Ursa Viewfinder

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Paul Kapp

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Ursa Viewfinder

PostFri Sep 04, 2015 12:53 am

I received my Ursa Viewfinder this morning by courier.

I just did a quick test using my Pocket Camera as I don't have an Ursa.
EVF-package.jpg
EVF-package.jpg (121.95 KiB) Viewed 5149 times

Brilliant.

Using a Hyperdeck Shuttle as a converter and looping through from the Pocket to the viewfinder, it worked first time without any trouble. It's good to have SDI and 4 pin DIN connectors.
Loop-through.jpg
Loop-through.jpg (105.12 KiB) Viewed 5149 times

I'm very relieved to find it has ample adjustment for my +2.5 eyesight.

The screen is indeed crisp and has a good aspect ratio so it feels very natural to look through and focus with.

Build quality is first rate and design seems excellent.
The 3 menu buttons are easily accessible on top and there is a logical and simple menu layout.

This works extremely well on the Pocket.
Menu.jpg
Menu.jpg (207.34 KiB) Viewed 5149 times

Peaking, False Colour, Film to Video, Histogram and Audio meters all working with the Pocket.

Now all I need is an Ursa Mini.
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Lorenzo Straight

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Re: Ursa Viewfinder

PostFri Sep 04, 2015 1:06 am

Cool. Thanks for sharing Paul.
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Paul Kapp

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Re: Ursa Viewfinder

PostFri Sep 04, 2015 1:28 am

Putting this EVF in perspective;

About 4 years ago, when the Hyperdeck Shuttle made HD recording on SSD's possible and affordable, I bought an old F900 at an auction.
But it came without an EVF.
The reason, a colour EVF for an HDCam was $12,000 and a B&W version was $4K+ and would have been more valuable than the camera.
I waited what seemed like ages for either the Alphatron or the Cineroid EVF4RVW to be released.
I settled on the Cineroid which is good, but is LCD not OLED and 540p not 1080p.
The Alphatron has the same retina screen as the Cineroid and still sells for over $1500 $1100.

The Ursa Viewfinder is sensational quality and value
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Peter J. DeCrescenzo

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Re: Ursa Viewfinder

PostFri Sep 04, 2015 2:09 am

Paul Kapp wrote:I received my Ursa Viewfinder this morning by courier. ... Peaking, False Colour, Film to Video, Histogram and Audio meters all working with the Pocket. ...


Thanks for posting, Paul! Your report makes me extremely happy.

Hmm ... my BMPC-4K may have a new appendage someday! Aside from the obvious connection & rigging issues, are there any downsides that you can see?

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Paul Kapp

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Re: Ursa Viewfinder

PostFri Sep 04, 2015 3:00 am

Peter J. DeCrescenzo wrote:..are there any downsides that you can see?

Not really but it's too early to say for sure.
I want to test it on an Ursa Mini of course.
The timer/on switch seems to need movement underneath the EVF.
There may be times when operating it on a tripod means there is nothing to keep the EVF on but I'm not sure.

There is a flat surface under the mount which will easily sit on a cage or such.
EVF-Mount-Underneath.jpg
EVF-Mount-Underneath.jpg (125.86 KiB) Viewed 5101 times

There is a 3/8" standard screw that goes down at right angles to the horizontal mount.
EVF-Mount-Top.jpg
EVF-Mount-Top.jpg (132.6 KiB) Viewed 5101 times

A 1/4" 20 could be used with a washer.
I don't think rigging it will be that hard, much easier than a Sony.
Not as elegant of course, when not used on an Ursa.

p.s. There is no cap for the eyepiece.
People remember to point your EVF to the ground when outdoors and not in use to prevent the sun burning the screen.
This calls for someone to make a plastic plug for it on Shapeways
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rick.lang

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Re: Ursa Viewfinder

PostFri Sep 04, 2015 4:34 am

Paul, nice quick look. Good point to have your muscle memory trained to always point the eyepiece away from sunlight when not in use.

I didn't understand what you meant by "the timer/on switch needs movement..."


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Paul Kapp

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Re: Ursa Viewfinder

PostFri Sep 04, 2015 4:57 am

rick.lang wrote:Paul, nice quick look. Good point to have your muscle memory trained to always point the eyepiece away from sunlight when not in use.
I didn't understand what you meant by "the timer/on switch needs movement..."


Thanks Rick.
Sorry if I didn't make it clear.
I meant the sensor that switches the power off after a brief time without an operator nearby, and that switches it back on again when it detects movement/proximity.
I was concerned that it needs movement underneath such as your shoulder or hand to maintain power.
On closer examination, the sensor is aimed at 45 degrees down and to the rear, so while standing with the camera on a tripod and looking through the EVF, it should stay on.
Sensor.jpg
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rick.lang

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Re: Ursa Viewfinder

PostFri Sep 04, 2015 5:11 am

Thanks, again, Paul! Exciting little toy you have there. Beyond exciting when the bigger toy arrives!


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Paul Kapp

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Re: Ursa Viewfinder

PostFri Sep 04, 2015 5:23 am

rick.lang wrote:Thanks, again, Paul! Exciting little toy you have there. Beyond exciting when the bigger toy arrives!


You bet Rick.
Can hardly wait.
Thanks to BMD for another awesome device.
May they keep causing disruption to the industry.
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Peter J. DeCrescenzo

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Re: Ursa Viewfinder

PostFri Sep 04, 2015 4:30 pm

Paul: Can you confirm the pin-outs for the URSA VF's power connector? Or at least what's working for you (with the usual YMMV disclaimer).

Also, if you can provide a link to an appropriate 4-pin female XLR connector part, that would be great. Actually, I don't know if it's a standard size XLR or a mini-size. Thanks for any clarification.

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Denny Smith

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Re: Ursa Viewfinder

PostFri Sep 04, 2015 4:46 pm

Peter, it's the same as the power connection on the URSA, an Industry standard 4-pin XLR power connection, as used on all the ENG cameras. All of the commercially built cables follow,the same standard, pin 1 = negative pin 4 = positive. Pins 2&3 are used for 6VDC and other special application connections, like a talley light, or communication connections on some equipment. Four pin XLRs were used for power to prevent miss-connections to preamps with 12/6VDC connections. Four-pin connectors were also used on commas headsets, as they also carried a 6-12 VDC power connection to power the headsets. Matertek sells both ready made cables and the 4-pin XLR connectors.
For more information on pinouts see: http://pinoutsguide.com/Home/xlr4_pinout.shtml
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Peter J. DeCrescenzo

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Re: Ursa Viewfinder

PostFri Sep 04, 2015 5:34 pm

Thanks, Denny!

I happen to have sitting right here on my desk a standard 4-pin female XLR connector attached to a big, old 12VDC output camera AC power supply, and also a PAG snap-on type connector I use with my Anton-Bauer batteries -- and a soldering iron.

Hmm ... now all I need is an URSA VF! ;)

Cheers!

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Denny Smith

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Re: Ursa Viewfinder

PostFri Sep 04, 2015 5:43 pm

Peter, take a meter and check the pinouts, you should not need the soldering iron!
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Peter J. DeCrescenzo

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Re: Ursa Viewfinder

PostFri Sep 04, 2015 6:56 pm

Roger that. I've got a volt/ohm meter, too.

I'll use the soldering iron to connect the old 4-pin XLR connector to PAG (or more likely, a d-tap/p-tap) connector for use with my batts & AB plate. (I don't have much use for the ancient camera power supply anymore).

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Illya Friedman

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Re: Ursa Viewfinder

PostSun Sep 06, 2015 8:00 am

Hot Rod Cameras in Hollywood, California has large shipment of these we expect any day now.

I'm spent 6-hours shooting out in bright sunlight with the BMCC today, I wished I had this VF!!

If I were to build an Blackmagic URSA VF mount and power solution for the Cinema Camera / Production Camera would anyone else be interested in it?

I.
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Matt White

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Re: Ursa Viewfinder

PostSun Sep 06, 2015 1:35 pm

I am looking a way to use the viewfinder with the Pocket Camera. I am getting the Ursa Mini too, and would love to be able to use the viewfinder on whichever camera is needed.
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Paul Kapp

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Re: Ursa Viewfinder

PostSun Sep 06, 2015 2:57 pm

The Ursa EVF will work with the Pocket but it will need fairly substantial custom rigging. You will need to supply 12v power to the 4 pin DIN input and convert HDMI from the Pocket to SDI for the EVF. It is a bit heavy and so with rigging it will be even heavier. But you will be able to nail focus, exposure, framing etc. Getting it to be at the right height and position will be a challenge too. As it is designed specifically for the Ursas, it is not ideal for DSLR type rigging and will be a bit of an inelegant solution. But it can be done. It will just look like a bit of a Frankencamera. I think I will be using the Pocket more for hand held and moving shots with a gimbal and super 8 style like with the Redrock Micro Retroflex.
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Matt White

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Re: Ursa Viewfinder

PostSun Sep 06, 2015 8:05 pm

No doubt it would be odd looking, but there are lots of smart people figuring out clever solutions to make best use of this gear, so I am hopeful someone will come up with a good solution. If not, that's ok too. Perhaps I will use the Mini so much it won't matter. :)
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Peter J. DeCrescenzo

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Re: Ursa Viewfinder

PostSun Sep 06, 2015 11:23 pm

Illya Friedman wrote:Hot Rod Cameras in Hollywood, California has large shipment of these we expect any day now. I'm spent 6-hours shooting out in bright sunlight with the BMCC today, I wished I had this VF!!

If I were to build an Blackmagic URSA VF mount and power solution for the Cinema Camera / Production Camera would anyone else be interested in it?


If the URSA VF is as good as it appears to be (for the price), no doubt HRC will sell every unit you can get your hands on.

I'm the sort who'll figure out a solid way to rig & power a VF to my BMPC-4K (I already have most of the bits), but I'm sure many others will be very interested to see a HRC VF mounting & powering solution. Cheers!

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Marshall Harrington

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Re: Ursa Viewfinder

PostWed Sep 09, 2015 3:26 pm

Illya Friedman wrote:Hot Rod Cameras in Hollywood, California has large shipment of these we expect any day now.

I'm spent 6-hours shooting out in bright sunlight with the BMCC today, I wished I had this VF!!

If I were to build an Blackmagic URSA VF mount and power solution for the Cinema Camera / Production Camera would anyone else be interested in it?

I.
Yup! Can you solve the cap problem as well!
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Peter J. DeCrescenzo

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Re: Ursa Viewfinder

PostWed Sep 09, 2015 4:11 pm

FYI: Another customer connected an URSA VF to a BMCC:
http://www.bmcuser.com/showthread.php?1 ... ema-Camera

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Re: Ursa Viewfinder

PostWed Sep 09, 2015 4:27 pm

Man, I love the false color on this thing. Where the skin tones are... the pink color contrasts with the values directly below and above it so you know when you're on. I love that. Some other companies don't do that.
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Iwan Cvitko

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Re: Ursa Viewfinder

PostTue Sep 15, 2015 12:22 pm

At IBC, both at the BMD and Wooden Camera booths, I was told Wooden Camera are going to make some changes to the BMD evf so it can be mounted on any camera.

Wooden Camera are about to take it apart to see what's possible. They're planning to remove all the horizontal plastic (yes, plastic?) parts, so only the evf itself remains. Which would make it awesomely small, I think. Cables would come out of the bottom or side, they weren't sure yet. The new rig could look like their UVF Mount V2.

They might even sell the kit, including the BMD evf as a package, so we wouldn't have to take things apart ourselves. No word on powering options.


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Peter J. DeCrescenzo

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Re: Ursa Viewfinder

PostTue Sep 15, 2015 4:48 pm

Mounting an URSA VF on a BMCC or BMPC-4K might not require additional mounting hardware.

The VF's built-in bracket & 1/4-20 bolt looks like it'll mount to one of these camera's top threaded holes, and be usable as-is.

Optionally, you might add a relatively inexpensive top cheeseplate (available from many vendors) for mounting flexibility. Doesn't look complicated.

The VF's attached SDI cable is quite short. An inexpensive short BNC-to-BNC cable with an inline female-to-female BNC adapter (or a purpose-built cable) will probably be needed, preferably one with a right-angle connector at the camera end.

Plus of course an external battery with a connected 4-pin XLR female power cable (probably with a d-tap/p-tap connector at the other end).

Pretty standard stuff.

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Peter J. DeCrescenzo

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Re: Ursa Viewfinder

PostWed Sep 16, 2015 12:43 am

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Paul Kapp

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Re: Ursa Viewfinder

PostSat Sep 19, 2015 4:30 am

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Peter J. DeCrescenzo

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Re: Ursa Viewfinder

PostSat Sep 19, 2015 4:45 pm

Paul Kapp wrote:... Peaking, False Colour, Film to Video, Histogram and Audio meters all working with the Pocket [via Hyperdeck Shuttle]. ...


Paul, could you verify for us whether or not the VF's built-in Film-to-Video feature actually works without an URSA camera?

Specifically, when your BMPCC is in RAW record mode (and its HDMI outputs Film gamma), can you toggle Film-to-Video in the VF's menu and make its OLED switch between a Video or Film gamma appearance?

There's been a conflicting report, so it would be great to verify what you're seeing. Further clarification is appreciated. Cheers!

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Paul Kapp

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Re: Ursa Viewfinder

PostSun Sep 20, 2015 12:04 am

Peter J. DeCrescenzo wrote:
Paul Kapp wrote:... Peaking, False Colour, Film to Video, Histogram and Audio meters all working with the Pocket [via Hyperdeck Shuttle]. ...


Paul, could you verify for us whether or not the VF's built-in Film-to-Video feature actually works without an URSA camera?

Specifically, when your BMPCC is in RAW record mode (and its HDMI outputs Film gamma), can you toggle Film-to-Video in the VF's menu and make its OLED switch between a Video or Film gamma appearance?

There's been a conflicting report, so it would be great to verify what you're seeing. Further clarification is appreciated. Cheers!

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Hi Peter.
In the photo above named Menu.jpg,
in my first post, it shows the Film to Video is on. I'll check it in the next few days to see if it is actually working.
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John Simatos

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Re: Ursa Viewfinder

PostSun Sep 20, 2015 1:55 pm

Is it possible to turn off the overlay display being fed into the viewfinder from the ursa? I can't seem to turn it off and just use the evf overlay.


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Fabio Lanzone

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Re: Ursa Viewfinder

PostSun Sep 20, 2015 2:09 pm

John Simatos wrote:Is it possible to turn off the overlay display being fed into the viewfinder from the ursa? I can't seem to turn it off and just use the evf overlay.


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Yes. URSA display menu > front SDI overlays and there you choose all/guides only/off.
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Re: Ursa Viewfinder

PostSun Sep 20, 2015 3:10 pm

D'oh! Thank you


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rick.lang

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Re: Ursa Viewfinder

PostMon Sep 21, 2015 1:43 am

In fact CaptainHook has said, that's the way it should be done. Overlays off in the camera settings for the front SDI and use the overlays calculated by the BMVF when you set the BMVF to display overlays.


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Paul Kapp

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Re: Ursa Viewfinder

PostMon Sep 21, 2015 2:14 am

Peter J. DeCrescenzo wrote:Paul, could you verify for us whether or not the VF's built-in Film-to-Video feature actually works without an URSA camera?

Specifically, when your BMPCC is in RAW record mode (and its HDMI outputs Film gamma), can you toggle Film-to-Video in the VF's menu and make its OLED switch between a Video or Film gamma appearance?

There's been a conflicting report, so it would be great to verify what you're seeing. Further clarification is appreciated. Cheers!
-


Hi Peter.
It seems the Film to Video setting in the EVF has no effect on the image from the Pocket after all.

BMPCC Recording > Video
EVF Film to Video OFF:
EVF-Pocket-video.jpg
EVF-Pocket-video.jpg (305.9 KiB) Viewed 3673 times


BMPCC Recording > Film
With EVF Film to Video ON:
EVF-video-on.jpg
EVF-video-on.jpg (300.31 KiB) Viewed 3673 times


With EVF Film to Video OFF:
EVF-video-off.jpg
EVF-video-off.jpg (309.24 KiB) Viewed 3673 times
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Peter J. DeCrescenzo

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Re: Ursa Viewfinder

PostMon Sep 21, 2015 4:30 am

Thanks for the follow-up, Paul, and especially for the attached photos. Unfortunately, your news is not what I was hoping.

It appears the URSA Viewfinder's Film to Video feature currently requires an URSA camera.

A major bummer for BMCC, BMPCC, and BMPC-4K users.

Thanks again!

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Re: Ursa Viewfinder

PostMon Sep 21, 2015 4:11 pm

Looks like if you want to use the new EVF, current BMCC, BMPCC, and BMPC4K owners are going to have to "upgrade" to a Mini, might as well make it a 4.6K...
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Peter J. DeCrescenzo

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Re: Ursa Viewfinder

PostMon Sep 21, 2015 4:26 pm

Denny Smith wrote:Looks like if you want to use the new EVF, current BMCC, BMPCC, and BMPC4K owners are going to have to "upgrade" to a Mini, might as well make it a 4.6K...


Apparently only the Film to Video and record tally light features can't currently be controlled by a non-URSA camera, so it's not a total loss.

I agree that the URSA Mini 4.6K is a winner, and it's my preferred choice -- for some point in the future.

In the meantime, partly as an incremental purchase in advance of eventually owning an URSA Mini, I may pick up an URSA Viewfinder for its superior features (1080p resolution, OLED, SDI, & on-screen tools) and use it with my BMPC-4K.

I'll cross my fingers that BMD will add to the BMPC-4K's firmware the ability to toggle the VF's Video to Film feature via SDI. Of course, that may never happen, but I doubt it's impossible, and would be of great benefit to many pre-URSA BMD camera owners. Here's hoping such an update for older BMD cameras is somewhere near the top of the company's mile-long "to do" list. :-)

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Re: Ursa Viewfinder

PostFri Oct 09, 2015 6:45 am

I've come across a bit of a worrying problem, and I wanted to get some clarification on it.

I haven't got a camera that works directly out of SDI, so I grabbed my DP7-Pro, connected my laptop to it, turned on the HDMI->SDI loop and connected the EVF.
I get image on the DP7, but no image shows up through the EVF.

I'm worried that I may have a dud. Could it be the EVF, or is it the loop through from the DP7 not compatible with what the EVF is wanting?
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Tristan Pemberton

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Re: Ursa Viewfinder

PostFri Oct 09, 2015 6:54 am

What refresh/frame rate are you outputting?

Does the DP7 do a scale as it's a 720p monitor?
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Sebastian Kaz

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Re: Ursa Viewfinder

PostFri Oct 09, 2015 7:15 am

I'm outputting 1080p60 (can't seem to get it to 24/25/30p)
The screen itself downscales as it's a 1280x800 display, but the loop through is 1080p.
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Tristan Pemberton

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Re: Ursa Viewfinder

PostFri Oct 09, 2015 9:06 am

Does the manual state what the maximum frame rate should be? It may not handle 60fps.


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Sebastian Kaz

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Re: Ursa Viewfinder

PostFri Oct 09, 2015 10:02 am

That's the thing, I looked at the specs of the DP7 and it says output is 1080p30 max.
It doesn't state if it's HD-SDI or 3G-SDI, but I'm going to say the latter from the 1080p30 spec.
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Denny Smith

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Re: Ursa Viewfinder

PostFri Oct 09, 2015 5:43 pm

The EVF is looking for a video, 4.2.2 10/12-bit progressive signal. Most laptops/computers output a RGB progressive/interlaced pull down signal, which is probably not going to work with the BM EVF.
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rick.lang

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Ursa Viewfinder

PostMon Nov 23, 2015 1:31 am

I hope BMD doesn't read this post. Just to help you gain a perspective for the BMVF, here's some breakthrough technology shown at InterBEE 2015 by Astro Design. I don't know how anyone who buys the BM Viewfinder will be able to hold their head up after looking at what the competition offers as the latest and greatest comparable viewfinder is coming to market (hint: HD OLED from 4K SDI feed!):

http://www.newsshooter.com/2015/11/22/i ... iewfinder/


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Sebastian Kaz

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Re: Ursa Viewfinder

PostMon Nov 23, 2015 4:58 am

Whilst they could be a force to be reckoned with, it's still $7000 and shipping next year, and BMD's is $1500 and shipping now.
And I read that it's 4K from HDMI only, not SDI.
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Re: Ursa Viewfinder

PostMon Nov 23, 2015 11:01 am

rick.lang wrote:I hope BMD doesn't read this post. Just to help you gain a perspective for the BMVF, here's some breakthrough technology shown at InterBEE 2015 by Astro Design. I don't know how anyone who buys the BM Viewfinder will be able to hold their head up after looking at what the competition offers as the latest and greatest comparable viewfinder is coming to market (hint: HD OLED from 4K SDI feed!):

http://www.newsshooter.com/2015/11/22/i ... iewfinder/


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It looks nice and Astro do make nice gear.

But it's a 1920 EVF that takes a 4K input. Not a 4K EVF.

BM's EVF is also a 1920 EVF.

JB
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rick.lang

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Ursa Viewfinder

PostMon Nov 23, 2015 2:25 pm

Sebastian Kaz wrote:Whilst they could be a force to be reckoned with, it's still $7000 and shipping next year, and BMD's is $1500 and shipping now.
And I read that it's 4K from HDMI only, not SDI.


I think it's both, but you may be right! The article doesn't mention 4K SDI so I'm uncertain now that you questioned it.


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Last edited by rick.lang on Mon Nov 23, 2015 2:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Ursa Viewfinder

PostMon Nov 23, 2015 2:31 pm

John Brawley wrote:
rick.lang wrote:I hope BMD doesn't read this post. Just to help you gain a perspective for the BMVF, here's some breakthrough technology shown at InterBEE 2015 by Astro Design. I don't know how anyone who buys the BM Viewfinder will be able to hold their head up after looking at what the competition offers as the latest and greatest comparable viewfinder is coming to market (hint: HD OLED from 4K SDI feed!):

http://www.newsshooter.com/2015/11/22/i ... iewfinder/


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It looks nice and Astro do make nice gear.

But it's a 1920 EVF that takes a 4K input. Not a 4K EVF.

BM's EVF is also a 1920 EVF.

JB


John, apologies! I guess I needed to put some kind of emoticon on my post. I meant my remarks to be sarcastic as in my mind, the $7,000 EVF offered very little over the $1,500 BMVF. It did have some additional adjustments to the image in the viewfinder, but I truly think anyone will be proud to buy the BMVF and put the savings to other uses. Nothing to hang ones head about coming from BMD in this area. Yes, not knocking the competition either as it's quite high end, but personally very happy about the BMVF that has similar specs.


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Re: Ursa Viewfinder

PostWed Nov 25, 2015 2:21 pm

Hmmmm, I didn't notice any breakthrough technology with that $7K viewfinder. Anyway, while waiting for my Ursa Mini 4.6K to arrive, I've at least been able to play with the BMD EVF and it is brilliant. The image is like looking through a film camera reflex viewing system only brighter ..... not a pixel to be seen anywhere. Personally, I wouldn't waste my money on the competition regardless of price :lol:
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Re: Ursa Viewfinder

PostMon Dec 07, 2015 4:30 am

I just received my BM EVF as I await the URSA mini.

As it's been in stock with my reseller, I thought I may as well put it to use on my pocket rig. After wiring it up, and a few test shots, my verdict is it's really a pleasure to use. What a great piece of kit. I might have to buy another when my Mini arrives as I don't know if I can use the pocket with out it!
_DSF5304 sm.jpg
BM EVF on Pocket Camera rig
_DSF5304 sm.jpg (515.98 KiB) Viewed 2393 times

_DSF5303 sm.jpg
BM EVF on Pocket Camera rig
_DSF5303 sm.jpg (652.07 KiB) Viewed 2393 times
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Re: Ursa Viewfinder

PostMon Dec 07, 2015 5:33 am

Very creative rig!


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