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Black Magic URSA - first modular camera, now from $4995
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  • Looking at I do not see why so tragic tone?

    Their purpose is to use things that are made to be inserted and removed many times.

    SSDs us quite unreliable medium mostly due to bad fragile SATA connectors.

    If you look at CFast specs I do not see any reason why we won't see cheapo cards with bigger sizes soon. And I am sure that BM managers know this much better than strangers at forums.

  • BM managers have always made some strange decisions for the BMCC:

    • Awful audio (both hardware and software)

    • No HDMI out

    • No formatting

    • Not ergonomic shape (in a camera they admitted was thought for use without rigs!)

    It's always like they make something really cool but miss the spot to make it perfect.

    Btw, RED cameras use SSD. Make a housing for them and you're done.

    As for prices probably you are right, but they will be competitive for big sizes when the URSA will be old (which means a couple of years or even less)

  • Btw, RED cameras use SSD. Make a housing for them and you're done.

    Red made this quite long time ago and really Red is very bad example for your argument with their prices.

    Awful audio (both hardware and software)

    And this requires skill and big experience to make it right in tightly packed body. Not easy as you think.

    No HDMI out

    It is not big problem with cheap converter. But, really, HDMI is bad thing due to connectors.

    No formatting

    In fact, they explained the reason partially - good formatting of SSD disk requires knowledge. Plus time to make all right. SSDs are known for extremely weird behavior in case of faulty memory chips.

    Not ergonomic shape (in a camera they admitted was thought for use without rigs!)

    And this also require experience and investment. May be with such shape it will cost much more and will be much harder to cool properly.

  • RED SSD are pricey but making a housing doesn't make them pricey.

    Audio, formatting and shape require experience: that's not a valid point or critics are useless. HDMI out missing is simply a nonsense in a camera made for internal recording with no professional audio connections and users base coming from DSLR equipment.

    I have the HDMI converter and the battery and they are not the most welcome extra in my rig.

    Those critics are made by 90% of BMCC users so there's some truth in them.

  • I saw your links of CFAST cards, they look really cheap, I wonder if they can work as Sandisk ones, priced around 1000$ for 120 GB

  • @jazzroy Yes same school of thought. It seems that every-time they make a camera something simple and vital is missing. I cannot understand the logic behind in camera formatting being a problem, so BM is wiser than 99.9% of all those electronic/camera manufacturers that permits this. We should start to sue the likes of Sony, Nikon, Canon, Red, Panasonic, Samsung etc etc because of this.

    The URSA with the hdmi module is a very interesting proposition. With the flurry of 4k camera coming out, it is a bit hard to pay premium now as new model are launching like every month. In one of the interviews, I heard one of the rep say that it could go to 120 fps. If it can go as high as this in 4k, then it can become a very long term investment. I don't think many will outgrow 4k 120fps for the next 5 to 10 years. The fact that you can add a blackmagic sensor module or any hdmi imput will ensure that it will be relevant for a long time. The actual sensor does not interest me at all. It is a good example of how 4k just for the sake of resolution is just shit if you have to compromise low light and DR.

    Now again the Cfast 2 memory use is the torn in this camera/recorder. The example in this threat is about Cfast 1 card, which are much cheaper than the Cfast 2.

    You would easily need more that the price of the 6k URSA to be safe with the 4k recording. This trows all the logic of the URSA as a long term investment now. In two years time when the Cfast 2 media has decrease a lot, but then we don't know what will be on the market.

  • HDMI is an absurdly, horrible connection in a professional working environment. It's cheap, breaks easy and can come lose at a moments notice. It's very simple why they chose sdi. I've never seen someone complain about that once they've experienced the benefits of sdi. I've actually seen the opposite about the pocket because it's out is the worst. Do these critics who complain about the sdi shoot productions or cats?

  • Agreed. HDMI is a horrible consumer interface design. For professional applications it's borderline criminal.

  • @BurnetRhoades and @vicharris

    SDI is way better than HDMI, there's no question about it.

    There's always some better solution, that's not the point. What I stated, quite clearly, is that everything else in BMCC is at consumer/prosumer level (audio input, screen quality, software, cheap SSD for recordimg, it has even the rings for the neck strap!

    So, putting ONLY SDI as pro connection is quite a nonsense, the average BMCC user comes from DSLR and has not such workflow.

    If it had XLR audio input, V-mount plate and so on SDI would be mandatory, but here is an extra while HDMI is expected.

    At least they could put both :)

  • @jazzroy

    First, you moved completely offtopic now, so move to other topic, please.

    Second, I see zero problem with SDI as with BMPCC it is only required for monitor if you use it. Shooting without rig on BMPCC is quite useless anyway, and as I said, SDI monitors are quite affordable now, or use cheap converter if you so like it.

  • @jazzroy Actually no, I don't agree with this assessment at all. There is no professional storage at this scale. Creating a proprietary format is Bad Idea Jeans, only slightly less bad would be custom enclosures for media. It's ridiculous to think this wouldn't adversely influence price, introduce new potential for failure, artificial scarcity and then, ultimately, premature obsolescence.

    Point me to any camera with an LCD that is useful as-is in daylight. Show me a camera with a small LCD that is useful as-is in a professional situation, on any camera. Do it. While the company has "magic" in their title we shouldn't actually believe in it.

    Built-in LCDs are stop-gap in all present situations. A fair amount of camera manufacturers see them as so useless, by design, they don't even waste the money and effort including one in their camera because they know they're not good enough, any of them.

    I don't care about audio on any of these cameras. Great or even good audio on a camera is as useful to me as 5-axis stabilization on a camera with a garbage codec and terrible color.

  • @Vitaliy_Kiselev

    yes, you are right, back to topic.

    I estimate a bitrate of 200/300 MB/s for CinemaDNG 2:1 compression at 4K, that means recording around 4 minutes on 60GB CF 2.0

    So, if I want to be able to record, let's say, half an hour (which is barely enough only for a movie set day) I need 8 x 600$ =4800 $ of memory cards right now.

    If I have to shoot a documentary numbers are way bigger

  • If you're shooting narrative, you really shouldn't be filling up all your cards and/or waiting until the end of the day to dump. If media cost is an issue 1) you shouldn't be shooting 4K, 2) you shouldn't be shooting raw, 3) all of the above.

    Most of this also applies to documentary shooting. If you're shooting mostly talking heads and interviews 4K raw is a bad decision where the hardware has no fault. Shoot that stuff with whatever camera you have because it doesn't matter, only the content. One of the best documentaries I've seen in years was The Ambassador and it looked like shit from beginning to end but that didn't matter at all. It was a documentary after all. If you're documenting something where the image and aesthetics actually matter, like wildlife, architecture, nature, you're going to have quite a bit of downtime and shooting in bursts. And again, if the cost of media is a major factor you're creating problems for yourself and you should be living and shooting within your means.

    Imagine the cost if you were shooting film. In fact imagine the cost and the logistics of managing a film camera, exposed and un-exposed reels and an 8lb Nagra recording audio, like just about any documentary filmmaker prior to the 1990s would be working, that or gigantic full-size ENG cameras tethered to portapack 3/4" video recorders or a window in there carrying a full-size Betacam camcorder that weighed more than an URSA, cost between $100-200K and shot through a $40,000 lens, not to mention the lights you would also have to carry because those cameras couldn't see for shit in low light.

    edit: not only that, prior to just the last ten years or so, less even, you were shooting on cameras that cost much more than this, through lenses that cost much more than is common now, to non-reusable media. Well, you could but you were taking your chances. And professional digital and analog tape meant you were looking at more than $100/hr of pre-edit footage, easily (HDCAM ran us about $80/tape in 2001-2002). So that, while cheaper than film, could amount to $5000+ for economical narrative shooting and well over $10,000 for documentary shooting. Done, spent, just raw media you weren't going to use again.

  • I'll just stick to the topic, no reason to compare my 15 years old Betacam to see in good light URSA problems.

    In the year of 4K and in the direction that BlackMagic is pointing, which is giving 4K RAW at 1/10 of the price of the competition, choosing a recording media that actually can record no more than 8 minutes per card and costs more than the camera for just half an hour of recording storage is a problem.

    They state (not me) that it's made for films, commercials, documentaries. They fail in giving a usable tool forcing you to copy the files every five minutes (and payng 2400 $ for having only two swappable 4 minutes cards).

    If the CF 2.0 market will lower prices and increase sizes at incredible speed they will be ok, otherwise it seems they like to come out with a new better product before current one is daily usable.

  • Because you have to shoot raw and you have to shoot 4K, everything, all day. It's a problem today, odds are it won't be as big a problem when the camera is actually released and the problem will be smaller and smaller as all these other products announced leveraging contemporary instead of old media technology are also available.

    Most shooters will likely shoot Prores most of the time anyway. I recall the voices of the multitudes just last year when they realized what it took to work with 2.5K CinemDNG. Oh it's soooooo big! Oh this is ridiculous! How can I shoot a whole wedding with files this big!?

    First World Problems.

    edit: LOL @ Mmbahahaha

  • You keep missing the point that this camera is the only one that could have storage price higher than camera itself and that's an anomaly. You can do things differently, of course, but that's a workaround.

    Anyway, no reason to go on, everybody's POV is quite clear by now.

  • downloaded the proRES LT and... I saw reds; I had started to believe they had ceased to exist.
    This @captainhook dude knows what he's doing and funalong ,-)

  • where did you download it? I don't find the link on vimeo

    Edit: ok dload is back..

  • Is my monitor dying, or is most of that graded footage quite dark?

  • or is most of that graded footage quite dark?

    it is "pre grade footage" :-)

  • AH!! - sorry. Completely mis-read the video title and saw it backwards. Makes more sense now.

  • Interview about the camera at the Photokina 2014