Blackmagic Design has just released the newest update for the URSA, with new framerates and a compressed RAW 3.1 format.
The update, which can be downloaded here, brings new functionality and features to the cinema camera, such as two new variable frame rate settings, frame guides, a new dashboard and scrollable menus and best of all, 4K/80fps.
The new RAW 3.1 format is a lossy compression but what (according to BM) is visually lossless, similar to 12-bit RAW. BM says that “you can record about 7 minutes of RAW on a 128 GB CFast card but 14 minutes if you use RAW 3:1.”
The URSA’s maximum frame rate has been increased to 80fps in 4K, which will apply to all existing Ursa’s nce updated. The new frame rate will only record in either Prores of the new RAW 3.1 codec.
Two new variable frame rate settings have been added, the ‘Project Frame Rate’, which is simply native playback frame rate of recorded footage and the ‘Sensor Frame Rate’, for setting up the speed the sensor is running at. This can be selected from 5 to 80 fps in 1 frame increments. An example of which is if you set the Sensor Frame Rate to 48 fps and the Project Frame Rate to 24 fps, you’ll end up shooting 2x slow motion clip. BM says that the slo mo clip will be tagged as a 24 fps clip so it can be immediately played back in-camera as slo mo. Once imported into resolve, the clip will playback in the desired speed without having to manually change properties.
The company says: “You’ll notice that when shooting high speed in URSA, the timecode will run faster relative to the frame rate. The time remaining will be calculated based on the actual time it will take to fill the card at the shooting frame rate so the higher the frame rate, the shorter the time remaining.” It reminds us of the LP and SP from video recorders back in the day.
There is a new URSA Dashboard view that can be toggled by the DISP button. This will allow you to display options for formatting the CFast card, turning zebras on/off and also the front SDI output overlays on and off. Along with scrollable menus, i.e. in the Display settings, you can individually adjust the brightness of each display or turn on or off the overlays on each screen or SDI outputs. Also in-camera formatting is now supported allowing users to format the CFast 2.0 cards.
The following new frame guides are now available in the display:
There is also an opacity option when some of the frame guides that masks out the preview display is selected and you can choose from 100% option which completely masks out guide areas to something transparent like 50% so you can still see action happening outside the area of interest.
BM has said that this release also has new firmware for the Blackmagic Cinema Camera, Pocket Cinema Camera and Production Camera 4K, which is just a bug fix for media formatting.
The 1.9.9 update is now available via the BM support website, here.