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MALIBU – Shot On The Blackmagic URSA Mini 4.6K

This past weekend I had a chance to shoot some brand new footage with the URSA Mini 4.6K in beautiful Malibu, California. My wife and I decided to drive around to some of our favorite spots and knock off a bunch of run and gun shots, which have been edited into the video below.

As many of you know I’ve already shot some footage with the URSA Mini 4.6K, but this time around I wanted to shoot primarily in slow motion as I didn’t have a chance to do so on the last shoot. Almost everything you’ll see in the video was shot at 48fps in ProRes HQ, although there are a couple of shots in the edit that were captured in RAW 3:1 at 60p.

Both the ProRes and RAW shots looked awesome straight out of the camera, but I decided to shoot at 48fps in ProRes HQ mainly as a way to save card space. While shooting I only had two C-Fast cards with me and no ability to dump footage onto my laptop on the fly. Shooting in ProRes HQ allowed me to get significantly more record time without really sacrificing any quality. It’s actually quite amazing how much latitude and detail this camera captures, not only in the RAW files but in compressed ProRes formats as well.

Since I was shooting handheld all day, I wanted to keep the camera package as light as possible.

I used Blackmagic’s URSA Mini shoulder mount kit, fully setup with the top handle, shoulder pad and extension arm for the side grip. Although the shoulder kit allows you to use rails (for a matte box or follow focus), I actually didn’t rig things up any further than this in the interest of keeping the camera light. Instead I kept my Canon 24-105 lens on for the entire shoot, and simply used a screw on Tiffen variable ND filter.

To power the camera I used the excellent new Switronix Hypercore SLIM batteries, which really helped to keep the weight to a minimum while powering the camera for hours.

In the editing room, I used DaVinci Resolve 12 to both edit and color the footage and used the Film Convert plugin inside of Resolve to add a bit of film emulation.

Music for this video was provided by Art-List, an excellent new music licensing platform which will be launching in the very near future. Be sure to check them out at www.Art-List.io for more info.

URSA Mini Pre-Order

Blackmagic URSA Mini 4.6K EF Mount – $4995 at B & H

I will continue to post more URSA Mini 4.6K footage in the future, so be sure to check back soon for more updates!

About Author

Noam Kroll is an award-winning Los Angeles based filmmaker, and the founder of the boutique production house, Creative Rebellion. His work can be seen at international film festivals, on network television, and in various publications across the globe. Follow Noam on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for more content like this!

45 Comments

  • Christian Hubbard
    February 8, 2016 at 7:26 pm

    thanks for sharing noam! Beautiful images.

    any of this in global shutter?
    Have you shared with BMC user yet?
    Did you notice the yellow on the seagulls head at 0:05? any comment on whether that’s a camera error or encoding error?

    How easy was your coloring process to work with the camera?

    A lot of people on the forums are commenting about bad colors from a good portion of 4.6k footage, have you seen any other footage? Any concerns about color science with your camera?

    Sorry for the onslaught of questions!
    Really appreciate you taking the time to go shoot some footage and share it with the rest of us through your blog!

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      February 8, 2016 at 7:54 pm

      Thanks a lot Christian. To answer your questions –

      This is all rolling shutter, and no I haven’t shared on BMC user yet but feel free to!

      The shot of the seagull may have had the wrong LUT applied. I am uploading a new version now that should fix that shot – good catch.

      Color process was very simple. Most shots only have 1 or 2 nodes on DaVinci with some Film Convert added at the end.

      I haven’t seen much other URSA Mini footage to comment on the colors, but from my experience I’ve had no issues at all. I wonder if possibly people just aren’t comfortable grading it since it has so much DR and color information. That said, the images are very flexible and you should be able to achieve nice results if you are able to spend some time in DaVinci.

      Reply
  • Satva
    February 8, 2016 at 8:48 pm

    Great looking footage Noam! I really want this camera, the color science looks amazing. I hope it is released soon.

    With 2 CFast cards how many hours of 4K Pro Res do you think you could capture before having to dump?

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      February 8, 2016 at 9:06 pm

      Thanks so much. Agreed that the colors/DR are incredible on this camera.

      With 2 x 128GB C-Fast cards recording 4.6K in ProRes HQ, I believe you’ll get about 30 minutes worth of record time.

      Reply
      • Liam
        February 9, 2016 at 2:55 pm

        Woah. That’s not a lot of time for 240GB! This’ll be a special circumstances camera for a lot of smaller scale productions I would imagine. It’ll be a fair cost to be out shooting all day.

        Reply
        • Noam Kroll
          February 9, 2016 at 5:24 pm

          You’re right. The good news is you can easily switch to ProRes422 or LT and you’ll get much more record time. The 4.6K files are just so big, especially in ProRes HQ or 444.

          Reply
  • Ken
    February 8, 2016 at 10:57 pm

    I’m curious about the Switronix Hypercore SLIM. First time buying V-Mount batteries – I was about to buy the Switronix XP-L90S 98Wh from B&H. Is it just a size difference? Do you know, would the XP-L90S last longer? Thanks.

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      February 9, 2016 at 12:15 am

      Hey Ken – I believe the L90S batteries will give you more run time since they are 98Wh and the SLIM batteries are 82Wh. That said, the SLIM batteries do offer up a nice advantage in terms of size/weight, so depending on your needs they could both be excellent options.

      Reply
      • Ken
        February 9, 2016 at 12:34 am

        Awesome. Thanks.

        Reply
  • Aäron
    February 9, 2016 at 9:32 am

    Hi Ken,

    Thanks for the review, the footage looks really nice!

    I’m thinking about buying the Black Magic Ursa Mini 4K, but I’m concerned about the bad reviews on B&H (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1137314-REG/blackmagic_design_cinecamursam40k_ef_ursa_4k_digital_cinema.html) .

    Low light quality is worthless, audio is worthless, dead pixels, … Blackmagic responded that they will come with a firmware update to fix this problems. You think it’s a good thing to invest in this camera or better to go for the bigger (and more expensive) Black Magic Ursa?
    Thanks,

    Aäron

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      February 9, 2016 at 5:23 pm

      Can’t speak to the 4K version as I haven’t used it, but my 4K URSA (full size body) is a really great camera, even though it’s obviously not designed for low light shooting.

      Reply
  • Jeremy
    February 9, 2016 at 5:01 pm

    Hey Noam,

    Thanks for uploading this.

    Do you think the size/weight of the camera would work for wedding use? For example porting it around on a monopod all day?

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      February 9, 2016 at 5:26 pm

      Not a problem at all. I definitely think it could work well for weddings from a weight standpoint. While it’s design is very unique it’s not far off from a C300 in terms of the ergonomics, so if you’re comfortable with that type of camera I think the Mini might work well for you.

      Reply
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    February 9, 2016 at 5:15 pm

    […] Leer artículo […]

    Reply
  • shawn
    February 9, 2016 at 5:42 pm

    Thanks for posting – footage looks awesome!

    Any noticeable issues or glitches with the camera?

    How would you compare it to the FS7, or FS5? Better than those?

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      February 9, 2016 at 6:13 pm

      No problem Shawn, and thank you! I’ve had no issues with the camera and really have had a positive experience with it so far.

      I’ve shot a few times with the FS7 and like that camera too… Other than the size/weight of the FS7/URSA Mini which is pretty close, they are very different cameras in most other ways. Generally, the FS7 feels more like a traditional video camera whereas the URSA Mini feels more like a cinema camera. That’s not to say you can’t use either of them for anything you want to, but if you shoot a lot of cinematic/narrative material I would recommend the URSA Mini as it is definitely well suited for that type of production.

      Reply
      • shawn
        February 9, 2016 at 8:12 pm

        Cool, thanks Noam!

        Reply
  • Zach
    February 9, 2016 at 6:45 pm

    What kind of run time were you getting with those Switronix? Also, how’d the camera with the light load feel through out the day?

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      February 11, 2016 at 3:53 pm

      Hey Zach! I would guess about 2 hours per battery, but didn’t time it so that it just based on memory. The camera was totally comfortable to shoot with all day on my shoulder with no easy rig or other support.

      Reply
  • Rob Lindner
    February 9, 2016 at 6:53 pm

    Noam,

    Thanks for taking the time to share your experience with the URSA Mini. I am concerned with the Fixed Pattern Noise issues that appear in deep shadows on the previous URSA camera with the 4k sensor. I would like to know, candidly, if you tested the Mini in this way, or saw this in grading underexposed footage, bringing it back up?

    Peace,
    Rob

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      February 11, 2016 at 3:54 pm

      Hi Rob – While I haven’t tested that aspect specifically, I can say that I haven’t add any issues with noise – fixed pattern or otherwise with this version of the URSA at all. I think this sensor is really incredible and definitely very different from the 4K version.

      Reply
  • x^v
    February 12, 2016 at 2:13 pm

    Hey Noam, i’ve been scrolling through a few of your blogs lately and appreciate your output. I’ve been doing filming and editing part time for quite a while now and I’m wondering what would be my best buying move to get cinematic image like you do. How do you get that 2.35: 1 type of image? I am currently working with a low budget HDR-CX700V + FinalCutProX. I’m also a part time photographer so I work with a D3 + Nikkor 14-24mm 2.8 + Nikkor 50mm 1.4D + Nikkor 85mm 1.4D + Nikkor 70-200mm 2.8 VR.

    Keep up the good work

    x^v

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      February 16, 2016 at 8:37 pm

      Thanks so much! As for the 2.35 image, I usually just add a letterbox in post and crop the image that way. In an ideal world you can use anamorphic lenses, but that’s not always practical, so cropping in post is always a great alternative.

      As for camera choice, I think Blackmagic offers the best bang for your buck cinema cameras at the moment. Sony, Pansonic and Canon have great offerings too, but are more geared towards video than cinema in my opinion.

      Reply
  • Adam Jason Moore
    February 12, 2016 at 6:10 pm

    I was wondering if you are allowed to either upload or email me directly a few single RAW files . As i would really like to explore the characteristics of the 4.6k sensor.

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      February 16, 2016 at 8:38 pm

      I can’t release any RAW files as of yet but will certainly let you know if that changes!

      Reply
  • Steve Mena
    March 1, 2016 at 5:27 pm

    Stunning, great work! Beautiful images with this camera.

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      March 6, 2016 at 5:53 pm

      Many thanks Steve! Much appreciated.

      Reply
  • Dan Moretti
    March 12, 2016 at 5:12 pm

    Hi,

    Could you comment on the low light capabilities of the 4.6?

    I’m debating between using either it or a 5DMIII hacked with Magic Lantern to enable RAW recording to shoot a nighttime bedroom scene.

    Thanks so much!!

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      March 19, 2016 at 12:15 am

      For my purposes, it’s been really great. ISO 1600 is the max, but it’s still quite clean and even when pushed further in post it holds up well. The 4.6K isn’t meant to be a low light camera, but it can definitely handle low light situations as long as you’re using fast lenses and have at least some light.

      Reply
  • Malik bagwala
    April 3, 2016 at 1:12 pm

    Hey great footage you have over there..
    Just wanted to know if you could do an extensive low light test of this camera

    Also it would be great if you compare this camera to a RED Raven or an ARRI ALEXA..it would give a lot of insight to us

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      April 17, 2016 at 4:20 pm

      I would love to… Will do this when I’m back from NAB. Thanks for the suggestion.

      Reply
  • Benjamin
    April 5, 2016 at 3:40 pm

    Hi Noam,

    Great footage and thanks for all the replies. Many of my questions have been answered on these forums. How do you like the viewfinder? I dislike working with the Red’s bomb EVF for many reasons and often just go with the LCD with a hoodman. Is the BM viewfinder fairly accurate and easy to pull sharps on? Any comments or thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

    Keep up the great work.

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      April 17, 2016 at 4:26 pm

      Any time Benjamin!

      The URSA viewfinder is actually one of my favorite EVFs. It is so crisp and clear, and really is a pleasure to use. It’s my favorite accessory by Blackmagic hands down, and I definitely recommend it… Lot’s of great exposure tools too – including false color, which makes it really useable in the field.

      Reply
  • Chad Isaacs
    April 7, 2016 at 3:40 pm

    I currently am mostly interested in weddings and run and gun work. I have been shooting with the C100 mark II. Two things that help especially with the weddings are the good auto focus for some of the unpredictable situations and the low light capability. Do you think the Ursa mini 4.6k could be a good upgrade with those 2 considerations and my intended use in mind?

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      April 17, 2016 at 4:30 pm

      Hi Chad – I think for weddings the C100 MK II is still going to be a better option… I love the URSA Mini, but the better lowlight / autofocus performance on the C100 MK II might be hard to give up if you are shooting a lot of run and gun material.

      Reply
  • Gerardo Mantecon
    April 9, 2016 at 11:16 pm

    Hi Noam, Iam a lover of slow motion shoots, My work is making music videos and the camara that we use is the red epic (misterium x), this is a rent camara, capable of make 96 fps in 4 an 5k.
    I was looking to buy a camara, obviously one of my options is a red camara, but is too expensive.
    In my work I don’t need a super camara, I need a camara with slow motion (96 fps or better), easy postproduction in Davinci, and shoot in raw (I love raw power! Jajaja).
    My question is: how many fps can shoot the ursa for slow motion? And how easy is the playback in Davinci for the raw files in 4.6k?
    I appreciate your comments, thank you.

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      April 17, 2016 at 4:36 pm

      Hi Gerardo! The URSA can shoot up to 150 fps and the URSA Mini can shoot up to 120FPS. That said, at 120 FPS you are shooting in a windowed 1080p mode. If you don’t mind the crop factor though, it’s a great option. Otherwise the Sony FS7 might be a good camera for you since it has such high frame rates.

      Reply
      • Gerardo Mantecon
        May 3, 2016 at 3:33 pm

        In your experience, if I’m looking a camara with raw video and high frame rate (between 72 and 120 fps, shoot in 4K or little more, without crop ej. 3k in red Raven o window mode in ursa), witch of this two Camaras you recommend to buy (red Raven and ursa mini, this two Camaras cost almost the same with all the accesories)?

        Reply
        • Noam Kroll
          May 4, 2016 at 3:54 am

          The URSA Mini is going to give you more bang for your buck in my opinion, and will definitely be cheaper overall (even with the accessories) when compared to the Raven. That said, both cameras will be cropped at the frame rates you specified, so you might be looking more for a camera like the Sony FS7.

          Reply
  • Arya Boustani
    May 3, 2016 at 6:27 pm

    Hi Naom,
    Thanks for the review. I’m saving my money and planning to move on to a more serious and dedicated video camera. Right now I’m shooting with Panasonic GH4. I was frustrated in a couple of projects dealing with a lot of sensor noise in semi-low light especially using my B4 lens that looses more light blowing it up from 2/3 to 4/3.
    I heard URSA mini can support B4 lens and I was thrilled to hear that. I use a lot of servo zoom for my documentaries so I like to stick to my lens if possible and I always wanted a camera with at least 13 to 14 stops of dynamic range, and now we have URSA Mini with 15 stops! I think it is a wish-come-true situation. I thought I check with you to see if you find the image noise stays low if you crank up the ISO let’s say from 400 or 800 to 3200 or 6400. I was thinking of getting Sony AS7 MkII but there is no B4 lens support and I don’t think full frame is the best choice for run and gun documentary scenarios. I appreciate your input.

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      May 4, 2016 at 3:59 am

      Hey Arya – It definitely sounds like the URSA Mini could be a great fit for what you do. In terms of low-light, I think it’s quite clean at 1600 and if you push it a stop in post to 3200, it’s still relatively clean, although you might need some noise reduction at that point. It’s definitely not going to give you the lowlight performance of an A7S, but the image is far better in my opinion, and the camera is also much more ergonomic and intuitive. Hope you find what you’re looking for!

      Reply
  • Simone Mcnaught
    September 12, 2016 at 12:28 pm

    Hi Noam,
    We have just set up a small production company specialising in filming classic car stories. Mostly our stories are shot at large car meets (big crowds to negotiate for filming space) normally we do an Interview in the field and b roll shots of exterior and interior of cars being talked about – not a lot of driving sequences but the occasional one – in the past I have rented the canon c300 but I don’t have the budget to purchase one – I want something that meets international technical specs of cables like Discovery and something that is light and easy to manoeuvre in tight fits and can go from shoulder to tripod easily – does the Blackmagic URSA mini seem like the right fit ? A lot of camera houses keep pushing the canon c100 or the Sony AS7 to me … Thanks Simone

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      September 19, 2016 at 2:41 pm

      Hi Simone! Congrats on your new production company. I would definitely suggest looking at the URSA Mini. Unless you need something with really amazing low light capabilities, it will offer you (arguably) the best image for the price, and will definitely meet the broadcast specs that are required. The C100 and FS7 are both great cameras as well, but they have their own advantages and disadvantages… For instance the C100 is only HD (no 4K), and the FS7 doesn’t render very nice skin tones – in my opinion at least. Definitely try out the URSA Mini if you can, and see what you think… It might be your best bet!

      Reply
  • Dustin Ward
    October 24, 2016 at 7:47 pm

    Hey Noam,
    What is your post production workflow for handling the RAW?

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      October 25, 2016 at 4:37 pm

      I typically edit everything natively in RAW using Resolve, so my workflow is very simple!

      Reply

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