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A Short Video Comparing Blackmagic’s URSA Mini 4.6K and the ARRI ALEXA

Noam Kroll
By Noam Kroll

The Blackmagic URSA Mini 4.6K is now shipping and has been generating a lot of buzz lately. Many filmmakers are eager to see how the camera stacks up to the ARRI ALEXA. In this video clip, we finally get a taste of how the two cameras compare.

All images via Blackmagic

Whenever any cinema camera is released, one of the first questions filmmakers will ask is, “How does it compare to the ARRI ALEXA?” The ALEXA has long been the gold standard that other cinema cameras are held to, and more often than not, newly released cameras don’t even come close to delivering the image quality or color science that the ALEXA is capable of.

That said, Blackmagic has been known to create budget- friendly cameras with ALEXA-like image quality, ever since the release of their original Blackmagic Cinema Camera several years ago — which is why there’s been so much buzz surrounding their URSA Mini 4.6K. While the ALEXA has always had the edge up where dynamic range is concerned, the 4.6K model of the URSA Mini is rated at 15 stops of DR — which puts it in ALEXA territory.

A Short Video Comparing Blackmagic's URSA Mini 4.6K and the ARRI ALEXA

As a beta tester for the URSA Mini 4.6K, I’ve been personally shooting with it for quite some time now. I was immediately blown away by the image quality that this camera delivers, though I never had the opportunity to directly compare it with an ALEXA. Naturally, I was excited to watch some of the first footage online that compares and contrasts the two cameras.

Australian cinematographer John Brawley is a well-known Blackmagic user and he recently shot some beautiful material with the URSA Mini 4.6K, which can be found at Blackmagic’s site.

Additionally, he shot the following comparison video between the URSA Mini 4.6K and the ALEXA, which very accurately contrasts the two cameras:

As John Brawley states on his blog, other than a small amount of IR pollution on the model’s shirt (which can easily be fixed in post-production), the URSA Mini 4.6K stacks up very well against the ALEXA when shooting RAW. His full thoughts and write-up can be viewed right here.

While no two cameras are going to be identical, the URSA Mini 4.6K is certainly shaping up to be the budget alternative to the ARRI ALEXA that many of us have been hoping for.

What are your impressions of the URSA Mini footage above? Share your thoughts in the comments below.