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Blackmagic Design URSA Mini Pro 4.6K G2 EF-Mo... Overview
Upping the electronics and recording capabilities of its Mini Pro predecessor, the Blackmagic Design's URSA Mini Pro 4.6K G2 Digital Cinema Camera brings expanded control set and even more functionality. The G2 introduces an updated Super 35 4.6K sensor featuring 15 stops of dynamic range at 3200 ISO, high frame rate recording up to 300 fps, and additional recording functionality.
First, the addition of external camera controls allows menus to be accessed to change exposure settings, activate slow/fast motion, or engage focus assist or other functions. The exterior of the camera also gains a monochrome LCD panel which displays essential shooting data at a glance. Another welcome pro feature is the built-in ND (neutral density) filter wheel. The four-position wheel switches between two, four, and six stops of neutral density, plus a clear filter for no exposure reduction.
Behind the display, two SD card slots beside the CFast 2.0 slots enable more affordable media to be used for less intensive recording formats. The G2 introduces a USB-C expansion port so you can record directly to external drives. The default electronic EF lens mount is user-interchangeable and adjustable to ensure proper flange focal distance.
At the heart of the camera is Blackmagic Design's acclaimed Super 35mm 4.6K sensor block, known for its ability to capture cinematic images with subtle gradients and large dynamic range rated at 15 stops. The G2 can now capture Blackmagic RAW footage in film and extended modes which makes it more versatile to meet your production needs. Probably the most impressive update with the G2 is the ability to capture 4.6K footage at 120 fps, 4K DCI at 150 fps, or even 1080p footage at 300 fps which is well suited for fast-action shooting.
Like the URSA Mini, the URSA Mini Pro G2 can record high-resolution raw sensor data in Blackmagic RAW format onto CFast 2.0 or SD memory cards at up to 60 fps. The raw files preserve the full dynamic range and color tonality output from the sensor, so you can have greater control over the look in post-production. However, data-heavy uncompressed raw files aren't always easy to deal with on set so in addition to uncompressed raw recording, the URSA Mini Pro provides compressed raw recording at 3:1 and 4:1 compression ratios to save space while retaining post-production flexibility.
If raw capture is not necessary for your production, the URSA Mini Pro G2 offers ready-to-edit industry standard Apple ProRes files in many different flavors within the 444 and 422 chroma subsampling variations depending on your workflow. The 4.6K, 4K, 3K, 2K, and HD recording resolutions can be captured as ProRes files either using the "Film" dynamic range for a flatter image for grading in post-production, or "Video" dynamic range for a finished look right out of the camera. ProRes can be recorded to either CFast 2.0 or UHS-II SD cards (SD cards top out at UHD 4K; please check the Blackmagic Design website for updated card compatibility and limitations).
Since the form factor of the original URSA Mini has been adhered to, the ergonomic benefits have remained as well. With separately available accessories like the VCT shoulder pad, side handgrip, broadcast battery plate, and EVF, the camera can be kitted out for comfortable shooting over extended periods. For studio-style shooting, the same shoulder pad is compatible with 15mm LWS rods for mounting lens supports for long lenses, follow focuses, lens drive motors, matte boxes, and more.
New G2 Model Features
Updated Super 35 4.6K image sensor
4608 x 2592 with 15 stops of dynamic range at 3200 ISO
4.6K images at up to 120 frames per second
Windowed 4K DCI at up to 150 frames per second
Windowed 1080 HD at 300 frames per second
Blackmagic RAW images in both film and extended video modes
Raw compression levels up to 12:1
USB-C expansion port for recording to external drives
Built-In ND Filters
The URSA Mini Pro G2 features high-quality neutral density (ND) filters that let you quickly reduce the amount of light entering the camera. The clear, 2-, 4-, and 6-stop filters have been specifically designed to match the color science of the URSA Mini Pro G2 to maintain consistent image quality with minimal color shift. The ND filters conveniently let you use different combinations of aperture and shutter angle to achieve shallower depth of field, or specific levels of motion blur, in a wider range of situations. Additionally, the internal IR filters have been designed to filter both optical and infrared wavelengths evenly to eliminate IR contamination of the images that can be brought about by standard ND filter. A precision mechanism holds the filters and quickly moves them into place when the ND filter dial is turned. Furthermore, the current filter settings can be displayed as an ND number, stop reduction, or fraction on the LCD.
External Control Section
Using a design inspired by classic broadcast cameras, the URSA Mini Pro G2 features a wide array of tactile physical controls with direct access to the most important camera settings. The controls are laid out in a logical order that makes them easy to remember so you'll be able to adjust camera settings, apply ND filters, and change frame rates without having to look at the buttons, dive into on-screen menus, or take the camera off your shoulder.
User-Interchangeable Lens Mounts
By default, the URSA Mini Pro G2 includes an interchangeable EF mount. If you want to use lenses with F (Nikon), PL, or B4 mounts, separately available interchangeable mounts can be purchased. Having an interchangeable lens mount allows the URSA Mini Pro G2 to be used in nearly any kind of workflow including documentary, ENG/EFP, and cinema. For ENG lenses, a 12-pin Hirose connector will power the servo so all lens functionality can be utilized.
External LCD Status Display
The status display is a high-visibility black-and-white LCD screen designed to be easily seen even in bright light. The status display shows record timecode, locked timecode, and reference timecode along with the current shooting frame rate, shutter angle, aperture, white balance, ISO, and iris. It also features a battery indicator, card recording status, and audio meters for monitoring levels. The screen's backlight can be turned on when you're shooting in dimly lit locations, and off when you're shooting outdoors and in bright light to increase contrast, making it easy to read under nearly any shooting condition.
Advanced Image Processing
The URSA Mini Pro 4.6K G2 also uses Blackmagic Design Generation 4 Color Science for superior imaging that results in extremely accurate skin tones and lifelike colors that rival those of cameras costing tens of thousands of dollars more. Blackmagic RAW images are encoded using a custom nonlinear 12-bit space designed to provide the maximum amount of color data and dynamic range. With Blackmagic RAW, customers can choose compression levels up to 12:1 and still get professional-quality images that can be used for feature films, documentaries, and broadcast programming. These formats can be recorded onto CFast or SD cards, as well as direct to flash disks using the USB-C expansion port.
CFast 2.0 and SD Media Support
Two of each CFast 2.0 and SD slots are available for recording media. High-end workflows that require 4K or 4.6K raw recording and high frame rate shooting will take full advantage of the high-bandwidth CFast 2.0 cards. Raw HD and 4K ProRes material can be recorded onto convenient and relatively inexpensive SD cards compatible with the UHS-II standard. Since two of each slot are available, you can keep recording, regardless of format choice.
Compact Handheld Design
Sizing down the original URSA shape enables the URSA Mini Pro G2 to fit into feature film, indie film, TV, commercial, documentary, and music video workflows with crews of any size. Using the optional shoulder mount with built-in quick release plate, the URSA Mini Pro G2 can go from handheld to shoulder to tripod in a matter of seconds. Despite its size, the URSA Mini Pro G2 still fits essential controls and I/O for professional workflows.
The body is made from magnesium alloys to keep the URSA Mini Pro G2 lightweight at just over five pounds. With the optional shoulder mount and optional side handgrip, the handgrip can be extended off the side of the camera to be used in a doc-style configuration.
4.6K Super 35 Sensor
With an effective resolution of 4608 x 2592, the sensor housed inside the URSA Mini Pro G2 can capture motion pictures that have greater-than 4K resolution with a filmlike 15 stops of dynamic range at a very high 3200 ISO. A wide exposure latitude allows for greater control in post, enabling highlight recovery while keeping the shadows clean from artifacting.
The URSA Mini Pro G2 can record the entire sensor at up to 60 fps to fit television or other workflows which require higher frame rates. Using a smaller portion of the sensor, the URSA Mini Pro G2 can also record slow-motion footage at up to 300 fps in 1080p resolution. When recording high frame rates, the URSA Mini Pro G2 will conform captured footage to the set standard frame rate, resulting in smooth footage that doesn't require post-processing before editing.
In addition to more traditional button-driven menus and the bevy of external controls, the URSA Mini Pro G2 features a fold-out 4" capacitive touchscreen LCD monitor. Using the easily navigable touchscreen menu, you can see and change all camera settings, view timecode, scopes, audio levels, and focus peaking, as well as add shot metadata with an onscreen keyboard.
The URSA Mini G2 features multiple connections such as 12G-SDI out, HD-SDI monitoring out, two LANC inputs, balanced XLR audio with phantom power, timecode in, and reference input. On the front right side of the camera, the 4-pin XLR DC and HD-SDI monitoring output are located in the perfect position for connecting to an optional viewfinder or on set monitor. The 12G-SDI output handles up to 2160p60 using a single BNC cable and switches to 6G-SDI or HD-SDI depending on the shooting format.
Quality Sound Recording
With high-quality built-in microphones and professional audio recording features, you don't have to carry around extra sound equipment. You can use the built-in stereo microphone to record natural location sound or connect professional microphones using the two XLR mic inputs. The XLR connections have 48V of switchable phantom power so you can plug shotgun mics or wireless lavalier mics for capturing more detail. You can quickly adjust levels using the physical knobs while monitoring the audio using the onscreen audio meters and headphones.
Multiple Power Options
On its own, the URSA Mini Pro G2 includes a 4-pin XLR industry standard power connector that works with 12 to 30V external power supplies. That means it's easy to use the camera with existing professional power supplies and batteries. The camera uses the same battery power connector and mounting points on the rear of the camera as used on the original URSA, so you can use the same range of battery plates from a wide range of manufacturers such as IDX, Frezzi, Anton Bauer, and more. You can also add the optional Blackmagic URSA V-Lock Battery Plate for using popular V-mount batteries.
DaVinci Resolve Software Included
Included with the camera is a DaVinci Resolve USB dongle which contains a license to unlock the full feature set within the software. The full version of DaVinci Resolve is compatible with Mac and Windows, and can be used for editing, color grading, media management, mastering, and delivery. DaVinci Resolve is designed to handle the 12-bit log raw images from URSA Mini Pro G2, so you can take advantage of URSA Mini Pro G2's image quality and wide dynamic range. DaVinci Resolve features advanced, multilayer timeline editing with powerful trimming tools, along with a fully professional suite of creative grading tools