I recently had the pleasure of spending an afternoon with the Blackmagic URSA Mini 4.6K camera and went down to Kingston to get a few quick shots of the Kingston Rowing Club base in order to see what this camera can do. The first thing I noticed is the incredible dynamic range the URSA Mini possesses.
The 4.6K version of the camera, is in my opinion, is the best camera Blackmagic Design have ever produced so far and a very rare beast that is capable of producing very filmic images without too much work (if any in post). Whatever the engineers at Blackmagic Design have done, they've done right. I used to own the original BMCC 2.5K back when it was released in 2012 and remember how I felt the first time I shot with it. My recent experience with the new URSA Mini 4.6L was very similar, but on a whole new level.
The manufacturer boasts 15 stops of dynamic range when shooting in BMD LOG (BMD Film in the menu), and even though I haven't tested it with charts in a more scientific manner, the difference between this sensor and (the one in the 4K BMPC and the original BMCC is evident. Moreover, the difference between other cameras on the market in the same price range and the URSA Mini 4.6K is quite evident.
It was quite the eye opening experience, seeing the vast range of tonality and organic texture in the footage, once I offloaded the 2 x 256GB cards onto my PC and popped the footage into Resolve 12.5. You can see my short test video I did towards the end of this article, but before you do - let me stress this out. This was not a scientific test designed to accurately determine dynamic range or any other parameters. This was simply me taking the camera out for a few hours and trying to capture high contrast images combined with some challenging scenarios and just see how the camera performs in a real-life situation.
The shoot below was done in less than 2 hours with only available light and the fixtures inside the Club. Lenses used were the 70-200mm F2.8L II IS from Canon, and my personal favourite Canon lens - the EF-S 17-55mm f2.8 IS.
Huge thanks to my buddy Nick Barulov, who brought his C100 Mark II along and also let me use his super-fluid Rhino Slider EVO and Manfrotto tripod. I shot most of it in UHD ProRes HQ 422 in 30p (there may be some shots in 60p) and also a few interior shots in 4.6K Raw 3:1.
P.S. I am not a professional colourist and fairly new to Resolve, so bear that mind. The grade was super basic - just a plain Kodak 2383 LUT with some minor contrast and exposure adjustments to even out the changing light outside. Also, I did not have enough time to test everything - such as low light and slow-motion and you could think of at least 10 other things I did not do. I wanted to, but we only had a very small window to get it done. Hopefully, I'll get the camera again and spend more time to test other things. If you have any specific requests, put them in the comments section below, and I'll try and do it next time I get to spend some time with the camera.
Music by Chris Zabriskie - http://freemusicarchive.org/music/chr...
See more of Nick's work here: http://www.barulov.com/
Also, thanks to Holdan UK for providing me with the URSA Mini 4.6K camera and accessories for this demo.
Order your URSA Mini 4.6K here
Alternatively you can call or Sales Team at 0208 977 1222.