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Blackmagic URSA Viewfinder working on the BM Cinema Camera

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  • #16
    Hi Peter:

    1. I think the VF gamma switch function works via a communication protocol to the camera body - meaning - it tells the Tap to send film gamma or video gamma. It's not a single preloaded look up table that lives inside the viewfinder (at least my first investigation would lead me to believe as such.) Since the Dragon is not meant to take the command protocol this gamma switch does nothing on non-BMD cameras.

    2. The tie down screw is a 3/8" Camera screw standard - instead of 1/4"-20 camera standard. This is good because it's the "other camera standard" personally I'm looking forward to the Wooden Camera mod, or personally modding th viewfinder myself to give it longer power and sdi leads and more mounting options. I didn't dismantle it yet, but just wanted to do a very quick test with one of my cameras, might have time to put it on alexa and a sony next week.

    What I will say - this is a world class viewfinder. I may end up putting s piece of tape or a tiny toggle switch in place of the light sensor, and I want to get a little eyepiece protector cap to protect it from direct sunlight down the barrel
    Dan Kanes
    www.dankanes.com

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    • #17
      Originally posted by DanKanes View Post
      1. I think the VF gamma switch function works via a communication protocol to the camera body - meaning - it tells the Tap to send film gamma or video gamma. It's not a single preloaded look up table that lives inside the viewfinder (at least my first investigation would lead me to believe as such.) ...
      Thanks again for your first-hand info; much appreciated!

      If you have an opportunity, I'd appreciate it if you (or "thegregferris") could double-check the detail about the URSA Viewfinder's "Film-to-Video" feature when used with a non-URSA camera or other HD-SDI video source.

      I agree that URSA cams will be able to control certain URSA VF features via a data signal embedded in the SDI, but another URSA VF owner posted they were able to toggle the Film-to-Video feature using the VF's own menu -- without an URSA camera.

      Since this is early days and people are just now getting acquainted with this new VF's features, it would be fantastic if we could nail down which features are "universal" and which require an URSA. For example, many BMCC & BMPC-4K owners (I'm one of the latter) are especially hoping it's true that Film-to-Video is a feature of the VF itself. If possible, let us know what you find out. Cheers!
      Last edited by Peter J. DeCrescenzo; 09-19-2015, 07:51 AM.
      www.peterdv.com
      Blog: http://HereForTheWeather.wordpress.com

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      • #18
        Here's a couple of things to clarify how the EVF works and some of the information it expects/needs from the camera for some of the features to perform as intended:

        First, we intend for the user/camera to send a Film signal from camera with overlays for the front SDI set to OFF (unless recording ProRes Video). This way, all features of the EVF are generated in the EVF itself and exposure tools are calculated based on the Film signal before the Film to Video conversion done in the EVF.

        • Peaking - sensor and ISO dependant. This is generated before frame guides and overlays so as not to be added to them.

        • Zebra - sensor and ISO dependant. Threshold follows the camera percentage setting.

        • False colour - sensor and ISO dependant.

        • Film to Video - sensor and ISO dependant. This is applied after exposure tools like zebras/histogram.

        • Frame guides - generated on the EVF and follows the currently selected guide from camera.

        Most of these features should have a "default" if never plugged into a camera that talks to it, but then they may not be useful for another camera.
        Blackmagic Design
        My BMD LUTs.

        **Any post by me prior to Aug 2014 was before i started working for Blackmagic**

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        • #19
          Originally posted by CaptainHook View Post
          ... • Film to Video - sensor and ISO dependant. ... Most of these features should have a "default" if never plugged into a camera that talks to it, but then they may not be useful for another camera.
          Thanks for your post, CaptainHook.

          Question: When a BMPC-4K or BMCC is set to RAW recording mode, and an URSA Viewfinder is connected to the cam's SDI Film output, can the VF be set to Film to Video mode and the VF's OLED display appear as approx. Rec.709?

          In other words, can the URSA Viewfinder's Film to Video mode be useful/effective with a BMPC-4K or BMCC when shooting RAW? And when recording ProRes/DNxHD Film?

          EDIT: Apparently the answer is "No"?
          Last edited by Peter J. DeCrescenzo; 09-20-2015, 08:37 PM.
          www.peterdv.com
          Blog: http://HereForTheWeather.wordpress.com

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          • #20
            It would require an update for those cameras to add EVF support.
            Blackmagic Design
            My BMD LUTs.

            **Any post by me prior to Aug 2014 was before i started working for Blackmagic**

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            • #21
              Originally posted by CaptainHook View Post
              It would require an update for those cameras to add EVF support.
              Understood. (Sigh.)

              Here's hoping such an update for pre-URSA BMD cameras is somewhere near the top of the company's mile-long "to do" list. Cheers.
              www.peterdv.com
              Blog: http://HereForTheWeather.wordpress.com

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Peter J. DeCrescenzo View Post
                Understood. (Sigh.)

                Here's hoping such an update for pre-URSA BMD cameras is somewhere near the top of the company's mile-long "to do" list. Cheers.
                Second that...

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                • #23
                  Does anyone know if it works through a converter like a DP7?
                  I just plugged my laptop into the DP7 and tried to cross convert to SDI and got nothing..

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                  • #24
                    Revisiting this thread; now that a few more people might have the EVF, does anyone have experience with the ursa viewfinder on the BMCC to share?

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by sebkaz View Post
                      Does anyone know if it works through a converter like a DP7?
                      I just plugged my laptop into the DP7 and tried to cross convert to SDI and got nothing..
                      There is an option for cross conversion in the DP7 menus but you need the latest firmware for that.
                      Ola Harström
                      vimeo.com/olis

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Olius View Post
                        There is an option for cross conversion in the DP7 menus but you need the latest firmware for that.
                        After some testing with a C300, the output signal has to be 1080p (1080i gives you an interesting result), but it also has to be minimum 4:2:2 which my laptop can't output.
                        Not sure if the bit depth effects the output.

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                        • #27
                          Has anyone that has been using the Ursa EVF on the BMCC please share their general experiences? Also, Do you need to buy any additional cables or hardware to mount it to the BMCC? I am planning on buying one for my Ursa Mini 4.6K when that time comes but would like to use on my existing BMCC if I will not need ago spend much more $$$ than the $1500.

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