BREAKING: Blackmagic Announces Lighter and Better URSA Mini

As all the folks lucky enough to be attending NAB 2015 already know, Blackmagic has some very exciting new products slated to be released this year. Check out the rest of this article for more titillating details!

In total, Blackmagic is releasing 38 new products! These amazing new releases include a 4.6K image sensor with 15 stops of dynamic range for URSA cameras, three whole new cameras, a massive update to DaVinci Resolve, and a whole range of 12G-SDI products for broadcast, post production and live production.

Each release indicates steps toward innovation in technology, industrial design and user experience! Blackmagic has added more new features to DaVinci Resolve this year than in the last 5 years combined. The new DaVinci Resolve 12 is now the world’s most powerful professional editor. It has over 80 new features including multi-cam, 3D keying, 3D tracking, pro audio with third party audio plug-ins, parameters in the timeline, more trimming modes than any other editor and much much more. Even its user interface has been refined and is dramatically more elegant than ever before.

Here’s a complete list of Blackmagic products now available to the market that you’ve never seen before:

  • Blackmagic URSA 4.6K Models
  • Blackmagic URSA Viewfinder
  • Blackmagic URSA Mini
  • Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera
  • Blackmagic Micro Studio Camera
  • DaVinci Resolve 12
  • Fusion 8 Studio
  • Blackmagic Video Assist
  • Teranex Mini 12G-SDI Converters
  • ATEM Broadcast Studio 4K
  • HyperDeck Studio 12G
  • Smart Videohub 12G 40×40
  • Smart Videohub CleanSwitch 12×12
  • ATEM Talkback Converter 4K
  • UltraStudio 4K Extreme
  • DeckLink 4K Pro

New Blackmagic URSA 4.6K Cameras

The URSA high end digital film camera (released last year) was designed to be user upgradable. Turns out, Blackmagic had been secretly been working on an entirely new generation of sensor technology designed to be used by all URSA customers.  The new sensor technology does not obsolete older cameras, is 4.6K resolution, and has an amazing 15 stops of dynamic range.

Additionally, the sensor features a Super 35 size with a resolution of 4608 x 2592 at 120 frames per second. The sensor’s 15 stops of dynamic range rivals most traditional 35mm film stock.

Blackmagic is also introducing two new models of the URSA camera (complete with 4.6K sensor). The Blackmagic URSA 4.6K EF model is available for $6,995 and the Blackmagic URSA 4.6K PL is available for $7,495. Both 4.6K models will initially start with limited availability shipments in June and ramp up to full volume late July and into August.

If you already own an URSA, then you will be able to upgrade to the new 4.6K sensor for $1,995 for the EF lens mount and $2,495 for the PL lens mount. All you need to do is purchase a “4.6K turret upgrade” and replace the turret on your URSA camera with Blackmagic’s new high performance image sensor. This 4.6K turret upgrade also enables you to choose between the EF or PL models if you want to change from the mount you currently own.

Blackmagic reduced the price of the current 4K model of RSA EF and PL cameras by $1,000. This means if you don’t have an URSA, it’s now more affordable than ever. Currently, the URSA 4.6K EF is the same price as the URSA 4K EF plus the 4.6K Turret Upgrade. You can get started at 4K and upgrade later if you need the extra dynamic range!

These new Blackmagic URSA 4.6K EF and PL models will be available in late July. Some limited quantities of the new 4.6K sensor will be available sooner, but are reserved for current URSA customers interested in the upgrade.

Blackmagic URSA Viewfinder

When the URSA was originally designed, it included an SDI output, power connector and mounting position for a viewfinder on the front of the camera. Now we are introducing the new Blackmagic URSA Viewfinder which is designed to be a perfect match to the URSA camera.

The Blackmagic URSA Viewfinder has been designed to meet the needs of high end cinematographers as it has a high resolution 1920 x 1080 color OLED display. This means the display is so sharp you cannot see the pixels and so it’s very similar to using an optical viewfinder.

The viewfinder also has proper custom designed precision glass optics as well as a finely adjustable diopter and built in digital focus chart so you can get perfect focus for your eye. There is also a sensor so the OLED is only turned on when you are using the viewfinder. It works really well and preserves OLED life.

It simply bolts onto the front of the URSA camera and then the SDI and power plug into the sockets on the side. It’s adjustable for left and right eye use and there are built in overlays, focus zooming, focus peaking and a tally record light on the viewfinder as well.

The Blackmagic URSA Viewfinder will be available in July for $1,495

Blackmagic URSA Mini

The Blackmagic Cinema Camera was designed it to be hand held, as in how the DLSR is used. Many customers wanted to use it shoulder mounted and tripod mounted and it was not as good for that kind of use.

The URSA camera solved these issues, however URSA is designed for a larger crew so it has multiple screens, scopes, high performance and higher frame rates and more. This makes it larger and not as portable as the original Blackmagic Cinema Camera.

The result of all this work is URSA Mini. It’s a portable URSA based digital film camera, and while it does not have all the features of URSA, it has a lot and it uses the same sensors and core processing of URSA. It features magnesium alloy for its design so it’s very small and very lightweight which is perfect for portable and hand held use.

URSA Mini features the same 4K and 4.6K sensor options as URSA and is compatible with the new Blackmagic URSA Viewfinder. It features frame rates up to 60 fps, and it has a bright 5 inch full HD touch screen that folds out and angles. Like URSA, URSA Mini also has dual CFast card recorders so you can continue to record while changing cards and uses the same battery options.


URSA and URSA Mini shoot the same looking images so you can easily use both cameras on the same shoot and intercut the shots perfectly.

URSA Mini is a true digital film camera so it can be used on feature films, television shows, commercials, indies, documentaries, music videos and more. The stunning quality of the 4.6K sensor with 15 stops of dynamic range really lets you capture cinematic shots, while its small size is perfect for solo shooting or intimate handheld shots.

URSA Mini has multiple mounting points so it can be easily accessorized with lenses, rails, matte boxes and more. There is an optional Blackmagic URSA Mini Shoulder Kit, which features a shoulder pad with a quick release mount built into it so it can go from handheld to shoulder or to a tripod without changing any of the rig. The shoulder kit has been designed specifically for URSA Mini so when it’s used and the Blackmagic URSA Viewfinder is added, this camera looks amazing!

It has an included side handle as standard that has a LANC based record, focus and iris buttons, however when the shoulder kit is used, you can relocate that handle to one of the front rosettes and really hold the camera well on your shoulder. It’s a great shoulder mounted camera rig!

There are 4 models of URSA Mini as there is two lens mounts and two sensor options. URSA Mini 4K EF is $2,995, URSA Mini 4K PL is $3,495. With the new 4.6K sensor, URSA Mini 4.6K EF is $4,995 and URSA Mini 4.6K PL is $5,495. URSA Mini will be available late July.

Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera

The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera is popular because it’s a tiny digital film camera ,and super portable. It does not even look like a digital film camera!

It’s a great handheld design. Turns out, people also use it for shooting remote shots.  It was not designed for that. Blackmagic now offers a digital film camera that’s specifically designed for remote shooting, and it’s even smaller!

The Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera is a miniaturized Super 16mm professional digital film camera with a new expansion port that lets you use PWM and S.Bus model airplane remote controls to operate the camera wirelessly.

You can use the same low cost radio control gear that hobbyists use for model aircraft and quadcopters with it. Normally these receivers plug into “servos” which generate movement when the user adjusts a knob on the hand held transmitter. These connections use a voltage called PVM.  The Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera also uses this voltage. This feature enables you to control the camera remotely.

With the new Micro Cinema Camera, you can map your chosen camera features on your preferred channel. You could map the lens to adjust iris or focus. You could also use a channel to start and stop recording, so you don’t fill the SD Card with RAW or ProRes files before you are ready for your shot!

To see what the camera is doing, it has a full sized HDMI connector and it even has composite NTSC/PAL. You can use a low cost hobbyist video transmitter to see what the camera is doing and confirm it’s recording. This means you’ll have live feeds from your camera from hard to reach locations.

Because the Micro Cinema Camera has an MFT lens mount you can use all sorts of professional lenses on it, and easily  adapt it to other lens mounts. Blackmagic put the buttons on the front of the camera so when it’s mounted on a wall or in a car, you can just start recording from the front. Additionally, it also has a tally light on the front so you can see if it’s recording.

As far as image quality goes, it’s a true digital film camera because it has a wide 13 stops of dynamic range. This means it’s a big improvement in image quality over consumer “action-cam’s” so you can get all those high energy shots, without the consumer look.

The Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera will be available in July for $995.

Blackmagic Micro Studio Camera 4K

The Blackmagic Micro Studio Camera 4K looks the same as the new Micro Cinema Camera but it’s really a completely different camera because it’s a broadcast quality Ultra HD studio camera!

Although you can use it with an external recorder as a production camera, it’s really designed to be used in live production with a live production switcher. It has an Ultra HD sensor so it works in native Ultra HD and of course with a sensor at that high resolution!

Because it’s a live camera, it’s features are almost identical to the Blackmagic Studio Camera 4K. It has SDI in and out, a built-in color corrector and all the control to the camera can be sent via the SDI input so it uses the same SDI control protocol as Blackmagic studio cameras and ATEM switchers. It uses 6G-SDI, so supports all Ultra HD frame rates up to 30 fps, and does 1080 HD frame rates up to 60 fps using the full sensor size.

The camera includes an expansion connector and has a PTZ serial connection. This can be used for controlling a remote head. Any pan, tilt and zoom commands sent to the camera via SDI from the switcher will be output on this PTZ connection. If you have a zoomable MFT lens, it will adjust the zoom on the lens as well.

The expansion connector also features 96a B4 lens control connection so you can control broadcast lenses. This feature has been much in demand from broadcasters. Now, with the B4 lens connection you can add accessories to this camera to turn it into a fully featured studio camera. Imagine using it as a full sized studio camera with external monitor and broadcast lens. Or using it on set concealed so you can get all kinds of exciting and interesting camera angles!

The Blackmagic Micro Studio Camera 4K will be available in July for $1,295.

DaVinci Resolve 12

Blackmagic now makes the world’s most powerful editor. Combined with the worlds most powerful color correction toolset, it really is an exciting update. And it’s free!

DaVinci Resolve 12 has over 80 new features including a new modern interface, multi-cam editing, powerful new media management tools, an entirely new professional audio engine with support for VST/AU plug-ins, automatic shot matching, 3D keyer, new 3D perspective tracker, enhanced curve editing and more.

DaVinci Resolve 12 features a new, modern interface with a lighter overall color scheme. It was designed to look great on high DPI monitors. New top down navigation speeds up layout selections and also gives users more flexibility to customize their workspace.

The new multi-camera editing feature of DaVinci Resolve 12 allows editors to cut programs from multiple sources in real time. The DaVinci Resolve 12 incorporates many improvements including all trim modes, multi-slip, slide, ripple and roll have been extended and editors can now select multiple points for dynamic trimming and asymmetric trimming of clips, even if they’re on the same track.

Timelines can be nested, edited together, and expanded or collapsed in place to greatly simplify editing of large multi scene projects. New transition curves enable editors to create and edit custom curves for transition parameters. New on-screen controls allow editors to see and adjust motion paths directly in the timeline viewer.

DaVinci Resolve 12 includes an entirely new, high-performance audio engine that offers higher sampling rates and greatly improved realtime audio playback performance, including reverse playback and tape style slow motion scrubbing during dynamic JKL trimming. Both VST and AU audio plug-ins, along with their custom interfaces, are now supported and can be used on individual clips or entire tracks. Audio parameter adjustments can be recorded and now contain editable automation and full curve editor support. For the first time, editors will be able to export projects directly to ProTools via AAF for audio finishing.

Media Management in DaVinci Resolve 12 has been redesigned to accommodate editorial workflows. Customers can now manage projects and media using new copy, move, transcode, relink, and consolidate tools. Whole projects, including media, can be archived and restored with ease. Resolve 12 makes it easier to find media in large projects by letting users create smart bins that can display footage based on metadata tags. Users can now import media by simply dragging it in from the Finder or Windows Explorer.

Resolve 12 improves upon DaVinci’s advanced color science by adding support for DaVinci’s own color managed timelines as well as ACES 1.0 transforms. The curves interface is easier to use, automatic color analysis and matching between two or more clips, an incredibly accurate 3D perspective tracker, and a new 3D keyer with improved matte finesse options. Colorists can now define their own smart filters, convert any window to a bezier, collapse multiple nodes into compound nodes to simplify their view, ripple grades across multiple clips, and flatten pre and post-group grades into a clip’s individual grade.

Additionally, DaVinci Resolve 12  now supports remote rendering so customers working in larger facilities can distribute rendering jobs to other Resolve systems that are on the same shared database and shared storage.

Again, Blackmagic has added more this release than they have in the last 5 years. A team of almost 100 people worked on it and DaVinci Resolve 12 is more exciting than ever! DaVinci Resolve 12 is a free upgrade for existing DaVinci Resolve customers.

Fusion 8 Studio

Blackmagic is also showing Fusion 8 Studio at NAB. This update adds support to Mac OS X, Linux operating systems, and Windows.

Fusion is Hollywood’s leading visual effects and motion graphics tool, and it has been so for over 25 years. Fusion has been used for thousands of feature film and television projects, including blockbusters like Maleficent, Edge of Tomorrow, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and The Hunger Games. It was is also used for hit television shows like Battlestar Galactica, Orphan Black and many more.

Blackmagic Video Assist

Blackmagic Video Assist, a portable, all in one professional monitor and video recorder that can be used with any SDI or HDMI camera. Blackmagic Video Assist adds professional ProRes recording and full resolution HD monitoring to any camera or DLSR.

Blackmagic Video Assist is perfect when you need need better monitoring and higher quality recording than your camera has, or in the case of the Blackmagic Studio Cameras, you can use it to add a recorder. Also, a lot of older cameras often feature custom file or tape formats and consumer cameras often have strange file formats.

Blackmagic Video Assist solves this problem and it can be mounted on cameras as a large monitor for the entire crew to see, it can be handed to the cinematographer or DOP for setting up shots, or set on a table in front of the director to review each take.

With its larger screen, you check shot composition and check the camera is perfectly focused. It’s easy to use as the touch screen lets you use simple swipe gestures for changing settings and displaying video and audio levels on its “heads up” on screen displays.

Blackmagic Video Assist has a bright, 5 inch high resolution 1920 x 1080 HD monitor and touchscreen with a wide 135º viewing angle and it records broadcast quality 10-bit 4:2:2 video onto widely available SD cards in ProRes file formats. The SD cards can be mounted directly on a computer for cloning and backup using the included DaVinci Resolve Lite so you get a complete editing and color correction solution included.

Even though Blackmagic Video Assist is a HD product, it also has a 6G-SDI input so it can even be used as a Ultra HD monitor!

Blackmagic Video Assist will be available in July for $495.

Teranex Mini

The new Teranex Minis are a range of 12G-SDI mini converters, however they are a very different design to normal mini converters.

Regular Mini converters cannot dissipate the heat generated from 12G-SDI, they have cumbersome power supplies, they cannot use standard XLR connectors and they only have switches for control.

Teranex Mini’s solve all these problems and easily handle the speeds of 12G-SDI without overheating for all video formats from SD to HD, and Ultra HD. 12G-SDI allows Teranex Mini’s to operate in all video standards up to 2160p60 on a single BNC cable.

One of the most innovative features of the new Teranex Minis is they feature an optional “smart” front panel that includes a spin knob, color LCD and multiple buttons. This means the user can simply remove the basic front panel from a Teranex Mini and replace it with a Teranex Mini Smart Panel to allow full setup and control from the front panel. You can see the video being converted, monitor audio levels and even verify timecode and the video standard being converted.

Teranex Minis have many other benefits, including a built in power supply and all models have built in Ethernet so Teranex Minis can be remotely administered. The Ethernet connection can also power the converter so Teranex Minis don’t even need to be connected to power!

The new Teranex Mini design also features proper XLR connectors for balanced analog audio, AES/EBU and timecode connections and the completely redesigned audio electronics have an extremely low noise floor of more than -115dBFS. Teranex Minis also include true Teranex up and down conversions.

Unlike card-based rack converters (which are expensive and can not handle the high speed of 6G-SDI or 12G-SDI), Teranex Mini’s can be rack mounted using the optional rack tray. With the 12G-SDI, smart front panels and the rack mounting. Teranex Mini’s are a much better solution for broadcasters who need rack mount converters. But of course, Teranex Minis can be hidden in cable ducts like normal converters and they look attractive so they even work on a desktop as all cable connections are from the rear of the converter.

There are 6 models of Teranex Minis. These include SDI to HDMI, HDMI to SDI, SDI to Analog, Analog to SDI, SDI to Audio and Audio to SDI. There are also 6 optical fiber models that include a single SDI connection and a 12G-SDI SMPTE compatible optical SDI module. These optical fiber models include Optical to HDMI, HDMI to Optical, Optical to Analog, Analog to Optical, Optical to Audio and Audio to Optical.

Teranex Minis’s start at $495 and will be available in May.

ATEM 2 M/E Broadcast Studio 4K

For years, broadcasters have used higher frame rates of 50, 59.94 and 60 fps for live production of sports. When Blackmagic introduced the new 6G-SDI ATEM range of live production switchers, although they offered high frame rates in HD, they only operated up to 2160p30 for Ultra HD. That’s fine for most live production but some customers needed an ATEM that could operate at high frame rates in Ultra HD.

The new ATEM 2 M/E Broadcast Studio 4K is a fully 12G-SDI based switcher with 20 inputs. It operates just like a normal ATEM so you can just plug it in and start using it. That means you don’t need to change your workflow! All the ATEM features are built in, including DVE, SuperSource, 6 keyers, transitions, all in Ultra HD up to 2160p60. All inputs still include full re-sync.

This new model is not a regular ATEM switcher with 12G-SDI as it also has other general enhancements the other models don’t have. The new model has double the size media pool and the 2 built in multi viewers are HD or Ultra HD resolution so you can have incredibly sharp camera monitoring. There is also 4 built in media players.

The ATEM 2 M/E Broadcast Studio 4K will start shipping June for $5,995.

HyperDeck Studio 12G

With all these new 12G-SDI products, Blackmagic aimed to produce a quality deck for recording onto! They have released a new advanced HyperDeck Studio 12G that supports all video formats from SD, HD and Ultra HD up to 2160p60.

HyperDeck Studio 12G features the same familiar VTR style controls as the other HyperDeck models and includes advanced 12G-SDI and HDMI 2.0 connections for recording and playback of high frame rate Ultra HD over a single BNC cable.

HyperDeck Studio 12G will be available in May for $2,495.

Smart Videohub 12G 40×40

Blackmagic realized they also needed a router that works at 12G-SDI and the new Smart Videohub 12G 40×40 is a native 12G-SDI router with 40 inputs and 40 outputs. Like Blackmagic’s other 12G-SDI products, it’s multi rate so it automatically works with all your SD, HD or Ultra HD equipment. It can route multiple different video formants on the same router at the same time.

Smart Videohub 12G 40×40, is an incredibly advanced model of the Smart Videohub router family with 12G-SDI technology, allowing all SDI video formats up to 2160p60 to be routed all on the same router, all at the same time.

What’s exciting about this router is all the connections and controls are exactly the same as Blackmagic’s regular Smart Videohub 40×40 which is the 6G-SDI model. So this new model is a direct replacement for that router when you need 12G-SDI and it works the same way as all Smart Videohub models. You can use the Mac and Windows control software and the hardware panels, just like other Videohub routers.

Smart Videohub 12G 40×40 will be available in May for US$4,995.

Smart Videohub CleanSwitch 12×12

This new router is part of the regular 6G-SDI router range so it can work with all video standards including SD, HD and Ultra HD up to 2160p30, however what’s different about this model vs the regular Smart Videohub 12×12 is that every single input has a full re-sync.

What this means is that if you have multiple untimed video sources of the same video standard, this router will re-sync those sources and then you change the route to a router video output, the switch over will be perfectly clean without any glitches or slow monitor re-locking. That’s important when routing to a big display or projector at a public venue where you want the route changes to be clean cuts.

This router still handles multiple video formats on the same router and if it does not recognize one of the video formats, it will still route the signal but just disable the re-sync. It can even re-sync different video standards as long as they are the same frame rate as the reference input, and you are switching between the same video standard to a specific output. It’s a really nice router and lot of people have bene asking us to build a clean switch router!

Smart Videohub CleanSwitch 12×12 will be available in May for $1,495

ATEM Talkback Converter 4K

With 4K cameras that include 12G-SDI and the new ATEM switcher with 12G-SDI, Blackmagic needed a new talkback product to manage talkback with cameras.

The new ATEM Talkback Converter now has BNC 12G-SDI connections so you can run simple BNC SDI cables to the cameras, and this means don’t have to run optical fiber if you don’t need it. Optical fiber in this product is optional and the SMPTE SFP modules are not installed, that means you can install them if you need them, and you don’t have to pay for optical fiber interfaces you don’t need.

The new ATEM Talkback Converter also supports 8 cameras so you can double the number of cameras you can talk with on the single unit.

ATEM Talkback Converter 4K will be available in May for $2,495

UltraStudio 4K Extreme

UltraStudio 4K Extreme is easily the world’s most advanced Thunderbolt and PCIe video capture and playback solution. UltraStudio 4K Extreme features many types of video connections including quad link 12G-SDI, HDMI 2.0 and more, plus it includes a built in multi format hardware codec encoder!

UltraStudio 4K Extreme is designed to work with the highest quality and highest frame rate video, all the way up to 3D stereoscopic 4K at 2160p60. You can use it via Thunderbolt, or if you are operating in RGB at high resolutions and frame rates, the PCIe connection via an optional PCIe cable can be used for faster data transfers.

However this is where the hardware codec encoder is a great solution, because on Mac OS X it can encode the data inside the UltraStudio to ProRes before transfer over Thunderbolt so you can use laptops for working in high end Ultra HD and 4K high frame rate formats!

This realtime hardware codec encoder can also encode to H.265 compressed streams. This means you can real time encode into the file format thats becoming the standard for Ultra HD content distribution via the Internet. This is exciting as you have a complete solution for editing and color correction as well as encoding for distribution.

UltraStudio 4K Extreme is a rack mount design, however if you want to use it on your desktop, the rack mount ears can be removed so it looks nicer on a desk. It also includes a full copy of DaVinci Resolve 12 so you get a complete editing and color correction solution!

There are way too many features in UltraStudio 4K Extreme to describe here so please check the UltraStudio web page to learn more! UltraStudio 4K Extreme will be available in June for $2,995 and the H.265 encoding will be a free update that should be available in July.

DeckLink 4K Pro

DeckLink 4K Pro is a new lower cost 12G-SDI solution for capture and playback. DeckLink 4K Pro is a great solution for monitoring on DaVinci Resolve as well as for OEM’s and developers. This new model features dual link 12G-SDI in and out so it supports real time capture and playback of fill and key channels even when operating up to 2160p60 so it’s an extremely powerful card!

It includes video reference input and supports Mac, Windows and Linux and it also supports the Blackmagic Design DeckLink SDK.

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