Blackmagic Release 2nd Beta of Camera Update 4.0, while Varicam LT Gets 4K Raw Output Enabled

Blackmagic Design released a 2nd Beta version of Blackmagic Camera 4.0 firmware adding new support for image stabilization on EF lenses, better lens control for Cabrio PL lenses, improved focus assist, reduced startup time and more. Panasonic on the other hand released (coincidentally) firmware version 4.0 for their Varicam LT camera, allowing a 4K Raw output out of the camera to compatible 4K raw recorders such as the Odyssey7Q+ and Atomos Shogun Inferno. You can read about all the new features in the 1st Beta release of Camera Update 4.0 here (and there are A LOT OF them).

For those of you not familiar with Camera Update 4.0, it is way more than just a simple firmware update; it is a major overhaul of the user interface and a new operating system for the URSA Mini 4.6K and URSA Mini 4K cameras, in addition to adding a ton of new functionality to these cameras, such as the ability for users to upload 3D LUTs for monitoring, better screen colorimetry for the built in LCD, various recording resolutions such as 3K anamorphic and more..

URSA Mini User Interface OS update

Here’s what’s new in Camera Update 4.0 Beta version 2

  • Added support for Image Stabilisation (IS) on EF lenses.
  • Improved focus assist thresholds.
  • Improved support for Sigma EF lenses.
  • Improved support for Fujinon Cabrio PL lens control via broadcast 12-pin connector.
  • Improved playback support.
  • Improved boot up time.
  • Fixed bug where camera index in filenames was resetting after power cycle.
  • Fixed bug in HD window where power cycle causes misalignment on URSA Mini 4K.
  • Fixed bug where URSA Mini 4K allows ISO setting of 1,600 which is not supported.

Blackmagic asks users to forward any issues or bug reports on 4.0 Beta 2 to this email: [email protected]

If you are a Blackmagic URSA Mini 4K or 4.6K owner you can head over to Blackmagic Design’s support page here and download the new beta version.

Varicam LT PL

While the URSA Mini cameras have been extremely popular with single operators and small production companies looking for a more affordable way to shoot 4K raw, the Varicam LT from Panasonic has been making its way into the higher echelon TV/online dramas and commercial productions. At IBC, Panasonic where projecting some Varicam 35 and LT 4K and 2K footage from major TV and feature film productions on a large screen and the footage looked absolutely stunning.

Panasonic Varicam LT Features and Highlights

  • 4K Super35 CMOS Sensor
  • Native Canon EF mount (PL mount extra option – easily user swappable)
  • 2K/Full HD 240fps Slow-Motion (uses sensor crop)
  • 4K/60p and Full HD ProRes 4444 & 422HQ
  • 4K/60p Raw to Convergent Design Odyssey7Q+
  • Built-in ND filters: 0.6/1.2/1.8
  • User Removable IR Cut filter
  • Single ExpressP2 card Slot for Main 4K/2K/HD recording
  • SDXC Card slot for Proxy Long GOP recording
  • Dual Native ISO – 800/5000
  • Optional OLED viewfinder ($5,400 at B&H)
  • 3 x SDI Out (dedicated one for Viewfinder)
  • Support for 3rd Party Viewfinders like Zacuto Gratical and BMD URSA Viewfinder
  • 2 x XLR inputs – 4 x Channel Audio 24bit/48kHz LPCM
  • PreRec / Interval rec / One Shot Rec
  • V-Gammut – exceeds BT.2020 HDR colour space
  • 14+ Stops Dynamic Range with V-Log
  • V-Look and BC-Look Presets – similar to WideDR on Canon C300 (mix between V-Log and Rec.709 for faster turnaround)
  • Weight: 2.7 kg / under 6 lbs.

And now, DP’s looking for the highest quality footage from the camera can benefit from the newly enabled 4K raw output in Firmware 4.0. Panasonic Varicam LT can now output 12bit 4K Raw up to 30p via a single SDI, or 10bit 4K/60p V-Raw via Dual-link SDI to a compatible external recorder such as the Odyssey7Q+ and the Atomos Shogun Inferno. Firmware 4.0 update is free of charge for Varicam LT owners.

Varicam LT users can download Firmware 4.0 from Panasonic here.

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