Blackmagic URSA Mini
- Blackmagic Design
URSA Mini is the world’s lightest Super 35 digital film camera, designed specifically for solo camera operators and small film crews. Weighing under 2.5kgs, it offers high-end cinema camera performance in an agile package ideal for feature films, electronic news gathering and documentaries. At $2,995 it is an affordable yet professional tool for independent filmmakers and grass-roots broadcasters.
URSA Mini’s compact magnesium alloy body is honed for optimum size and weight distribution, ensuring comfort and balance on long shooting sessions. The adjustable side handle with integrated camera control allows quick conversion between hand-held set-ups and perfectly balanced, shoulder-mounted configurations.
With professional features for large crews, high-end cinema cameras are often too bulky for mobile purposes. Conversely, ENG systems are ergonomically designed for solo, ‘on-the-shoulder’ situations, but lack the usability and image quality required for cinematic workflows.
URSA Mini is the first digital film camera to disrupt this archetype, combining a compact, versatile design ideal for solo shoots with a full set of production tools for integration in feature-film workflows. The unrivalled image quality it offers to ENG applications is vital given the variability of on-location shoots and the lack of control operators have over their environment.
Ultimately filmmakers and broadcasters are judged on the quality of the footage they produce; lost detail and ugly artefacts are simply unacceptable.
Driven by the pursuit of peerless, Hollywood video quality, Blackmagic’s 4.6K resolution image sensor with an industry-leading 15 stops of dynamic range produces footage with an immersive cinematic ‘film look’, capturing unparalleled depths of detail in high contrast and low-light situations. Whether shooting in a highly controlled studio environment, a crowded press gallery or a dark alleyway, the lossless Cinema DNG RAW files it records means that virtually all sensor data is preserved, ensuring maximum creative flexibility downstream.
While portability is a driver of miniaturisation, the real benefits relate to usability and the creative opportunities it affords. Weighing 2.5kgs URSA Mini is light enough to be flown on a drone, exceptionally well balanced and easy to handle. Every component has been meticulously refined, ensuring operators remain focused on their creative role and not the burden of heavy, awkward equipment.
URSA Mini offers professional performance in an agile package ideal for feature films, electronic news gathering (ENG) and documentaries. Half the weight of most high-end cinema cameras, it excels in close quarters and enables discrete filming of sensitive situations.
The portability of URSA Mini is equalled only by its expansive versatility. The adjustable side handle with integrated camera control is secure and comfortable, allowing operators to convert quickly between hand-held set-ups and perfectly balanced, shoulder-mounted configurations.
Multiple mounting points permit almost unlimited expansion with professional monitoring and diagnostic peripherals such as the URSA Electronic Viewfinder and Blackmagic Video Assist. The rear panel can also be removed, allowing for future modular upgrades to be easily bolted on. This extends the capabilities of the camera into more specialised applications.
A challenge for any production is the high capital investment required for capturing, monitoring and distributing professional content. Bulky and complex, high-end camera systems cost over $50,000, making it impossible for smaller enterprises to own equipment, forced instead to rely on ad-hoc, second-hand rentals.
A core value of Blackmagic Design is to empower creative people with affordable, accessible technology. With due consideration to engineering, assembly and manufacturing processes, a price of $2,995 was met without compromising the performance professionals demand. Fully equipped for Hollywood, URSA Mini remains an affordable solution for independents, grass-roots broadcasters and institutions.