Blackmagic Design may have just solved the problem of RAW video capture for any camera and every type of user. In essence, it gives the benefits of RAW capture while allowing flexibility in file size depending on production needs. It is a compressed format but by using a clever demosaic algorithm that happens in-camera, it shrinks the file size much more than other formats while preserving quality and RAW features like White Balance, ISO, exposure, NR, clarity and color bit depth.
For Slow motion cameras, it may be the codec of the future as it will allow the best quality without the enormous file sizes associated with image sequences like DNG or other RAW formats. Being open source and free of licenses it aims to be adopted by the entire industry faster than other formats and will be free of the platform-specific nature of codecs like Apple’s ProRes which only works on Mac OS X. The Blackmagic RAW beta is already available here!
An enthusiastic supporter of the recently announced Black Magic Pocket Cinema Camera 4k, is aiming at getting the company to incorporate a Super 16 or S16 crop format on the sensor so that S16 lenses can be used with the camera without recording the extra vignetted information. However, as you must know by now crop frames in sensor read-out are an excellent way to increase frame rate capabilities in cameras.
So we encourage you to sign the petition here and place some comments that also call for increasing the frame rate options in S16 mode so that the camera captures better slow motion footage. The camera will already be capable of 120fps Full HD 1080p crop in windowed mode but a S16 crop would allow for extra frame rate options at that resolution. 96fps would be one possibility. And while you are at it maybe ask for 720p crop and 240fps which is not probable but worth a try. -HSC
Yes the BMPCC 4k looks like a DSLR crossed with a late 1990s digital camera but it’s insides are not only powerful but could also mean that you can essentially afford two units of this camera instead of a Panasonic GH5s for example and get similar quality with the added ability to shoot RAW and power an XLR microphone directly from the camera with phantom power. Bang for your buck!
As for fast frame rates the camera can shoot 4k 60fps & 120fps 1080p in full RAW or Apple ProRes codec options. We sure wished the camera could shoot 240fps in full HD and 120fps in 4k even while time limited. It would have placed the camera in a much better position on our list due to its $1,295.00 USD price tag which is really the best value for money in a camera today. Well for September 3rd which is the actual ship date which may or may not derail your purchasing plans.
Blackmagic Design has announced a new camera today. The URSA Mini Pro is a marriage of their higher end URSA camera with the still in the product line URSA Mini. It offers built in ND Filters, 15 stops of dynamic range “which is huge for filmmakers”, tons of ports, in body buttons and controls and easy interchangeable lens mounts.
For our slow motion fans there is not a whole lot offered by the camera but there are some built in features. 60fps in 4k DCI and also at 4.6k full sensor resolution is very useful and keeps the trend with the 4k over-crank frame rates debuted in 2016 on several cameras. The other is 120fps at 2k windowed resolution which is passable but not ideal. However the slow motion on these cameras is high quality and seldom does it have artifacts.
Blackmagic Design has now made it a tradition to blow away the competition when it comes to NAB announcements. This year it seems it is no different with refinements to almost every product in their arsenal including DaVinci Resolve which has also a major update which will make it an even better video editing solution. Which is also bundled with their cameras.
The Blackmagic URSA 4k Professional camera is one awesome powerhouse for standard frame rate productions with it’s three high quality LCD screens and RAW / Prores recording at just $5,995 USD. Prior to the most recent 1.9.9 Firmware it was capped at 60p for 1080p and 4k but after the update the camera gained 80fps for both 4k and 1080p.
Although the frame rate at 80fps is still low compared to most high speed offerings, the fact that it is 4k makes it a special milestone for the resolution. The URSA uses the CMOSIS CMV12000 Global shutter sensor which is the same to be used by the prototype 4k fps1000 camera upgrade option. The sensor is capable of producing from 150-300fps at full sensor resolution and it will be exploited by the fps1000 4k in full resolution. The URSA will record in a 12 Bit 3:1 RAW format for the high frame rate of 80fps costing no quality but saving space in memory and cards. As of this writing the URSA is the highest quality RAW 80fps image under $8k. It is an expensive camera which cost it some points in our camera guide as quality is not a definitive factor in final ranking . Price and workflow also are important. If you need RAW 4k up to 80fps the URSA at $5,995 is your cheapest option until the fps1000 ships. You can also get 4k at higher frame rates like 240fps on the Sony FS700 or FS7 but you will need an expensive external recorder or Sony module which is orders of magnitude more expensive. If you don’t need RAW or 4k Slow motion other cameras like the FS700 plain or the edgertronic are less costly options with higher frame rates.
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