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Hidden Flexibility of Blackmagic’s URSA Broadcast. A S16mm Camera?

I’ll write concerning the URSA Broadcast in a bit. Stick with me as I current some background first. A few years in the past the Digital Bolex was introduced with a 16mm sized sensor. The build, the sensor measurement, and the styling all hearkened again to the days of movie and the unique Bolex. The objective: to capture the nostalgic feeling of celluloid and the early days of filming fleeting household moments or capturing ones earliest of film tasks. Yet, the Digital Bolex was/is modernized for at this time’s artistic and digital demands. I felt just like the staff behind the Digital Bolex hit a house run however the velocity of the digital camera market simply proved to be too fast for the digital camera to outlive in an aggressive market place, at the very least that is my uneducated guess.

The labor of love for filmmakers Joe Rubinstein and Elle Schneider the digital camera, sadly, ultimately went down the trail of many digital cameras. The thought although, a Tremendous 16mm digital digital camera, was not misplaced on the business, or me. Blackmagic’s first Pocket Cinema Digital camera had a Super 16mm sized sensor and lots of owner/operators liked sourcing vintage lenses to provide their unique Pocket Digital camera’s a singular look to the picture. There’s even a web-based petition making the rounds asking Blackmagic to add a S16mm crop to the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Digital camera 4k.

Digital Bolex D16 cameras

Last yr, Blackmagic Design snuck in a Digital Movie Digital camera with a Super 16mm sized sensor into the digital camera market and did not inform a soul. Not. A. Single. Soul. This function was hidden behind the black magnesium physique housing a more clever, or profitable, design: Stay Broadcast Production inside the URSA Mini household design. The Blackmagic Design URSA Broadcast has all the includes a B4 ENG Digital camera must excel in the Stay Broadcast world. It’s stacked with obtainable accessories: the Blackmagic Digital camera Fiber Converter, Blackmagic Fiber Studio Converter, Blackmagic URSA Studio Viewfinder, and all work properly with Blackmagic Design’s ATEM switchers. The digital camera even has the professional options discovered on the URSA Mini Professional giving quick access to buttons and settings permitting shooters to vary crucial settings without the LCD open.

URSA Broadcast

The URSA Broadcast

Throw a B4 lens on the Blackmagic URSA Broadcast and you should use this digital camera just like the point-and-shoot fashion digital camera information photographers choose. Yes, in the news world digital camera individuals are referred to as news photographers, or simply photogs for short. Identical to a Sony or Panasonic ENG, the Blackmagic URSA Broadcast can be utilized in the breaking news situations.

On many events, I’ve shot information tales on my Blackmagic URSA Broadcast digital camera. I even used the digital camera for a CBS News 48 Hours gig.  Utilizing a Canon or Fujinon B4 lens, on a B4 mount digital camera, may give shooters the power to shoot very broad and very telephoto with out the need to change lenses. Velocity is completely paramount if the objective is to cover breaking information nicely, and the URSA Broadcast undoubtedly helps, but what about these shoots the place you need a more stylized look?

URSA Broadcast


Apparently sufficient, if one exchanges the B4 lens mount for a PL lens mount on the URSA Broadcast you abruptly have the choice for a totally totally different aesthetic. For many who went to movie faculty or started in music videos, like waaayyyyy back in music videos, we might have shot on movie because it was the one choice. Gosh, I really feel previous. Now, one can return to their Super 16mm roots with the URSA Broadcast and vintage S16mm lenses.

On separate shoots, I used a vintage Canon 8-64mm zoom and classic S16mm prime lenses. The 2 varieties of lenses gave me two totally different seems and I took away a brand new device to place into my device belt. Take a look at the video of the URSA Broadcast and Super 16mm prime lenses above. I shot this all in UHD on Cinema DNGs.

URSA BroadcastThe Canon 8-64mm on the URSA Broadcast


Canon Eight-64mm Classic Zoom

On this legendary cinema lens. Yes, legendary. I mean, if the lens is sweet sufficient for “Hurt Locker” it’s ok for me. I tested this lens in a more managed setting. When a shooter needs flare the Canon 8-64mm can deliver a clearly definitive vintage vibe.

When lens flare just isn’t current then fringing is what that you must be looking forward to when utilizing an older lens just like the Canon 8-64mm. In my brief check, and my longer experience with the Canon on other cameras, is that this lens produced a good quantity of fringing. In a photograph, that is straightforward to repair in Adobe Lightroom. In video, not fairly as straightforward. So remember.

URSA Broadcastthe Subject, Kam, is about 5 to 6 eet away from me. Fringing is within the image for those who look for itURSA BroadcastRight here you’ll be able to see fringing from the Canon 8-64mm

I found the Canon 8-64mm Tremendous 16mm classic zoom to be an ideal run-and-gun choice for the URSA Broadcast. While the apeture on this classic lens just isn’t as extensive as a modern B4 lens you do not want the optical Blackmagic B4 Lens mount for the URSA Broadcast. You see, the URSA Broadcast has a Super 16mm sized sensor which is slight larger than the B4 lens and its image circle meant for two/three″ sized sensors. To ensure a B4 lens works on the URSA Broadcast, Blackmagic Design put an optical factor of their B4 lens mount. That optical component blows up the image circle from the B4 Lens to suit onto the URSA Broadcast’s Tremendous 16mm sized sensor. This is not a lot of a change, but enough to scale back the sunshine hitting the sensor.

Right here is an example of the Canon 8-64mm protection of the URSA Broadcast sensor.

URSA BroadcastAt 8mm the Canon has somewhat distortion which is predicted. Full sensor coated by the picture circleURSA BroadcastAt 64mm the Canon isn’t precisely a “long” lens but works for most situations. A longer zoom or prime perhaps higher for interview photographs

So, once I took off the B4 lens mount hooked up to my URSA Broadcast and placed on Blackmagic’s PL Mount I gained a slightly sharper image and just a little bit extra mild. This helped the Canon 8-64mm develop into a strong choice for the URSA Broadcast, which… let’s be trustworthy can use as a lot of the sunshine obtainable as potential.

Vintage Prime Lenses

These lenses immediately introduced my nostalgia of Film Faculty to the forefront. I beloved the picture and I feel it was with these lenses the Stay Manufacturing/ENG look often coming from the Blackmagic URSA Broadcast turned extra cinematic. This variation in the general image has every little thing to do with the wider apertures and fascinating traits traditionally found in classic prime film lenses. Make no mistake, I drooled over the mixture of the URSA Broadcast and Super 16mm Prime Movie Lenses. What’s nice, these lenses are often straightforward to seek out and lease for an inexpensive value. If I needed to shoot a story scene or tremendous indie film with an URSA Broadcast, these lenses can be my selection to make use of.

As a result of I had swapped out the B4 Lens mount for a PL mount, again no optical component found in the PL Lens mount, the broader apertures helped the URSA Broadcast to see additional into darker scenes than it had with a B4 lens. Plus, Tremendous 16mm depth of subject could be pretty darn drool worthy even when it isn’t Full Frame, or Giant Format, rail thin depth of subject.

URSA Broadcast

Recording Choices

The recording options on the Blackmagic Design URSA Broadcast are like the remaining of Blackmagic’s cameras. There’s a raw recording setting,  Cinema DNG, and then there are video recording choices like ProRes, and Avid’s DNxHR or HD. All of these options can report as much as UHD right down to HD. Nothing fallacious with these choices. Nothing improper in any respect. Might the digital camera be higher served with a Blackmagic Uncooked choice, Absolutely. I wish Blackmagic had added a Blackmagic Uncooked choice into the Blackmagic URSA Broadcast, but this isn’t going to happen. Clearly Blackmagic Design is reserving Blackmagic Uncooked for the URSA Mini Professional G1, G2, and Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Digital camera 4K. The URSA Broadcast is, properly, a broadcast digital camera and often broadcast cameras have very little have to shoot uncooked. It’s, howerver, an choice with Cinema DNG.

three Seems to be From 1 Digital camera

three Distinctive appears out of 1 digital camera. Don’t underestimate the visual variations  you possibly can deliver with easy lens mount modifications and sourcing distictintive lenses. I feel we will focus too much on the digital camera, it’s decision, and the way it sees the world and forgetting one key facet of the picture acquistion recipe, the lenses. While vintage lenses can current fascinating visible character be sure to check your lenses earlier than heading out on an enormous shoot. I particularly recommend shooters to examine edge to edge sharpness or lack of it when capturing with a classic lens on a quick aperture. No one needs to convey again out of focus footage.

I see those that principally use the Blackmagic Design URSA Broadcast in a reside manufacturing state of affairs might sometimes take the digital camera out into the sector and seize an entirely totally different look than reside production often delivers. This sort of lens mount swap and vintage lens state of affairs seems to be proper up the alley of Church or Faculty manufacturing the place a corporation may have a reside manufacturing digital camera to be able to train college students the in and outs of stay manufacturing while additionally with the ability to take the digital camera out into the sector to shoot footage wholly more cinematic in character.

New Bolex?

Make no mistake, the Digital Bolex was/is a singular and fascinating digital camera. I do not recommend the URSA Broadcast, capturing on Tremendous 16mm lenses, replaces the individuality of the Digital Bolex. I just see this slightly much less common Blackmagic Digital camera as having a hidden function not talked about or talked about a lot in any respect. Sure, movie is coming again as an choice. Particularly, Super 16mm film is coming back as an fascinating choice for picture acquisition however I consider the proof of concept the Digital Bolex confirmed us we, as creatives, might need a Super 16mm choice. That choice just stands out as the URSA Broadcast. Or? The URSA Mini Professional G2 or G1 with middle crop selected? However, keep in mind, you can’t shoot 4K on the URSA Mini Pro G1 or G2 with the Middle Crop chosen. Only the URSA Broadcast provides us UHD in Tremendous 16mm. Would you shoot this arrange? What visual vibe would you need to seize with classic Super 16mm lenses and the URSA Broadcast?

URSA Broadcast

URSA Broadcast

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