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  • No love for the Ursa Mini 4K?

    Hi,

    I am considering to get a cinema camera and probably go with Blackmagic. I used some of them and find the footage so good and so easy to grade. I had a Sony FS700 which I was not very satisfied with. I tried the A7SII and had the same feel about its color science. On the other hand Canon and Red cameras are just out of my budget.

    I decided that I would go for BMPC4k, but I was confused about the super bad BMPC4K reviews on the internet. Then when I got to use the BMPC4K I find it surprisingly good. It wasn't that hard to work with and the image is just gorgeous.
    Then the Usra Mini 4k came along and I decided to get one since it has the same sensor as the BMPC4K but better ergonomics and specs. I know it's not 15 stops and not as good in low light compare to the 4.6K.

    Then the same problem happens, the unbelievably bad reviews. As far as I know, it has FPN issues and bad in low light situation. But I still don't get why many reviewers including Philip Bloom have said that it's a terrible camera, and the 4.6k is a much better camera. Can I have some insights on this please? Is there some problems that I haven't known of? Thank you very much!

    G

  • #2
    From what I've seen on this forum here, the 4k version of the URSA Mini had had a lot LESS problems than the 4.6k version.
    Cameras: Blackmagic Cinema Camera, Blackmagic Pocket Camera (x2), Panasonic GH2 (x2), Sony RX100 ii, Canon 6D, Canon T2i,
    Mics: Sennheiser, AKG, Shure, Sanken, Audio-Technica, Audix
    Lights: Every Chinese clone you can imagine

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    • #3
      Love is overrated.

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      • #4
        I changed my BMPC4K for the UM4K that is a fantastic camera especially with the new firmware, but I have to say that my unit has more FPN than the BMPC and has an annoying lowlight flicker, that in window mode is very noticeable.

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        • #5
          Does it means the UM4K generally has worse low light performance? For what I've seen the BMPC4K is a pretty bad low light camera already. If I already have a Pocket as a B camera. Should I get a UM4K, BMCC, BMPC4K? Thank you.

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          • #6
            Both 4K cameras have the same sensor, so they should be about the same in low light performance. That said, as you pointed out G, they are Not low light cameras, and when properly exposed, they produce a great image and have a global shutter.
            So many of,the "bad" reviews stem from UM realistic expectations of the camera (thinking it should be as good in low light as a UM 4.6, or DSLR), and end up underexposing the camera to the point of getting FPN, or other underexposure and scaling artifacts, they are calling FPN.

            My advice is to rent a UM 4K and try it out, do your own tests, and see how you like the camera. The Micro Studio 4K, is also a low native ISO 100/200 and early users had issues, not uderstsnding this and kept trying to expose it in ISO 400/800 lighting. But, once properly exposed, it also produces wonderful, nicely saturated images, with very,little,post,production required (after all it is a TV production camera, which was the original market for the BMPC 4K, and the Ursa 4K bringing "Hollywood" type production capability to this, and other smaller commerical productions.
            DS

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            • #7
              I second Denny's comment about trying to test a demo unit if you can. I had that opportunity recently and found the low light performance of the URSA Mini 4K better than I was lead to believe. I shot raw, and the noise was very visible. But after I cleaned it up in Adobe Camera Raw, it looked better than what I was seeing from my Canon T4i. The difference was that the T4i was noisy too, but the compression was blurring it; whereas the Cinema DNG's from the UM4K show what you're really getting right off the sensor, leaving it to you to clean up yourself. That can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on your preferred workflow, but I tend to prefer having the control myself as opposed to some automatic process doing something I may not want.
              Last edited by LucasBC; 10-18-2016, 09:56 AM.

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              • #8
                I love the UM4K. If you're in a situation with available low light, you can't crank the ISO like a DSLR to get exposure. If you have experience with the BMPC4K you can probably expect similar performance, it's not as bad as people make it out to be, it just needs to be lit. I have noticed that there's a bit more noise in the new beta firmware, but that can be fixed in future updates. For the price point you're not going to find another camera that can do what it does.
                Darren Hartman
                Asyn Film | Banana Stand Media

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                • #9
                  Do you have any idea why people (including Philip Bloom) said UM4K has a faulty sensor? There are also many reports that it often gives up on the field and not at all reliable? I'm not sure what is the cause because these reports does not go into much detail. Personally I am not into stress testing or putting my camera at its limits, but it should at least perform without problems. I usually light my scenes and I find the BMPC4K very workable. The camera delivers superb image so I expect the UM4K must at least has the same image quality. At the price point it's unrivaled but these reviews and reports are holding me back.
                  @Asyndeton: I assume that you are a UM4K owner? Have you experienced any unexpected problems with the camera on set(any)? I know it's a cinema camera but have you used it for something like wedding or live events?

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                  • #10
                    For my needs, I prefer the small and solid form factor of the BMPC over the Ursa mini. If I was to go 4k I'd stay with the Production cam, but I'm probably one of the only few people who like the old design better.

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                    • #11
                      Absolutely. I almost have no complaints about the BMPC. It is a really good cinema camera for the price, but I really like the ability to do some slow-mo when I want to. 4K60p and 1080@120p is very tempting. Beside I only hear good things about the UM4K ergonomics compare to the BMPC4K so I guess it should be okay.

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                      • #12
                        Shoot for what you need and what you desire. I have an URSA Mini 4k and I'm stoked with it, I use it for 90% outside shooting and I use it mostly for sports, Global Shutter is king, in every aspect, it makes me wish I'd never shot any of my work with a rolling shutter. The people (like me) who have had very fortunate results with this camera, don't have time to write reviews as we're too busy actually shooting.

                        The main drawing card with this camera for me is Global Shutter, I really wish the 4.6k and Micro had GS like they promised, I would've gone for that in a heart beat. Hopefully it'll happen in time.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by giangwow View Post
                          @Asyndeton: I assume that you are a UM4K owner? Have you experienced any unexpected problems with the camera on set(any)? I know it's a cinema camera but have you used it for something like wedding or live events?
                          Check out Darren's website. He has a pretty comprehensive write-up about use of the UM4K on a feature.
                          -Tim Crowe
                          Instagram: www.instagram.com/crowedunk
                          Vimeo: www.vimeo.com/timcrowe

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by giangwow View Post
                            Have you experienced any unexpected problems with the camera on set(any)? I know it's a cinema camera but have you used it for something like wedding or live events?
                            We all know and it's been said over-and-over how it's not a low-light camera, but I used one for a low-light event and was able to get decent shots with a f/1.4 lens and a shutter of 360 @400...but then I shot the same event (in the same location with the same lighting) with a 1DX Mark II, which I was using @6400-10000, and it was like a different event.

                            The high ISOs in the modern DSLRs (or other cinema cameras) is just so convenient for that type of run-and-gun, no lighting available type shoots.

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                            • #15
                              @Liam. Thanks for your reply. Im almost certain that I will get the UM4K in the future now. Probably will try to get my hands on it first though.
                              @Glornis. Thank you Tim for pointing that out. I didn't know about his blog.
                              @NorBro. If so I guess it's not that bad. However, this is just an additional question. I won't count towards my decision. I will not use it for event type of shots regularly.

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