Blackmagic Design URSA Broadcast Overview
The Blackmagic Design URSA Broadcast Camera is a field and studio production powerhouse. Featuring a native B4 mount for standard 2/3″ broadcast lenses means that the URSA Broadcast will be at home on a studio sled behind a box lens just as much as it will be on the shoulder of a news coverage camera operator. The sensor itself features UHD 4K resolution which can facilitate native UHD recording, or downscaled HD recording for productions that don’t require the extra resolution. Video can be recorded to UHS-II SD cards or CFast 2.0 cards, with the latter capable of recording raw Cinema DNG files for further flexibility in post-production.
The camera really comes into its own when combined with the separately available URSA Mini Shoulder Kit and EVF. VCT-14 compatibility plus the ability to go shoulder-mounted when you need to is an important aspect of this camera. When shoulder-mounted, a connected B4 lens’s grip and the EVF form points of contact for comfortable and stable shooting. Additionally, a 20-pin lens communication port allows for the URSA Broadcast to communicate with B4 lens servos.
The body itself is designed to be intuitive, with buttons and switches intelligently placed for muscle memory and on-the-fly adjustments. ISO/gain, shutter speed, and white balance are all available on classic toggle switches, while a traditional ND filter wheel lets you reduce the light hitting the sensor for full control over your image. Connections for audio in, video out, plus timecode/genlock input are available on industry-standard connectors, enabling them to interface with professional gear right out of the box.
When you’re not in the thick of a shooting day, open the LCD display to access the deeper camera menus and adjust global settings. While standard REC. 709 color is available for broadcast compatibility, extended video mode offers an optional look that has high contrast, yet takes advantage of the 12-stop dynamic range present in the sensor for smoother highlights without the washed-out look common in picture profiles with high dynamic ranges.
If you’re setting up the URSA Broadcast for live studio production, separately available fiber converters and studio viewfinders are available. The fiber converter provides all the studio connectivity over a single fiber optic cable, with further adjustments and connections available on the converter itself. Even if your studio produces HD content, the URSA Broadcast only needs to be the first step towards a UHD workflow. When the rest of your studio is UHD-compatible, the URSA Broadcast will be ready for your next UHD production.