Blackmagic launches 4K broadcast camera for price of a high-end DSLR
Video camera maker Blackmagic Design has announced the "world’s most affordable and flexible professional" camera aimed at broadcast and studio film makers. The URSA Broadcast shoots Ultra HD resolution, uses an interchangeable lens mount and costs just $3,495.
The camera comes with the B4 lens mount, but this can be switched so the camera can accept PL, F or EF lenses. Users can load relatively low-cost SD or CFast media to record their footage, with the camera offering two slots for each format. Lossless 12-bit CinemaDNG Raw recording is possible for projects that require the best quality, while broadcast footage can be shot in 10-bit DNxHD 220X, DNxHD 145 or ProRes formats with metadata.
Blackmagic says the URSA Broadcast produces vibrant colors and accurate skin tones so that footage is ready to use straight from the camera, while an extended video dynamic range ensures a wide range of brightness values can be recorded. Three ND filters are built-in and can be dropped into the light path at the turn of a dial. The strengths offered are 1/4, 1/16th and 1/64th stops, and each comes with IR compensation to maintain matchable colors from different situations.
The handling of the camera concentrates on placing controls on the outside of the body rather than in menu systems, and the company claims that should any button or control point fail during a job its function can be switched to another button as redundancy has been built into the design.
The Blackmagic Design URSA Broadcast is available now. For more information see the Blackmagic website.
Blackmagic Design Introduces URSA Broadcast
The world’s most affordable and flexible professional HD and Ultra HD broadcast camera for live production and studio programs, at the same price as a DSLR camera!
Fremont, California, USA - February 1, 2018 - Blackmagic Design today announced Blackmagic URSA Broadcast, a new high end, professional broadcast camera designed for both studio programming and live production. URSA Broadcast works with existing B4 broadcast HD lenses, can be used for both HD and Ultra HD production, features a 4K sensor, extended video dynamic range, traditional external controls and buttons, built in optical ND filters, dual CFast and dual SD card recorders, and much more. Blackmagic URSA Broadcast is available now for only US$3,495 from Blackmagic Design resellers worldwide.
URSA Broadcast is like two cameras in one, an incredible field camera for ENG and programming work, as well as a professional studio camera. The camera features traditional broadcast controls along with exceptional image quality, all in a compact design that is ideal for fast paced, fast turn around production work. The key is URSA Broadcast’s new extended video mode which captures incredible looking video with accurate skin tones and vibrant colors. That means customers don’t have to color correct images before going to air, making URSA Broadcast perfect for news, live sports, studio talk and game shows and more. URSA Broadcast lets customers shoot, edit and get stories on air faster than ever before.
URSA Broadcast is also designed to work with the equipment and systems traditional broadcasters already have. For example, customers can use their existing B4 HD and Ultra HD lenses with URSA Broadcast. Unlike other broadcast cameras, URSA Broadcast records onto inexpensive standard SD cards, UHS-II cards and CFast cards, and records 1080i or 2160p video into standard .mov files, with .mxf to be added in future updates. URSA Broadcast records using DNx145, DNx220X or ProRes, so video doesn’t need to be copied or transcoded. This makes it fast to work with video from URSA Broadcast because it’s compatible with virtually all existing broadcast systems and editing software.
The B4 lens mount and matching sensor on URSA Broadcast enables wide depth of field, so broadcast customers can shoot without constantly chasing focus. The lens mount features high performance optics with spherical aberration correction specifically designed to match the camera’s sensor. The ?” mount lets customers use existing HD lenses or Ultra HD lenses. Because B4 lenses are par-focal and have an extremely wide depth of field, images stay in focus when zoomed in and out. That lets customers work faster because they don’t need to change lenses or refocus between close up, medium and wide shots. URSA Broadcast also supports full electronic B4 lens control so customers can adjust focus, iris and zoom using the camera’s controls, or remotely from an ATEM switcher or ATEM Camera Control Panel. In addition, the standard B4 lens mount can be swapped with optional EF, F and PL mounts so customers can use everything from inexpensive high quality photographic lenses all the way up to massive cinema lenses.
URSA Broadcast features a high quality 4K image sensor and a new extended video mode with better dynamic range and color fidelity. The sensor is designed for both HD and Ultra HD, producing images with fine texture and detail, accurate skin tones, vibrant color and high dynamic range. The images from URSA Broadcast have been designed to be used without additional color correction. This makes editing faster, which is crucial in the fast paced broadcast world. The high resolution sensor is a huge advantage, even when working in HD, because it enables sub pixel image processing and superior anti-aliasing, resulting in super sharp images.
URSA Broadcast is designed to be the toughest and most fully featured camera available. It includes everything customers need in a compact handheld magnesium alloy body that’s durable and light enough to use anywhere. There’s an external high visibility LCD status display for viewing critical shooting information, a foldout touch screen for reviewing shots without needing an extra on-set monitor, professional connections such as 12GSDI, XLR audio, built in high quality stereo microphones and more. Plus, every single control on the camera has a redundant backup, including the power, so if anything should go wrong in the field, the camera can still be used.
URSA Broadcast also features built in neutral density (ND) filters with IR compensation for quickly reducing the amount of light that enters the camera. The ¼, 1/16th and 1/64th stop filters are specifically designed to match the colorimetry of the camera and provide additional latitude, even under harsh lighting conditions. That means customers can use different combinations of aperture and shutter angle to achieve shallower depth of field, or specific levels of motion blur, in a wider range of situations. The IR filters evenly compensate for both far red and infrared wave lengths to eliminate IR contamination. The ND filters are true optical filters with a precision mechanism that quickly moves them into place when the ND filter dial is turned.
Blackmagic URSA Broadcast puts control buttons, switches, knobs and dials on the outside of the camera, giving customers direct access to the most important camera features. The controls are laid out in a logical order that makes them easy to remember so operators can use the camera without having to look at the buttons, hunt through menus, or take their eye off of the action. URSA Broadcast also features a high visibility LCD status display which shows important information such as timecode, shutter and lens settings, battery, recording status, and audio levels. The status display features a backlight and is designed to be clearly visible in both dimly lit studios and outside in direct sunlight.
URSA Broadcast features both dual CFast 2.0 recorders and dual SD/UHS-II card recorders. Both types of media are standard, non-proprietary, inexpensive and readily available at most computer and camera stores. Customers can record 10bit broadcast quality DNxHD 220X, DNxHD 145 or ProRes files with metadata, making it is easy to integrate URSA Broadcast into existing broadcast systems and workflows. URSA Broadcast can even record lossless 12bit CinemaDNG RAW files for high quality programming and post production. With dual slots for each media type, URSA Broadcast gives customers redundant recorders and non-stop recording. When the first card is full, recording automatically continues onto the next card so the full card can be swapped while recording continues on the other.
All of the connections on URSA Broadcast are standard television industry connectors so customers don’t need expensive, proprietary cables. The camera features multi rate 12GSDI connections for video output and return program feed input. Both connections automatically switch speed so they work with all HD and Ultra HD formats up to 2160p60 over a single cable. In addition, URSA Broadcast features HD-SDI monitoring out, 2 LANC inputs, balanced XLR audio with phantom power, and timecode/reference input. A 12 pin Hirose connector provides analog and digital broadcast lens control for powering and controlling SD, HD and Ultra HD lenses. There’s also a 4 pin XLR 12V DC power output and HD-SDI monitor output that can be used with Blackmagic viewfinders or any third party viewfinders and monitors.
Blackmagic Design also makes a complete set of professional camera accessories designed to work perfectly with URSA Broadcast. Customers can add a Blackmagic URSA Viewfinder or a large 7 inch Blackmagic URSA Studio Viewfinder. There are microphone mounts, standard V-Lock and Gold battery plates, optional lens mounts and more. The all new Blackmagic Camera Fiber Converter, Blackmagic Studio Fiber Converter and ATEM Camera Control Panel let customers create a complete broadcast camera chain that costs hundreds of thousands of dollars less than traditional camera chains. The fiber converters let customers extend their cameras and power them from up to 2 km away using industry standard SMPTE fiber cables. It includes 1 Ultra HD camera feed, plus 3 HD return feeds, common live camera controls with multiple channels of talkback, and standard television industry talkback headset connections, all in a compact IP video based design that allow it to be connected and controlled from a live production switcher.
“URSA Broadcast lets customers get the most out of their investment in cameras and lenses because it can be re-purposed and used on every type of project, whether it’s out in the field or in the studio. It’s like getting two cameras in one.” said Grant Petty, CEO, Blackmagic Design. “URSA Broadcast is exciting because it makes high end broadcast camera technology available to everyone from AV and web producers all the way up to professional broadcasters, for the same price as a common DSLR!”
Blackmagic URSA Broadcast Key Features
- 4K sensor, extended video dynamic range, traditional external controls and buttons, built in optical ND filters, dual CFast and dual SD card recorders,
- Advanced HD and Ultra HD broadcast camera with B4 mount.
- New extended video mode with better dynamic range and color fidelity producing images with amazing texture and detail, accurate skin tones, vibrant color and high dynamic range.
- Full electronic B4 lens control support for adjusting focus, iris and zoom using the camera’s controls, or remotely from an ATEM switcher or ATEM Camera Control Panel.
- Built in dual SD/UHS-II and CFast card recorders allow unlimited duration recording in high quality.
- Records 1080i or 2160p video into standard .mov files using DNx145, DNx220X or ProRes for compatibility with existing broadcast systems and workflows. Standard .mxf will be added in future updates.
- Support for DNxHD 220X, DNxHD 145, Apple ProRes 4444 XQ QuickTime, ProRes 4444 QuickTime, ProRes 422 HQ QuickTime, ProRes 422 QuickTime, ProRes 422 LT QuickTime and ProRes 422 Proxy QuickTime, CinemaDNG RAW, CinemaDNG RAW 3:1, CinemaDNG RAW 4:1.
- High quality clear, 1/4, 1/16th and 1/64th stop neutral density (ND) filters with IR compensation designed to specifically match the colorimetry and color science of URSA Broadcast.
- Fully redundant controls including external broadcast controls which allow direct access to the most important camera settings such as external power switch, ND filter wheel, ISO, shutter, white balance, record button, audio gain controls, lens and transport control, high frame rate button and more.
- Interchangeable lens mount with B4 mount included as standard. Optional EF, PL and F mount available separately.
- Status display for quickly checking timecode, shutter and lens settings, battery, recording status, and audio levels.
- Features all standard connections, including dual XLR mic/line audio inputs with phantom power, 12GSDI output for monitoring with camera status graphic overlay and separate XLR 4 pin power output for viewfinder power, headphone jack, LANC remote control and standard 4 pin 12V DC power connection.
- Built in high quality stereo microphones for recording sound.
- 4 inch foldout touchscreen for on-set monitoring and menu settings.
- Blackmagic SDI Control Protocol for external control or iPad control via Bluetooth®, 2 x 2.5mm LANC for lens and record control.
Availability and Price
Blackmagic URSA Broadcast is available now from Blackmagic Design resellers worldwide for US$3,495.
Blackmagic URSA Broadcast Accessories
- Blackmagic Camera Fiber Converter.
- Blackmagic Studio Fiber Converter.
- ATEM Camera Control Panel (available May/June 2018).
- Blackmagic URSA Broadcast Shoulder Kit features built in rosettes, rail mounts, viewfinder mount, integrated tripod quick lock release and top handle.
- Blackmagic URSA Viewfinder is a high resolution viewfinder that includes a full HD OLED display and true glass optics for perfect focus.
- Blackmagic URSA Studio Viewfinder featuring 7” screen, variable tension mounting points, easy grip handles, external controls and more.
- URSA VLock Battery Plate provides a VLock compatible plate for attaching third party batteries.
- Interchangeable EF, F and PL lens mounts.
|times are tough by jp wildlife|
from Your City - Garbage
|A Breath of Autumn by Miwok|
from My Best Photo of the Week...
|After the Storm by Domenick Creaco|
One of the rarest Canon lenses in existence has popped up in an eBay listing.
The short documentary, shot by photographer Cheryl Dunn, 'pays tribute to the spirit of street photography through a cinematic exploration of New York City
Rutherford County, Tennesee is the first US county where the drone can be flown overhead for commercial purposes.
The Fujifilm XF 8-16mm F2.8 promises to appeal to everyone from landscape to architectural photographers thanks to its fast aperture, weather sealing, and dedicated field curvature correction element. Does it live up to expectations? We took it from the city streets to the Canadian Rockies to test it out.
A question frequently asked on the Internet is 'what's the best DSLR?' In this buying guide we've answered that question – but also whether it's the right question to be asking in the first place.
Keith Ladzinski is a wildlife and adventure photographer and filmmaker based in Colorado. In this interview he explains the background to his most recent project, and looks back at what's changed since he bought his first digital camera in 2004.
Depth and focus in iPhone Portrait mode images can now be modified in Google Photos for iOS after capture.
Leica has announced the release of its latest compact camera, the D-Lux 7.
As a D750 owner and someone primarily concerned with still photography, DPR staffer Dan Bracaglia does not see a compelling enough reason to go Nikon mirrorless - yet. But that may not be the case for you.
Instagram has developed machine learning tools to detect the use of third-party apps that violate its terms and conditions.
According to reports the camera on some Google Pixel 3 devices crashes when accessed by a third-party camera app.
A handful of hotspots in Kansas City are banning photographers following a number of incidents from 'a few bad apples.'
New firmware for three Tamron zoom models makes the lenses work with Nikon's new Z mirrorless models and FTZ adapter.
Gentlemen Coders has released an update to RAW Power, its macOS and iOS photo-editing app.
Gimbal manufacturer Zhiyun-Tech has introduced zoom control as well as focus control for its new flagship model, the Crane 3 Lab.
We spoke to wildfire photographer Stuart Palley about his experiences shooting the recent Woolsey fire, why the Nikon Z7 isn't quite ready to take a permanent spot in his gear bag, and 'that' Tweet from Donald Trump.
Cinematographer Martin Lisius has shared the video and detailed the work it took to create his 16K HDR video titled "Prairie Wind."
The Z7 presented Nikon with a stiff challenge: how to build a mirrorless camera that measures up to its own DSLRs and can deliver a familiar experience to Nikon users. Chris and Jordan tell us whether they think Nikon succeeded.
National Geographic has shared a collection of entries hand-selected from editors showing off some of the best entries so far.
Rhino has launched a Kickstarter campaign for its new Arc II 4-axis robotic camera system.
Skylum Software will be supporting 10 artists on the EyeEm platform with $10,000 to help them focus on their photography.
Researchers have been able to exploit an iOS vulnerability in order to access photos stored in the Photo app's Recently Deleted folder.
Nikon's D3500 may be an inexpensive DSLR, but the company didn't cut corners when it comes to image quality. See how it handled fall colors and tropical seas in our sample gallery.
Nikon has released firmware version 1.02 that resolves a flickering issue when scrolling through images, an ISO limitation problem, and an occasional crash that could occur when displaying certain Raw files.
500px has announced an update to its Home Feed that's aimed at getting more photographers more exposure.
DxO announces the latest update to Nik Collection (version 1.1) that brings better compatibility, fewer bugs to the plugin suite it acquired from Google a year ago
The Nikon Z6's oversampled 4K video impresses in both our studio scene and real world shooting. See for yourself.
Bailey Richardson, one of the original 13 employees at Instagram, has deleted the app, saying it's lost its identity.
Fujifilm says firmware updates for its GFX 50S, X-T3, and X-H1 cameras are around the corner, with plenty of new features and functionality to boot.