Blackmagic Launch the First User Upgradeable 4K Digital Film Camera

by on July 24, 2014

By Matthew – July 24, 2014

It was at NAB 2014, in Las Vegas, that Blackmagic unveiled the URSA. That is the world’s first user upgradeable 4K digital film camera. They built this camera for film crews as well as single person use, and the URSA is packed full of accessories. Blackmagic’s Design CEO said of the camera:

Our goal when developing the URSA was to build a camera that had all the cooling capacity for higher frame rates, and a large on set monitor as well as built-in scopes so you had everything you need built into the camera itself. The problem with spending so much money building in such incredible accessories is that they become outdated as sensor technology moves on. So we designed the ability to upgrade the sensor so customers can simply bolt on a new sensor and turret assembly in the future! We think this is a revolution and this upgradable design means we have been able to put a lot more effort into the design of the camera body itself and the quality of the screens, recorders, cooling system and processing power than would normally be offered. The result is one of the most amazing television products I have ever seen!

The URSA has a 4K sensor that shoots quality Ultra HD. This sensor boasts 12 stops of dynamic range that provides much better images that those of regular video cameras.

You can remove URSA’s modular camera turret, which includes sensor and lens mount, with the removal of a few bolts. As the Super 35 global shutter 4K image sensor is user upgradable you can select URSA PL or EL lens mounts for the camera instead, and upgrade to future sensors. Other alternative Blackmagic models include the URSA Broadcast and HDMI.

Blackmagic’s URSA has a couple of duel recorders so that you do not have to stop recording to change media. You can insert an empty Cfast card into the second recorder so that the recording will continue on the second card when the current card is full. The recorders use new Cfast cards that are ideal for high frame RAW recording.

This camera incorporates a couple of 5” touch screens that include the camera settings and tools. On the left side there are all the major camera settings. The right side displays settings such as shutter angle, frame rate and format. It includes an animated histogram and a scrolling audio waveform monitor to adjust camera focus.

The URSA is a flexible camera designed to be rigged! Blackmagic have added multiple mount points over the camera so that you can use industry standard tripods. Its BNC SDI connectors allow for any type of viewfinder. Standard battery mounts can also be bolted to the back of the camera.

Blackmagic is also bundling DaVinchi Resolve software with the URSA. The DaVinchi Resolve software includes advanced video editing options. The software is compatible with both the Windows and Mac platforms.

The Blackmagic URSA EF and PL will be available from July 2014. The URSA Broadcast and HDMI are coming out later in the year. Below is a list of some of the URSA EF camera specifications.

Effective resolution: 3840 x 2160
Dynamic range: 12 stops
Sensor frame rate support: Up to 60 fps
Screen type: 10.1” – TFT-LCD
Storage type: CFast 2.0
Software included: DaVinci Resolve grading software, Blackmagic Media Express software and DiskSpeed Test.
Dimensions: 12.34 in (L) X 6.12 in (W) X 9.63 in (H)
Additional accessories included: Active EF mount turret, turret dust cap, 12V AC adapter and tripod mounting plate adapter.

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