Blackmagic URSA Camera

Expert Review

The URSA (Billed as 4K, but at a resolution of 3840x2160p is technically only UltraHD) is designed with the small crew or single shooter in mind. Internally, it can record UltraHD 12-bit CinemaDNG RAW or Apple Pro Res 422 (HQ) files onto CFast 2.0 memory cards. The sensor is a Super 35 Global CMOS sensor, meaning instead of recording line-by-line, the whole image is recorded at once like a traditional film camera.

The URSA was designed for multiple users to be around the camera at once with its audio meters and dumb side 5 monitor allowing an assistant to view the image, check for focus, or access menus. The same monitor setup is on the operator’s side underneath the giant 10.1 flip out 1080p LCD monitor. This provides a high resolution image for the operator to use right on the camera. These additions may be helpful because they keep the amount of peripherals on the camera down although they may feel misplaced for those who value the customization those peripherals provide.

The URSA has the specs of a high end camera with the compact, familiar design of a prosumer camera, and they’ve also made it modular, meaning future sensor or lens mount upgrades can be added to the same body giving it an extended life.

While the price point is low, the new CFast cards are incredibly expensive compared to other recording methods like SSDs or regular CF cards. Blackmagic sweetens the deal a little by including their $995 industry standard DaVinci Resolve color correction software with the camera. The URSA is definitely a camera made with post production in mind but worth looking at if you want high quality, high resolution images at a great price point.Rating: 4/5

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