Blackmagic Design’s pop up tour of Europe hits Soho on 6th June

Blackmagic Design’s pop up tour of Europe hits Soho on 6th June

From the 6th to the 8th of June, Blackmagic Design will be hosting a pop-up event at 19 Greek Street, Soho (W1D 4DT, for the satnav crew).

Doors will be open from 10am till 6pm every day except Wednesday, when they’ll be staying open late so you can mingle with your fellow Blackmagic Design users,

What’s on? 

Blackmagic are offering you the chance to see the exceptional new DaVinci Resolve 14 (to recap: 10 times faster than before, new editing and colour correction tools, full Fairlight audio post production and multi-user collaboration), and to get hands on with their DaVinci Resolve Micro Panel and DaVinci Resolve Mini Panels.

They’re also running free three-hour Resolve Training Classes twice a day – places for these are limited and likely to fill up fast, though.

There will also be the chance to try out the Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro in an indoor garden set, and of course you’ll be able to put all your questions to the Blackmagic team.

What’s it cost? 

Nothing. Nada. Zip.

Where do I sign up? 

You can register to attend here.

If you want to know more, give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter, or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Blackmagic Design announce the new Ursa Mini Pro camcorder

Blackmagic Design announce the new Ursa Mini Pro camcorder

There were collective high fives in the office on hearing Blackmagic Design’s press conference in which they unveiled the new Ursa Mini Pro camcorder. Suited to film, broadcast, and studio work, they’re essentially positioning the new camera as three products in one, which will suit the needs of every shooter. And as it’s launched at a very competitive price point compared to similar cameras on the market, we think everyone else is going to be just as excited as us.

The Blackmagic Design Ursa Mini Pro features an interchangeable lens mount for quickly swapping out Canon EF, cinema PL, or broadcast B4 mounts, and they’ve even got a Nikon F mount on the horizon. The camera’s button layout has been designed for multiple users, with tactile feedback and the ability to access controls in two ways – a big boon for film.

URSA Mini Pro

Just as with the Ursa Mini 4.6K, the Ursa Mini Pro features a Super 35 sensor for higher than DCI 4K resolution and 15 stops of dynamic range. The Ursa Mini Pro can record 4.6K footage at up to 60 frames per second, and your footage is saved to dual CFast or dual SD cards (there’s an optional SSD dock if you need it, too). You can record in a range of formats including Cinema DNG RAW and ProRes 4:4:4 and 4:2:2.

Also announced in Blackmagic Design’s press conference were two new DaVinci Resolve panels, and footage from the Ursa Mini Pro will be well at home in DaVinci Resolve – you even get a full copy of the software included when you buy it! But enough gushing from us – here’s what Blackmagic Design said:

“We are excited about this new model because it really builds on the success of URSA Mini and combines the best digital film technology with the most advanced broadcast features and ergonomics available. URSA Mini Pro is powerful enough to be used on high end feature films and television shows, versatile enough to be used for broadcast news and live multi camera event production, and affordable enough for indie filmmakers and even students!”

URSA Mini Pro Rear Angle - blog

The Blackmagic Design Ursa Mini Pro is available to preorder from Jigsaw24 now. Currently shooting with the the original, first generation Ursa? Blackmagic Design have kindly said they’ll be offering an upgrade option to the Ursa Mini Pro, whereby you pay a set amount, keep your beloved Ursa, and get the new version for a reduced price!

Want to know more about the Blackmagic Design Ursa Mini Pro? 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.

 

NAB 2016: New URSA Mini camera OS adds new UI, dozens of features and improves camera performance!

NAB 2016:  New URSA Mini camera OS adds new UI, dozens of features and improves camera performance!

Blackmagic Design today announced a major new camera operating system for its URSA Mini cameras. This new camera OS features an incredible new user interface along with dozens of new features and will be available later this year free of charge for all URSA Mini customers.

ursa_os

The new Blackmagic URSA Mini camera OS beta will be demonstrated on the Blackmagic Design NAB 2016 booth at #SL217.

The new URSA Mini camera OS is not just an upgrade, it’s a total rewrite from the ground up. The new OS has been specifically designed for the high performance processing architecture of URSA Mini and delivers a much more responsive experience, along with an entirely new user interface that makes using URSA Mini faster and more intuitive than ever before.

The first things customers will notice is the incredible new user interface and heads up display which dramatically reduces the number of menus and submenus needed to find specific settings and commands. Customers can now quickly change settings such as ISO, white balance, shutter angle, iris, frame rate, frame guides and more without ever having to navigate through any menus.

In addition, there are now custom white balance and white balance presets, along with tint control settings. Customers also get more accurate shutter angle selection, including a large easy to use on screen keyboard for easy entry of settings. When entering the shutter angle, the new URSA Mini camera OS will even offer smart flicker free shutter angle suggestions to assist the camera operator.

Entering metadata on cameras has always been tedious. The new URSA Mini camera OS solves the problem of tedious metadata entry by giving customers an entirely new metadata entry page with predictive entry suggestions and a preloaded dictionary of commonly used terms that can be applied as metadata tags with a simple tap. For example, if you stop and start the camera, the take will automatically increment. If you increase the scene number, shot and take, it will automatically reset to 1.

The new URSA Mini camera OS adds 1.33x and 2x anamorphic de-squeeze previews, along with the ability to double tap so customers can pan and zoom around the preview on the built in display. Customers can now import and store external 3D LUTs and apply the LUT to the LCD, front and main SDI outputs independently. They can also load and save their own presets for different shooting setups or different operators.

In addition, customers can now assign shortcuts to camera function keys, toggle between peaking and color focus assist, see new percentage based safe area guides and have the ability to toggle SDI overlays with information specifically geared toward either the cinematographer or the director viewing at video village.

“Customers love their URSA Mini cameras and are shooting some incredible footage with them,” said Grant Petty, CEO, Blackmagic Design. “The new Blackmagic URSA Mini camera OS is so exciting because it gives us a platform to build on for the future. There is a lot of extra power in the URSA Mini design that we have only just started to unlock, and until now this power has been hidden. The new URSA Mini operating system is going to let us build more of the features customers need even faster than before. Once you use it, it’s like getting a whole new camera for free!”

Availability and price

The Blackmagic URSA Mini camera OS will be available later this year as a free update for all Blackmagic URSA Mini customers.

For more on the latest NAB Show releases, take a look at our roundup post, give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

 

 

NAB 2016: Blackmagic Design announces new Blackmagic URSA studio viewfinder

NAB 2016: Blackmagic Design announces new Blackmagic URSA studio viewfinder

Turn URSA Mini into the ultimate professional studio camera with a 7 inch studio viewfinder! Blackmagic Design today announced the new Blackmagic URSA Studio Viewfinder, a high resolution 7” studio viewfinder with variable tension mounting points, tally, external controls and more that turns Blackmagic URSA Mini into a true professional studio camera.

ursa_viewfinder

Blackmagic URSA Studio Viewfinder will be demonstrated on the Blackmagic Design NAB 2016 booth at #SL217.

The Blackmagic URSA Studio Viewfinder features a large 7” high resolution screen and is perfect for camera operators working on live events at which they need to stand behind the camera and capture the action for hours on end. The all metal design is durable and features the highest quality variable tension mounting points available, as well as an articulated arm so the viewfinder can be raised, lowered, moved forward and backward. These mounting points can be set for the perfect amount of resistance so that customers can pan and tilt the viewfinder to whatever position they need.

This means camera operators can use the large viewfinder handles to move the camera completely independently of the viewfinder itself. This gives camera operators the ability to look directly into the viewfinder while the camera moves to follow the action.

The large RGB tally light on the rear of the monitor lights up red when the camera is on-air and orange for ISO recording. In addition, it includes customizable clip-on numbers that can be inserted for easy camera identification from up to 20 feet away.

When shooting a live event, it’s important to have physical buttons to quickly adjust settings on the fly. The Blackmagic URSA Studio Viewfinder features a physical dial, knobs and three customizable function buttons that let camera operators quickly adjust brightness, contrast, and peaking without having to hunt through menus while live on air. The customizable function buttons can be used for zoom, false color, edge focus detection, loading 3D LUTs and more.

The Blackmagic URSA Studio Viewfinder displays frame guides that can show the location of a lower third, graphic, logo or ticker so camera operators can accurately compose and frame shots. In addition to viewing the built in camera HDTV, 4:3, 2.4:1, 2.39:1, 1.85:1 and thirds frame guides, customers can also create up to three black or white custom cursors that can have variable height, width and position, making it easy to match the location for all the graphics that will be added live or during later broadcast. Frame guides are an essential function for every viewfinder, especially during live production where graphics and other elements are going to be keyed downstream.

When attached to URSA Mini, the camera sends information via the SDI connection to the viewfinder so customers can see the critical information they need such as recording status, camera settings, battery life and more while shooting.

The design of the Blackmagic URSA Studio Viewfinder makes it familiar and easy to use for anyone that’s worked with other traditional studio cameras before, as the layout of the controls follows a familiar industry layout. The base of the viewfinder also features a standard V-lock bracket for mounting and detaching the monitor to the URSA Mini handle so it can be quickly set up and repositioned in seconds. This is especially important for camera operators at live events where they might need to set up the camera quickly or when they might want to quickly remove the viewfinder because the camera is going to be used with a shoulder mount.

Also available today is Camera Update 3.2, which is a free software update for URSA Mini that turns it into a true professional studio camera. The update enables features such as talkback, tally, camera control, color balancing, lens control and more from ATEM switchers. The update also lets customers set the camera ID, reference timing, and SDI output options that also make URSA Mini compatible with any live production switcher. In addition, customers can also use the headphone connection on URSA Mini for talkback communication with the director.

When combined with the URSA Studio Viewfinder, URSA Mini becomes the world’s most advanced Ultra HD live production camera. Unlike traditional studio cameras, which use older video technology, URSA Mini is a true digital film camera combined with a DaVinci Resolve YRGB primary color corrector and full broadcast studio camera features. That means customers get a new generation in image quality with incredible texture, detail, color and dynamic range that are far superior to standard broadcast cameras. There’s also a B4 lens mount available that lets customers use their existing broadcast HD lenses with full lens control on URSA Mini PL.

“The new Blackmagic URSA Studio Viewfinder and the new Camera Update 3.2 software update turns Blackmagic Design’s URSA Mini cameras into a fully professional studio cameras that are better quality than traditional video based studio cameras but are also fully designed for an Ultra HD future,” said Grant Petty, CEO, Blackmagic Design. “The URSA Studio Viewfinder is designed to make it comfortable for camera operators to work on long events. Now broadcasters can get the same kind of amazing digital film quality that they can now use on live events that previously only Hollywood feature films has had access to!”

Blackmagic URSA Studio Viewfinder features:

– Super bright 7” high resolution viewfinder with detachable sunshade.
– Large handles and variable tension articulated pivot points to adjust viewfinder position.
– Tactile physical dials, knobs and customizable function buttons for quickly adjusting settings.
– Large RGB LED tally indicator with clip on perspex camera numbers for easy camera identification.
– Integrated V-Lock mounting plate for quick setup and attaching to the URSA Mini top handle.
– Connects to SDI input and power from camera, so no extra cables or power supplies needed.
– Compatible with Blackmagic Video Device Embedded Control Protocol for full control of camera functions such as talkback, tally, color correction, image detail, gains, all lens functions and much more.

Availability and Price

Blackmagic URSA Studio Viewfinder is available to pre-order here.

For more on the latest NAB Show releases, take a look at our roundup post, give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

4K Shootout: Your guide to the current 4K camera crop

4K Shootout: Your guide to the current 4K camera crop

With our 4K shootout due to mosey into town any day now (well, on 23rd July), we thought it was time to take a closer look at four of the cameras you’ll be able to get hands-on with on the day. Take notes, prepare questions, mentally pick out lenses: anything to ensure you’re not overwhelmed when you get the chance to shoot with all four of them side by side. 

Sony PXW-FS7

First up, the Sony PXW-FS7. As we’ve said before, this Super 35mm 4K handheld takes everything we loved about the FS700, ratchets it up to 11 and then marries it to one of the most ergonomic designs we’ve seen in a long time.

The FS7 is the most flexible workhorse of the bunch, well built enough to function as an excellent ENG and documentary camera. The built-in hand grip serves the dual function of making the camera lighter and easier to balance during long shoots, and means that you don’t have to rig the camera to the extent that you expect in order to get the shots that you want – both big pluses for run and gun shooting.

However, that’s not to discount the quality of images you can get from this camera – it’s capable of shooting beautiful footage, and its support for S-Log3 effectively gives you 1.5 extra stops of dynamic range compared to its predecessor, the FS700, and, as S-Log3 is pretty close to Cineon log, the footage you get is easier to grade and you’ve got more chance of achieving a classic ‘filmic’ look.

Sensor-wise, the PXW-FS7 boasts a Super 35mm CMOS image sensor with 11.6 million pixels in a 4352 x 2662 configuration, including 8.9 million effective pixels. The sensor’s high readout speed means the FS7 can support super slow motion 4K shooting, and its full pixel readout capability and lack of pixel binning mean that jaggies and noir are minimised.

While it’s natively E-mount, an A-mount adaptor is available if you want access to a wider pool of lenses. Plus, Sony are so confident about the quality of their hardware that they’re offering an extended warranty on it, which is always reassuring.

AJA CION

AJA are known for their sturdy, unfussy designs, and the CION follows that pattern exactly: its traditional form factor and lightweight body make it an ergonomic choice for longer shoots. There’s also the usual (but highly practical) fact that it can be stored away while fully rigged, so if you need to shoot with no notice, you can just take it out of its case and go.

Design considerations aside, the CION is able to output 4K raw data at up to 120fps via 4x 3G-SDI outputs (you can shoot directly to edit-ready Apple ProRes 4444 at up to 4K 30fps over Thunderbolt, ProRes 422 at up to 4K 60fps, or output AJA Raw at up to 4K 120fps), and records directly to AJA Pak SSD media at up to 60 frames per second. Its APS-C sized CMOS sensor is backed by great internal processing, meaning your end image is noise-free under most conditions, and it packs in an electronic global shutter and 12 stops of dynamic range.

Given the range of codecs and lens options available to you, the CION is a great choice for anyone who’s looking to achieve a cinematic look under a range of circumstances and workflows. AJA’s hardware is typically built like a tank and rarely goes EOL, so we’re willing to bet the CION will be kept current for a good few years – it’s already had some interesting firmware upgrades – making it a safe investment for anyone who needs their camera to last far longer than it should at its price point.

Blackmagic Design URSA

As we’ve said before, of all this group, the URSA is most suited to multiple operators; you can even split the on-camera controls so that one side of the camera controls audio while the other handles image settings, and can check separate scopes on all three of the URSA’s on-board monitors.

The corollary to this is that the URSA really needs to be rigged on a tripod, being, as it is, one of the heaviest cameras we’ve ever encountered. You’ll also need a good stock of V-lock batteries, as the URSA’s massive internal processing power translates to a constant thirst for power, so grab some batteries and a VTC plate along with the camera body if you’re thinking of buying.

However, it can shoot incredibly flexibly, supports high frame rate and delivers what are team our calling “pretty hardcore” image quality, so if you want 180fps ProRes now, no questions asked, this is the camera to set your sights on.

JVC GY-LS300

Not often mentioned in the same breath as the other three, but we think the LS300 has a lot more to offer than most people assume. First off, this is a Super 35mm 4K camera for under £3K ex VAT, which is extremely good value. And the fact that it supports a wide range of interchangeable lenses means that you can probably save again by reusing your existing still camera lenses to shoot video. Then of course there’s the fact that it shoots 4K Ultra HD, full HD with 4:2:2 sampling, SD and web-friendly proxy files, so you’re not going to need to replace or add to it for some time, meaning you’ll get great ROI.

It also has some very nifty hidden features and, because it has a full frame sensor and lets you scale down the crop factor by percentage, offers you ultimate lens flexibility. If you want to capture a micro 4/3″ or 2/3″ size image, you simply need to scale to the correct size, then carry on shooting as if you were on a smaller sensor camera. And even if you’re attaching the smallest lenses in your collection, you’ll still be able to pull HD images off the camera – in some cases, even 4K.

It also has XLR inputs, so you have plenty of high quality micing options, and will support auto-focus and zoom rocker use on any lenses that have those features enabled, meaning that with the right accessories the LS300 can become a really interesting run and gun camera, perfect for live events and ENG-style shooting – especially given its live streaming and FTP capabilities.

Register for our 4K Shootout

Drop by our Soho office on 23rd July to get hands on with these guys and put your questions to the team – we’ll also have Varicam, DSLRs like the A7S and GH4, the URSA Mini and the XC-10, as well as Zeiss glass, a 4K lighting setup from Cirrolight (and a tutorial on lighting for 4K with cinematographer John Harrison).

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.

How to get the most from your Blackmagic Design URSA

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.

Blackmagic Design’s URSA: One in the hand…

Blackmagic Design’s URSA: One in the hand…

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.”

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.