The 3840 x 2160 native resolution censor uses a global shutter so that it will be free from the motion artifacts and flash banding experienced with rolling shutter sensors. It features a wide, 12-stop dynamic range to help ensure detail is retained even in the shadow and highlight portions of the image, and to provide more information to work with in color correction. The sensor size makes it possible to recreate the shallow depth of field look popularly associated with film. At this size, it is slightly larger than the APS-C DSLR format, and will accommodate most lenses that cover an APS-C image circle
In addition to more traditional button-driven menus, the URSA Mini features a foldout 5-inch, 1920 x 1080 resolution capacitive touchscreen LCD monitor. Using the easily navigable touchscreen menu, you can see and change all camera settings, view timecode, histograms, audio levels, and focus peaking, as well as add shot metadata with an on-screen keyboard.
The URSA Mini features multiple connections such as 12G-SDI out, HD-SDI monitoring out, two LANC inputs, balanced XLR audio with phantom power, timecode-in, and reference input. On the front right side of the camera, the 4-pin XLR DC and HD-SDI monitoring output are located in the perfect position for connecting to an optional viewfinder or on set monitor. The 12G-SDI output handles up to 2160p60 using a single BNC cable, and switches to 6G-SDI or HD-SDI depending on the shooting format.
With high-quality built-in microphones and professional audio recording features, you don’t have to carry around extra sound equipment. You can use the built-in stereo microphone to record natural location sound or connect professional microphones using the two XLR mic inputs. The XLR connections have 48V of switchable phantom power, so you can plug shotgun or wireless lavalier mics for capturing more detail. You can quickly adjust levels using the physical knobs, while monitoring the audio using the onscreen audio meters and headphones.
On its own, the URSA Mini includes a 4-pin XLR industry standard power connector that works with 12 to 30V external power supplies. That means it’s easy to use the camera with existing professional power supplies and batteries. The camera uses the same battery power connector and mounting points on the rear of the camera as used on the original URSA, so you can use the same range of battery plates from a wide range of manufacturers such as IDX, Frezzi, Anton Bauer, and more. You can also add the optional Blackmagic URSA V-Lock Battery Plate for using popular V-Mount batteries.
Included with the camera is a DaVinci Resolve USB dongle, which contains a license to unlock the full feature-set within the software. The full version of DaVinci Resolve is compatible with Mac and Windows, and can be used for editing, color grading, media management, mastering, and delivery. DaVinci Resolve can easily handle the 12-bit log RAW images from URSA Mini so you can take advantage of the URSA Mini’s amazing image quality and wide dynamic range. DaVinci Resolve features advanced, multi-layer timeline editing with powerful trimming tools, along with the industry’s leading suite of creative grading tools.