Retaining the familiar form factor of the original URSA Mini, Blackmagic Design‘s URSA Mini Pro 4.6K Digital Cinema Camera brings expanded control set and increased functionality. The most noticeable difference is the addition of external camera controls. No longer will menus have to be accessed to change exposure settings, activate slow/fast motion, or engage focus assist or other functions. The exterior of the camera also gains a monochrome LCD panel which displays essential shooting data at a glance. Another welcome pro feature is the implementation of built-in ND (neutral density) filters. The four-position wheel switches between two, four, and six stops of neutral density, plus a clear filter for no exposure reduction. Behind the display, two SD card slots have materialized beside the CFast 2.0 slots, enabling more affordable media to be used for less intensive recording formats. The default electronic EF lens mount is user-interchangeable and adjustable to ensure proper flange-focal distance.
At the heart of the camera is Blackmagic Design’s acclaimed Super 35mm 4.6K sensor block, known for its ability to capture cinematic images with subtle gradients and large dynamic range rated at 15 stops. Like the URSA Mini, the URSA Mini Pro can record high resolution raw sensor data in the CinemaDNG format onto CFast 2.0 memory cards at up to 60 fps. The raw files preserve the full dynamic range and color tonality output from the sensor so you can have greater control over the look in post-production. However, data-heavy uncompressed raw files aren’t always easy to deal with on-set, so in addition to uncompressed raw recording, the URSA Mini Pro provides compressed raw recording at 3:1 and 4:1 compression ratios to save space while retaining post-production flexibility.
If raw capture is not necessary for your production, the URSA Mini Pro offers ready-to-edit industry standard Apple ProRes files in many different flavors within the 444 and 422 chroma subsampling variations depending on your workflow. The 4.6K, 4K, 3K, 2K, and HD recording resolutions can be captured as ProRes files either using the “Film” dynamic range for a flatter image for grading in post-production, or “Video” dynamic range for a finished look right out-of-camera. ProRes can be recorded to either CFast 2.0 or UHS-II SD cards (SD cards top out at UHD 4K, please check the Blackmagic Design website for updated card compatibility and limitations).
Since the form factor of the original URSA Mini has been adhered to, the ergonomic benefits have remained as well. With separately available accessories, like the VCT shoulder pad, side-handle extension, broadcast battery plate, and EVF, the camera can be kitted out for comfortable shooting over extended periods. For studio-style shooting, the same shoulder pad is compatible with 15mm LWS rods for mounting lens supports for long lenses, follow focuses, lens drive motors, matte boxes, and more.
Built-In ND Filters
The URSA Mini Pro features high quality neutral density (ND) filters that let you quickly reduce the amount of light entering the camera. The clear, 2, 4, and 6 stop filters have been specifically designed to match the color science of the URSA Mini Pro in order to maintain consistent image quality with minimal color shift. The ND filters conveniently let you 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. Additionally, the internal IR filters have been designed to filter both optical and infrared wavelengths evenly to eliminate IR contamination of the images that can be brought about by standard ND filter. A precision mechanism holds the filters and quickly moves them into place when the ND filter dial is turned. Furthermore, the current filter settings can be displayed as an ND number, stop reduction, or fraction on the LCD.
External Control Section
Using a design inspired by classic broadcast cameras, the URSA Mini Pro features a wide array of tactile physical controls with direct access to the most important camera settings. The controls are laid out in a logical order that makes them easy to remember, so you’ll be able to adjust camera settings, apply ND filters, and change frame rate without having to look at the buttons, dive into on-screen menus or take the camera off of your shoulder.
User-Interchangeable Lens Mounts
By default the URSA Mini Pro includes an interchangeable EF mount. But, if you want to use lenses with F (Nikon), PL, or B4 mounts, separately available interchangeable mounts can be purchased. Having an interchangeable lens mount allows the URSA Mini Pro to be used in nearly any kind of workflow, from documentary, to ENG or EFP, and cinema. For ENG lenses, a 12-pin Hirose connector will power the servo so all lens functionality can be utilized.
External LCD Status Display
The status display is a high visibility black-and-white LCD screen that’s designed to be easily seen, even in bright light. The status display shows record timecode, locked timecode and reference timecode, along with the current shooting frame rate, shutter angle, aperture, white balance, ISO, and iris. It also features a battery indicator, card recording status, and audio meters for monitoring levels. The screen’s backlight can be turned on when you’re shooting in dimly lit locations, and off when you’re shooting outdoors and in bright light to increase contrast, making it easy to read under nearly any shooting condition.
Advanced Image Processing
Third generation Blackmagic Design color science is used to process the raw sensor data, enabling rich skin tones, natural color response, and a wide dynamic range. The full color gamut recorded by the URSA Mini Pro extends beyond Rec. 2020 and DCI P3, allowing the recorded images to fit into professional workflows from TV Rec. 709 to modern wide-gamut standards.
CFast 2.0 and SD Media Support
Two of each CFast 2.0 and SD slots are available for recording media. High-end workflows that require 4K or 4.6K raw recording and high-frame-rate shooting will take full advantage of the high-bandwidth CFast 2.0 cards. Raw HD and 4K ProRes material can be recorded onto convenient and relatively inexpensive SD cards compatible with the UHS-II standard. Since two of each slot is available, you can keep recording, regardless of format choice.
Compact Handheld Design
Sizing down the original URSA shape enables the URSA Mini Pro to fit into feature film, indie film, TV, commercial, documentary, and music video workflows with crews of any size. Using the optional shoulder mount with a built-in quick-release plate, the URSA Mini Pro can go from handheld to shoulder to tripod in a matter of seconds. Despite its size, the URSA Mini Pro still fits essential controls and I/O for professional workflows.
The body is made from Magnesium alloys in order to keep the URSA Mini Pro lightweight at just over 5 pounds. To make the camera more acceptable for handheld usage, a side handle is included. With the optional shoulder mount, the handle can be extended off the side of the camera to be used in a doc-style configuration.
4.6K Super-35mm Sensor
With an effective resolution of 4608 x 2592, the sensor housed inside the URSA Mini Pro can capture motion pictures that have greater-than 4k resolution with a film-like 15 stops of dynamic range. A wide exposure latitude allows for greater control in post, enabling highlight recovery while keeping the shadows clean from artifacting.
The URSA Mini Pro can record the entire sensor at up to 60 fps to fit television or other workflows which require higher frame rates. Using a smaller portion of the sensor, the URSA Mini Pro can also record slow-motion footage at up to 120 fps in 1080p resolution. When recording high frame rates, the URSA Mini Pro will conform captured footage to the set standard frame rate resulting in smooth footage that doesn’t require post processing before editing.
In addition to more traditional button-driven menus and the bevy of external controls, the URSA Mini Pro features a fold-out 4″ capacitive touchscreen LCD monitor. Using the easily navigable touchscreen menu you can see and change all camera settings, view timecode, scopes, audio levels, and focus peaking, as well as add shot metadata with an onscreen keyboard.
The URSA Mini features multiple connections such as 12G-SDI out, HD-SDI monitoring out, 2 LANC inputs, balanced XLR audio with phantom power, timecode-in, and reference input. On the front right side of the camera the 4 pin XLR DC and HD-SDI monitoring output are located in the perfect position for connecting to an optional viewfinder or on set monitor. The 12G-SDI output handles up to 2160p60 using a single BNC cable and also switches to 6G-SDI or HD-SDI depending on the shooting format.
Quality Sound Recording
With high quality built in microphones and professional audio recording features you don’t have to carry around extra sound equipment. You can use the built in stereo microphone to record natural location sound or connect professional microphones using the two XLR mic inputs. The XLR connections have 48V of switchable phantom power so you can plug shotgun mics or wireless lavalier mics for capturing more detail. You can quickly adjust levels using the physical knobs while monitoring the audio using the onscreen audio meters and headphones.
Multiple Power Options
On its own, the URSA Mini Pro includes a 4-pin XLR industry standard power connector that works with 12V to 30V external power supplies. That means it’s easy to use the camera with existing professional power supplies and batteries. The camera uses the same battery power connector and mounting points on the rear of the camera as used on the original URSA so you can use the same range of battery plates from a wide range of manufacturers such as IDX, Frezzi, Anton Bauer, and more. You can also add the optional Blackmagic URSA V-Lock Battery Plate for using popular V-Mount batteries.
DaVinci Resolve Software Included
Included with the camera is a DaVinci Resolve USB dongle, which contains a license to unlock the full feature-set within the software. The full version of DaVinci Resolve is compatible with Mac and Windows, and can be used for editing, color grading, media management, mastering, and delivery. DaVinci Resolve is designed to handle the 12-bit log RAW images from URSA Mini Pro so you can take advantage of URSA Mini Pro’s image quality and wide dynamic range. DaVinci Resolve features advanced, multi-layer timeline editing with powerful trimming tools, along with a fully professional suite of creative grading tools