URSA 12K Anomalies Right Out of the Box?

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Ben Price

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URSA 12K Anomalies Right Out of the Box?

PostTue Mar 30, 2021 5:30 am

Bought a new URSA 12K (from Adorama) and it arrived today. Unboxed and powered it up with the supplied wall wart block and everything was in Russian. Don’t know why. But, it was easy enough to switch everything over to English.

The first question I have about the camera is regarding this horrible horizontal noise. <https://www.dropbox.com/s/72wka2m55kljslx/URSA12K_Noise.MOV?dl=0> Other forums suggest it’s due to underexposing the image. However, it’s present at any exposure level across the entire screen. (The linked video is with ‘Blue Only’ set on the VideoAssist 4K monitor to make it easier to see in a phone video.).

FWIW - I’ve tried different AC power supplies to address it being from bad AC power. The battery plate hasn’t arrived, so testing battery power isn’t an option yet. The CFast cards haven’t even shipped from Angelbird, so I can’t record footage to see if the noise is in the media files or just showing up in the URSA monitor and the front and back SDI outputs.

Another anomaly... Auto White Balance works, but the color temperature indicator in the monitor shows a very different value than expected. Tungsten light that balances on other cameras at 3000 to 3200*K shows up as 2500*K. And my daylight LEDs which balance at ~5200*K on a HD broadcast camera show on the URSA at 3600*K.

Someone suggested that the Russian language may indicate that I received a used camera. The box didn't have plastic on it, but the plastic seal tab was intact. The camera was purchased as a new item from Adorama. I can't imagine they'd send me a returned / opened / used item.

I’ll readily admit to being a noob with this camera and I’m hoping these are all easy, user error issues. I’ve extensive experience with SD & HD broadcast cameras (even tube cameras), but this has me stumped. I’d really appreciate some help.
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URSA 12K, Resolve Studio 17, SmartView 4K, SmartScope Duo 4K, VideoAssist 4K, Decklink 4K Extreme, Hyperdeck Shuttle II
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Ryan Earl

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Re: URSA 12K Anomalies Right Out of the Box?

PostTue Mar 30, 2021 1:07 pm

What lens are you using?

Can you use the SD card you used in the Video Assist to record a clip in camera?

You can try to record at a really low bit rate setting like 17:9 24 fps 4K 18:1 and the resulting BRAW clip or frame would have metadata that would be useful too see along with seeing the clip in Resolve scopes for exposure if you upload it to Dropbox.

If you can only use A/C power I would try natural light in a brightly lit room first, or if you have an outside wall with a power outlet I would go outside in daylight and record your gray card or a color chart.

That would at least I think help get you started with a few clips if you need to contact support.
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John Paines

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Re: URSA 12K Anomalies Right Out of the Box?

PostTue Mar 30, 2021 1:21 pm

Ben Price wrote:Someone suggested that the Russian language may indicate that I received a used camera. The box didn't have plastic on it, but the plastic seal tab was intact. The camera was purchased as a new item from Adorama. I can't imagine they'd send me a returned / opened / used item.


You need to check for Adorama's official current policy, but B&H (for example) does (or at least did) repackage returned goods if they're deemed "like new". And they sell them "as new". At the time, the head of the company, Henry Posner, acknowledged it, in writing. But all these big box stores likely do it. I vaguely recall Adorama claiming otherwise, but you have to question really hard, to get to the bottom of it. Under the circumstances the Russian language setting wouldn't put me at ease.

What you're seeing doesn't appear to be fixed pattern noise, which is typical in very low light situations. Looks like a defective camera.
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John Brawley

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Re: URSA 12K Anomalies Right Out of the Box?

PostTue Mar 30, 2021 1:36 pm

That video doesn't look right.

I'd sent it back and ask for a real new camera from your re-seller.

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rick.lang

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URSA 12K Anomalies Right Out of the Box?

PostTue Mar 30, 2021 3:12 pm

If there is a business practice to resell a returned camera, Adorama should test the camera before attaching the plastic seal. Should sell as refurbished unless the box was never opened but the camera was returned at the request of the purchaser “no questions asked” which is itself a bad policy as the vendor really needs to know if a return reason, once the camera has been used, was related to poor performance of the product. Always a chance the original purchaser withheld performance concerns unfortunately.
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Re: URSA 12K Anomalies Right Out of the Box?

PostTue Mar 30, 2021 9:57 pm

As suggested, I took the camera outside and shot the color / gray card. The shot conditions were under direct, Colorado sunlight (slight haze) and I'm at ~5,000 ft elevation.

Since I'm still waiting on other equipment to arrive, I only have my Canon EF L lenses to work with. For this example, I used my Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS II USM lens. The camera settings were at 4K, 24fps, 17:9 frame, 18:1 compression. The lens settings were: ISO 125, f/5.6, and at 1/25 Shutter.

IMG_6652_sm.jpg
IMG_6652_sm.jpg (832.21 KiB) Viewed 867 times


IMG_6654_sm.jpg
IMG_6654_sm.jpg (844.64 KiB) Viewed 867 times


IMG_6653_sm.jpg
IMG_6653_sm.jpg (666 KiB) Viewed 867 times


I white balanced the camera using the full white side of the card and, as you can see, the WB setting shows 3950K. I KNOW that's not right.

When I apply 'Blue Only' on the VideoAssist 4K, the horizontal line noise is visible in the monitor at the above settings. Applying False Color to the monitor output on the URSA will also reveal the 'noise.'

I was able to shoot two, 10 second clips using the aforementioned settings. They're each about 500MB in size. One clip is of the white side of the card. The other clip is of the color chart side. Those files are uploading now, but will take another two to four hours thanks to my horrible internet accessibility. I'll post links once they're available.

I'm running Resolve 16 on High Sierra. I'm not sure what's going on, but I'm not currently able to view the BRAW clips or even get them to import into Resolve. Yippee... one more thing to track down.
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URSA 12K, Resolve Studio 17, SmartView 4K, SmartScope Duo 4K, VideoAssist 4K, Decklink 4K Extreme, Hyperdeck Shuttle II
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Re: URSA 12K Anomalies Right Out of the Box?

PostWed Mar 31, 2021 3:14 am

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URSA 12K, Resolve Studio 17, SmartView 4K, SmartScope Duo 4K, VideoAssist 4K, Decklink 4K Extreme, Hyperdeck Shuttle II
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Re: URSA 12K Anomalies Right Out of the Box?

PostWed Mar 31, 2021 6:49 am

Yeah, those files look very strange. I'd send it back to your re-seller for replacement.
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Re: URSA 12K Anomalies Right Out of the Box?

PostWed Mar 31, 2021 1:53 pm

What your seeing seems to be a faulty sensor, not normal sensor noise. Sorry you had to go through this; Adorama should be trying to make amends or I suspect that’s the last ‘new’ camera you buy from them.
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Re: URSA 12K Anomalies Right Out of the Box?

PostWed Mar 31, 2021 8:18 pm

Resetting the camera to factory had no effect. And, updating the camera's firmware to v7.2.1 (from v7) also had no effect. I'm not sure if applying LUTs in the monitor interface was supposed to do this, but selecting the option would cause the image to grossly oversaturate, overexpose, and generally look horrible. The photos I posted of the screen were with 'Display 3D LUT' turned off.

Shout-out of thanks to Tony Rivera and Tim Schumann at BlackMagic for getting involved and having my sample files checked by the support team. After consideration of my observations and review of the BRAW sample files I provided, the determination is that the camera is definitely malfunctioning.

Adorama is closed for Passover and won't reopen until April 5th. I won't know their response to all of this until then. That being said, I was able to initiate a return request through their website and the camera will be on its way back to them today. Wish me luck.
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Re: URSA 12K Anomalies Right Out of the Box?

PostWed Mar 31, 2021 10:48 pm

That’s good, Ben. You’ll be fine. The UMPro12K and you will make beautiful music together.
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Re: URSA 12K Anomalies Right Out of the Box?

PostWed Mar 31, 2021 10:53 pm

Shouldn't Factory QC pick this kind of thing up?
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Re: URSA 12K Anomalies Right Out of the Box?

PostWed Mar 31, 2021 11:44 pm

Mike Potton wrote:Shouldn't Factory QC pick this kind of thing up?


Under 'normal' circumstances, I'd say, 'yes.'

However, since it appears that the camera I was shipped as 'New' was most likely a used / returned item, there's no telling if the issue was present when it originally shipped from the factory or if it occurred afterward.

To BlackMagic's credit (and my chagrin), they PM'd me this afternoon and offered to RMA the camera directly so they could have a look at what happened. Unfortunately, I'd already repackaged and dropped off the camera at UPS for shipping back to Adorama. So... now I'm locked in to Adorama's returns process. :(
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URSA 12K, Resolve Studio 17, SmartView 4K, SmartScope Duo 4K, VideoAssist 4K, Decklink 4K Extreme, Hyperdeck Shuttle II
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Re: URSA 12K Anomalies Right Out of the Box?

PostThu Apr 01, 2021 3:31 am

Mike Potton wrote:Shouldn't Factory QC pick this kind of thing up?
Yes it should, but anything can happen during shipping. Perhaps the package was dropped and something came loose. Perhaps the camera got heated to a crazy high temperature inside a shipping container while stuck in the Suez Canal. BMD can't control what happens to a camera in transit from the factory to the customer.
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Re: URSA 12K Anomalies Right Out of the Box?

PostTue Apr 06, 2021 7:05 am

Well... sigh.

The malfunctioning 12K was delivered back to Adorama on Monday morning (4/5/21 - 9:37am Eastern) when they reopened.

Unfortunately, there was no acknowledgment of the return and no response to emails asking about a replacement. So, a call to their Customer service (~3pm Eastern) resulted in a "yeah... we'll look into it" reply and that they MAY get back to me as early as Tuesday, but per policy, don't have to respond until Thursday or Friday.

IF their inspection team can independently determine that there's really something wrong with the camera, they'll ship me a replacement when / if one is available. Oh, and good news... my 'VIP' status qualifies for 3-day shipping on the replacement. So, I might see a replacement in 10 to 14 days - assuming there's no delays in processing.

A few follow-up emails to my sales rep asking for help earned me a, "I will try to speed up the process" response. So... I guess there's still some room for optimism.

Fingers crossed.
---------------
URSA 12K, Resolve Studio 17, SmartView 4K, SmartScope Duo 4K, VideoAssist 4K, Decklink 4K Extreme, Hyperdeck Shuttle II
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Re: URSA 12K Anomalies Right Out of the Box?

PostFri Apr 09, 2021 7:02 pm

I received my replacement URSA 12K today!

I still need to test it, but unboxing showed some immediate discrepancies with the previous camera.

1) The box this time was sealed in plastic. The earlier one didn't have the plastic wrap. And, the replacement box did not have a plastic seal tab on the lid while the earlier one did have a seal tab.

2) The earlier box had a software brochure that indicated it contained software that included Resolve 16. I don't think it was for the Studio version (it didn't indicate as such on the outside) and I want to say it held a SD card. However, I didn't open the brochure or attempt to load anything and it was returned with the malfunctioning camera. In contrast, the replacement camera box had a software license (credit card style) clearly labeled for the 'Studio' version of Resolve 17.

3) The replacement camera's flip-out screen had a peel-off screen protector on it. The original camera's LCD did not.


Ok... on to testing!!!
Last edited by Ben Price on Sat Apr 10, 2021 8:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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URSA 12K Anomalies Right Out of the Box?

PostFri Apr 09, 2021 10:54 pm

Item 2 above also appears to indicate this original shipment was cobbled together and not original shipment from the BMD distributor. Adorama not looking good. In the early days Adorama provided very good service through a dedicated customer representative. Perhaps she’s no longer involved.
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Re: URSA 12K Anomalies Right Out of the Box?

PostSun Apr 11, 2021 6:20 am

I thought I'd touch base to say that initial tests with the replacement 12K appear to be going well. The footage - despite my ineptitude - is looking good and my computer system does not seem to have any trouble playing back the files. (Celebrate the small victories.)

The Angelbird Match Pack CFast cards worked as expected and without drama.

I decided to stick with IDX batteries and chose the Imicro-98 series with a dual battery, V-mount plate. I ran the rig (camera and 7" VideoAssist 4K) for about 3 hours. When I was done, only one battery had been drawn down and it was only down by ~45%. With four batteries and two chargers, I should be good for a day of production.

I HAVE discovered that my IKAN 48" carbon fiber slider does not handle the URSA's weight too well. I'll almost certainly have to get something heavier duty. And, my Ronin (original version) is going to need the CineMilled arm extensions if the camera is to be mounted on it with anything other than my old, stubby, Nikon SLR primes.

I may also need to consider something other than the OEM shoulder kit to better accommodate transitions between mounting on a standard tripod, a slider, the Ronin, etc. For example, the shoulder kit has to be completely removed for the camera to fit on the Ronin. The shoulder mount is also extraordinarily difficult to remove from my Panasonic SHAN-TM700 plate and it won't engage the lock mechanism on my Zacuto VCT-14 plate without direct intervention. (I'm open to suggestions for a more universal, quick release option that would work with multiple mount / support types.)

With that all being said, I think I'm really going to like this URSA 12K. I hope to shoot things worthy of the camera and earn my place as a contributing member of the community.
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URSA 12K, Resolve Studio 17, SmartView 4K, SmartScope Duo 4K, VideoAssist 4K, Decklink 4K Extreme, Hyperdeck Shuttle II

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