Blackmagic Design Introduces a 4K URSA Broadcast camera

Making broadcast more affordable for HD and UHD is a point that was center stage today for Blackmagic Design‘s new product releases. All of the new items are broadcast related in fact it’s a whole chain of broadcast products for the effective  ⅔” size sensor HD/UHD URSA Broadcast camera.

The actual sensor size is 13.056mm x 7.344mm which is smaller than an S35 sensor at 24.89 mm × 18.66 mm. I was a little surprised that there were no standard definition options are available. I personally haven’t shot in SD in years but in some parts of the world, it’s still relevant.

The camera, as well as a whole chain of new products to work with the URSA Broadcast camera, was also released such as a controller and switcher. All designed to offer a solution that’s affordable for broadcasting.

The new URSA Broadcast 4K camera ships with a B4 mount for ENG-style lenses. These are very affordable on the used market and can be found easily. The beauty of the B4 lens is they are parfocal and have a pretty good zoom range. Since the URSA Broadcast camera has a ⅔” sensor it covers the B4 mount lens perfectly. The advantage to a smaller 2/3″sensor is having a deeper focus. Yes, shallow depth of field is great for creative reasons but in news gathering, it can really be tough to keep the subjects in focus. When I shot news I couldn’t imagine using a full frame camera. Yeah, it would look great but the number of lost shots would be higher due to razor-thin focusing.

URSA Broadcast Mount

The mount is interchangeable just like the URSA Mini Pro giving you more option with stills lenses. In fact, the camera shares a lot of the same features and accessories however the broadcast model is refined for ENG or broadcast use including a full studio camera setup.

The URSA Broadcast camera is affordably priced at $3495.

The camera records 1080i or 2160p video into standard .mov files using DNx145, DNx220X or ProRes for compatibility with existing broadcast systems and workflows. Standard .mxf will be added in future updates.

The idea here is to make a camera for broadcast and newsgathering that’s super affordable for freelancers and studios that want to have a flexible and affordable studio broadcast setup for both online and over the air.

The new URSA Broadcast camera uses affordable SD for lower resolution recording and Cfast media for higher resolution and bitrate recording.

Blackmagic URSA Broadcast Key Features

  • 4K sensor, extended video dynamic range, traditional external controls and buttons, built in optical ND filters, dual CFast and dual SD card recorders,
  • Advanced HD and Ultra HD broadcast camera with ⅔” B4 mount.
  • New extended video mode with better dynamic range and color fidelity producing images with amazing texture and detail, accurate skin tones, vibrant color and high dynamic range.
  • Full electronic B4 lens control support for adjusting focus, iris and zoom using the camera’s controls, or remotely from an ATEM switcher or ATEM Camera Control Panel.
  • Built in dual SD/UHS-II and CFast card recorders allow unlimited duration recording in high quality.
  • Records 1080i or 2160p video into standard .mov files using DNx145, DNx220X or ProRes for compatibility with existing broadcast systems and workflows. Standard .mxf will be added in future updates.
  • Support for DNxHD 220X, DNxHD 145, Apple ProRes 4444 XQ QuickTime, ProRes 4444 QuickTime, ProRes 422 HQ QuickTime, ProRes 422 QuickTime, ProRes 422 LT QuickTime and ProRes 422 Proxy QuickTime, CinemaDNG RAW, CinemaDNG RAW 3:1, CinemaDNG RAW 4:1.
  • High quality clear, 1/4, 1/16th and 1/64th stop neutral density (ND) filters with IR compensation designed to specifically match the colorimetry and color science of URSA Broadcast.
  • Fully redundant controls including external broadcast controls which allow direct access to the most important camera settings such as external power switch, ND filter wheel, ISO, shutter, white balance, record button, audio gain controls, lens and transport control, high frame rate button and more.
  • Interchangeable lens mount with B4 mount included as standard. Optional EF, PL and F mount available separately.
  • Status display for quickly checking timecode, shutter and lens settings, battery, recording status, and audio levels.
  • Features all standard connections, including dual XLR mic/line audio inputs with phantom power, 12G‑SDI output for monitoring with camera status graphic overlay and separate XLR 4 pin power output for viewfinder power, headphone jack, LANC remote control and standard 4 pin 12V DC power connection.
  • Built in high quality stereo microphones for recording sound.
  • 4 inch foldout touchscreen for on-set monitoring and menu settings.
  • Blackmagic SDI Control Protocol for external control or iPad control via Bluetooth®, 2 x 2.5mm LANC for lens and record control.

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