When Blackmagic Design’s URSA Mini first came onto the filmmaking scene, one of the biggest controversies surrounding the camera was the implementation of CFast 2.0 cards on board. Even though the storage medium isn’t the most cost-effective option available out there, it allows for blazing fast read/write speeds when writing and reading data to and from the camera, an essential aspect that must be considered when shooting high-resolution videos using codecs and raw formats with little to no compression. The main issue associated with CFast technology, though, still resides in the high price tag for little capacity, with its price to performance ratio coming in much lower than using an SSD.
As an alternative and much inexpensive method to capture media, many URSA Mini users have invested in adapters that allow them to use SSDs in place of CFast cards when operating the camera. With this ubiquitous practice, third-party manufacturers and even Blackmagic themselves have created their own adapters to fulfill the growing demand for a more affordable solution. In the next video, Emm of CheesyCam covers three of the best SSD Drive adapters for use with the URSA Mini cameras you can currently get.
The first product on Mr. Cheesycam’s list is the proprietary Blackmagic Design URSA Mini SSD Recorder. The advantage of using this particular adapter as opposed to any other aftermarket product is the slick design and seamless integration with the camera itself.
In addition, the Blackmagic Design SSD Recorder enables powering the adapter and camera from a single source. The main disadvantage of using the unit is that it only works for the URSA Mini 4.6K Pro camera (due to the required SDI outputs). Plus, the single-drive design does not allow you to record 4.6K Raw at 60 frames per second. Price-wise, the adapter will set you back $395.
An alternative to Blackmagic’s SSD adapter is the well-known Atoch C2S Adapter. The product sports a dual-drive design, meaning that you can use two SSDs simultaneously, allowing you to record for longer periods of time, in addition to being able to capture the highest image quality while shooting in 4.6K at 60fps. The major caveat about the C2S is that it has a bulky construction and it’s a bit cumbersome once attached to the camera body.
In order to record to the adapter, you have to connect its cables to the CFast slots of your URSA Mini. The boxy top-mounted design in addition to the bundle of cables that need to be managed may create problems when trying to move the camera around. Nevertheless, the C2S gets the job done and is still one of the most popular options URSA Mini owners can buy.
The last device featured it the video is the CCTECH Dual CFAST to SSD adapter, a relatively new product in the market. According to Emm, this adapter is favored more over the others because it combines the advantages found in both the Blackmagic and Atoch adapters. Just like the Blackmagic Design Recorder, the CCTECH rival mounts between the camera backplate and battery, making the unit less bulky and easier to carry around.
Similar to the Atoch C2S, the unit also has dual SSD slots, enabling you to shoot 4.6K Raw at the maximum frame rate. In addition, the CCTECH adapter interfaces with the Ursa Mini through two discrete cables that connect to the camera’s CFast card slots, which seems to be a much neater solution compared to the Atoch C2S.
Regardless of which adapter you pick for your workflow, make sure to invest in fast and reliable SSD media if you want to avoid dropping frames and ending up with corrupted files while using any of these affordable alternatives in conjunction with your URSA Mini camera.