So the Blackmagic URSA ended up on our desks this morning, and team M&E we convened in the office to give it a look. The official verdict is that we’ve received a lot of camera for our money – or would have, if we actually had to pay for demo kit. Not that we’re smug about getting free stuff.
Anyway, here’s consultant James Graham with his verdict…
“As far as first impressions go, the unboxing experience is fantastic, as is the packaging. But then you’d expect that, as you’ve just received a lot of camera for your money.”
“The specs of the camera read impressively. It shoots 4K ProRes HQ at 60p, great for even those Brits who want those extra 10 frames of slow-mo. Then of course there’s 4K RAW and many iterations of ProRes. But if you’re like us, you’ll have read all about that by now, so the main thing we were interested in was getting it on our shoulders and getting a feel for it as a camera. The only thing to do was crack out a Cineprime and our Shape gear.”
“Several things have been said about this camera already, but they stand repeating. Firstly, if you are using it on your shoulder, forget the 10” display. You will need an EVF – something like the Alphatron or a Cineroid EVF 4-RW is perfect, and it’s powered by V-lock batteries. It’s also worth noting that there is a lot going on in the URSA, so it’s a thirsty camera and you will need more batteries than you think you do.”
“There are many ways to operate this camera, and we like this. It will feel at home in many situations. The body can be split into two sides for operation (audio and video), or all functions can be accessed from both, which is a nice feature as you want the camera to work for you in all situations. Many of the menus are the same as what we are used to from other BMD cameras, so there will be no difference there.”
“The machined body feels very tidy in our hands, however, like its predecessors, it’s a camera that needs to be accessorised to a degree in order to get the best from it. We cynically list the best of these along with the camera on our product page, so you can add them to your URSA on impulse.”