The Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro G2 – what a mouthful – is an unusual camera on the marketplace. I admire Blackmagic for going their own way and trying to optimise cameras for video shooters in ways that some other manufacturers might not dare.
The URSA, for short, has a lot of great video shooting features and produces a beautiful picture. I have never used or seen one used for broadcast work but I don’t see why it couldn’t be.
One facet we all like to know about our camera is their lowlight ability and like it or not, how it compares to full frame, low-light monsters like the Sony A7S II. It’s really not a fair comparison but they have set a high bar. Let’s check in with Robby Boyd to see his test results.
So what did you think of the test footage? With and without Noise reduction, I think it all looks rather good but what can you really tell on YouTube?
Robby thinks the footage is all usable at 800 and 1600 ISO (‘Eye-so’, not I.S.O!), with a little Noise Reduction on the 1600. At 3200 there does seem to be a colour shift, and Robby thinks far too much noise.
I would challenge the notion presented in this video that you would be unlikely to find yourself shooting in low-light with this camera. This all depends on what you shoot and how you go about it.
For me, if this camera really was incapable of shooting in lowlight then it would be completely ruled out for me as I need versatility. There are certainly better lowlight cameras but every camera choice is a trade-off.
Robby thinks that the URSA is at its best outdoors, in brighter light, perhaps even golden hour, or in a studio setting with lighting available.
I think that with so many great camera options available to choose from it is no longer necessary to select multiple cameras for every potential scenario. It might be a better idea to buy a light to go along with your URSA before ruling it out for anything after golden hour.
URSA Mini Pro 4.6K G2 Highlights
- 4.6K Super 35 HDR CMOS Sensor
- 4.6K up to 120 fps, 300 fps at 1080p
- 15 Stops of Dynamic Range at 3200 ISO
- USB-C Expansion Port for External Disks
- CinemaDNG and ProRes 444 & 422 Recording
- Dual CFast 2.0 and SD Memory Card Slots
- 12G-SDI Output, Timecode and REF Input
- 2 XLR Audio Inputs with Phantom Power
- 2-/4-/6-Stop ND Filter, Magnesium Body
- Interchangeable Lens Mount
[source: Robby Boyd]
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