Sabyasachi Patra

Blackmagic launches URSA Broadcast camera

Blackmagic launches URSA Broadcast camera

Blackmagic has created a broadcast version of URSA camera and has priced it at only 3495 USD like a DSLR. This camera can be used both for broadcast as for other studio and outdoors applications. It comes with both EF, F and PL lens mounts.

The URSA Broadcast camera has a 4K censor, works with existing B4 broadcast HD lenses, can be used for both HD and Ultra HD production and claims extended video dynamic range. It has traditional external controls and buttons, built in optical ND filters, dual CFast and dual SD card recorders, and a host of features. Blackmagic URSA Broadcast is available now for only US$3,495 from Blackmagic Design resellers worldwide.

URSA Broadcast camera lets traditional broadcasters use their existing equipment like B4 HD and Ultra HD lenses. 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. So this can be time saving as well.

The URSA Broadcast camera ensures that the users get a wide depth of field while using B4 lens mount so it helps in nailing focus. The lens mount features high performance optics with spherical aberration correction specifically designed to match the camera’s sensor. The ⅔” 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 camera claims a high quality 4K image sensor and a new extended video mode with better dynamic range and color fidelity. It produces images with fine texture and detail, accurate skin tones, vibrant color and high dynamic range and the images have been designed to be used without additional color correction. This makes editing faster, which is crucial in the fast paced broadcast world.

URSA Broadcast is designed to be the compact, tough and be a fully featured camera. It has a magnesium alloy body for toughness as well as for reducing the weight. There is an external LCD which is readable in outdoor sunlight and displays critical shooting information. It has a foldout touch screen for reviewing shots without needing an extra on-set monitor, professional connections such as 12G‑SDI, 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.

A good addition to the URSA Broadcast camera is the 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.

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 10‑bit 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 12‑bit 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 12G‑SDI 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. 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.

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 ⅔” 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, 12G‑SDI 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.

Blackmagic Design URSA Broadcast camera from side


Blackmagic URSA Availability and Price

Blackmagic URSA Broadcast is available now from Blackmagic Design resellers worldwide for US$3,495.

Sabyasachi Patra
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Sabyasachi Patra

Sabyasachi is an award winning Cinematographer and shoots for international broadcasters, feature films and corporates to make a living. He is a passionate wildlife filmmaker and photographer and has won awards and accolades for his documentary 'A Call in the Rainforest'. He has been striving to make his films and photographs full of life and emotion and write articles to educate and evangelise the need for conserving the last tracts of vanishing wilderness and wildlife in our country. He hopes that his wildlife films, photographs and writings force people to pause, look, ponder and ultimately take action.
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