URSA G2: The New Workhorse for Realtime Capture and Indie Filmmakers
Don’t let the “Broadcast” name fool you. This thing is the fully kitted out Pocket Cinema Camera you’ve been wanting.
We live in a world where a new broadcast camera really excites me because of the possibilities to plug-and-play with Realtime environments in Unreal Engine. For a while now, the URSA line of cameras has been one of the go-to cameras for pre-production and pre-viz.
I remember watching the making of the Mandalorian specials where we get a glimpse of Jon Favreau holding an URSA all the way back on the previz for Lion King. The team would use real-time game engine sets connected to a camera so they could properly place cameras and plan movements they wanted in the film.
The Blackmagic URSA Broadcast G2
The new URSA Broadcast G2 is the latest evolution in the URSA line that allows everyday and indie creators (like myself) to really get into Unreal Engine workflows with off-the-shelf hardware and software.
I currently have a Pocket Cinema Camera 6K sitting next to me, and it’s been my main camera for about the past year. That said, I have it fully kitted out with a cage, SSD drive attachment, handles, a monitor, magic arms, adapters, and all sorts of cables running into the tiny panel on the side of the camera.
With the amount I spent in add-ons and accessories, it’s practically the price difference of just buying the new URSA G2.
I have also worked with Todd Blankenship on a project shooting VFX plates and some nature doc footage with the URSA 12K. And, while I do really love the camera, it’s a super-monster that’s not something I’d use all the time as my main camera. I just don’t have the space for 12K footage.
The 12K had a price drop to just under $6000 USD, but at the right price point, this URSA G2 is just so reasonably priced at $3,995—I almost feel like there’s no reason not to buy it.
URSA Broadcast G2 Specs
- Native 6K sensor with 13 stops of dynamic range
- Up to +36dB ISO for incredible low-light performance
- USB-C port allows recording directly to external disks
- Includes Blackmagic generation 5 color science
- Features incredible quality Blackmagic RAW recording
- Optional focus and zoom demands for lens control
- Compatible with new Blackmagic URSA Mini Recorder
- Includes full DaVinci Resolve Studio for post-production
- Starts at $3,995
Per the press release,
The new Blackmagic URSA Broadcast G2 is an incredibly powerful camera designed for both traditional and online broadcasters. The three cameras in one design allows it to work as a 4K production camera, a 4K studio camera, or a 6K digital film camera. It’s a perfect solution for broadcasters because it uses the lenses and batteries customers already own. Customers can record to common SD cards, UHS-II cards, CFast 2.0 cards, or external USB disks, using common file formats such as H.265, Apple ProRes, and Blackmagic RAW. This means it’s compatible with all video software and broadcast media management systems. Customers can even change the lens mount. No other broadcast camera is so flexible.
The large 6K sensor combined with Blackmagic generation 5 color science gives customers the same imaging technology used in digital film cameras. The 6K sensor features a resolution of 6144 x 3456, so it’s flexible enough for broadcast and digital film work. When using B4 lenses, customers get a 4K window of the sensor for Ultra HD broadcast use. Then, if customers change to a PL or EF lens mount, they can use the full 6K resolution of the sensor for digital film. With 13 stops of dynamic range, customers get darker blacks and brighter whites, so it’s perfect for color correction. Using digital film in broadcast is a revolution in image quality.
The new URSA Broadcast features incredible low-light performance so customers can shoot using ambient light or even under moonlight. The Blackmagic URSA Broadcast G2 features gain from -12dB (100 ISO) up to +36dB (25,600 ISO), so it’s optimized to reduce grain and noise in images, while maintaining the full dynamic range of the sensor. The gain can be set via a camera switch, the LCD menu, or remotely using the SDI remote camera control protocol.– Blackmagic URSA Broadcast G2, Press Release
With the Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Pro at $2,495, the new URSA Broadcast G2 at $3,995, and the URSA 12K at $5,995, Blackmagic really is coming out aggressively to take more control of the camera market. With rather stale camera releases and updates from the likes of Sony and others, it’s really up to Blackmagic to capitalize on the opportunities ahead of them.
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Cover image via Blackmagic Design.