Please note this is comparing the Blackmagic Ursa (the big one not the new mini’s) against the Red Epic. The new 4K Ursa Mini has version 2 of this sensor so it might help a bit, and the 4.6K version has a new sensor with 15 instead of 12 stops of dynamic range.
We do like the image from the Digital Bolex but do note their recent announcement:
Unfortunately, after a handful of Digital Bolex user complaints in the last two months of SSDs dismounting, frozen cameras, and potential footage loss, we have discovered that these new monitors include a flaw in their signal that causes a major problem with the D16’s internal SSD drive that effects its ability to record and playback footage.
SmallHD is working hard to resolve this incompatibility with our camera, and have provided us with samples of the new monitor so our engineers can help to diagnose the problem. While an update to the SmallHD firmware was recently released, it did not solve these critical issues, so for the time being, we are currently recommending that users of the Digital Bolex do not use the new SmallHD 500 series EVFs with our camera until the problems are resolved.
Many of us our anxiously awaiting the 4.6K Blackmagic Ursa Mini and its 4.6K sensor. There has only been one release of sample footage from this sensor and not much actual analysis from people who have had time to play with the camera.
OneRiver Media Blog has had an opportunity to use this camera and their preliminary findings are promising:
The highlight retention is stunningly gorgeous with subtle, silky smooth roll-off that any cinematographer would appreciate.
Clean shadow retention? Gorgeous.
Skin tone rendition? Beautiful.
Overall color fidelity? Immersive and accurate.
Detail? Crisp and clean.
See their article for more.
The OneRiver Media Blog has posted a thoughtful article about the Blackmagic Ursa Mini titled Insight Into The Blackmagic URSA MINI.
This is the most poignant discussion on the subject we have seen so far and it does a good job covering the value of this camera and whom it might make sense for.
Although it may appear that Blackmagic may have built the URSA Mini as a direct competitor to the Sony FS7 (a camera which I really like), this is actually not the case. In truth, Blackmagic had an obvious “hole” in their camera product lineup with regards to size, ergonomics, and features, and the URSA Mini was their answer to that missing product void, whether it’s a close competitor to the FS7 or not. In reality, the Sony FS7 and the URSA Mini are somewhat different types of tools.