Blackmagic URSA Mini 4.6K – The Great Equalizer
Ok so if you follow Indie Film Hustle at all you know that I love Blackmagic products. I shot my first feature (This is Meg) on the BMCC 2.5K (see the complete breakdown of my crazy camera rig here) and edited/color graded on Davinci Resolve.
Blackmagic is really the best bang for the filmmaker buck. When the Blackmagic URSA Mini 4.6k came out I was blown away. I have spoken to many cinematographers that use this gem of a camera as a B or C Camera on an Arri ALEXA set. I’ve color graded both images and in MANY cases you can’t tell the difference. You can see for yourself below.
I’m not saying the Blackmagic Design URSA Mini 4.6k is a better camera than an Arri ALEXA. The Alexa is $45,000- $70,000 camera vs the $5000 Ursa. That being said you get a TON MORE bang for your buck with the URSA.
The image quality on the Blackmagic URSA Mini 4.6k is sick. Can it hold the picture 4, 5, or even 8 stops over or under exposed? No. But it shouldn’t have to. Yes, the Arri Alexa does perform better under extreme circumstances but $5000 vs $70,000, come on.
The camera is sick. For $5000 you can’t get a better camera that shoots RAW.It also comes with a free copy of Davinci Resolve, editing and color grading software. Seriously???
I put together a bunch of great reviews, test and shootouts with the Blackmagic URSA Mini 4.6k below. Enjoy!
Blackmagic URSA Mini 4.6K reviews
Blackmagic URSA Mini 4.6K – Rig & Accessories
Links to the products mentioned in this breakdown:
- Blackmagic URSA Mini 4.6K Digital Cinema Camera (EF-Mount)
- Blackmagic URSA Viewfinder
- Xeen Cinema Lenses
- CAME-TV Blackmagic URSA Mini Shoulder Rig Camera
- Sony VCT-14 Quick-Release Tripod Adapter
- Fotga Upgraded DP500III Quick Release Dampen Follow Focus
- Atoch C2S CFast to SSD Solution for Blackmagic URSA
- Recording Media: Samsung 850 EVO 500GB 2.5-Inch SATA III Internal SSD
- CAMTREE Camshade Video Matte Box
- MAXOAK 177 (12000mAh/14.8V) V Mount Battery
Arri Alexa vs Blackmagic URSA Mini 4.6K Comparison
Some more info on the Blackmagic URSA Mini 4.6k:
- Super-35mm CMOS Sensor
- 4608 x 2592 Video up to 60p
- Compressed Raw Recording
- 15 Stops of Latitude
- Ready-to-Edit ProRes 444 + 422 Recording
- Dual CFast 2.0 Memory Card Slots
- 12G-SDI Output, Timecode and REF Input
- 1080p Flip-Out Screen
- Touchscreen Interface
- 2x XLR Audio Inputs with Phantom Power
- Magnesium Alloy Body
Now in a smaller, more handheld friendly form factor, the URSA Mini 4.6K Digital Cinema Camera from Blackmagic Design can record cinematic images with its Super-35mm 4.6K, a sensor with 15 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 up 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 4.6K URSA Mini provides compressed raw recording at 3:1 and 4:1 compression ratios to save space while retaining post-production flexibility.
The URSA Mini also records UHD (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.
Please note: I was not paid for this review.
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