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The URSA Mini 4.6K Has Arrived! Check Out My First Few Test Shots Here!

I just picked up my new Blackmagic URSA Mini 4.6K yesterday, and have already spent a lot of time getting to know the camera and taking some test shots. Right off the bat I’ve been blown away by this camera’s image quality, and I truly can’t get over the amount of useable dynamic range it’s able to produce. I can’t wait to put this thing to use on some real world projects, but for now I’ve gone ahead and compiled a handful of test shots I took this afternoon, and posted them below.

All of the footage you’ll see here was shot in 4:1 Compressed RAW in 4.6K resolution, and was edited & colored in DaVinci Resolve. I also used FilmConvert (without grain) to give the final piece some more polish once the main grade was done.

Talk a look!

Once I have a chance to shoot with this camera in a more controlled environment or on a narrative project, I will be sure to post some more footage right away.

Check back soon for ongoing 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!

67 Comments

  • Xiong
    January 8, 2016 at 7:54 am

    Wow you weren’t kidding about that dynamic range, those landscape shots look amazing, especially that city shot with the clouds.

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      January 11, 2016 at 1:25 am

      I was really blown away by it.

      Reply
  • Perry
    January 8, 2016 at 8:04 am

    Thanks for taking the time to share this with us Noam! Howcome you got your hands on the 4.6k already, were you on top of the preorderlist or did blackmagic contact you as a betatester? Just wondering when I can expect mine in the Netherlands, haha. But again, tnx for sharing it looks very promissing!

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      January 11, 2016 at 1:25 am

      Hi Perry – thanks for the kind words, and this is in fact a beta. Hope you get yours soon!

      Reply
  • Liam
    January 8, 2016 at 9:03 am

    Amazing. It looks great. How many cameras have you got!?!??!? Ha

    I’m definitely seeing it as a go to camera for rental when my c100 mk2 isn’t going to cut it. Must have shelled out some cash for CFast cards too though?

    For narrative and more set up shoots at least, this is going to be the go to camera. The image completely blows away all the recent Sony cameras everyone is always talking about.

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      January 11, 2016 at 1:26 am

      Haha! Too many… It really does blow away sony, especially with regards to the color science. Glad you enjoyed the footage.

      Reply
  • timewind
    January 8, 2016 at 9:40 am

    wonderful…Cant wait to get mine. The colors look just awsome!

    Reply
  • Itzik
    January 8, 2016 at 9:57 am

    Hey Noam!

    That looks great! Is the camera allready to sell?

    Cheers
    Itzik

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      January 11, 2016 at 1:26 am

      Not sure yet, but this is a beta version.

      Reply
  • Steve
    January 8, 2016 at 11:50 am

    Is this a new camera that you bought? Or is this a pre-release camera on loan from Blackmagic. That is an important question that needs to be answered.

    Reply
  • Jason
    January 8, 2016 at 3:21 pm

    Footage looks amazing! I have so many questions about this camera. I can’t wait to hear more about the usability on a day to day use of this camera. Are you going to do a review on this camera soon?

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      January 11, 2016 at 1:27 am

      At some point down the road I would like to do one! Thanks so much for the feedback.

      Reply
  • Monte
    January 8, 2016 at 5:02 pm

    Thanks for the footage! Is this a pre-release, or is the camera shipping?

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      January 11, 2016 at 1:27 am

      No problem! It’s pre-release.

      Reply
  • Gabe Harden
    January 8, 2016 at 11:04 pm

    I second Steve’s question. Is this a beta version? Or does your acquisition of your camera mean that the 4.6k is finally in production phase and being shipped? Thanks for the rest footage, very nicely graded.

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      January 11, 2016 at 1:29 am

      Thanks a lot Gabe. This is in fact a beta, which is all I know.

      Reply
  • Norbert von der Heidt
    January 9, 2016 at 3:06 am

    It looks great and I can’t wait much longer to receive mine but to avoid any misconceptions, this is not “YOUR” camera from what I understand as in you ordered, paid for and bought this camera. It is a loaner beta test version according to what the BMD Forum says. Can you please confirm this?

    Reply
  • Patrick Taylor
    January 10, 2016 at 5:12 pm

    How bout that good ol fixed pattern noise that I keep seeing in my grading suite when dealing with Blackmagic 4K cameras. Do you think that BM has finally managed to fix that issue with this new sensor?

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      January 11, 2016 at 1:29 am

      I have had no noise issues at all.. Looks really amazing straight off of the cards.

      Reply
  • Steve
    January 10, 2016 at 8:24 pm

    I think it’s safe to assume that Noam Kroll has gotten privileged access to the Mini given that he hasn’t responded to any of the comments here asking if this is a shipping camera he paid for. We’ll have to take any reviews with a grain of salt.

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      January 11, 2016 at 1:35 am

      Hey Steve – I’ve actually made it clear that this was a beta on vimeo, instagram, and twitter already… Unfortunately, I’ve been traveling for a shoot this week and am just now getting around to the blog comments. Feel free to take any feedback on any camera with a grain of salt, but I can say with complete certainty that the URSA Mini is a very powerful and impressive camera.

      Reply
      • Steve
        January 11, 2016 at 1:40 pm

        But what does that mean “beta”? In the blog post you don’t mention that and you say “picked up my new” so that doesn’t sound beta. Is this a loaner? Did the give it to you to keep?

        Reply
  • Dan
    January 11, 2016 at 6:19 am

    This is some of the nicest footage we’ve seen from the 4.6k. I really appreciate you sharing! Can’t wait for my preorder to arrive.

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      January 12, 2016 at 12:08 am

      Thanks Dan! Appreciate the kind words, and good luck with your pre-order, hope it arrives soon.

      Reply
  • Stephen
    January 11, 2016 at 2:53 pm

    Thanks Noam for your video.

    Just wondered what lenses you used and how your experience is with sensitivity.

    I am on the fence, considering also the Sony Fs 5 so I am very curious about this camera. A lot of questions also about the advantages over the 4K version of Ursa mini.

    Reply
  • John Emery
    January 12, 2016 at 1:58 am

    Thanks for sharing Noam!
    Judging from what I’ve seen up to now, all test footage of the 4.6K seems to have a more “digital” feel than other BM cameras. It could be the color correction, but It looks like it’s missing a bit of the “BM filmic mojo”… How would you rate this camera in this regard compared to the other BM cameras?

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      January 18, 2016 at 11:07 pm

      I actually feel that this camera has the most cinematic look of the whole lineup. I think reducing contrast and desaturating will help with making it even more filmic, but I love the crazy amount of dynamic range and color depth.

      Reply
    • Jawa
      January 21, 2016 at 12:39 am

      More digital? This footage looks great, better than other BM cameras IMHO. I think at this point, if you want a truly filmic look, shoot film. But this is hardly “digital” looking, whatever that means (to me that would be brittle, little to no roll off in the highlights, excessive saturation, especially in the green channel, highlights that don’t desaturated slightly, etc. etc.). I don’t see any of that here, it just looks good. Does it look like film? Don’t know, but does that even matter anymore? It’s a good looking image! So many great tools for such a small amount of money, be happy about that, jeez…

      Reply
      • Noam Kroll
        January 21, 2016 at 1:59 am

        Haha well put! My thoughts exactly… I am actually shooting a project next week on Super 16mm as the only way to get a film look is to actually shoot film. That said, this is one of the most “filmic” cameras I’ve used to date, and can certainly capture a very natural looking image. Glad you shared your thoughts on this.

        Reply
      • John Emery
        January 26, 2016 at 3:58 pm

        Yes, you’re wright… I can always shoot film (ain’t cheap, but it is there), but if you bother to visit the BM site, it calles it a “digital FILM camera”… So, since it doesn’t shoot film, what does it do? yes, emulate a film look… that same thing the Arri cameras do so well. So, the “filmic” look can be many things, all of which I think BM has addressed greatly with their previous cams. That said, all the footage I’ve seen of the 4.6k sensor has some weird color science that has turn me off a bit (compared to previous BM cams), and if you look in to BMDuser, you will realize that I’m not alone… So please excuse me for not liking the image as much as you and asking a Beta tester what he thinks about it. I wasn’t whinging, some people just like to do some research before spending 5000€… But it seems like others prefer to lecture, jeez…
        Peace 😉

        Reply
        • Noam Kroll
          January 26, 2016 at 7:26 pm

          Haha – different strokes for different folks I guess. I remember when the Alexa first came out a lot of producers and even some DPs that weren’t used to working in Log didn’t like working with the camera right off the bat, but eventually came around to it after understanding how to handle it in post. I think because the Mini has so much DR, it definitely delivers a look that many other cameras don’t, and that can be daunting especially for filmmakers without a ton of color experience. Even still, I think with the right approach in post-production this camera can look really awesome… And of course, no camera will be right for everyone, so it really comes down to a matter of taste. Thanks for your 2 cents.

          Reply
  • Steve
    January 12, 2016 at 1:45 pm

    What does “beta” mean? Is this a camera that is on loan? You said “picked up my new Blackmagic URSA Mini 4.6K” so does that mean you get to keep it or do you have to return it? I think that is something that readers need to know.

    Reply
    • Robert Grant
      January 15, 2016 at 10:17 pm

      don’t think to hard, BM as a numerous amount of Beta cams out, I’m sure he gets to keep it for a while then return it

      Reply
    • Akpe
      January 17, 2016 at 4:00 pm

      beta usually refers to something that is unfinished, still in working progress, just for test so we can give back feed back that will help finalize the product

      Reply
      • Steve
        January 18, 2016 at 6:29 pm

        I think we all KNOW what “beta” means Akpe. I was asking this it reflects how I view the review. If it’s a free cam with “special” access I’m not sure the reviewer will be impartial.

        Reply
        • Noam Kroll
          January 18, 2016 at 11:12 pm

          Hey guys – I can’t say how long I have access to the camera for, but I can assure you that any feedback I have is unbiased. I don’t shoot with cameras (or review them for that matter) if I’m not a fan of them, so hopefully you all understand my feedback is authentic. That said, I recommend shooting with it yourself once it’s available and I’m sure you’ll be impressed with the results.

          Reply
  • Isaac Aidoo
    January 13, 2016 at 10:13 am

    Did you experience any overheating of the camera?

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      January 18, 2016 at 11:08 pm

      Not at all. Worked beautifully for me.

      Reply
  • Klay Abele
    January 15, 2016 at 1:34 pm

    Great footage! You really did the camera justice. I was getting a little worried from some of the other pre-release videos as they didn’t really showcase the camera very well. Well done!

    Reply
  • […] pre-release cameras – the URSA Mini and Micro Cinema Camera. Some of you have already seen my URSA Mini test footage video, and today I’m releasing a tiny little short film I made for fun over the weekend with the […]

    Reply
  • barry
    January 23, 2016 at 4:11 pm

    Hi there!

    Could you tell us about the iso levels?

    Seems that all people who got the 4.6 are silent about this. Please change that 🙂

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      January 26, 2016 at 7:19 pm

      Not sure what people are silent about, but it seems to work perfectly as advertised! Up to 1600 ISO.

      Reply
  • Anthony Gutierrez
    January 24, 2016 at 12:33 pm

    Is the test footage using the Global shutter setting or Rolling shutter?

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      January 26, 2016 at 7:19 pm

      It’s using rolling shutter.

      Reply
  • Jo
    January 27, 2016 at 7:00 pm

    Hi Noam,
    Great test !
    By the way which lenses did you use with this ?
    How’s the rolling shutter when you pan faster ?
    Gorgeous time lapse, was that done with the same camera ? And if so, was it easy to set up ?

    Thanks
    Jo

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      January 28, 2016 at 3:52 am

      Thanks Jo! I used the Canon 24-105 primarily for this, and the panning really wasn’t an issue at all. Rolling shutter seemed fantastic on this camera.

      The time-lapse was shot on the Mini as well and was very easy to set up.

      Reply
      • Matt Larson
        February 21, 2016 at 5:05 pm

        Hey Noam, thought this was some of the best looking footage I’ve seen online of the 4.6. Is it only possible to shoot slow motion with rolling shutter? I see that the rolling shutter effects are not terrible, particularly with respect to handheld shooting – but the images in Malibu of the fast-moving cars passing by seem to have a reverse slant (with respect to typical rolling shutter cameras of the past) … can you speak to this at all? It’s a bit of an issue for me as I’m often shooting fast moving objects and am considering getting this camera … Thanks again for posting these images!

        Reply
        • Noam Kroll
          February 23, 2016 at 5:44 pm

          Thanks so much Matt. I have only shot in rolling shutter mode, but you should certainly still be able to record slow motion in global shutter as well – I think you might just lose some dynamic range. That said, the rolling shutter on the Mini 4.6K isn’t bad at all, and for the most part I haven’t even noticed it!

          Reply
  • xexe
    February 2, 2016 at 12:42 pm

    Hi,

    Nice footages! Do you have some dislikes about it or see some room for improvements?

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      February 8, 2016 at 7:21 pm

      Haven’t shot with it enough to comment on that fully yet, but so far I have been really happy with it all around. Will be sure to post a full review at some point in the future when I can.

      Reply
  • […] 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 […]

    Reply
  • Robert Dee
    February 11, 2016 at 4:38 pm

    Thanks for posting this. Shots look amazing. I’ve been slightly concerned due to negative feedback on sites about the 4k version – but I’m assuming the different chip will make a world of difference (mostly to noise and low light). I’m going to wait to read reviews before investing – but I’m hoping it hits all the buttons as this is my camera upgrade of choice.

    I have one question which I’m curious about that I’m not hearing any comments on from test users – did you do any work with the built in gyroscope? As well as being useful for VFX I’m thinking this could quite possibly be killer for smoothing out camera movement.

    Any info?

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      February 16, 2016 at 7:09 pm

      Hey Robert! No problem at all. And I haven’t used the 4K model, but the 4.6K definitely seems to be a different beast entirely. What is the gyroscope you’re referring to?

      Reply
  • Jeffrey Tan
    February 18, 2016 at 7:40 pm

    Hey Noam,

    The footage looks awesome and I’m excited for BM to (finally) release the 4.6k out into the wild. Quick question, what kind of glass were you shooting on for the test footage? Thanks a bunch!

    Cheers,
    Jeff

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      February 18, 2016 at 11:42 pm

      Thanks so much Jeffrey. I was shooting on the Canon 24-105, which isn’t the best lens by any means, but it did the trick! Thanks for watching.

      Reply
  • Matthew
    March 24, 2016 at 12:50 am

    How did you like the camera as a run-and-gun cam? did you find buttons/settings easy to adjust on the fly?

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      March 29, 2016 at 10:29 pm

      Very easy. It’s one of the best run and gun cameras I’ve used to date from an ergonomic standpoint. If it had built in ND filters, it would be perfect.

      Reply
      • sajesh
        April 3, 2016 at 9:42 am

        Hi Noam,

        Iam in confusion between sony a7s ii and URSA Mini 4.6k, what’s your advice.

        Regars,
        Sajeesh.G, Kerala, India.

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

          Hi Sajesh – They are very different cameras. The URSA Mini 4.6K in my opinion is a much more cinematic camera, but the Sony A7S II will be more convenient for smaller shoots since it is so lightweight. Both have their advantages, but choosing between them comes down to the type of work you do.

          Reply
  • Kevin
    March 30, 2016 at 12:53 pm

    Did you shoot in 1080 mode? I’m wondering if it’s windowed or uses the full sensor. I know when you do the 120fps it’s windowed but what about 24fps? Thanks!

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      April 17, 2016 at 4:15 pm

      I actually only shot in 4.6K for this video, but you can shoot in 1080p without windowing the image. You only need to window when you go up to 120fps.

      Reply
  • Simon
    April 15, 2016 at 9:03 pm

    Hello Noam,
    Since you have this wonderful camera as beta tester, have you miss the global shutter? I need to buy a new camera for my company and after BlackMagic announce about 4.6K without GS I don’t know if worth it!
    4K has GS but – as we know (I had BMPC) – is up to 800ISO and only 12DR (and filming in low light situation is not the best thing you can do), event it costs 2.000€ less…

    I was so excited about 4.6K with a global shutter sensor. A totally game changer. Unfortunately, we cannot have (I hope there will be in the future).
    So, my question: do you think still worth it?
    Thank you very much.

    Reply
    • Noam Kroll
      April 17, 2016 at 4:46 pm

      Hi Simon – to be honest I don’t miss the global shutter at all. The Rolling shutter is very minimal on this camera, and I would likely almost never use it in Global mode if it meant sacrificing dynamic range, which is what this camera does so well.

      Reply
      • Simon
        April 19, 2016 at 9:50 am

        Thank you very much Noam. I have some time for thinking about it, but I believe I will buy this 4,6K.
        Besides, new Red Raven with 16DR is rolling shutter either. And you need to spend 10.000€ at least.

        I look forward for your next tests on URSA mini 4,6K (I already watched Malibu and seems great science colour). I hope you will test rolling shutter’s time too: <10ms would be great!

        Reply
        • Noam Kroll
          April 19, 2016 at 4:48 pm

          I’ll definitely test it out in the future! To my eye though, the rolling shutter is quite good and has never caused any issues while shooting.

          Reply

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