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Ursa Mini Pro: Impressions After 6+ Months

695 ratings | 40853 views
Links to gear below. If you found this review helpful and are planning to buy, please use one of our links below which will help fund our ongoing efforts to make high quality filmmaking gear reviews. After 6+ months of use on various projects, here are the impressions on the Blackmagic Design Ursa Mini Pro cinema camera from two Ursa Mini Pro shooters: My brother Cary Judd and me. This is not a traditional in-depth review, but more of our overall impressions. The wide shot of both of us was done with the Panasonic GH5 and the two single shots were shot on Ursa Mini Pro. Find Cary Judd at https://www.facebook.com/thewormholeboise/ Links to gear discussed and used to record this session: —————————————————————————————————— Ursa Mini Pro Cinema Camera (body only) B&H: https://bhpho.to/2AKJOcN —————————————————————————————————— Ursa Viewfinder (we didn’t talk about this but I really like this viewfinder - clear, clean image with effective focus peaking, false color, and zoom buttons) B&H: https://bhpho.to/2DEhQRv —————————————————————————————————— Ursa Mini Pro SSD Recorder (allows you to record to standard, affordable 2.5” SSD drives) B&H: https://bhpho.to/2Cs5eNP —————————————————————————————————— Anton Bauer 90Wh Battery (about 2 hours of life with viewfinder and SSD recorder) B&H: https://bhpho.to/2D4z367 —————————————————————————————————— V-mount Battery (Same as above but with a different mounting mechanism for cameras) B&H: https://bhpho.to/2BXgnpE —————————————————————————————————— Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 OS ART Lens (used on the single shot of Cary on my Ursa Mini Pro) Amazon: https://geni.us/AtOBC B&H: https://bhpho.to/2kjsI2x —————————————————————————————————— Panasonic GH5 (used to shoot the wide interview shots and product shots) Amazon: https://geni.us/cRpaJqH B&H: https://bhpho.to/2BcorBk —————————————————————————————————— Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8 Lens Amazon: https://geni.us/Z9BsB B&H: https://bhpho.to/2i6s2gv —————————————————————————————————— Copyright 2017 by Curtis Judd Ethics statement: Some of the links above are Amazon.com, B&H Photo, or other affiliate links.
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Text Comments (384)
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
Sorry about the hats. I did not intend for them to be as big a distraction as they are to many viewers. I was cold and they hid our lavalier microphones but also managed to divert many viewers attention from the topic of the Ursa Mini Pro. Lesson learned.
mbsevans (8 months ago)
Blue Field Studios hats weren’t distracting. The colour matching was very distracting. Why the massive difference in reds?
5 Minutes Movies (1 year ago)
The hats are fine. The only tiny problem I have is with the orange things you have hung on the back wall. They are red on the close ups ! You can't talk about a camera designed for color grading and don't do a little of it yourself :p
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
That's what I thought when we were setting up for the shoot. But evidently a bunch of viewers disagree. :-/
Photographic elements (1 year ago)
The hats were not a problem, people wear hats.
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
Thanks!
Taylor Montgomery (17 days ago)
omg twins!
Curtis Judd (17 days ago)
👍
Aiya Yotsuki (2 months ago)
Way better than YouTubers reviewing products used to review products on YouTube
Curtis Judd (2 months ago)
Thanks.
CoveringFish (3 months ago)
Lol fast forward to 2019 it’s a fantastic camera
Curtis Judd (3 months ago)
Agreed. Still my main cam.
Z Tech (3 months ago)
does it have an autofocus ?
Curtis Judd (3 months ago)
C100, C200, C300, C700. Not FS 700 which is a Sony.
Z Tech (3 months ago)
Curtis Judd thanks u 🙏 , but do u mean with Canon like: C200, Fs 700 ?
Curtis Judd (3 months ago)
Cinema cameras typically don't. This does, but it is really only useful for setting focus at the start of a clip, it doesn't track. Canon has the best autofocus in cine cameras.
Schuyler Neal (3 months ago)
i want this, but its too espnsf gimmie yurs!
Curtis Judd (3 months ago)
😀
raredreamfootage (3 months ago)
What are you using to light this interview?
Curtis Judd (3 months ago)
A really, really big window off to camera left - floor to ceiling frosted window.
G Campbell (4 months ago)
Thanks for the review, that was a lot of great info. One hat would have been no problem, your brother was pulling it off, but i get it that your sound wouldnt have been as good , but think the lesson learned for filmmakers is about production design and is it helping to tell your story or distracting
Curtis Judd (4 months ago)
Thanks for the feedback. I guess we cannot just do a casual conversation. Our audience has very high expectations for us. 😀
Randall Burgess (4 months ago)
Wow that’s great thanks so much. Can’t wait!!’
Curtis Judd (4 months ago)
👍
Randall Burgess (4 months ago)
Yhanks guys great info. Is there any chance you could do some multi part videos on how to use DaVinci Resolve as the stuff that is out there is not great and I would love to be able to use it.
Curtis Judd (4 months ago)
I’m working on the Fairlight portion of your request. I’ll leave the edit/color portion to Jacob.
elpmettsol (8 months ago)
A very impressive cam in many ways. But for a cost of 6k, and no slow mo?
Curtis Judd (8 months ago)
Definitely agree, only really justified if you're making money with your shooting. There is slo-mo capability.
Shorne Pubique (8 months ago)
Carey "yeah I dunno, Bro.... pretty Rad Camera Dudes."
Curtis Judd (8 months ago)
Haha!
Rudolph Sturling (8 months ago)
your shirt looks great!
Curtis Judd (8 months ago)
Haha! Thanks.
Ryan Southwell (8 months ago)
Cary? What a pleasant surprise.
Curtis Judd (8 months ago)
👍
Ty The Believe Guy (9 months ago)
#TWINNING
Curtis Judd (9 months ago)
👍🏻
Richard Ramsowr (9 months ago)
Curtis ae you two twins and if not who is older?
Curtis Judd (9 months ago)
No, not twins. I'm older. :)
ClimateAdam (9 months ago)
Great summary! I was shooting on the ursa mini this week and have been blown away by how sharp the images are (especially compared to a dslr). Is this because for HD the camera does a full sensor read out and then down samples? Do any dslrs do this (e.g. The upcoming z6)? The images really are so much more detailed (in colour too, of course!), but I generally hugely prefer the nimbleness of a dslr...
ClimateAdam (9 months ago)
@Curtis Judd very useful to know! The detail you get is really incredible - looks like a whole other resolution! I'm guessing it's too early to say whether the nikon Z series do this though? I have nikon glass and am resisting a switch!
Curtis Judd (9 months ago)
Good questions. I believe that the Ursa Mini (and pro) goes into a windowed mode when shooting HD meaning it does not use the entire sensor but does a full readout of a portion of the sensor. Many of the older DSLRs do funky line skipping which can definitely result in moire issues and potentially some softness as well. The GH series from Panasonic and many of the Sony alpha cameras read out the entire sensor.
EposVox (9 months ago)
Mine gets here tomorrow. Watching again just to review :)
Curtis Judd (9 months ago)
Awesome! I hope you love it!
Troll Face (10 months ago)
bum brothers.
Troll Face (10 months ago)
you are most, highly welcome.
Curtis Judd (10 months ago)
Thanks Troll Face.
John Doe (10 months ago)
For those who don't know. Moiré patterns are the extra lines and patterns that appear when you have two similar, but slightly different patterns laid on top of each other. if you put the word moiré patterns into YouTube you'll get a video from Tom Scott that explains it a lot better
Curtis Judd (10 months ago)
Thanks John.
Michael B (1 year ago)
I bought an Ursa Mini Pro last December and have come across a strange sensor issue. I first noticed strange vertical lines in my mid day skies on some shots. Contacted BMD, they asked me to shoot a properly exposed clip at 4.6k Uncompressed raw to see if its a sensor issue or just compression artifacts. And when they received the clips they agreed something was wrong and asked me to ship it back. after a week of them trying to fix it they told me they couldn't fix it so they sent me a new one. Second one arrived I tested it, same issue. I went trough the process again and they noticed that indeed there was some artifacts. They guided me through a process of doing a thorough sensor calibration, warming up the camera for about an hour with the bodycap on and running a sensor calibration. It helped but the lines were still there and worst in prores and a strange band of light magenta on the bottom of the image. They then agreed to take it in for inspection and I shipped it to them. After another week they said they improved the image and they shipped it back to me. I got it back and the vetical lines were worse. After another week of going through the same process they sent a strange generic response of how the camera is performing within expectation and that FPN is normal when pushing dark images. Funny thing is that every frame they got from me was of bright day light sky and never anything dark. I asked them what dark images they were talking about and asked for them to help me fix the issue or find a solution because I had lost an important client because of this issue and I had just bought the camera new 5 months ago. As of now I have been dealing with this for over 4 months and Blackmagic Design is now just ignoring the problem and just giving me the run around. After begging, literally by email, they agreed to replace the camera once again and i haev a feeling that if the new camera has the same issue they are most certainly going to just say that its working as intended instead of just admitting to this as a sensor issue, like the first Production 4k camera fiasco about FPN that was denied and ignored until enough people voiced their frustration and they finally admitted that it is in fact the sensor and not user error. here is a small sample of the first Ursa mini Pro I had. its simple. Shoot outside, blue sky, native Iso( recommended by BMD), expose a little to the right( recommended by BMD), apply BMD 4.6k 709 Lut( recommended by BMD), and adjust color and contrast to your liking and 8 out of 10 chances are that you'll see vertical FPN in your sky and acording to BMD its within spec. https://youtu.be/gYngDGUsdgg Second Ursa Mini Pro( i have a ton of examples of the second one, this was a quick one I did for the UMP group in Facebook) https://youtu.be/O3n2FgxX5EI In conclusion with an Ursa Mini Pro/4.6k: Be cautious with your darks, be cautious with your mid-to-highs , expose to the right always, and hope you don't have a defective sensor/have it within "spec"
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
Thanks for the info Michael. Sounds like a rough go. I hope the third one works out.
Dr. Maruti Sharma (1 year ago)
How is the autofocus with cannon L series lenses.
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
Hello Dr. Sharma, The Ursa Mini Pro does not have a continuous autofocus feature at all. You can press a hold a focus button and it takes 3-5 seconds while the lens grinds and hunts for focus. It really was designed as a more traditional cinema camera where manual focus pulling is the expectation. I have not used the broadcast version of the camera so I’m not sure how it works in terms of focus. For industry leading autofocus and face tracking, I’d recommend looking at the Canon C200 or C300 series of cameras. Best wishes!
Dr. Maruti Sharma (1 year ago)
And can I control focus using some app through i phone or i pad?
Dr. Maruti Sharma (1 year ago)
Thank You for your prompt reply. 1. Does that mean that it won't lock on to the subject? 2. There is Ursa broadcast version out? Is that better, since I am planing to do more live workshops in future. 3. Since most of my work is live workshops or sometimes I shoot for my vlog on my own, do you recommend buying a URSA. If not, what would be your recommendation for a good video camera that I can use for at least a couple of years. Thank You for your time. I appreciate your work.
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
Horrible. Manual focus is the name of the game with the Ursa Mini Pro.
Alexey Kosorukov (1 year ago)
There's no such camera as an Alexa Mini XT
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
Apologies for that inaccuracy.
Amit Rajkumar Bagai (1 year ago)
Hi Would you recommend buying or would buy an ursa mini pro 4.6k if you need one now over all others including c200? I am also looking into good used Blackmagic production camera 4k until BMPCC 4K comes out. Of course BM cannot compare with C200 or others for auto focus and low light but for everything else ursa mini pro looks great. I have seen people shoot weddings and other events and features regularly very successfully with ursa mini pro. For its price, features, ergonomics and video quality ursa mini pro seems great. I returned my GH5S due to limitation of codecs and autofocus issues at its price point. Kindly advice. Cheers.
Amit Rajkumar Bagai (1 year ago)
Curtis Judd Thank you again very much Curtis. I'll reconsider GH5S and check out more stuff on UM and production 4k. C200 would have been perfect for the price if it had internal 10 bit 422 and prores etc and twin cfast card slots for back up. Also am looking into FS7 1. UMP still all the way for price, features, quality etc with a little help of external lighting. Thanks & Regards.
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
I don't have first hand experience with the 4K production camera so I'm not sure. As far as low light is concerned, I usually light in my work so it isn't an issue for me. But if your only option was to work with whatever light was already there, then yes, I would expect to run into some pretty noisy results. A Panasonic GH5s is worth considering for event work. Definitely less expensive on its own, but can be outfitted with an ATOMOS recorder to get the ProRes codecs and it does internal 4:2:2 10-bit. The only thing you'd give up is raw and the larger super35 sensor size.
Amit Rajkumar Bagai (1 year ago)
Curtis Judd Thanks very much Curtis I really like the UMP but people advice against it for events mainly due to its low light and autofocusing issues other than that it's definitely a great cinema camcorder with great codecs and ssd recording. Does it really suffer in low light? Sorry but one last advice if you can, would you consider a good used Blackmagic production camera 4k for now for some events and music as well as narrative films instead of buying expensive UMP or c200 etc? Would it be a decent choice? Thanks again Curtis. Regards.
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
Hi Amit, for shooting events, I would prefer the C200 or FS5mkII. The Ursa Mini Pro isn't very "mini" once it is rigged out. The beauty of the C200 and FS5 is that you can operate them handheld with a very minimal build out. Then of course they can also be used for narrative film. That being said, I don't do a lot of event, on-the-shoulder work so the UMP fits nicely. I do mostly educational and corporate work so I've almost always got the camera on sticks. Love the codecs and recording to SSD. The option to shoot RAW is, of course, quite useful though not something I do all the time. So for me, the decision would come down to what one shoots most often. If events, I'd probably want to rent a C200 or FS5 just to see how that works. On the other hand, if you like to combine your workouts with shooting events, the UMP could be a great choice. ;-)
Amit Rajkumar Bagai (1 year ago)
Curtis Judd Hello and thanks very much for your kind and quick reply. I have watched many comparison videos between UMP and c200 and read on forums and now fs5 ii is coming up as well as you mentioned. I really like the UMP mainly due to its special film like look and codecs and ssd recording etc. I'll be using either of these cameras for events as well as for feature films and music videos and I have also preordered the upcoming BMPCC 4K. I believe c200 yet don't have 10 bit 422 internally but I like it's build quality and size mainly it's low light and autofocusing capabilities. For price, features etc I still think UMP might be better but then I need your advice as you are a pro on this topic with lots of experience. Out of these 3 and others, for feature films and events which one would you buy and why? Thanks again very much for your time. Regards
Photographic elements (1 year ago)
Thanks for this video! Did you shoot this video on two Ursa Minis? I'm curious (not criticizing) why the color was so different between the two. The angled shot seemed to capture the reds better. The 2-shot seemed too cyan, with a hint of green. Very helpful information in this video.
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
Hi, Two Ursa Mini Pros and a Panasonic GH5. The two shot is the GH5 which is why the color is so different there.
SittingNow (1 year ago)
Quick point: "Every film you see is graded in Resolve". Not true, the majority of major releases are graded in Baselight.
SittingNow (1 year ago)
no worries, great discussion though.
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
Thanks for the correction.
RemusKinz (1 year ago)
Nice review! Thank you!.
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
Thanks Remus.
Ali Daniels Actress (1 year ago)
camera guys should not be allowed to ever say 'run and gun' ever again
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
Ok, thanks for the feedback. Care to explain why?
Ali Daniels Actress (1 year ago)
um lose the stocking hat
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
Thanks Remus. Which term would you recommend in lieu of "Run 'n gun?" I agree that it is not my favorite term but seems to be used widely amongst camera operators. I'd prefer a term that is more accurate and less colloquial. As for the stocking hats, I'm sorry. It was not my intention for these to become as big a distraction as they evidently have.
RemusKinz (1 year ago)
Nice explanation of BMUMP! Stocking hats are a bad look. I think 'run and gun' is a messy term. Everyone uses it who make camera vids/reviews/tutorials. The problem is its not well-defined and it sounds fadish. Love your reviews!!
Ali Daniels Actress (1 year ago)
oops meant 'chicks HATE them' not hat them ...
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
Ok, thanks for sharing your opinions.
Ali Daniels Actress (1 year ago)
The beanies (stocking hats) make my head itch just looking at them. Chicks hat them. Wearing a stocking hat indoors is like wearing a condom when ur walking ot work. run-n-gun as a phrase has had its day and that day was 2005. Its vague and wierd. We're not 'gunning'. I've nothing against 2nd amendment but we're capturing images, not shooting bullets.
Joseph Lora (1 year ago)
Hey, please, how make configuration from ursa mini pro camera, i need recorder in SSD. please
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
Hi Joseph, I assume you are asking about the SSD recorder add on and where to find it? If so, B&H has it here: https://bhpho.to/2Cs5eNP If you are asking how to configure the SSD recorder, it is a matter of first attaching it to the Ursa Mini Pro (the screws are torx, not allen/hex). Then you connect the two cameras. Then on the camera's screen, you select the SSD recorder as the card to record to. Best wishes!
Reggie Koch (1 year ago)
This was the most helpful review I found. Thanks, guys!
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
Thanks Reggie!
Gerd - Felix Uitz (1 year ago)
Great video as usual! Love how the both of you are wearing northface hats like it’s totally normal. Great subtle product placement. .... I am just joking. Great content!
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
Haha! Thanks Gerd.
Marc Wolff (1 year ago)
Hi, have you had any moire / aliasing on the ursa mini pro? Thanks!
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
Yes, it crops up every once in a while.
Darrell Williams (1 year ago)
Ha anyone else noticed that red color shift between camera angles? Great video though, thanks guys!
Darrell Williams (1 year ago)
Curtis, I think it is amazing how helpful you have been with me. Thank you so much for your time!
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
First let me say that I am by no means unhappy with the Ursa Mini Pro like every camera, it has its weaknesses. First let me outline those and then explain why the C200 might have been a better option for my particular circumstances. Weaknesses: - While it's name is "Mini", the UMP is anything but mini once it is kitted out. It is not light weight either. - While the UMP has a lower price on the body, once you add a viewfinder, you're in the same price range as the C200. - Not great in low light and only goes to ISO 1600. This is sort of a hot-button topic and I usually light for my shoots so it is not generally an issue for me. But on the rare occasion that I do need a little more ISO, it would be nice to have it and avoid the rare, but somewhat unpredictable noise that results at ISO 1600. - Burns through batteries. I get 4 hours on a 150wH Anton Bauer whereas my friend Jacob gets about the same time on a much, much smaller proprietary Canon battery. - I like the Canon color science better than the UMP color science in most cases. This is highly subjective The C200 is much smaller and quite a bit lighter. I have found over time that I very rarely need raw. In some respects that makes the UMP a better option, but I'm betting that for many of the day-to-day jobs I do, even the low bitrate Canon codec would be enough and the raw light is there for those special shots where I need more latitude and control over the image. The UMP is better suited for shoulder shooting but I have also found that I rarely ever need to do that for my work. Having a smaller camera I could hold in my hands would work just as well or even better. I'm not trying to suggest that one of these cameras is better than the other because I don't think that's the case, it is more a matter of finding which fits your projects and workflow better than the other, which factors are highest priority for you, etc. I hope that gives some context... For the record, in talking with Cary, I'm pretty sure he would still choose the UMP for his work shooting music videos and in the context of his post workflow.
Darrell Williams (1 year ago)
Curtis, You are AWESOME! Thank you so much for your time and input. Could I ask you to tell me why you would lean toward the C200 now?
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
If I were buying today, I'd probably go with the Canon C200.
Darrell Williams (1 year ago)
Wow- that response was fast! I am watching your other video with your discussion of the C200 proxy workflow. I am REALLY torn between these two cameras...
savedfaves (1 year ago)
Resolution is overrated.
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
Yes and no. Downsampling can be a good strategy.
just saw the Came-TV prodigy gimbal works for ursa
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
Thanks for the update Deborah! I'll have to check that out at NAB.
John Draus (1 year ago)
I am obviously new to Raw recording. So let me ask, Is it possible to shoot in Raw at a lower resolution, say HD 1080, on either the UMP or Canon C200 in order to minimize file size for projects that you want the grading capabilities of Raw but may not need 4K? Is this possible? Would this be a silly waste or would it be a proper idea?
John Draus (1 year ago)
Yes. Purchases are definitely an expense, not an investment.
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
Yes, cameras are a horrible investment that have to be replaced about every 3 years nowadays. You might consider renting per job unless you do a large volume of jobs.
John Draus (1 year ago)
Thanks. You are greatly helping me understand the capabilities of the cameras I am considering. Though I started as a film shooter and still own my 16mm Aaton, I've been shooting mostly Canon DSLR lately and am trying to figure which camera might best allow me to expand my potential market. I'd like to be able to move from Facebook/web vids to Corporate, Commercials, Music Vids etc. Trying to avoid ending up with another paperweight like my Aaton. I guess every piece of gear becomes obsolete sooner or later.
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
Hi John, on the UMP, you can record raw at different resolutions. I am not sure on the C200.
John Draus (1 year ago)
One of the better "reviews" of the UMP I have enjoyed so far. Did I understand from this that you can record raw on the SSD and simultaneously record proxy files on the SD cards? other quality Pro Res on the SD?
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
Hi John, thanks. No, the UMP is not capable presently of recording separate proxy files at the same time it records raw or ProRes, unfortunately. This is not a good camera for proxy workflow unless you don't mind making the proxies from raw or ProRes in post before the edit.
yourfilm1000 (1 year ago)
My only concern Is there a indoor cap avalible for the cam?
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
Huh?
max bootstrap (1 year ago)
Question: If you get the big LCD "studio monitor" (or whatever they call that gizmo), can that do everything the "eyepiece viewer" accessory supports? Also, does one or both of them let you view the image magnified 4x or more so you can absolutely, positively get perfect focus?
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
Yes, I’m not sure whether it is exactly 4x but you can definitely zoom for critical focus.
Losse Beer (1 year ago)
Thanks for this, really helpful.
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
👍
Zilvinas Zusinas (1 year ago)
What kind of crane/jib would you recommend for the Ursa Mini Pro? Thanks!
Curtis Judd Audio (1 year ago)
Looks nice!
Zilvinas Zusinas (1 year ago)
I just found this ProAim Jib, which should probably fit the Ursa Mini Pro: https://www.proaim.com/proaim-14ft-video-dslr-camera-jib-stand-with-jr-pan-tilt-head.html
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
Hi Zilvinas, I haven't flown my Ursa Mini Pro yet but I can say with confidence that it requires one of the larger 2-handle gimbals. More to come once I figure it out.
Stéphane S. (1 year ago)
Great video! Is it possible to record to different formats simultaneously?
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
No, unless you use an external recorder.
DAE HWANG (1 year ago)
Very informative :) Thank you!
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
👍
Carl Mazur (1 year ago)
YAY!! Someone uploaded in 4K, LOL! What's with all the reviews of 4K cameras uploaded to YT in HD? Sheesh
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
Haha! Yes, of course! I think for a lot of shooters, 4K is for acquisition but they still usually finish in HD. For my clients, that is often the case. But for YouTube, I'm happy to upload 4K.
Nice to see you both doing a video together. Identical twins. Both with great personalities. Loved the information in this video. Thanks
You're welcome
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
Thanks!
Alan Currie (1 year ago)
Lose the hats, you're inside! :) ok seriously, thanks for review, great info
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
Thanks Alan!
Nigel Thompson (1 year ago)
My problem with BMD has always been finicky hardware and firmware. But great images.
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
Agreed. That seems to be our experience as well.
bigxheadx84 (1 year ago)
Haha "UMP"...I don't think I will be calling mine that but great video.
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
Yeah, Cary likes to name his cameras. It’s a little weird. ;)
Deadbuddha (1 year ago)
Hello there, loved your impressions. I'm kind of new to cinematography and I was wondering if you could answer a question. I understand that with this camera a lot of the work is done post production, at least to get it to a cinematic look. But when you say its not that great for low light, do you mean it would be a bad camera for lets say a horror/vampire/night movie or are you saying that as long as you step it up on the lighting department and do your due diligence, you'll be alright? Thanks again.
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
My take is that if you light, this camera does great, even for low-key work like in a horror movie. When most people talk about "low light performance," they often talking about situations where they just use existing light in a place where there isn't much light at all. You can still get a very dark look if you light properly.
1 nevi (1 year ago)
You look alike! :D
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
Yes we do!
CYVstudio (1 year ago)
I am enjoying mine ad well
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
👍
Thanks Curtis, great video. One issue I have not yet been able to sort out on my Ursa Mini Pro is working to a fixed line level audio input. For those who don’t know, Mic inputs on the Pro allow levels to be adjusted (as you would expect) but for some reason line level inputs (like from an audio mixer) are fixed and cannot be adjusted. This has my sound man pulling his hair out when he sends a tone and cant balance it! Any thoughts on this as I know you work a lot with sound? Cheers, Si
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
Hi Si, Let me do some experimenting when I have a little time. I'm generally using the inputs as AES digital in where this is not an issue. That's the ideal solution but I understand that some mixers don't have digital output options.
routergods (1 year ago)
Ok I seriously watched this two+ minutes thinking this was the most awesome side-by-side clone job with voice changing.
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
:)
Steady Rolling (1 year ago)
I remember you compared the Ursa Mini Pro to the Canon C200, but did you guys consider the C300 Mk II, when you were looking to make your move?
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
Yes, good point. Still. :) Cary is doing a job in the near future where they'll be renting a C300mkII. I suspect he'll fall in love with it.
Steady Rolling (1 year ago)
Never forget that if you buy your equipment for business use, the tax deduction effectively means that the government is paying about one-third of the cost.
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
Agree on all fronts. And looking at the amount I earn from my jobs, a $6000 camera body was about the sweet spot to ensure I actually make some money rather than just pay for gear. I'd like to say that lenses and audio gear and lighting is a much better place to invest, with the camera falling to priority just below these. The truth is that I've actually done that on the lighting and audio gear front, but I haven't spend as much on lenses (still shooting with a full complement of very old, manual aperture Nikon lenses and one EF mount Sigma photo zoom). That's why you haven't seen any Curtis Judd lens reviews. :) My experience is that it'll be tough to get 8 years from a camera. Even my 2.5 year old Panasonic needed a repair that involved sending it to Texas for 8 weeks. From my point of view, you can expect the most service years from the following in this order. Things closer to the top are probably better investments in terms of years of service vs price paid (assuming you buy pro and not consumer grade): 1) microphones 2) lenses (assuming mounts don't change or can be adapted) 2.5) audio recorders 2.6) lighting 3) Wireless audio gear 4) cameras - these break earlier than the others and technology is moving a lot faster here than with the others
Steady Rolling (1 year ago)
The more I look at cinema rigs, from the camera to the lenses to the rigging and to the audio, not to mention the batteries, data storage (and processing), and lights, the more the camera seems like just a part of a modular system, i.e., if you can start out with a good plan. Otherwise, you're constantly changing stuff you should hopefully only have to buy once, mistakes or evolution aside. And considering how fast technology is changing, it seems that if you can get five to eight years from the camera, you're ahead of the game. Hence, isn't the cost of the camera more a matter of amortization than "how much" in isolation, especially considering how much extra work one camera may cause over another? Also, I don't think you've ever done a video on lenses. It would be interesting to hear your philosophy on the question of whether it's wiser to spend more on the camera or the lenses.
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
I didn't, not because I don't want a C300 but overall price is a bit higher once you add everything needed to kit things out.
Dawson Boyle (1 year ago)
For a second there I thought your brother looked so much like you that it was you joking around a doing a clone effect 😂
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
We let the genetics do the visual effect in this case :)
Mkoelink (1 year ago)
So in love with the image it produces. Wish I had the money to buy one! *cries in a corner
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
Don't cry. Get out and earn some money shooting on what you have until you can justify it. That's what we did. :)
08breezy08 (1 year ago)
Great Review, but I think in todays camera, Technology is here for low light, and all video camera should function at the top, its like having a phone with only one camera on the front. when all phones have camera on the front and back in today Tech.
08breezy08 (1 year ago)
Curtis Judd Well Said Thanks for the reply
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
I understand but also note that with high ISO there are engineering tradeoffs. Arri Alexa doesn't do great at high ISO and despite that DP's on features and TV shows use them again and again because of the other qualities of the picture they produce (dynamic range, color quality, highlight rolloff, etc.) That's why most DPs have NOT switched to shooting with Sony A7sII as their primary cameras (though many of them are happy to use them for certain shots).
Staylo Studio (1 year ago)
I'm looking into upgrading to a new camera from my Nikon D610. Would love the Ursa Mini Pro but my budget is only $4000. I was looking at the Nikon D850 or Panasonic GH5 or would you save up for the Ursa mini pro?. Can you give me any suggestions on stepping up to a 4k camera to shoot a feature film. I have a set of Nikon AIS lenses (28mm, 50mm, 85mm, 105mm). I respect your opinion on which route would you take if you was in my shoes?
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
Thanks Staylo! Will do!
Staylo Studio (1 year ago)
Curtis Judd Thank you for replying. I want to commend you. I feel this is what's its all about. Helping others. Continue with the things you do. I have learned a lot from you and I appreciate it.
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
Hi Staylo, That's a tough call. You've identified 3 very different cameras with different sensor sizes. I'd probably go for the GH5 and that's coming from an owner of the D750, Ursa Mini Pro, and GH5. I'd scratch the UMP due to cost ($6000 is the base cost and you'll still need batteries, media, adapter, possibly shoulder rig, cinema/eng tripod quick release, etc.) I'd scratch the D850 from an ergonomics point of view and use the D610 for shots where I want the full-frame sensor look (i.e., "beauty and hero shots"). The GH5 with an adapter for those AiS lenses can produce some very nice pictures. Best wishes!
Paris Holmes Films (1 year ago)
Nvm lol
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
👍
Paris Holmes Films (1 year ago)
Brothers? lol
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
Yep
Chris Pettit (1 year ago)
Useful and interesting session. Good to hear about the challenges in moving to real cinema quality production. Thanks to both of you for taking the time to put it together.
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
Thanks!
merkletube (1 year ago)
OMG Curtis! Please tell me how you did that transition at 11:37 ? :0
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
Flow transition (in Final Cut Pro X, Premiere has a similar transition though I don’t remember it’s name)
optoomistic (1 year ago)
That UI freeze when switching from playback to record maybe an SD card issue.
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
Interesting. I’m actually using CFast and SSD but could be a CFast issue. Hmm..
legendp2011 (1 year ago)
now everyone knows how us australians feel :) every-time someone says summer I have to remember they probably mean U.S summer
legendp2011 (1 year ago)
+Curtis Judd......Meanwhile I could use some winter. it was 43 celsius (109.4 fahrenheit) the other day....and may be even hotter these coming days (not a good time to be a sony user, I have my umbrella on hand......for the sun though, not the rain). thanks for the great video BTW
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
LOL! I will say that I could use some Australian summer right now. :)
Tim Beaton (1 year ago)
re editing in Resolve/something else... what did you edit in? FCP? If so what do you think of the new 10.4 colour system? Would that mean you wouldn't round trip to resolve? If you even did that? Maybe a video on how you edit, on what, and why? Happy New Year, BTW!
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
Yes, just started using the new color wheels as well. Nicely implemented start in my use so far.
Tim Beaton (1 year ago)
Might be worth checking 10.4 as the new colour wheels and grading just got much better in FCPX. You can now use LUTS easily in FCPX, too. Might save a lot of faffing around round tripping! ALTHOUGH.... there does seem to be an anomaly with it. See Simon Ubsdell's YT channel for info on an oddity with the new colour correction tools...https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8lU35F1Q2Q4 and then the follow up.
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
Hi Tim, I still mostly edit with FCPX. For short pieces, I usually grade in Resolve, output to ProRes, then cut in FCPX. That's just for short pieces where I generally just have one take of the main storyline and B-roll. I generally only color the main storyline in Resolve. Then in the final edit, I'll do a final color pass using Color Finale in FCPX. Happy new year!
Jason Jung (1 year ago)
Is the entire family sponsored by North Face?
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
Nope, none of us are. However, it was 9 degrees F this morning and the hats concealed the lavalier microphones which were mounted on our foreheads.
Michael Cranfield (1 year ago)
Thanks guys, love your work :) picking mine up next week, can't wait.
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
Thanks Michael. I hope you enjoy the new camera!
vesocsm (1 year ago)
Hey guys, I've been overly enjoying this camera for a few months now. Great video, well said. I would like to comment on the "low light" matter. An other guy said in his video "There is a difference between "low light" and "no light."" I tried the Ursa mini pro at night outside with only the street lamps or in the park with the solar lamps - no issues with this camera. In the park i even had one ND filter up by mistake, forgot to take it off. The noise you might get is very well cleaned with Resolve. I recommend this camera to anyone who is contemplating over it. Forget Sony FS7, RED Raven or whatever... Upwards of this the next stop maybe is an Amira and that is many times the price. :)
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
Thanks vesocsm.
simon gentry (1 year ago)
had you considered a red? right in the middle of the alexa / ursa - curious also about your experience recoding audio direct to camera 😊 ☕️🎥🔥
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
Hi Simon, I did consider RED for a short time, but was too much for my budget. There is a link to a review of the audio inputs I did in the upper right corner of the video. Since then I have also used the AES feature of the inputs which is an amazing feature if you've got a mixer with AES digital output. I am able to get Sound Devices sound quality directly into the UMP without any syncing in post!
BJ Nicholls (1 year ago)
Seeing a lot of color difference between the cameras in cuts. Both in white balance and saturation. The family that toques together...
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
Thanks BJ. Good to get a little Canadian education, especially since we weren't too far from the border for this episode. :)
BJ Nicholls (1 year ago)
Your North Face hats are toques. Rhymes with "kook" in parts of Canada, at least according to Bob and Doug McKenzie. ;-)
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
Hi BJ, the two single shots were the Ursas and the wide shot is the GH5. Different lenses on each, of course.  I made no effort to color match to highlight the differences. No toque-ing involved.
david Unoi (1 year ago)
"Im usually in there trolling his comments and fighting anyone that puts him down" - That ambushed me in the feels.
david Unoi I appreciate it. I find myself fighting my brotherly instincts at times 😆
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
LOL
I'm on my second viewfinder and my second lcd screen with my Ursa Mini Pro.  Obviously there is a quality control issue with these cameras.  Image quality is superb.  I had the same screen issue with mine, and they said they replaced the lcd.  I haven't had the problem since.  My experience with customer service was not so great this last time (the lcd screen).  I was without a camera for two weeks.  I asked for a loaner while they were fixing mine and they said no.  It also cost me $100 in shipping with the insurance.  Not happy about that at all.
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
Thanks for sharing your experience. Sounds like BMD definitely has some work to do on reliability!
Edmond Lord (1 year ago)
Hi Curtis, thanks for your amazing videos. I have a question. What’s the best video exporting setting for pal 25 fps 576*720? I shooting HD 1080*1920 59.94 fps. Is the target bit rate in premiere some to do with the quality?
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
Ah, there's the issue: Converting from 59.94 to 25 will stutter because the conform is not evenly divisible. You want to look into tutorials on how to conform from 59.94 to 25 fps. I'm not familiar with the intricacies or even possibilities of making that clean and smooth. Best wishes!
Edmond Lord (1 year ago)
Curtis Judd ، the original footage is very smooth it’s 59.94 fps but when exporting to PAL the problems starts to happen. Thanks for your time and tips, it really helps a lot. I learned a lot from you.
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
Ok, you might want to try higher bitrates. But that assumes that the original footage is smooth? Or are there jitters in the originals as well?
Edmond Lord (1 year ago)
Curtis Judd, there is a lot of planing & zooms I’m experiencing stutter jitters specially when panning. Thank you very much.
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
Hi Edmond, yes, the target and max bitrates place limits on the quality. It depends on how much action there is in the footage. If it is more of a talking head or interview type of piece where the camera isn't moving, you could go with a fairly low target and max and still get good results. I would experiement starting with 10mbps.
Allen Cavedo (1 year ago)
How did you get such good audio on you two, buried lavs? How do you explain the hats, you put the lavs in the hats?
RallenMan (1 year ago)
Curtis Judd I will remember that hat/mic method as an excellent way to get good sound outdoors in the cold. Built in wind protection too.
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
Yes, but since it was 9 degrees F that morning, they served two purposes. :)
Allen Cavedo (1 year ago)
That was the only way I could figure looking at the video and hearing what I heard. I'll remember that. But then of course there are those hats on your heads... :)
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
Hi Allen, I mounted the mics to our foreheads near the hairline using Rycote Stickies and then pull the hats over the mics. My favorite place to hide lavs because it makes them into tiny, self booming mics. Sounds better than mounting on the chest in most cases.
Studio Bonn (1 year ago)
Very usefull and nice to see, a cool combination with that "interview/doku-style". But these skull-caps in that situation...?
Studio Bonn (1 year ago)
Curtis Judd Ok, so I will forgive you...🤗 And a happy new year from Germany
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
Thanks. It was about 9 degrees F that morning and we hid lavalier microphones under the hats. :)
Mychal Simmons (1 year ago)
Awesome Curtis
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
Thanks Mychal!
Adam Christopher Boyd (1 year ago)
Man, I really want to shop at North Face now. Wonder how that happened?
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
Well, the fibers in their beanies have the perfect blend for audio transparency but they're on the pricey side so...
Curtis Judd what? ! You told me that the north face beanies had special audio powers! Punked again.
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
Haha! I wanted to hide the lavalier mics for optimal sound and it turns out that beanie hats are great for that. Any brand will do. :)
David Ransom (1 year ago)
Hi Curtis. Excellent insights! I debated between this camera and the C100 mkII after the price drop. I've heard some concerns about the Ursa Mini Pro outside of controlled conditions and I ultimately went with the Canon for its versatility. But it sounds like the Ursa produces some wonderful images. With that being the case, what do you personally prefer: a camera that can do a little bit of everything like the C100 or a camera like this that can produce some wonderful cinematic images? Thanks!
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
Hi David, thanks! I prefer a camera that efficiently and elegantly works in the type of shooting the owner does. If one needs autofocus as a priority, the Canons will undoubtedly be a better choice. For me, working with ProRes is central to my corporate video workflow. The AES digital inputs for sound and timecode inputs also fit my audio priorities so they were factors too. I have been tempted a thousand times to add a C100mkII to my kit and may still! But either way, I think it comes down to the shooter’s priorities and projects. They’re both great cameras.
Edward Hitten (1 year ago)
What with the caps? The Judds got cold heads? Looks like disguise.
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
It is winter and the hats are hiding our lavalier microphones. 😀
Kenneth Kristiansen (1 year ago)
Great sound on that video, what audio gear did you use?
Curtis Judd Audio (1 year ago)
Hi Kenneth, we each wore a lavalier microphone under our hats at the top of the forehead. Mine was a Voice Technologies VT500, Cary's was a Sanken COS-11D. Both were transmitted wirelessly with Sennheiser G3 systems to a Sound Devices 633. Links below for details. Thanks for asking! Voice Technologies VT500 Lavalier: https://bhpho.to/2zyUfAo Sanken COS-11D Lavalier: https://bhpho.to/2Biex11 Sennheiser G3 Wireless kit: https://bhpho.to/2Bif3w2 Sound Devices 633 Recorder/Mixer: http://bit.ly/2tEHGRa
Muwex (1 year ago)
Which light setup are you using? Looks sooo nice!
Muwex (1 year ago)
Curtis Judd Awesome!
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
No extra lights - this room was made for filming with those huge frosted windows and amazing east facing windows with indirect light streaming in.
I can’t for the life of me remember if we added any lights. That’s the audio room at the Wormhole and it has two east facing 4’x6’ frosted windows. I get a few hours in the late morning/early afternoon that make for great light conditions. Curtis, did we end up using any extra lights?
Ata Lipsos (1 year ago)
Creative Family!
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
👍
Always good to see brothers coming together. Happy New Year
Troll Face (10 months ago)
yup. i LOVE to see brothers cumming together too :p
Curtis Judd Audio (1 year ago)
👍 Happy New Year to you!
Vj One (1 year ago)
I am also experiencing random LCD freezes since the last two updates. I have 2 UMPro's, one sometimes freezes completely and a power down and letting it cool is the only fix. Not funny on set. Will RMA, but still love the cam.
Troy Phillips (1 year ago)
This kind of freeks me out . I have a video Productions company (just started) . We do live music videos and do takes also. But if a camera started (stopping) from over heating it would ruin the shoot.
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
Definitely not funny on set. Hopefully Blackmagic is able to up their game in the reliability realm soon.
Vj One I feel your pain. My next big acquisition will likely be a second UMP body. Primarily for shooting two angles, but also as insurance while the bugs are worked out.
dsa (1 year ago)
Hey Curtis fantastic overview! But tell me how you got those Anton Bauer G90 batteries to charge, I recently bought them and none of my chargers can change them. Anton Bauer sold me a firmware chip assuring me that's all I needed for my twin charger and nothing. Do I need the newer Anton Bauer performance charger or something?
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
On the bright side, it is a very nice charger - with the touch screen you see its memory, charge cycles, and lots of other info that is useful. Best wishes!
dsa (1 year ago)
Oh lawwd, $800 more. I knew it but thought I could avoid that. Thank you so much for confirming that, now I know what I have to do and won't cut corners.
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
Hi dsa, I use the Performance dual charger: https://bhpho.to/2C85910
Ross Goodfellow (1 year ago)
I though it was interesting when you described colour adjustment at the end of the vid- Personally I'm not a fan of LUTs, and have no problem working with "milky" looking log footage. I tend to use (read "always" use) a colour chart when slating, and shoot in S-log (or even the Technicolor Log if shooting with a DSLR); then the first thing I do in Resolve is correct with the chart to get what I call "Really-real-reality". I find it very fast, and the results are stunning, every single time. After that I'm doing colour-correction to either correct/balance the look, or to adjust the mood of the piece. I've yet to hear about anyone using this kind of workflow, but I seem to get amazing results with it. Did I mention it's fast? ;) Any thoughts?
Ross Goodfellow “really-real-reality” sounds like a term I would use. I love it!
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
Hi Ross, I only use the LUT to manage the color transforms. I still do all the grading to optimize the lift, gamma, and gain, etc. Using a color chart is another way to do it that is completely legitimate though doesn't necessarily take into account all of the color science and non-linear transforms of the camera being used. That said, I do it sometimes as well and it can be a nice complement to using the stock LUT to manage the color transforms: https://youtu.be/xJjY3Djj0Wg
nightdesigns (1 year ago)
Great overview. One area that surprised me you didn't touch on was the internal audio, and quite a bit of noise in the pre-amps.
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
Thanks! I added a link to a separate piece where I evaluated the microphone inputs. The analogue preamps are noisy but the fact that the inputs also support AES digital in is very useful. I can use my Sound Devices 633 to do the heavy lift and then send a digital AES signal to the Ursa Mini Pro to record with picture. Very nice.
tommy f. (1 year ago)
Do you have a twin brother? :D
tommy f. Not twins, I’m 6 years younger, 6lbs heavier, and 6” shorter 🙃
EposVox (1 year ago)
Thanks for the thoughts! This one is definitely on my radar for eventual upgrade. For now, two G7s fits my budget better.
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
Thanks! Yes, the G7s are hard to beat for the price!
Patrick McDonough (1 year ago)
Hats off to another great video. Thank you very much again.
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
Thanks Patrick!
Totally agree with everything. I love my UMP! Happy New Year Curtis!
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
👍
Peter Kent (1 year ago)
Which is which?
Peter Kent I’m the short fat one (Cary)
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
Haha!
Basic Filmmaker (1 year ago)
Nice to see your thoughts after 6 months on this camera. Happy New Year.
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
Thanks BFM and happy new year to you!
Fresh Wess Films (1 year ago)
very good review
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
Thanks!
Jesse Pamintuan (1 year ago)
Considering how Blackmagic focused on features and ergonomics going from the Mini to the Pro, would simple ergonomic and feature changes you discussed be enough for you to want to upgrade from your current setup assuming all specs stay the same. Usually, people don't make the switch unless there are sensor or software specs that justify the cost of switching, but since Blackmagic seems to be settling on what they are already offering, what would be the tipping point for you that would tempt you to upgrade?
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
Fine question Jesse. I don't know since I did NOT buy the Mini but waited for the Pro. Actually, I was waiting for the C100mkIII but when the Pro was announced, decided to go for it. Whether ergonomics alone would be enough to upgrade, I think that depends on how much those features are worth to a particular shooter and how much one could sell their original Mini for. I opted NOT to buy the Mini because it would have been too time consuming to shoot with for my particular type of work. The Pro solved most of those problems for me.
ahfimiwonawun (1 year ago)
Always freaky to see the both of you together in the same space at the same time...
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
Sorry, didn't mean to freaky you out! :)
If you have the dongle version of resolve contact BMD and they will give you a serial number so that you can get rid of your dongle. Great review guys.
What these guys have done is nothing short of amazing. With R14 I was finally able to dump Premiere. It's just crazy what they give away for free!
This is fantastic information and a testament to their customer service. Thank you!
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
Thanks Mike - I will! Would love to ditch that dongle!
Micheal G (1 year ago)
Nice seeing your brother Curtis. Wish you the best ❤️
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
Thanks Michael. Happy new year!
daylight5500 (1 year ago)
Very Nice!
Curtis Judd (1 year ago)
👍

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