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Form factor vs. Capability

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  • Form factor vs. Capability

    Hey gang,

    I started following this forum back in April when the Pocket 4K buzz first hit. I've got a pretty thoroughly rigged micro cinema package put together (and I love the images it produces) but I'm not a big fan of the Frankenstein form factor. It introduces more conceivable points of failure than I'm comfortable with on paid projects.

    I've been torn between the bmpcc4k and something in the URSA category. Economically speaking, the pocket makes a heck of a lot more sense as my lens collection, batteries, and memory cards all transfer. And the dual native ISO is pretty sweet.

    But to the same effect...It's really cheap. And I don't hear anyone cheering about an ultralight carbon fiber body. I was checking out a friend's AMIRA the other day...all rigged out with a Cooke s4i mini and man I loved the heft. And everything was there. No cages. No remotes. No breakout boxes and cables and dummy batteries. What a beautiful tool.

    My favorite camera design from BMD is still the woebegone URSA major. I know it's a far cry from an Amira, but it sure looks like it's built like a tank. Global shutter is great, and all the workstations are built in, which is fantastic. Are the reliability issues as widespread as the internet would have me believe?

    I guess the question behind all I out of my mind for considering the big Ursa over the pocket? Paid projects for me tend to be doc-style commercials with minimal crew, but I'm really trying to invest in something for use in narrative projects. I like the look of the old Ursa footage better than what I've seen from the first glimpses at the pocket, but it's too early to make the call. At this point, both cameras are within spitting distance of each other price-wise, so what it comes down to is what is going to be the most reliable movie-making tool in the field. I don't want a prosumer toy even if the specs are out of this world. I want a tool that's designed to be put through it's paces.

    If you're still reading, I'd appreciate any thoughts you may have!

    Warm regards,

  • #2
    Well, the in between option is the Ursa Mini Pro. There's nothing the Pocket 4K can do that the UMP can't aside from weigh less and fit into smaller spaces. It's also quite a bit more expensive, but like the Pocket 4K, there is no camera that can do what it does at a lower price.


    • #3
      Originally posted by adcalvetti View Post

      I guess the question behind all I out of my mind for considering the big Ursa over the pocket?
      No you are not Andrew, at least not in my book.

      I also love the form factor of the big Ursa. IMHO the best body BM ever build.
      If they only would have brought the 4.6 sensor into the big boy, that would be my dream camera.

      I don't care about size and weight, it would live on some sort of support (tripod, dolly, etc.) most of the time anyway.
      Shooting from the shoulder is super rare for me, and only if the scene absolutely calls for it.

      The pocket will be no replacement for my little Ursas, but something that is ether on a one hand gimbal 90% of the time,
      or in super tight spaces or on suction cups for car shots.

      What's the point to frankenstein it like a Chrsitmas tree?
      Than I could use my Ursa in the first place, but got a way better all-in-one form factor.


      • #4
        Thanks for your thoughts folks!

        @tyger11 The UMP is definitely the best of both worlds, but the price tag puts it in dream land for me right now.

        @Frank Did you own/use the big Ursa? I've seen lots of review footage but would love to see more actual projects utilizing the camera.


        • #5
          I have the big Ursa 4K in our TV Studio, great camera, we use it for chroma keying projects, only wish it had the PL Mount instead of the EF mount, but the price was right A camera that is between the big Ursa 4K and the Picket Camera 4K, is the Ursa Mini 4K, also available in EF or PL mount. It has the same sensor and Global shutter thr big Ursa has. Looked into getting one of theses,but had a hard time finding a PL version at a good price. This camera is half the price of a UM Pro, and is more like a scaled down Ursa.

          I wanted the newer color science 4, and use it for mostly broadcast work, so we got the Ursa Broadcast instead, and added the PL mount.


          • #6
            I think an Ursa mini pro (with BMD EVF) is for you. Get it with a decent shoulder rig and kit (check and call it a day. I too am tired of rigging out cameras so I'm glad i have my Ursa mini pro now. I will get the pocket 4k and keep it small either just on a tripod as a B camera or on a gimbal again as a B cam to my UMP. I have all the controls I need on the body of my Ursa mini pro and XLR ...which i've used one 2 commercials. Wasn't ideal but It was good to have in a pinch.
            Darren Scott
            Freelance Director/Director of Photography