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Some guy sold his Ursa Mini Pro to buy an FS7


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#241 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 24 January 2018 - 02:33 AM

I thought you like more soft, filmic images? That is exactly what the Arri does. The 3K upscale is what makes the image look so filmic, when combined with Arri's color science. 6k down-sampled to 4k is extremely sharp, which sounds to me like the opposite of what you have said you liked in previous posts. You make multiple claims that even 4K is too sharp, so I fail to see how 6k down-sampled to 4k is going to look less sharp.


Well, I've shot a lot with the dragon quite a bit at 6k, scaled to 4k or UHD and it looks nice. Now I've not mixed the Dragon with ultra primes or any high-end super crisp glass because that's murder on your audience. If you use softer glass, the camera really doesn't look bad. This can be said about SO MANY other digital cameras, like the URSA Mini pro. So many people go right for the high end modern glass and I do the opposite.

When the Epic first launched, I hated RED. However, they've solved many of their issues and because the expense of renting (or owning) an Alexa is so high for a camera that isn't even 4k, where you have to upscale which looses color space, it hardly seems worth it in the long run to bother with it in my view. The clients that require 4k (which is most now a days) I shoot Dragon 6k and scale down to 4k and it looks great.

Red images, while looking nice, look like digital camera footage. They are sharp, and don't share Arri's very film-like color science. Red images really don't look filmic at all, and look on par with my GH4 with more DR if anything.


Eh, the Dragon's can look very nice, but it does require more effort then the Alexa. I think the Alexa just looks NATURALLY beautiful, kinda like the Canon C series and I will admit, the URSA mini 4.6k has a very similar "feel". The benefit of having a full 16 bit 444 color space when going from 6k to 4k is HUGE. No matter what, if you scale up to 4k or UHD, the Alexa is 4:2:2.

I'm simply saying that Arri is still the go-to camera system for award-winning and stunning looking digital cinematography - and Blackmagic is not.


... and it never will be for high end stuff because as you say later, it's just not in the same price range, so people don't take it seriously.

I don't blame Blackmagic for making it inexpensive, for not competing in the FS7 or even higher end market. It makes no sense, they aren't ready to compete in that market. However, for owner/operators like myself, they do offer a few things the competition for the same price point do not, the list I posted earlier. The in-camera workflow, the post workflow, the price point, accessories, everything about the design, it's all so damn well thought out. Not perfect... but the "issues" in my book, don't outweigh the benefits. I'd much rather have it then any other sub $10k camera. I also think it will do well on rental too.
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#242 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 24 January 2018 - 05:39 PM

I asked a buddy of mine, who runs one of the larger rental houses in LA about this. Unsurprisingly, he had no idea what I was talking about.

This is nothing than one persons completely unverified theory, which he has so far presented without a single shred of evidence to support it.

Its BS. Nothing more.
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#243 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 24 January 2018 - 11:35 PM

I asked a buddy of mine, who runs one of the larger rental houses in LA about this. Unsurprisingly, he had no idea what I was talking about.


Again, just reporting what people have told me. They could be wrong, but I've heard the same story from multiple sources. It's impossible to verify because like so many backhanded deals in Hollywood, people keep very tight lipped about things that could affect them. One would assume if this were anywhere near public knowledge, there would be some backlash. 

 

I only mentioned it in relationship to the concept of certain top cinematographers using identical equipment on a regular basis and why they do it. 

 

There is no reason to continue this aspect of the conversation because it's impossible to prove. You can just drop it and we can move on to better things, like my 5 camera test that I started shooting yesterday. 


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#244 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 24 January 2018 - 11:47 PM

I've never heard of what Tyler is describing either. 

 

I'm not sure why there has to be a conspiracy theory to explain why a cinematographer might choose to use the same camera on multiple productions... this predates digital.

 

Some cinematographers like to eliminate variables so once they find a camera and lens system that gives them the results they like, consistently and predictably, with good technical support for servicing from either a rental house or manufacturer, they don't see a reason to try something else.

 

And it certainly doesn't take a conspiracy theory to explain the popularity of the ARRI Alexa.

Certainly there are financial deals out there, but not of the type that Tyler seems to be implying.  


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#245 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 25 January 2018 - 01:54 AM

No Im afraid its true.. I was just told I couldn't rent a RED..  when I was crying in my Bentley in the rental park park..  a shadowy figure appeared by the window.. fearing my hub caps were going to stolen again I went to get out quick.. but no.. it was a messenger from the Death Head Axis of Evil.. I had fumbled the handshake .. so no dice..   thats Hollywood folks..  I gunned the Bentley down the Boulevard of Broken Dreams..  wiping a tear from my eye.. Damn them Hipsters to Hell..no worries their loss ..I was on the  next big one with an F55..  


Edited by Robin R Probyn, 25 January 2018 - 01:56 AM.

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#246 David Peterson

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Posted 06 February 2018 - 04:05 AM

5 reasons the URSA Mini is better than the Sony FS7


5. Yo! - FS7, what’s with that long extender-handle on the right side? That thing looks like the part of a male elephant that he uses to do sexy stuff to a female elephant. And you totally just copied it right from the URSA Mini anyway. If you can’t think up anything original on your own and have to go around copying other people’s ideas then you shouldn’t get to win any of these online contests. Go home Sony FS7!

 

 

FS7 is older than the URSA Mini, if anything, BMD copied Sony?!


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#247 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 06 February 2018 - 05:20 AM

Careful with your dangerously logical posts sir..  it will end in tears before tea time.. 


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#248 David Peterson

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Posted 06 February 2018 - 06:02 AM

Darn it, can't edit my post now?

Anyway, looked it up, is 2014 vs 2015, as to when they where each released. Big difference!


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#249 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 06 February 2018 - 06:10 AM

you are correct sir .. the mini borrowed alot from the fs7.. as the f5//55 borrowed alot from the the now standard, Arri LCD "hot button" configuration/lay out..


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#250 Mark Kenfield

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Posted 06 February 2018 - 09:59 AM

you are correct sir .. the mini borrowed alot from the fs7.. as the f5//55 borrowed alot from the the now standard, Arri LCD "hot button" configuration/lay out..


Well... after the 8th firmware revision at least 😂
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#251 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 06 February 2018 - 07:11 PM

Well... after the 8th firmware revision at least

 

 

But the wish was there from V1 ..  :)


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#252 David Peterson

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Posted 09 February 2018 - 02:03 AM

 

The Ursa Mini Pro 4.6k allows you to enter metadata remotely from an iPad app via bluetooth. And in regards to the syncing files bit, tentacle sync + it's software does this perfectly.

 

That being said, I completely agree with you that slating, file management and syncing between audio recorders and our cameras is still a bloody mess.

URSA Mini has a timecode input, you don't even need to use Tentacle's software to sync the files together. It should be bloody easy, not a bloody mess.


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#253 David Peterson

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Posted 09 February 2018 - 02:07 AM

It should not be that difficult to make a new version of a ipad slate app which would just send the same data to the metadata fields of the camera files, for example on ursa mini. 

 

the main problem with metadata is that the camera dept guys generally don't have much time to edit them and add descriptions etc. because they need to concentrate to the current/next shot being made.

the task must also be possible to do fully remotely without any need to use the camera even for a second (that would basically stop all the shooting for a moment every time the metadata would need to be edited in camera so it must be able to be done remotely by someone who does not have anything else to do at that moment)

It would thus be easiest having an additional person who is fully concentrating to metadata editing only (someone who is positioned near the director and script supervisor. maybe an assistant script supervisor who would be hired for only this metadata task? or an additional assistant editor hired for the task?

 

audio recordist generally names the audio files with shot and take number based on the slate data he/she sees on the monitor so the audio is easy to find with current workflows without camera metadata altered. if the slate is correct of course.

 

Multi camera shoots with remote metadata editing on all the cameras for every shot? 

I don't know how much this is actually done nowadays, do others have experience with for example 2 or 3 camera movie shoots with very detailed metadata for editing purposes applied in camera?

If your sound department is greater than one person (as otherwise, it is unreasonable to expect so much from them) then yeah they'll be uploading fairly detailed notes. But they'll be sound focused. The script supervisor would be entering other kind of info, but if you're using say Timecode System's Blink Network & a 600 series recorder from Sound Devices this can all together with each other and using the Movie Slate app. The next step would be to get the Camera Department on the same page to talk with the Movie Slate app as well. 


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#254 David Peterson

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Posted 09 February 2018 - 02:11 AM

I'd rather have it not be so much an "app" as much as maybe a whole new slate which you can write on, as a normal slate, but which somehow reads what's written and wirelessly sends that data to the camera(s) and audio. It's a whole pipe-dream of course, but who knows, maybe one day as cameras get more "wireless" out of the box someone can make something. I don't think it should be an "App" as much as a piece of actual kit with easily changeable batteries, and relatively rugged.

That way it's less "metadata editing" as it is regular slating which also smartly communicates to the camera(s) and audio what the shot has been called so in post it all has the same names.

Smart slates can already take all the info in the audio recorder (such as take number, not just the current time) and have that displayed.

 

Assuming you're using some tech that supports that. For instance I'm a fan of the Timecode Systems Ultrasync One:

 

 

 

 

Thus the only missing part of the puzzle here is to get Blackmagic Design on board! Sooo close... yet so far! Someone should reach out to BMD? Get them to talk with the Movie Slate app developers and with Timecode Systems the company.


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#255 David Peterson

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Posted 09 February 2018 - 02:19 AM

Okay, I'll give ya that. As good as the RED anyway, then. Alexa is really in a ballpark all by itself, from both a workflow and a color-science area. RED, in my mind, looks too digital - like an overpriced DSLR. Blackmagic produces much nicer images than the RED (and at a lot less the cost), but I have never been a fan of Blackmagic Design: they always seem to cut corners, and every one of their products I have bought has had major flaws. 

 

I shot a local commercial once with an FS700, which is closely related to the other mid-lower-end professional Sony cameras. That camera was a dream to work with, and if I had the money to purchase, I'd probably pick the FS700 w/ 4k upgrade over the Ursa Mini Pro, despite the cameras age. The only Panasonic I have ever shot with is a GH4 and GH5 - both of which are standout mirrorless cameras for cinematography, well built, etc. My one experience with Blackmagic was not so good - the pocket camera.  Horrid battery life, impossible to get anything remotely wide angle due to the odd sensor, fiddly SD cards to shoot on, etc.The Micro could be an upgrade to the pocket, given its use of external canon batteries and the ability to record externally - but would not invest in it now. 

The good news is you can pick up a Sony FS700 secondhand for around US$1.5K ish! (add on an Atomos Shogun for FSraw 4K to ProResHQ 4K for only another US$600ish secondhand. Total cost? Barely over $2K if you hunt for it). 

As for a BMPCC, why hate on it for having SD cards? The FS700 recorders to that as well! (so does the GH4 & GH5 you mentioned)
As for battery life with both the BMCC and BMPCC, you should always use external batteries (which are pretty cheap and easy to do) and only view the internal battery as a "bonus" feature (hey, it allows you to hotswap batteries!  ;)  )

Also, you might be getting the Micro Studio and Micro Cinema mixed up (the Micro Studio needs external recording, the Micro Cinema uses the same SD cards as a BMPCC would).

Oh, and is very very easy to get wide angle shots with any of those! (Pocket or Micro) Just get yourself a Tokina 11-20mm f2.8 + a focal reducer. Problem solved. Easy.


Edited by David Peterson, 09 February 2018 - 02:21 AM.

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#256 David Peterson

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Posted 09 February 2018 - 02:29 AM

S16 is certainly a standard-sized sensor, but the need to put PL glass on a sub-$1,000 HD camera really kinda, I dunno, just seems overkill to me. It just seems to me, given the low price-point, they could have went m4/3, thus opening it up to pretty much any glass (keeping the same pixel count, it'd also be a killer low-light camera). Personal preference I guess, since so few people actually own Super 16 glass, escpailly those in the market for a pocket camera. 

Errr.... the BMPCC (& Micro) *IS* a Micro Four Thirds mount camera!!! :-o 
I use MFT lenses on my BMPCC all the time. 

(and the fact people would use expensive S16 cine lenses on the BMPCC just shows what a damn fine camera it is, that people will even pair it with very nice glass)

 

 

 

 

As for the Pocket camera sensor size and glass, it CAN work of course. Pairing it with a 0.58x speedbooster can certainly retain wide angle on many wide lenses, like the Sigma 11-16. It just seems like it needs a lot of work to get there. 

 

 

A "lot of work"?? I don't see what is so hard about just selecting the right lens (paired with a focal reducer)? That is after all a core job duty of the cinematographer! 

(oh and you mean the Tokina, not the Sigma 11-16mm, that doesn't exist from Sigma)

 

 

Rokinon DS glass is made for the FF market, so it's probably actually a little softer than glass made for s35. 

 

 

Some of Rokinon's lenses (especially on the wider end) are designed for S35/APS-C/DX, and not for FF35/FX. Such as their 16mm lens, which is top of my list to add next to my Rokinon Cine DS collection. 

 

http://ironfilm.co.n...on-cine-lenses/

 

Errr.... the BMPCC (& Micro) *IS* a Micro Four Thirds mount camera!!! :-o 
I use MFT lenses on my BMPCC all the time. 
(and the fact people would use expensive S16 PL lenses on the BMPCC just shows what a damn fine camera it is, that people will even pair it with very nice glass)


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#257 David Peterson

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Posted 09 February 2018 - 02:33 AM

I should have been clearer, my apologies. I meant that once the mount is chosen you can't swap it, which is why I'm stuck with PL.

 

The Canon C300mk1/mk2 also can't be user swappable mounts either. 

 

 

 

Oh, no, it's because of the stupid PL mount. I need EF, I'm not rich. 

 

Why not just buy the URSA Mini 4.6K (or even URSA Mini 4K... seeing as you were otherwise happy with it aside from the PL mount?!) in an EF mount?


Edited by David Peterson, 09 February 2018 - 02:33 AM.

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