URSA Mini Update from IBC!


We met up with Simon Westland from Blackmagic and spoke to him about all the new developments with the URSA Mini since it was released in April at NAB.

Firstly though we asked the all important question, when are you going to be shipping them?

  • 4K September 2015
  • 4.6K October 2015
  • B4 mount for URSA mini November 2015 – yes a new mount was released! We will talk about this a bit more later on in the blog.

Some specs about the URSA mini;

  • Super35 sensor
  • 15 stops of dynamic range with the 4.6K & 12 stops with the 4K model
  • 5″ screen – 1920 x 1080
  • Pro Res 422 10-bit (not mpeg compression)
  • 2 x CFast 2.0
  • Free copy of Da Vinci Resolve 12 Studio included


So who is the URSA Mini the ideal camera for?

– Documentary filming, single shooter, run n’ gun, and broadcasters as a field camera

– The 4.6K model is ideal for feature and drama productions

What developments have been made to the URSA mini since it’s release?

– The Iris control on the PL has been improved, added lens control. Spherical optical glass has been used on the B4 mount, this means that the need for lenses with 2 x extenders has been removed. The B4 mount has been made to replace the existing PL lens mount, enabling it to be turned into a B4 camera for HD. Another great feature of the B4 mount is is spherical aberration correction, this will enable customers to use their lenses with no blooming even when wide open.

– The B4 mount can be easily installed onto the camera by first detaching the PL mount where it is usually removed for shimmering PL lenses, this involves unscrewing 6 screws and then replacing it with the B4 mount.

– The connections on the rear of the camera have also been changed, ref & timecode are now one connection, this has allowed for an added SDI in. This allows you to send CCU information to the camera, resulting in the ability to colourshade/control the lens, this means that it is at Studio Camera level.

We wondered why one of the most distinct features of the URSA being the large 10inch screen (and three screens in total) was something now carried through to its ‘mini’ version?

– As this camera is intended for the single operator, there isn’t a need for more screens, on the right hand side there are no screens, instead it can be used for mounting rosettes/handgrips, etc.

Another noticeable difference between the URSA & and the URSA Mini is the much more ergonomic design that the Mini has, as it is designed to be shoulder mounted primarily, overall it appears to have a very polished/refined finish which is great to see in a Blackmagic product.

What is a product that is ideal to combine with the URSA Mini?

– The Blackmagic URSA Viewfinder works exceptionally well with the Mini, it is Full HD OLED, adding clarity and sharpness.

We asked what the main strength/weakness of the URSA Mini is;

  • Strength – 4.6K raw internal recording & 13 stops of dynamic range
  • Weakness – inability to use ND filters

You are unable to load LUTs onto the camera, however the SmartView 4K does have LUT support. Ideally, to do this you would take a video feed out from the camera and use the Resolve Live feature of DaVinci Resolve to live grade and store LUTS.

Another important piece of information about the URSA Mini since it’s release in April is that the GPS feature has been removed from the camera, this was done as they were unable to get reliable satellite reception in the current camera design.

Do you have a question about the Blackmagic URSA Mini that hasn’t been covered in the blog? Comment below and we will do our best to get it answered!

Product links;


6 replies »

  1. Do you know if the Ursa Mini has a facility for any kind of continuous pre-shot ‘loop’ feature? It would be very useful in wildlife filming.

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