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Robbie Fatt

Blackmagic Ursa Mini 4.6k EF Test Footage

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I've began taking this camera out and testing it in a variety of uncontrolled conditions. I have also been using it on an upcoming short film entitled "The Towns We Lived In". Take a look at some of the test footage which I have been shooting and let me know what you think.

 

 

 

 

I have been using Canon Zooms and Zeiss Contax glass. But I will hopefully be testing other lenses on it soon.

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The camera itself looks very nice, but does anyone else feel everything in the foreground is a bit too video-ish?

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I just cant get over how sharp it all is, I mean thats amazing we can capture such detail, but did anyone think to ask if we should. I know you can soften it up in post or use filters to take the edge off but seeing pores on peoples face without being a closeup is kinda disturbing my mind for some reason.

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Nice footage Robbie. Which ND filters were you using outside? I've had a hard time getting clean colors shooting day exteriors with the Ursa Mini 4K because of the high IR sensitivity, but the 4.6K seems much better.

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Haha yea I fully understand the whole "sharpness" thing and I'm wondering if that is something a colourist can fix? I have seen some footage from the 4.6k that looks very clean and I honestly think a lot of it does come down to the grade.

 

The only video with any form of filtration was the "autumn" one which had a Hoya IR Cut and a SLR Magic Vari ND. That video was shot wide open at F4 on a Canon EF 24-105mm lens so there was quite a bit of ND happening especially at ISO 800.

 

I actually did a video test comparing the SLR Magic Vari ND to the Hoya ProND on the 4.6k at 4:1 raw but I haven't uploaded it online. It was actually very difficult for me to see the difference in the 2 ND's so the Vari ND seems to be pretty good. I also compared 1080p ProRes HQ to Raw 4:1, and once again, the change in "look" appeared to be very slight although I do think that the 4.6k raw stuff did look a lot more "natural".

 

The worst video was probably the "Bubbles" one since I was shooting handheld with a Rokinon 14mm at 800 ISO at probably like a T8- T16. When I graded it in colour it looked really bad and it felt like I needed an IR cut or something, that's why it is in B & W. I shot this very quick video on the same day (all audio was literally scratch audio from the camera):

 

 

I have had to shoot a number of very quick videos (one day turn arounds) at my job and so it has taught me how to grade the footage pretty fast:

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Yes there is actually. I think the camera's default setting is +10 sharpness. I need to do some comparisons actually.

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I rented the 4.6 as well several weeks back. The camera itself was built okay, seemed to work okay. However, the results were rather startling to me in terms of sharpness. I often shoot my GH4 in 4k and downrez to 2k, which should create some very sharp footage. The 4.6 was at least twice as sharp. Honestly, it reminded me of Red Epic footage - which is way to sharp for its own good.

 

Personally, I liked the footage overall from the Pocket more than I did the 4.6k. That's just me though. It just feels 'too sharp' and too 'digital' to me.

 

PS) Great cinematography though on your part.

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I think it's the lack of a low-pass filter that is making the image seem so sharp. To me, it's problematic -- I've been pretty impressed with the look of BM footage, but the moire problems that pop now and then really bother me.

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I agree with what David has said. I know that Mosaic Engineering made an "OLPF" for the pocket and cinema cameras, so i'm wondering if there is a way to get an OLPF made for the 4.6K. I have emailed Mosaic Engineering but does anyone know of another route?

 

Thanks!

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Here's an interesting combination which Dom Jaeger helped me work out. It is the Blackmagic Ursa Mini 4.6k EF with Zeiss Contax 35mm 2.8 MMJ with an oval iris installed. I also used a Black Satin 1 Filter.

 

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Wow, the image of the young lady with the sun behind her is like the holy grail of cinematography in my opinion, because her face wasn't black or otherwise washed out. Incredible.

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I think it's the lack of a low-pass filter that is making the image seem so sharp. To me, it's problematic -- I've been pretty impressed with the look of BM footage, but the moire problems that pop now and then really bother me.

 

I have been impressed with the image quality too. There are now two people who have created replacement elements for several BM cameras which fix one of two problems. Some chaps from mosaic engineering have created a new optical anti-aliasing filter that greatly reduces the Morie issues, and a fellow from Norway (Sweden?), created a new IR-cut OLPF which fixes a lot of the IR issues. I am almost certain one could not use both at the same time. But a nice IR filter in front of the lens works well too.

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I think it's the lack of a low-pass filter that is making the image seem so sharp. To me, it's problematic -- I've been pretty impressed with the look of BM footage, but the moire problems that pop now and then really bother me.

 

David, bottom line; you wouldn't buy one, or use one until the updates have taken place?

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one of the disadvantages of this type of cameras is the lack of built in ND filters. that is actually the reason why I choose the FS7 so often over BM cameras. making great quality internal NDs seems to be quite expensive because Blackmagic does not even try it <_<

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Sure, but it looks like the Sony FS7 averages about $3000 more than the 4.6K BlackMagic...

 

with viewfinder and batteries it comes quite close though. Sony's mount is also more versatile even if it's physically a bit weaker. But it of course depends on what one uses the camera for and how much it creates revenue or if it's only for indie non-profit use where one usually tries to save every penny possible even if it means that the gear is more bulky and time consuming to work with.

I myself just calculate "save 5mins by using internal nd instead of filter change --> change filter 500 times --->save so much time that you save much more than 3000$ by using the more expensive camera". Same with the light sensitivity: if one has a low sensitivity camera which is free and a high sensitivity camera which costs 200$ a day it may cost much LESS to rent the high sensitivity camera because then one saves in both lighting rentals costs and time when shooting, both = money

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Having used both I think the Ursa Mini is laid out better.

 

The biggest mistake is not the lack of ND, that's a cost benefit choice. The biggest problem is the less flexible lens mount, closely followed by putting the *&£$ing power button under the mother*&£$ing LCD screen*.

 

P

 

* I have been informed that this statement seems a little harsh. I invite readers to interpret it in the context of the phrase "...and there goes the rocket launch/once-in-a-lifetime astronomical event/rare piece of fauna/celebrity."

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Your test footage actually looks encouraging. Very accurate skin tones; pretty good highlights, etc.

 

You seem to have solved a problem so many other Ursa operators suffer from--i.e., that weird orange-y, magenta-y mushy look in the skin tones, which is even present in BlackMagic's own promo video.

 

Using a LUT or plugin to grade? Or manually with Resolve?

Edited by John_Burton

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I've been using film convert generally to grade the 4.6k stuff because for me it seems to take away the overall "sharpness" of the camera. But yea, filters definitely help too:

 

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