URSA Mini Pro Survival Guide for film newbie

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Allen Ross

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URSA Mini Pro Survival Guide for film newbie

PostMon May 08, 2017 5:25 am

Hi guys and gals,

I want to first apologize if the content/answers to my questions are already floating around the forum (and I haven't searched long enough to find them).

I am excited to transition from the DSLR world into digital film, and right after NAB this year I decided to take the plunge and invest in the Ursa Mini Pro...

I am looking to cover all of my bases as far as accessories and workflow tips.

For background, I own multiple Sony a7s cameras with many lenses. I have drones, gimbals (plural), glidecam, lighting, tripods, you name it. My small company shoots about 30-35 weddings a year in addition to almost 40 corporate shoots (interviews, conferences, product marketing, HR, etc...) in addition to a smaller number of music videos, Kickstarter videos, and other staged content. We edit in FCPX and have a healthy knowledge of Resolve (REALLY loving what I saw in version 14!)

The goal moving forward is to essentially understand and master my gear inside out, and to start, I'd love to hear from anyone that may have recommendations of where to start as far as technical and practical advice with such a powerful tool as the UMPro.

My order included:
- Ursa Mini Pro
- Blackmagic Design V-Mount Battery Plate
- Maxoak 177 V Mount Battery (Wanted the Anton Bauer Cine 90 for V mount but apparently out of stock everywhere??)
- 2x Komputerbay Professional 3700x 256GB CFast 2.0 Card 560/495MB read/write
- Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 (EF mount)
- Sigma 50-100mm F1.8 (EF mount)
- Lexar CFast 2.0 Reader


My initial questions:

1. How much battery life can I expect from one battery? Will I need multiple batteries for most outdoor shoots?

2. What do people use for smooth motion? Gimbal (which one will it fit on)? Glidecam? Other?

3. I saw an SSD caddy attached to the UMPro @ NAB.... Where do I purchase this?

4. Are most people using either the built in monitor and/or Viewfinder? Does anyone use an external monitor mounted on camera, and if so, what situation(s) call for it?

5. Coming from the DSLR world, I've never wanted to build a shoulder rig... mainly because of rolling shutter and shot stability... with the UMPro how steady is the footage from the shoulder? Is walking while filming shoulder mounted a generally positive experience?

6. Am I missing any vital piece(s) of gear from my above list? Any recommendations?

7. I understand ProRes works with lots of software, but are the RAW files from the camera editable directly in FCPX? Or do I have to transcode in Resolve?

I really appreciate any responses you all may take the time to give. Thanks and happy filming!
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Keith Babineaux

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Re: URSA Mini Pro Survival Guide for film newbie

PostMon May 08, 2017 6:12 am

1. A little over 4 hours per battery
2. DJI Ronin is the only one that fits and works for now.
3. SSD caddy shown at NAB isn't out yet.
4. Monitor and Viewfinder. External monitor using a gimbal.
5. I have no clue. I use handheld or tripod.
6. The shoulder kit if you plan on buying the viewfinder. The viewfinder is one of the best out there and cheaper.
7. FCPX doesn't recognize RAW, only Prores. You would have to use Resolve then export XML to FCPX.
8. https://www.instagram.com/ursamini/?hl=en
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rick.lang

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URSA Mini Pro Survival Guide for film newbie

PostMon May 08, 2017 3:55 pm

Allen, regarding stability of shooting with the camera on your shoulder, the rolling shutter has a fairly quick readout from the sensor so it's not the jello you might be fearing. Of course your own skill in walking smoothly and being steady is a factor, but there can be the micro jitters of going handheld.

When I'm concerned about stability, I shoot at least one resolution step higher than my deliverable. So for example, shoot 2K when delivering HD (or 4.6K when delivering UHD). Then in Resolve I don't scale the footage but centre it on the HD timeline and use the stabilization tools in Resolve to smooth my footage with no loss of sharpness. The tools in Resolve 12.5 are quite effective, and they have been rewritten in Resolve 14 so eager to use the new tools when Resolve 14 goes to general release, likely in June. As well as stabilizing the footage, recording footage at one step higher resolution also allows you to reframe a clip for better composition.

I always shoot at a higher resolution and if I don't need to reframe or stabilize, then I use the scaling tool to fit my 2K field of view into the HD fame as appropriate.


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Jamie LeJeune

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Re: URSA Mini Pro Survival Guide for film newbie

PostMon May 08, 2017 5:46 pm

Keith Babineaux wrote:7. FCPX doesn't recognize RAW, only Prores. You would have to use Resolve then export XML to FCPX.

FCPX (and other NLEs) will read uncompressed raw files as they are standard CDNG. The 3:1 and 4:1 compressed raw files, however, can only be read by Resolve. A simple workflow is to pull the compressed raw into Resolve and export as ProResLT or ProResProxy files for editing in your NLE. When the edit is complete you'd export an FCPXML (from FCPX) or an XML (from Premiere Pro) or an AAF (from Avid), import that file into Resolve and relink to the original 3:1 or 4:1 compressed raw files there for grading. FCPXML generally results in the cleanest conform. XML and AAF tend to require more manual work after import to conform the timeline. This workflow is covered in pages 511 to 547 of the Resolve 12.5 manual.

If your deliverable is HD and you'd like to skip the round tripping, recording to ProRes444 HD in film mode (and not windowing the sensor, ensuring that the camera is internally downscaling from the full 4.6K) results in files that grade virtually as well as raw files (in my experience). If your deliverable is 4K, the compressed raw is the better option for conserving card/drive space. If you can handle the extra card/drive space of ProRes444, you can skip the workflow round trip by shooting ProRes444 even in 4K.



rick.lang wrote:shoot 2K when delivering HD

Smarter folks than I have declared that downscaling from 2K -> HD is just not enough oversampling so this practice actually degrades image quality:
http://endcrawl.com/blog/2048x1152-is-a-total-crock/
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rick.lang

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URSA Mini Pro Survival Guide for film newbie

PostMon May 08, 2017 6:07 pm

Jamie, your link has little to do with my message. I'm recommending to the OP to shoot handheld in 2K to deliver in HD to enable stabilization or reframing. No where did I imply I'm delivering in 2K 2048x1152. The blogger seems to me to have less smarts than I know you have!

At least he concedes:
"There are legitimate reasons for shooting 2048×1152, but those legit reasons all have to do with cropping your final output." A more complete statement would include stabilizing footage.

I did say I downscale when I don't need to crop, reframe, stabilize. But that may not be the best approach unless I need to get more in the frame; I'll try to use more judgment in the future and not make downscaling 2K to HD my default workflow. Thanks.

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Re: URSA Mini Pro Survival Guide for film newbie

PostMon May 08, 2017 6:19 pm

Keith Babineaux wrote:2. DJI Ronin is the only one that fits and works for now.


^ Not true. I use an UM4.6 on a ACR "The Beast" gimbal just fine with a battery mounted on the UM along with a Sigma 18-35. I believe there are videos out there of people mounting the UMP on Freefly MOVI Pros as well. Though both a bit more pricey than the Ronin.

I'd definitely suggest more than one battery... minimum 2, if not 3. That way you can always have 1 in use, one charging, and 1 ready to go.
---
c
Last edited by chris.white on Mon May 08, 2017 6:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Andrew Walldez

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Re: URSA Mini Pro Survival Guide for film newbie

PostMon May 08, 2017 6:22 pm

Keith Babineaux wrote:2. DJI Ronin is the only one that fits and works for now.



Not true at all, I use my ursa mini with the Ronin M on the daily, with my sigma 24mm.
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Jamie LeJeune

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Re: URSA Mini Pro Survival Guide for film newbie

PostMon May 08, 2017 6:29 pm

rick.lang wrote:Jamie, your link has little to do with my message. I'm recommending to the OP to shoot handheld in 2K to deliver in HD to enable stabilization or reframing. No where did I imply I'm delivering in 2K 2048x1152. The blogger seems to me to have less smarts than I know you have!

At least he concedes:
"There are legitimate reasons for shooting 2048×1152, but those legit reasons all have to do with cropping your final output." A more complete statement would include stabilizing footage.

I did say I downscale when I don't need to crop, reframe, stabilize. But that may not be the best approach unless I need to get more in the frame; I'll try to use more judgment in the future and not make downscaling 2K to HD my default workflow. Thanks.

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Got it Rick. Totally right, for a bit of cropping and reframing without any upscale or downscaling involved, 2K for HD is a viable option. Sorry for my confusion on the reply, read too fast and didn't realize that is what you meant. Thank you for the clarification :)
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Allen Ross

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Re: URSA Mini Pro Survival Guide for film newbie

PostMon May 08, 2017 7:14 pm

Keith Babineaux wrote:1. A little over 4 hours per battery
2. DJI Ronin is the only one that fits and works for now.
3. SSD caddy shown at NAB isn't out yet.
4. Monitor and Viewfinder. External monitor using a gimbal.
5. I have no clue. I use handheld or tripod.
6. The shoulder kit if you plan on buying the viewfinder. The viewfinder is one of the best out there and cheaper.
7. FCPX doesn't recognize RAW, only Prores. You would have to use Resolve then export XML to FCPX.
8. https://www.instagram.com/ursamini/?hl=en


Wow, thanks for this!

rick.lang wrote:When I'm concerned about stability, I shoot at least one resolution step higher than my deliverable. So for example, shoot 2K when delivering HD (or 4.6K when delivering UHD). ...

I always shoot at a higher resolution and if I don't need to reframe or stabilize, then I use the scaling tool to fit my 2K field of view into the HD fame as appropriate.


Rick, I agree! I've recently adopted the practice of shooting one resolution step higher than my deliverable, and also shooting at UHD for interviews so I can choose the crop in post. This is great advice and in line with my current workflow.

Jamie LeJeune wrote:
FCPX (and other NLEs) will read uncompressed raw files as they are standard CDNG. The 3:1 and 4:1 compressed raw files, however, can only be read by Resolve. A simple workflow is to pull the compressed raw into Resolve and export as ProResLT or ProResProxy files for editing in your NLE. When the edit is complete you'd export an FCPXML (from FCPX) or an XML (from Premiere Pro) or an AAF (from Avid), import that file into Resolve and relink to the original 3:1 or 4:1 compressed raw files there for grading. FCPXML generally results in the cleanest conform. XML and AAF tend to require more manual work after import to conform the timeline. This workflow is covered in pages 511 to 547 of the Resolve 12.5 manual.

If your deliverable is HD and you'd like to skip the round tripping, recording to ProRes444 HD in film mode (and not windowing the sensor, ensuring that the camera is internally downscaling from the full 4.6K) results in files that grade virtually as well as raw files (in my experience). If your deliverable is 4K, the compressed raw is the better option for conserving card/drive space. If you can handle the extra card/drive space of ProRes444, you can skip the workflow round trip by shooting ProRes444 even in 4K.


Jamie, this is such terrific information! Thanks so much for explaining. I think both workflows will have value for what we do... creating the ProRes proxy for FCPX and coloring in Resolve for bigger projects, and choosing a ProRes flavor for live event recording (weddings, concerts etc) sounds like the way to go for me. I really appreciate your breakdown :D
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Allen Ross

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Re: URSA Mini Pro Survival Guide for film newbie

PostMon May 08, 2017 7:22 pm

On the subject of gimbal use, I own the Ronin M and Defy G5 (which works but has very little support for adjusting the software).

From what I can tell, the challenges with the M would be weight and balancing... with the majority of the weight being too far backwards to properly balance the camera on the gimbal. Andrew and Chris, are there any considerations for getting a proper balance with your gimbals? Counter weights or other accessories? Or does it work straightaway?
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rick.lang

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URSA Mini Pro Survival Guide for film newbie

PostMon May 08, 2017 7:57 pm

No problem, Jamie. On the downscaling issue, you are correct.

When I am shooting ProRes, downscaling from 4.6K to 2K in camera and recording HD gives good results. I often flip between the full-sensor down to HD and HD windowed when I want that extra effective focal length that windowing gives me or the extra angle of view full-sensor provides. The in camera downscaling results from full-sensor looks better (than going from 2K to HD) which I can use if shooting ProRes with the full-frame APO primes.

I have another wedding shoot coming up in the summer and I plan to use the Fujinon B4 Cine zoom shooting 2K raw and delivering downscaled HD. But taking your advice, I'm going to compose the frame in camera for HD, but record in 2K, then reframe or stabilize on an HD timeline. I'll intentionally try to use the softer downscaling 2K to HD in post for any beauty shots, but keep the majority pixel-for-pixel.

Just to clarify when I use the term 2K, I am referring to 2K 16:9 2048x1152, not all the other possibilities mentioned in the blog post Jamie referenced. My deliverables are for web or HDTV.

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Jamie LeJeune

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Re: URSA Mini Pro Survival Guide for film newbie

PostMon May 08, 2017 10:35 pm

Allen Ross wrote:Jamie, this is such terrific information! Thanks so much for explaining. I think both workflows will have value for what we do... creating the ProRes proxy for FCPX and coloring in Resolve for bigger projects, and choosing a ProRes flavor for live event recording (weddings, concerts etc) sounds like the way to go for me. I really appreciate your breakdown :D

Glad to hear it's useful.
With the speed one has to move in live events and weddings, I'll also share the rigging setup I use for the handle and viewfinder as it might also be of use to you for those situations.

The drawback to BMD's top handle setup is you need tools and a bit of time to get the whole thing off and on. Instead I bought a 150mm NATO rail, a NATO handle and a NATO clamp all from Wooden Camera plus a Rycote Lyre for the mic. It allows me to rapidly mount or remove the handle and/or the BMD viewfinder, so I can go from fully rigged to completely stripped down in seconds. Another benefit to this setup is that it allows you to get the viewfinder further forward than BMD's top handle which can help if you are using a long heavy lens and need to be able to mount the camera further back for proper balance in shoulder mounted configurations.
Ursa_Mini Rig_.jpg
Ursa_Mini Rig_.jpg (580.46 KiB) Viewed 4919 times

Wooden camera has a full cage setup for the Ursa Mini, but for my uses I found it added too much unnecessary weight. They don't advertise my setup as a kit, so I had to get the pieces individually.

EDIT: Also, the best battery I've found to run the Ursa Mini is 250Wh Cinegears. I can easily get 5+ hours out of them (with the camera on the whole time) even though they are basically the same size as my Anton Bauer Digital Series 90 that barely make it much more than an hour. Two of the Cinegears 250Wh and I'm set for a full 12 hour documentary shoot day. They charge just fine on both my Switronix chargers which is a nice perk.
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rick.lang

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PostMon May 08, 2017 11:13 pm

Nice, Jamie. Do you have a similar photo of the rig and side handle when the camera is going on your shoulder?


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Re: URSA Mini Pro Survival Guide for film newbie

PostMon May 08, 2017 11:18 pm

Allen Ross wrote:On the subject of gimbal use, I own the Ronin M and Defy G5 (which works but has very little support for adjusting the software).

From what I can tell, the challenges with the M would be weight and balancing... with the majority of the weight being too far backwards to properly balance the camera on the gimbal. Andrew and Chris, are there any considerations for getting a proper balance with your gimbals? Counter weights or other accessories? Or does it work straightaway?


Your welcome! It's best to use a vest and steadicam so you can use the 177W battery and the lens of your choice. These people are using Ronin's, pulling muscles in their backs and using pancake lens with thin batteries that will give you 1 hour of shooting time. Don't limit yourself. Don't be those people! Haha! This is what I use. It says 12 lbs because of the counter weights support 12 lbs. The Kit holds a max of 19 lbs. I bought extra counter weights from the manufacturer to balance more than 12 lbs.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/ ... t_and.html
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/ ... m_arm.html
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Re: URSA Mini Pro Survival Guide for film newbie

PostTue May 09, 2017 12:18 am

Allen Ross wrote:Andrew and Chris, are there any considerations for getting a proper balance with your gimbals? Counter weights or other accessories? Or does it work straightaway?


Hey Allen,

It took a bit of work and trial and error to get it sorted. It would be a lot easier to balance if I were using a more compact lens. The Sigma is both long and somewhat heavy, so that made it a bit more challenging.

Originally, I had it balanced without the battery on camera, but that was pretty much pushing the limits on the balancing options. So, I opted to try and counterbalance the lens with more weight on the back of the camera. Then I ran into a problem with my regular batteries hitting the gimbal because they were too bulky. Then I found the Core SWX slim batteries and that did the trick.

If I had a smaller/lighter lens I could power the cam from the gimbal too. Hoping to pick up the UMP in the not-too-distant future so I can get the Nikon mount and use some of my better Nikon lenses.
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Allen Ross

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Re: URSA Mini Pro Survival Guide for film newbie

PostTue May 09, 2017 4:14 pm

Keith Babineaux wrote:
Your welcome! It's best to use a vest and steadicam so you can use the 177W battery and the lens of your choice.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/ ... t_and.html
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/ ... m_arm.html


Hey Keith, two questions:

1. Is the vest and arm adaptable to work with any steadicam (like a Glidecam for example) or does it only work with the branded one in your link?

2. How easy/quick is it to balance? I've always liked the quickness of setting up the gimbal ahead of time and transporting it as close to completely set up as possible so that I can just power on and go. Do you have similar experience with the steadicam/vest combo?
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Re: URSA Mini Pro Survival Guide for film newbie

PostTue May 09, 2017 5:02 pm

2. What do people use for smooth motion? Gimbal (which one will it fit on)? Glidecam? Other?
All the Ronin works. M and MX require a lot more to make it work and can't handle as much weight.
Letus Helix/Ronin 2/Movi Pro also work.

3. I saw an SSD caddy attached to the UMPro @ NAB.... Where do I purchase this?
Not available yet.

4. Are most people using either the built in monitor and/or Viewfinder? Does anyone use an external monitor mounted on camera, and if so, what situation(s) call for it? Built in works really well for the most part. Off to the side makes it hard to use on gimbal but can be done. I use a 502/702 for gimbal.
EVF for bright situations.

5. Coming from the DSLR world, I've never wanted to build a shoulder rig... mainly because of rolling shutter and shot stability... with the UMPro how steady is the footage from the shoulder? Is walking while filming shoulder mounted a generally positive experience? Load the camera up and it'll be easier to shoot with. Very steady but it won't replace handheld.

6. Am I missing any vital piece(s) of gear from my above list? Any recommendations?
Get an extended arm handle.
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Re: URSA Mini Pro Survival Guide for film newbie

PostWed May 10, 2017 8:39 am

A fresh IDX 92 Wh battery lasts me a tad short of 2 hours if I'm recording most of the time.
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PostWed May 10, 2017 6:16 pm

There are advantages for small batteries (90 Wh) when you are travelling, but I went the route of buying one 270 Wh battery and I've never come close to running out of juice for event shooting. Mind you at a day long wedding shoot, I plug into the AC power when I can at the salon or home getting ready or for the wedding reception dinner. Still I think I can shoot for about 4/5 hours on one battery covering the photo shoots, wedding dance, etc. Total day's shoot is over ten hours including time on AC power.


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Re: URSA Mini Pro Survival Guide for film newbie

PostWed May 10, 2017 7:27 pm

But flying is a problem.
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Re: URSA Mini Pro Survival Guide for film newbie

PostThu May 11, 2017 2:08 pm

Allen Ross wrote:Hi guys and gals,

I want to first apologize if the content/answers to my questions are already floating around the forum (and I haven't searched long enough to find them).

I am excited to transition from the DSLR world into digital film, and right after NAB this year I decided to take the plunge and invest in the Ursa Mini Pro...

I am looking to cover all of my bases as far as accessories and workflow tips.

For background, I own multiple Sony a7s cameras with many lenses. I have drones, gimbals (plural), glidecam, lighting, tripods, you name it. My small company shoots about 30-35 weddings a year in addition to almost 40 corporate shoots (interviews, conferences, product marketing, HR, etc...) in addition to a smaller number of music videos, Kickstarter videos, and other staged content. We edit in FCPX and have a healthy knowledge of Resolve (REALLY loving what I saw in version 14!)

The goal moving forward is to essentially understand and master my gear inside out, and to start, I'd love to hear from anyone that may have recommendations of where to start as far as technical and practical advice with such a powerful tool as the UMPro.

My order included:
- Ursa Mini Pro
- Blackmagic Design V-Mount Battery Plate
- Maxoak 177 V Mount Battery (Wanted the Anton Bauer Cine 90 for V mount but apparently out of stock everywhere??)
- 2x Komputerbay Professional 3700x 256GB CFast 2.0 Card 560/495MB read/write
- Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 (EF mount)
- Sigma 50-100mm F1.8 (EF mount)
- Lexar CFast 2.0 Reader


My initial questions:

1. How much battery life can I expect from one battery? Will I need multiple batteries for most outdoor shoots?

2. What do people use for smooth motion? Gimbal (which one will it fit on)? Glidecam? Other?

3. I saw an SSD caddy attached to the UMPro @ NAB.... Where do I purchase this?

4. Are most people using either the built in monitor and/or Viewfinder? Does anyone use an external monitor mounted on camera, and if so, what situation(s) call for it?

5. Coming from the DSLR world, I've never wanted to build a shoulder rig... mainly because of rolling shutter and shot stability... with the UMPro how steady is the footage from the shoulder? Is walking while filming shoulder mounted a generally positive experience?

6. Am I missing any vital piece(s) of gear from my above list? Any recommendations?

7. I understand ProRes works with lots of software, but are the RAW files from the camera editable directly in FCPX? Or do I have to transcode in Resolve?

I really appreciate any responses you all may take the time to give. Thanks and happy filming!



1. My Maxoak 177kwh last me about 3-4 hours. Longer if I'm conserving and turning it off as I go. I've stretched it to about 6 hours before on my Ursa Mini Pro.

2. There are multiple options, but be sure to do your measurements and keep CG in mind. I've been using a Movi Pro with my Ursa Mini Pro, Sigma 18-35, Maxoak 177, and a small SSD enclosure. Flies just fine. I don't know what that other guy is on about with the Ronin-only talk.

3. I, too, am waiting for the official SSD solution. For now, I'm just using the external solution Tom Antos has made videos about on youtube. Ideally, if you're flying the camera on the gimbal, the CFast cards you listed will be best. But, for long shoots where you don't need a gimbal, that SSD solution will be great.

4. I use the built-in monitor out of necessity. I'm using the SmallHD AC7 when I'm on the gimbal. I'll ultimately end up getting a BlackMagic Video Assist 7" so I can shoot proxy simultaneously and monitor stuff on a larger screen. I honestly do not like the screen on the Ursa Mini Pro. It's a bit too small and suffers from some grid marks (not in footage). When I bump up my ISO to 1600, I can see these terrible white horizontal lines. Monitor only as far as I can tell though.

5. Heel/Toe stepping will help with this. Honestly, the rolling shutter isn't very noticeable. I agree with Rick in that micro jitters may be an issue.

6. Possibly an SDI to HDMI converter since you came from a DSLR world. I needed one to transmit to HDMI for my director's monitor. Just a simple thing that isn't on the UMP, but I still use from time to time. Don't forget an SDI cable for any monitoring solution.
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Allen Ross

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Re: URSA Mini Pro Survival Guide for film newbie

PostThu May 11, 2017 4:33 pm

Thanks for all of the replies!

I purchased a second Maxoak battery... this time the 158.

I get all of the pieces tomorrow and have planned to shoot test footage all next week.

As for the Movi Pro, I was REALLY impressed with the Movi M5's stabilization when I used it, so I am sure the Pro does a good job. We shall see if budget allows, but for now I am going to try it on the Glidecam and the Defy G5 (w/ ext monitor) to see how they handle.

I wasn't aware BM made a video assist in the 7" flavor. Is that HDMI only or SDI as well?
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Re: URSA Mini Pro Survival Guide for film newbie

PostThu May 11, 2017 4:39 pm

Allen Ross wrote:Thanks for all of the replies!

I purchased a second Maxoak battery... this time the 158.

I get all of the pieces tomorrow and have planned to shoot test footage all next week.

As for the Movi Pro, I was REALLY impressed with the Movi M5's stabilization when I used it, so I am sure the Pro does a good job. We shall see if budget allows, but for now I am going to try it on the Glidecam and the Defy G5 (w/ ext monitor) to see how they handle.

I wasn't aware BM made a video assist in the 7" flavor. Is that HDMI only or SDI as well?


Yeah, we used the M5 for a long time before the Pro and it was fantastic. I've seen a lot of great stuff on glidecams, so give it a shot. I'm sure you can make it look great with practice.

Yup, it's 7" and supports HDMI and 6G SDI.
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Re: URSA Mini Pro Survival Guide for film newbie

PostThu May 11, 2017 4:51 pm

It's both and it records 4K.
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Allen Ross

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Re: URSA Mini Pro Survival Guide for film newbie

PostFri May 12, 2017 5:40 am

Image
Image

https://www.dropbox.com/s/wlhg0wt8sp7lquw/test1.png?dl=0 and https://www.dropbox.com/s/wlhg0wt8sp7lquw/test2.png?dl=0
Hey guys. Just pulled out the camera and took some test shots. Is the noise in the upper left corner of these shots indicative of a problem with the sensor? These were iso 800 UHD ProRes clips.
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Re: URSA Mini Pro Survival Guide for film newbie

PostSat May 13, 2017 4:02 am

Took the camera outside breifly today and was floored by the ease of use and image quality. I felt right at home using it and very intuitive. I was able to get exposure and focused nailed pretty easily, and the only thing that seems to be off is my perception of WB because of the wider color space that I am not used to.

Still have a lot to mess around with, but initial thoughts, this camera is legit!
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Re: URSA Mini Pro Survival Guide for film newbie

PostSat May 13, 2017 4:38 am

Allen Ross wrote:Image
Image

https://www.dropbox.com/s/wlhg0wt8sp7lquw/test1.png?dl=0 and https://www.dropbox.com/s/wlhg0wt8sp7lquw/test2.png?dl=0
Hey guys. Just pulled out the camera and took some test shots. Is the noise in the upper left corner of these shots indicative of a problem with the sensor? These were iso 800 UHD ProRes clips.


I'd suggest running a black balance calibration (done with the body cap on after the camera has been running for at least 10 minutes) and reshooting your test shot. If you'd like an opinion on the image, please link to a DNG file direct from the camera so we can see it without any post processing :)
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Re: URSA Mini Pro Survival Guide for film newbie

PostSat May 13, 2017 6:03 am

Serious question, .. is post processing automatically applied to a ProRes file vs the dng file? Is this processing automatic in camera?

I understand ProRes is compressed, but is it actually processing the image differently than raw?
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Re: URSA Mini Pro Survival Guide for film newbie

PostSat May 13, 2017 11:46 pm

If you change ISO different gamma curves are applied, which are either protecting your highlights better or look deeper into the shadows.
No correction of lens flaws or such as in photographic cameras.
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Re: URSA Mini Pro Survival Guide for film newbie

PostSun May 14, 2017 12:31 am

Allen Ross wrote:Serious question, .. is post processing automatically applied to a ProRes file vs the dng file? Is this processing automatic in camera?

I understand ProRes is compressed, but is it actually processing the image differently than raw?


The camera doesn't produce PNG files, so something must have been done in some form of post software to get the raw DNG from the camera to the PNG you posted. That's what I meant by "post processing" and why I asked for the actual DNG direct from the camera.
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Re: URSA Mini Pro Survival Guide for film newbie

PostSun May 14, 2017 9:39 am

Got it, I was referring to ProRes.
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Re: URSA Mini Pro Survival Guide for film newbie

PostMon May 15, 2017 6:47 pm

I've just got to reiterate that this camera's picture is SO NICE! Love Love LOVE the skin tones on this thing!!

I am also really diggin (for the most part) the ergonomics of the physical buttons. Only a few small gripes regarding placement of things (the iris wheel for instance when the monitor is open) but other than that I am taking to the camera nicely.

Jamie, I've yet to record in RAW and have been really happy with the look of the ProRes (and file sizes lol)... but I will test a shot in RAW today and see whether the dng has any traces of weird vertical lines.

It's interesting because, I can vividly see the lines in the viewfinder when I'm not even recording, and yesterday they were actually visible in the highlights instead of the shadows. When I switched from AC power to battery power it appeared that the lines went away entirely, even in really dark lit shots... Sometimes I look really closely and don't see them at all, and other times I can see them clear as day, especially when I pan the camera.... More testing to be done.
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Re: URSA Mini Pro Survival Guide for film newbie

PostTue May 16, 2017 2:07 pm

Allen Ross wrote:Serious question, .. is post processing automatically applied to a ProRes file vs the dng file? Is this processing automatic in camera?

I understand ProRes is compressed, but is it actually processing the image differently than raw?

When you record in raw, you're recording essentially the luminosity map captured by the sensor. Things like ISO and color balance are saved as metadata, rather than applied to the image.

In ProRes, the luminosity map is processed into an image using the gain snd color balance settings you've selected, and then compressed using the ProRes encoder.

The image you get in ProRes is going to be quite close to what you'd get using matching settings to transcode in Resolve (or whatever), though you'll have the option of doing a LOT more to tweak that process in post than on camera.

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Re: URSA Mini Pro Survival Guide for film newbie

PostTue May 16, 2017 7:27 pm

Another way to think about it:

When you record a digital image using a CMOS camera, there are three steps:

(1) Capture the raw luma data from the CMOS sensor; (It's a single sensor, but we need 3 sensors worth of data for RGB, so it captures some R,G & B in a Bayer Pattern)

(2) Debayer the data to get a full-res, full color image; (Math is used to fill in the blanks, resulting in 3 sensors worth of data from a single sensor's RAW Bayer data.)

(3) Apply white balance and ISO to make the image match the intentions of the camera settings.

When you use any CMOS camera, these steps take place. The big difference between RAW and ProRes (or any other non-RAW format) is who performs the steps.

In a RAW workflow, the camera does step 1, and then you do steps 2 & 3 in Davinci Resolve. In a ProRes/non-RAW workflow, the camera does steps 1, 2 & 3 itself, and you have limited control based on the menu controls in the camera. A lot of the process is under the camera's control.

The other difference is that in a ProRes/non-RAW workflow, the RAW data that is not part of the final compressed image is discarded. There is no hidden data brighter or darker than what is shown.

Using RAW, you keep the original RAW data files, and steps 2 & 3 are transformations done in Resolve. Later, can pull cloud detail from a blown-out sky using grading tools. On a compressed file, there is no hidden detail. Before compression, the RAW detail not shown in the picture is discarded.

I understand ProRes is compressed, but is it actually processing the image differently than raw?


Yes. ProRes is doing steps 2 (Debayering) and 3 (White balance and ISO) before compressing. It's also discarding any RAW data not used in the image.
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Re: URSA Mini Pro Survival Guide for film newbie

PostTue May 16, 2017 8:23 pm

Even with ProRes Film though, in Resolve, with the scopes showing, you can see there is a lot of data you can recover from blown highlights by making primary colour corrections. As long as the data isn't clipped.


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Re: URSA Mini Pro Survival Guide for film newbie

PostWed May 17, 2017 10:05 am

I'm shocked any one would consider buying just one battery!
Even *if* a battery could easily last your whole shoot with plenty left over, it is just plain sensible common practice to also bring along a spare!

At least I see you've got two cards, but even so.... buying one more than you think you need is smart!

Ditto lenses, I'd chuck in the bag a cheap Nikon 35mm f2D "just in case" as you know if all else fails that is a general and small lens you could shoot almost everything on.

(yes my logic even extends to bringing along a spare camera, even having a spare hacked Panasonic GH2 in the glove box is better than nothing in a pinch)
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Re: URSA Mini Pro Survival Guide for film newbie

PostWed May 17, 2017 12:09 pm

David, if your shock is a response to my post #19 describing my single 270Wh battery that was quite expensive, I'll look into picking up a flight friendly 90Wh battery for emergency backup! Now I need to send my two Wise CFast 2.0 cards back to Taiwan for a firmware update, I should also pickup another card to use in the meantime.

Spare hacked GH2? Over my dead body! I'd rather have a BMPCC with PL-to-MFT adapter to use my APO PL primes.


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URSA Mini Pro Survival Guide for film newbie

PostWed May 17, 2017 6:35 pm

Found Cinegears has a 100Wh flight friendly battery that matches my larger battery. It's only 6.6Ah compared to 16.75Ah on my large battery, but hopefully that will be sufficient.

And then there's the Cinegears 100Wh UPS battery that allows you to piggyback additional batteries:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1223018-REG



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Re: URSA Mini Pro Survival Guide for film newbie

PostThu May 18, 2017 4:10 pm

rick.lang wrote:Even with ProRes Film though, in Resolve, with the scopes showing, you can see there is a lot of data you can recover from blown highlights by making primary colour corrections. As long as the data isn't clipped.


Yes -- contrary to popular belief, there's no difference in dynamic range whether recording RAW or ProRes. The difference is in how much of the original RAW data you sacrifice in the transition to ProRes.

I thought that both UM 4.6K models now had LUT options; in most cameras that support on-camera LUTs, the RAW footage remains unaffected other than the metadata, and the ProRes is basically graded using that LUT.

So... you can grab a short clip, import it into Resolve or PreLight or LiveGrade or whatever, do a primaries color grade, and generate a LUT for use on camera that implements that look.
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Re: URSA Mini Pro Survival Guide for film newbie

PostThu May 18, 2017 5:52 pm

Rakesh Malik wrote:I thought that both UM 4.6K models now had LUT options; in most cameras that support on-camera LUTs, the RAW footage remains unaffected other than the metadata, and the ProRes is basically graded using that LUT.

So... you can grab a short clip, import it into Resolve or PreLight or LiveGrade or whatever, do a primaries color grade, and generate a LUT for use on camera that implements that look.


You can apply the LUT to the LCD and the SDI output, but it does not get baked into the internally recorded ProRes files, nor does it get added as metadata to the raw files. The color management workflow for BMD cameras requires far more manual effort than Red or Arri. I'm not complaining. It just is what it is.
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Re: URSA Mini Pro Survival Guide for film newbie

PostThu May 18, 2017 7:09 pm

Jamie LeJeune wrote:You can apply the LUT to the LCD and the SDI output, but it does not get baked into the internally recorded ProRes files, nor does it get added as metadata to the raw files. The color management workflow for BMD cameras requires far more manual effort than Red or Arri. I'm not complaining. It just is what it is.


Ah... oops. I figured the metadata part wasn't there for raw files, but I did expect it to be baked into the ProRes. That's a pretty minor down side though, because you can always just add the LUT in Resolve (or whatever) to use as either a starting point or as a final grade if the project is too small for there to be time for color grading.
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Re: URSA Mini Pro Survival Guide for film newbie

PostThu May 18, 2017 7:54 pm

Rakesh Malik wrote:Ah... oops. I figured the metadata part wasn't there for raw files, but I did expect it to be baked into the ProRes. That's a pretty minor down side though, because you can always just add the LUT in Resolve (or whatever) to use as either a starting point or as a final grade if the project is too small for there to be time for color grading.


True. However, that can get complicated if you've got LUTs optimized for different lighting conditions (day versus night, interior v exterior, etc.) and you are handing off media to an editor/producer who has no plan for managing LUTs in the workflow (and may not even know what a LUT is in the first place). Also, depending on the NLE, applying LUTs is either cumbersome to manage for bins/folders of clips or it's processor intensive or both. Too often I end up just running dailies out of Resolve for them myself.
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Re: URSA Mini Pro Survival Guide for film newbie

PostThu May 18, 2017 8:08 pm

Jamie LeJeune wrote:True. However, that can get complicated if you've got LUTs optimized for different lighting conditions (day versus night, interior v exterior, etc.) and you are handing off media to an editor/producer who has no plan for managing LUTs in the workflow (and may not even know what a LUT is in the first place). Also, depending on the NLE, applying LUTs is either cumbersome to manage for bins/folders of clips or it's processor intensive or both. Too often I end up just running dailies out of Resolve for them myself.


Yes, that can be a drag. I'm pretty consistent through a given scene, so I avoid some of that, but there's no working around the fact that if the look isn't baked into the clip, there's a good chance that the editor won't use it.

I'd like to have the look baked in... that would be a big advantage for ProRes rather than RAW recording for things like event captures.
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Re: URSA Mini Pro Survival Guide for film newbie

PostThu May 18, 2017 11:18 pm

The name of the LUT you use is baked into the metadata of the file.
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Re: URSA Mini Pro Survival Guide for film newbie

PostFri May 19, 2017 3:36 am

Hi Tim,
will there be any feature in DR 14 to apply them auto(black)magically?
Now that would be a perfect solution as opposed to baking them in if you (or the director) might change your mind…
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Re: URSA Mini Pro Survival Guide for film newbie

PostFri May 19, 2017 5:46 pm

Tim Schumann wrote:The name of the LUT you use is baked into the metadata of the file.


Is that the case for both raw and ProRes recording?
What NLEs or other post apps are able read that metadata?
Is there any way to have the matching LUT applied to the correct clip automatically using that metadata?
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Re: URSA Mini Pro Survival Guide for film newbie

PostFri May 19, 2017 7:00 pm

Jamie LeJeune wrote:Is that the case for both raw and ProRes recording?
What NLEs or other post apps are able read that metadata?
Is there any way to have the matching LUT applied to the correct clip automatically using that metadata?


NLEs reading and applying that LUT automatically would simplify ProRes workflows quite nicely :)
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Re: URSA Mini Pro Survival Guide for film newbie

PostSat May 20, 2017 2:45 am

David Peterson wrote:I'm shocked any one would consider buying just one battery!
Even *if* a battery could easily last your whole shoot with plenty left over, it is just plain sensible common practice to also bring along a spare!

At least I see you've got two cards, but even so.... buying one more than you think you need is smart!

Ditto lenses, I'd chuck in the bag a cheap Nikon 35mm f2D "just in case" as you know if all else fails that is a general and small lens you could shoot almost everything on.

(yes my logic even extends to bringing along a spare camera, even having a spare hacked Panasonic GH2 in the glove box is better than nothing in a pinch)


Hi David,

As of almost immediately after I started this thread, I purchased an additional Maxoak battery (158) but then realized that there were slimmer options out there. I currently have 3 battery, the original 177 and 2x IDX Duo 95's.

For cards, I agree... I've done a couple shoots that lasted about 3-4 hours and on both I've filled up one of the two cards. I plan on either buying 2 more (or hope that the SSD option is shipping soon).

For the additional lens, I will probably buy a fast wide prime at some point. Lots of canon glass options!

For the additional camera, I own 4x a7s' and always bring at least one with me everywhere!

Thanks :)
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Re: URSA Mini Pro Survival Guide for film newbie

PostSat May 20, 2017 2:49 am

Lee Gauthier wrote:Another way to think about it:

When you record a digital image using a CMOS camera, there are three steps:

...

Yes. ProRes is doing steps 2 (Debayering) and 3 (White balance and ISO) before compressing. It's also discarding any RAW data not used in the image.


This is a terrific explanation! Totally makes sense. Thanks for taking the time to share this.

Rakesh Malik wrote:Yes, that can be a drag. I'm pretty consistent through a given scene, so I avoid some of that, but there's no working around the fact that if the look isn't baked into the clip, there's a good chance that the editor won't use it.

I'd like to have the look baked in... that would be a big advantage for ProRes rather than RAW recording for things like event captures.


Luckily for me I am the editor for most of the projects I shoot, or one of the people working for me... With that in mind I actually like that the LUT is not baked into the shot. It allows me to monitor with the LUT but make more incremental changes in post if the LUT is too powerful for the final result.
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Re: URSA Mini Pro Survival Guide for film newbie

PostSat May 20, 2017 3:21 am

Took the camera out to SF on Wednesday and shot a mix of scenery and city b-roll. Also brought a buddy of mine with me who recently received his order of the Red Raven. He was shooting with the Otus 28mm and 55mm so we got to compare similar focal lengths. We also got to compare the 60fps and 120fps modes on each camera.

My thoughts on the Ursa:

- I was immediately envious of how small and light the Raven is in comparison to the Ursa for quick handheld shots. Coming from the DSLR world I need to get used to the uptime between takes.

- Focus peaking on the Ursa is absolutely mind-blowing! Probably the first time I've nailed every single shot from a full days worth of shooting... and this included shots in direct sunlight where I could barely see the screen!

- In my experience so far (shooting ProRes 422, not RAW) it seems as though the exposure I saw in camera (using false color mostly, and zebras occasionally) plays back on my computer at a higher exposure than expected. I know this comes down to practice and how I am deciding what to focus my exposure on... (see next point)

- I prefer the shots that were slightly under exposed to the shots that were slightly over exposed. The under exposed shots seem easier to grade and closer to the intended look I like

- I am really excited to see this camera in motion, but I am afraid of the weight on a gimbal :oops: . Gonna start doing pushups and crunches immediately (ReadyRig maybe?)

- Zooming all the way out with the 18-35 I could see some aberration, or just weird vignetting and blur in the corners of the right side of the lens

- Using off speed HFR was confusing at first, but now that I get it... holy cow it looks great! The cadence of the slow-motion is very smooth and connected. I haven't liked many DSLR flavored 60fps (except the Sony DSLR's) but this is even better!

- I immediately ordered a cheese plate and top handle the moment I returned from the shoot (what was I thinking lugging this thing around SF!!!??? on a tripod no-less #fail)

- The 177wh Maxoak lasted the entire day and ended up at about 50% by the end. We shot from 12pm-3pm with a late lunch (early dinner?) and then shot again from 5pm to around 9pm.

- On a 120fps shot (windowed sensor) I can clearly see FPN in the shadows of the shot. This is outdoors during golden hour on a well lit street. I could not see it on any other shot the entire day, with any other setting.

Overall I am very pleased with the purchase and excited to get my butt kicked learning how to actually understand and manage the higher dynamic range of the footage from this camera. I really appreciate all of the dialogue and tips you all have shared. I learn a lot from what you share and I come from the school of trial and error. I'm willing to learn and grow, rapidly.
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