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Suggestions for UMP's New Year resolution

PostPosted: Mon Jan 01, 2018 1:32 am
by OwenCrowley
A bit late for Australia, granted, but before midnight in the USofA's Hawaii coast may we suggest what we'd like to see in the Ursa Mini Pro? I'm thinking we can suggest stuff that might be possible without a hardware modification. This is all to improve a good thing. I purchased my UMP just this month and am loving it.

Who has suggestions? OK, I will offer a couple; Others please chime in with yours.


AUDIO INPUT CHANNELS 3 AND 4 - How to use the four channels

Rather than pad one XLR to the other (which as implemented does not appear to be useful at any rate), why not offer the option to pad XLR channels 1 and 2 at -20 dB to channels 3 and 4, respectively? That would be super useful to solo shooters in chaotic environments such as noisy cities, sports stadiums, etc. Given how inaccessible the input gain controls are during shoulder shooting, such a feature is nearly essential.


REPURPOSE THE "HFR" BUTTON

I really do not get the "HFR" button on the UMP. It is a button that is guaranteed to do the wrong thing. If you press it intentionally, it exposes the result incorrectly because it switches the mode to a different frame rate without regard to exposure control. If you press it by accident, it exposes incorrectly and in addition records at the wrong frame rate. Meanwhile, it would be nice to have more function keys on the camera body. So here is what I suggest:

A) Transform the "HFR" button into a programmable function key.

B) Make "HFR" one of the selectable functions. (For backwards compatibility, the default functionality of the "HFR" button can be to toggle HFR on and off).

C) Redefine the "HFR" feature to specify HFR to define frame rate plus whether to also adjust shutter or aperture (lens permitting) or both or neither to maintain exposure.

Even if (C) is impractical to implement, (A) and (B) by themselves would be very useful.


MITIGATE THE INACCESSIBLE INPUT GAIN ISSUE

When shoulder recording with a lens that weighs a couple or three kilos, it is hard to manipulate the input gain controls while shooting. Those knobs should have been on the forward control panel. But given where they are currently located, maybe there could be a software mitigation, such as making input gain up/down a set of function key options (master input up/down; or channel 1 input up/down; or channel 2 input up/down).


MAKE THE SIDE HANDLE BUTTONS MORE USEFUL

For those of us who shoot with non-EF or manual lenses, the auto iris and auto focus buttons on the side handle are useless. Why not make them into programmable function keys? During ENG single shooter situations, I would love to use those buttons to manipulate input gain (as suggested above).

That's it from me. Happy New Year, all!

Re: Suggestions for UMP's New Year resolution

PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 7:28 am
by Denny Smith
The grip buttons are Lanc control remote buttons, not really reprogramable. Camera on,y has audio preamps for two channels, so no way to add 3 &4.

Re: Suggestions for UMP's New Year resolution

PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 5:19 pm
by OwenCrowley
Roger that about the grip buttons.

I suspect there is hardware for four audio preamps, based on this from the UMP manual: “Your URSA Mini Pro 4.6K currently supports two channels of audio. In a future software update, up to four channels will be available, divided into pairs.”

Re: Suggestions for UMP's New Year resolution

PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 2:28 am
by Denny Smith
Ah.... good catch Owen, I forgot about that note. Well 4-tracks of audio could be nice, even if two are a re-mix from the first two inputs.
Cheers

Re: Suggestions for UMP's New Year resolution

PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 3:25 pm
by timbutt2
Wait, from what you wrote about the HFR button I'm wondering if your complaint is that the camera doesn't do automatic exposure compensation for the changed frame rate. I think this is to be expected when changing frame rates. Let me break it down below.

Project Frame Rate = 24 fps
Recording Frame Rate = 48 fps
Exposure @ 24 fps = T4
Exposure @ 48 fps = T2.8

So you're asking that the camera automatically expose the lens from T4 to T2.8 when you press HFR and go from 24 fps to 48 fps. Am I correct in this is what you're asking?

If so, let me address the concern. That only works if the camera is able to control the iris of the lens. If the lens is a manual lens then you have to change the iris manually. So the camera can't automatically make this change.

If the iris can't be controlled by the camera you're asking for a shutter angle change to automatically happen. Shutter angle for 24 fps is 180° and exposing for a full stop of light loss would result in 48 fps being 360°. Now the higher frame rate does mean that the motion will be smoother from the extra frames, but then the 360° shutter angle will still give more motion blur than 180° would. Normally I shoot 180° shutter angle even when shooting HFR. I may only make a small change based on flicker from electronic sources to get rid of that flicker.

I'd rather the camera not automatically switch to 360° to compensate for an exposure change from using HFR for slow-motion. I'd rather change my iris, even if I have to do it manually. I am against your suggestion as a result.

Correct me if I'm interpreting what you're suggesting wrongly.

Re: Suggestions for UMP's New Year resolution

PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 3:25 pm
by Marc Bartholomew
My biggest wants are thus:

Get the windowed mode on some kind of shortcut! PLEASE.

Let us re-program focus and iris and HFR buttons on camera and on grip to whatever we want! (Just curious, does ANYONE use them as intended?)

4 channel audio would really be the bees knees.

Presets should have the option of NOT changing current WB or other selectable things. I could see full presets making sense in a studio, but this is an ENG camera after all... (oh yeah, and let us put preset switching on a button of our choice!)

And the F1 F2 settings, in preset mode, you can't set real FPS rates. you can set 59 but not 59.97, or 23 but not 23.98, etc.

Make the Bluetooth app for iphone, not just ipad. I could really see strapping an old phone to the side of the camera. (And put windowed mode control on the app as well, I swear BM doesn't want us to use it in that mode...)

WB preset switching mode with the toggle button instead of just incrementing temperature up/down. When I'm shouldered up going from inside to outside it would be really handy to just switch WB presets with that toggle switch, since the increment is slow and it doesn't change tint.

That's all I can think of for now.

Re: Suggestions for UMP's New Year resolution

PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 12:42 am
by Robert Niessner
I'd like to get a better notification when recordings stops because of dropped frames.

The problem is that the recording symbol just turns from red to gray with an exclamation mark.
It would better if that exclamation mark symbol would be blinking on yellow ground after recording has stopped because that can be realized by your mind much easier than just a color change.
I mean, for me it IS a little bit of an important information if my camera just stopped recording without my consent.

Re: Suggestions for UMP's New Year resolution

PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 1:03 am
by Robert Niessner
Oh, and an option of pre-recording let's say 2 or 3 seconds.
That would be so helpful in some situations.

Re: Suggestions for UMP's New Year resolution

PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 5:51 pm
by OwenCrowley
Great suggestins, Marc and Robert, thank you.

Tim, I totally agree with what you say. I personally do not use or have auto iris or even auto focus.

My suggestion was an attempt to fix the HFR button by making the needed exposure compensation configurable. In other words, tell the HFR button exactly what to do in addition to change the frame rate, rather have the camera make automatic exposure adjustments due to frame rate. (There is already a rudimentary auto-exposure setting, which I also do not use.)

The fact is, I don’t like having any HRF button. I was only trying to find a way to improve it in case anybody out there actually likes to use it.

Re: Suggestions for UMP's New Year resolution

PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 7:42 am
by Vess Stoytchev
Hey,

it would be nice to view all your shot footage in thumbnails. Also if you change the format you are filming in, right now you won't see the previously recorded footage. When the gallery is opened, can everything just be there, please. If I shoot time lapse and then move on to UHD 25fps, take a cut and enter the gallery - only the UHD video will display. I have to go back and turn on time lapse to view the time lapse.

On the plus side. I guess everyone has been annoyed at the iris wheel being impossible to operate when the screen is open. My colleague accidentally discovered that you can change the iris with the rewind forward and backward buttons. Nice touch Blackmagic, that's great :)

Re: Suggestions for UMP's New Year resolution

PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 8:08 pm
by Robert Niessner
Vess Stoytchev wrote: My colleague accidentally discovered that you can change the iris with the rewind forward and backward buttons. Nice touch Blackmagic, that's great :)


Time to read the camera manual ;-)

Re: Suggestions for UMP's New Year resolution

PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 5:32 pm
by timbutt2
One major request I still have as well is that the Camera Setup application gets updated to allow for adding LUTs to the camera. This is similar to how the Video Assist Setup app works for the Video Assists. This will also enable LUTs to stay on the camera when performing a Firmware Update. That's my hope.

This depends on whether this can be done with the camera. I'm sure it can be since it works with the Video Assist.

Two methods for adding LUTs to a camera will then exist. 1) Via CFast 2.0 Card. 2) Via Camera Setup Software.

Please, make this happen.