Getting an Ursa Mini 4.6k today, recommendations?

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Brad Ballew

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Getting an Ursa Mini 4.6k today, recommendations?

PostSat Mar 03, 2018 2:32 pm

Hi all!

So it's been a couple of years since I owned a Blackmagic Camera. I had the original cinema camera, the pocket camera and the micro 4k years ago, but went on hiatus. Long story short, I miss the color science of the BM camera line, it's just beautiful, and decided to jump back in. So I have an Ursa Mini 4.6K arriving later today.


So right now I have just ordered the bare minimum to get started. I ordered a v-mount plate/battery, and a couple of these CFast cards: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01MZ ... UTF8&psc=1

Past that, I'm planning on doing a bit of research on accessories. Thought I'd ask the folks who have had one for a while for recommendations also.

First, how bad is the flip out screen in daylight? Anyone just using that, or do most of you use the EVF or another monitor?

If the flip out screen doesn't work for me, I am a bit torn between getting the EVF or a monitor. How's the EVF, what have you all preferred using?

Any problems with any of the approved CFast cards? Anyone have issues with the cards I linked to above?

How is the Blackmagic shoulder support kit? I read somewhere that the pad was uncomfortable. Any other shoulder kits that you all have liked?

Any other quirks I might want to be aware of or accessories I might think about getting that wouldn't immediately come to mind?

Thanks!
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Robert Niessner

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Re: Getting an Ursa Mini 4.6k today, recommendations?

PostSat Mar 03, 2018 2:45 pm

Brad Ballew wrote:First, how bad is the flip out screen in daylight? Anyone just using that, or do most of you use the EVF or another monitor?


Brad, I am using the flip out screen almost exclusively. In bright sunlight it is very hard to see anything - two weeks ago I had a shooting on snowy mountains at almost 3000 meters on a sunny day and it was impossible to judge focus, even with a sunhood on the screen.

For inside shootings the flip out screen is bright enough and I like its quality.

I don't like EVFs because I'm wearing glasses and most EVFs cannot correct high enough for my eyes.
But others here have nothing but praise for BMDs EVF.

One other possibility for you would be the latest 5" or 7" ultra bright monitors from SmallHD which can be used in bright sunlight easily. Although they add some weight.
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Jason Montalvo

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Re: Getting an Ursa Mini 4.6k today, recommendations?

PostSat Mar 03, 2018 2:51 pm

Hey Brad!

You must be super excited about jumping back in, especially with the 4.6K. I have the UMP and can probably shed some light on your questions:

In regards to the screen/evf I'm using the BM EVF and absolutely love it, in situations where I cannot mount the EVF I lean on an external monitor (SmallHD 702). I don't really love or trust the built in monitor, at least on the UMP.

In regards to the CFast cards I'd recommend taking a look at the Komputerbay cards https://www.amazon.com/Komputerbay-Professional-3700x-256GB-CFast/dp/B01NBAVA26/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1520088617&sr=8-2&keywords=komputerbay+256gb, you can get a 256GB card for less then the Sandisk you linked and they work very well.

I have the shoulder kit and don't love the baseplate, the Zaucto VCT lives on my camera with the other bits from the BM Kit.

Hope this helps, and best of luck with the camera!!
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Brad Ballew

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Re: Getting an Ursa Mini 4.6k today, recommendations?

PostSat Mar 03, 2018 5:34 pm

Thanks! Yeah, super excited about getting back on the Blackmagic bandwagon. ;-)

Man I wish I would have known about the Komputerbay cards. That's definitely a better deal. I'll be needing to get more cards anyway, so I'll for sure give them a try.
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rick.lang

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Re: Getting an Ursa Mini 4.6k today, recommendations?

PostSat Mar 03, 2018 5:47 pm

Brad, welcome back!

I think everyone has different needs so sometimes recommendations from one person don’t have much usefulness for another. That said the BMVF is a treat most of the time. It’s almost a necessity if you’re shooting with the camera on your shoulder. It has quite a large diopter range so it may be fine for your eyes. Mine is set to 1.5 and that’s a modest setting given the range available.

I’m not sure if you have the 4” monitor on the BMP or the 5” monitor on the UM4.6K, but I can use the monitor outdoors with varying success depending upon the daylight. Perfect for overcast skies of course, and useless in very bright situations when the BMVF is used.

The biggest negative about the BMVF is the way it is mounted to the camera. Many times that relatively fixed orientation can make it difficult to use when you just can’t get your eye close to it. Using Wooden Cameras mod to get the BMVF on an arm for the greatest flexibility in placement is a great solution, but it requires some skill to put together and voids your warranty. John Brawley uses that solution, but I wouldn’t trust my poor dexterity to pull it off.

One way the standard BMVF is still useful in awkward situations: I set the BMVF to display false colour and use it to quickly judge light levels from a distance while using the 5” monitor for framing and general viewing of the scene.

If you go the route of a third-party high bright monitor, I’d get something really bright. To me 1000 nits is still not enough illumination. Hopefully 1500 nits is alright but my suspicion is 2000 nits is preferable for nearly every situation.


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Robert Niessner

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Re: Getting an Ursa Mini 4.6k today, recommendations?

PostSat Mar 03, 2018 6:46 pm

Rick, Brad is getting the UM46k so he has the 5" screen like you and me.
I am also having the Atomos Shogun Inferno with its 1500 nits - which is nice and quite view-able in sunlight. But I'd say that 3000 nits still would be much better, like the new SmallHD 703.

The SmallHD Ultrabright 5" and 7" monitors still got 2200 nits, which is nice too. But they are heavy and need more power than the bright versions with 1000 nits.

Weight is the reason I leave my Shogun Inferno more often than I'd like in the office.

On a side note:
My UM46k worked flawlessly in the cold conditions of the mountains at -15° C.
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rick.lang

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Re: Getting an Ursa Mini 4.6k today, recommendations?

PostSat Mar 03, 2018 8:12 pm

I believe you, now we’re talking, 3000 nits best.


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Jamie LeJeune

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Re: Getting an Ursa Mini 4.6k today, recommendations?

PostSat Mar 03, 2018 10:19 pm

If you plan on doing most of your shooting from the shoulder, you'll need an EVF. BMD's is good, but NAB is right around the corner, so it might be worth waiting to see what new options are released. Also, if you plan to shoot mostly from the shoulder, the Ursa Mini Pro is much better set up for that kind of shooting. The drawback to the Pro v. the Ursa Mini 4.6K is that the LCD screen is smaller and not as good on the Pro.

If you won't be shooting from the shoulder much, the 4.6K Ursa Mini is a great camera. I'd skip the shoulder kit and would avoid having to use a VCT plate -- it all just adds a lot of unnecessary weight, which means a beefier tripod, which is more weight, then you need a bigger jib, a more sturdy dolly, and on and on.

I have the BMD shoulder kit, a second Wooden Camera shoulder rig, the BMD EVF, and a Zacuto VCT plate, but I use all that stuff less than 20% of the time. Most of the time I have the camera stripped down to just the body, side handle and a slim Switronix battery. That way I can use lighter weight support gear, and even grab handheld shots from angles other than shoulder height. For shoots that are mostly on sticks where you only need a quick shot from the shoulder, you can flip out the screen, rest of the back of the brick battery on your shoulder and grab a quick shot or two. As long as you're using lightweight zooms or primes, not trying to do this for more than a few minutes nor shooting in bright sunlight, it works well enough to be worth the weight savings.

Also for a lightweight setup, Kessler has their Kwik Release system with Arca Swiss compatible camera plates that offer mounting holes for 15mm rods. This is a super lightweight way to get rods on your camera when needed.

To mount accessories on top, I'd skip the large, heavy cage systems and also avoid BMD's own top handle which is heavy and requires tools to attach/detach. Instead, from SmallRig get a 150mm NATO rail and a few NATO clamps. Attach the rail down through the top of the camera, put the clamps onto your accessories, and you can build up or strip down your camera in seconds. I've got the BMD EVF, a Wooden Camera top handle (to which I attach a Sennheiser ME66), and a 7 inch monitor w/ arm, that all have NATO clamps on them. Each one can be rapidly added or removed based on what I need to do at any given moment.

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Brad Ballew

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Re: Getting an Ursa Mini 4.6k today, recommendations?

PostSun Mar 04, 2018 1:48 pm

rick.lang wrote:

One way the standard BMVF is still useful in awkward situations: I set the BMVF to display false colour and use it to quickly judge light levels from a distance while using the 5” monitor for framing and general viewing of the scene.



This is exactly what I was thinking yesterday when playing around with the settings on my camera. Keep false color on the BM screen and use a brighter external monitor, probably that SmallHD 702, to compose shots and get focus.

Thanks!
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Re: Getting an Ursa Mini 4.6k today, recommendations?

PostSun Mar 04, 2018 1:53 pm

Jamie LeJeune wrote:If you plan on doing most of your shooting from the shoulder, you'll need an EVF. BMD's is good, but NAB is right around the corner, so it might be worth waiting to see what new options are released. Also, if you plan to shoot mostly from the shoulder, the Ursa Mini Pro is much better set up for that kind of shooting. The drawback to the Pro v. the Ursa Mini 4.6K is that the LCD screen is smaller and not as good on the Pro.

If you won't be shooting from the shoulder much, the 4.6K Ursa Mini is a great camera. I'd skip the shoulder kit and would avoid having to use a VCT plate -- it all just adds a lot of unnecessary weight, which means a beefier tripod, which is more weight, then you need a bigger jib, a more sturdy dolly, and on and on.

I have the BMD shoulder kit, a second Wooden Camera shoulder rig, the BMD EVF, and a Zacuto VCT plate, but I use all that stuff less than 20% of the time. Most of the time I have the camera stripped down to just the body, side handle and a slim Switronix battery. That way I can use lighter weight support gear, and even grab handheld shots from angles other than shoulder height. For shoots that are mostly on sticks where you only need a quick shot from the shoulder, you can flip out the screen, rest of the back of the brick battery on your shoulder and grab a quick shot or two. As long as you're using lightweight zooms or primes, not trying to do this for more than a few minutes nor shooting in bright sunlight, it works well enough to be worth the weight savings.

Also for a lightweight setup, Kessler has their Kwik Release system with Arca Swiss compatible camera plates that offer mounting holes for 15mm rods. This is a super lightweight way to get rods on your camera when needed.

To mount accessories on top, I'd skip the large, heavy cage systems and also avoid BMD's own top handle which is heavy and requires tools to attach/detach. Instead, from SmallRig get a 150mm NATO rail and a few NATO clamps. Attach the rail down through the top of the camera, put the clamps onto your accessories, and you can build up or strip down your camera in seconds. I've got the BMD EVF, a Wooden Camera top handle (to which I attach a Sennheiser ME66), and a 7 inch monitor w/ arm, that all have NATO clamps on them. Each one can be rapidly added or removed based on what I need to do at any given moment.

Ursa_Mini_Rig.jpg


Wow Thanks!

yeah, my camera will mostly be living on a tripod. However, I would like to have a light and lean shoulder kit of some sort for the times I need to go handheld.

I don't like to kit out my camera more than I have to, so I appreciate the suggestions, especially when it comes to weight. I do a decent bit of traveling and keeping things lean really comes in handy when hiking around places. :-)
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FrankApollonio

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Re: Getting an Ursa Mini 4.6k today, recommendations?

PostSun Mar 04, 2018 2:09 pm

I wouldn't be surprised if a new camera drops at nab... might be worth waiting unless you have a job now.
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Re: Getting an Ursa Mini 4.6k today, recommendations?

PostSun Mar 04, 2018 5:01 pm

Robert Niessner wrote:
On a side note:
My UM46k worked flawlessly in the cold conditions of the mountains at -15° C.


yeah, i can confirm that the UM-line can function with -10 F.
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Re: Getting an Ursa Mini 4.6k today, recommendations?

PostSun Mar 04, 2018 5:03 pm

I think we're going to see a focus on BMD working to get the most out of the 4.6K sensor and the new broadcast camera, rather than spreading itself thinner on the camera side right now. BMD is probably working on a successor sensor, but since the current camears are already Netflix compliant, I don't really see a reason that BMD should feel like it needs to rush a new camera out there; it's better to take the time to get it right and make a solid launch.

BMD's industry shakedown will most likely continue however with a major Fusion and Resolve announcement.
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Re: Getting an Ursa Mini 4.6k today, recommendations?

PostSun Mar 04, 2018 11:03 pm

FrankApollonio wrote:I wouldn't be surprised if a new camera drops at nab... might be worth waiting unless you have a job now.


Don't wait on BM. Look at URSA 4K owners. years later after NAB, they still have not released any upgradable turret. Plus, their recent release pattern has been announcements prior to any major event - then showcase the new tech at those events. The last couple of years, they have not announced cameras at NAB/IBC or any other event. Safe to say your good on your purchase. No new camera announcements in Vegas. They will show the new broadcast cam, and broadcast things.
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Re: Getting an Ursa Mini 4.6k today, recommendations?

PostMon Mar 05, 2018 6:24 am

Brad Ballew wrote: However, I would like to have a light and lean shoulder kit of some sort for the times I need to go handheld.

https://www.woodencamera.com/shoulder-pad-v2-arca-swiss-p/204300.htm

Wooden camera sells a lightweight quick release shoulder pad that can be attached to arca swiss, which means it will connect to the Kessler Kwik arca swiss plate I recommend using on the bottom of the camera (I use their XL plate plus 15mm rod attachment).
To mount an arm, you can get a cheap rosette mount from SmallRig that will attach to 15mm rods, and get a cheap arm from them too. Although this all ultimately adds up to more cost than the BMD shoulder kit, it can attached/detached in seconds without tools and it weighs a a lot less (especially once you consider the VCT that the BMD shoulder kit requires). So, you are trading a bit more money for a lot more efficiency and adaptability.

As I mentioned in my earlier reply, if you were shooting from the shoulder a majority the time, I'd recommend a different kit that can achieve better balance (probably Zacuto's, though it's crazy expensive and requires pushing the camera so far back that you need Zacuto's follow focus setup to make it work). But, since you'll only be shooting on the shoulder occasionally, I assume that adaptability and weight savings are probably a higher priority over perfect balance.
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