How to get the most from your Blackmagic Design URSA

Blackmagic’s behemoth is a fantastic collaborative camera that gives the illusion that you’re working with £20,000 kit despite costing £3186 ex VAT. But if you really want to get the most out of it, there are a few things you need to know. Our camera specialist James Graham offers these top tips…

Know how you’re going to use it

“It’s not news that this is a pretty heavy camera, and it’s in no way a run and gun model – even if the test footage below shows that it’s a lot easier to manoeuvre than you might think, it’s still a big setup camera that suits itself to multiple operators, three of whom can even have their own high res LCD display.

The Bear in NZ Winter” – Beta URSA Footage from A Couple Of Night Owls on Vimeo.

As you can also see from the video, which was made using an unreleased beta version of the camera, the footage looks fantastic and has only improved in the final model. You are getting great image quality and a lot of flexibility for a pretty remarkable price, which actually makes the URSA a good shout for universities who want to get groups of students round a camera, shooting professional quality footage. It’s also a good reserve camera for anyone who frequently find themselves having to rent out high-end kit but wants to have something slightly more affordable to hand in case of emergency.”

Remember that an URSA is for life, not just for Christmas

As RedShark pointed out in their review, part of the reason that the URSA is built like a brick house it that it’s protecting a huge amount of “internal processing grunt” is that it arrives ready to accommodate a long future of upgrades and developments. If you’re not content with shooting ProRes and 4K RAW at 80fps, all you have to do is wait for a firmware upgrade – the camera will survive anything you can throw at it in the meantime. And the removable sensor block means that when better chip technology comes along, it’s literally a case of swapping out your existing chip and carrying on, because the rest of your camera will still be solid as a rock.”

Embrace the top audio quality

“The URSA comes with two XLR inputs with switchable phantom power and mic preamps. Really very good preamps. If you need convincing, listen to this hands-on review by the videographers at Faymus Media, which uses in-camera voice recording and somehow manages to capture audible dialogue in the middle of New York.”

Don’t lose the allen key

“Literally everything you want to add to or take off your URSA needs this key. Tape it to your body. Mould duplicates. Wear it on a chain. But do not – do not – put it down and then forget where you left it. Blackmagic won’t be happy with you.”

Want to know more? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Liz
Liz
Call us: 03332 409 306

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