Australian cinematographer John Brawley recently took Blackmagic Design’s URSA camera out for a spin, the results are epic…to say the least.

Brawley is known for his work on a number of successful Aussie television series, Underbelly, Puberty Blues and Offspring. Despite being involved in other testing for BM, this was the first chance he had to get the camera out by himself, to really find out what it could do.


Here’s what Brawley had to say:

“I managed to sneak out early this morning before sunrise to the wonderful Bronte beach.

I knew the weather would probably be good, so I took myself, the Ursa and a Panavision supplied Cooke 25-250 MK3 T 3.7 zoom down to shoot the sunrise.

This clip was shot over a period of about 90 mins. I filled three of my four 128Gb SanDisk CFast 2.0 cards and did it on two Vlock batteries. Many of the shots were done before sunrise. Pretty impressive for 400 ISO @ T4 at that frame rate.

All shots are ISO 400, 60 FPS at 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) ProRes HQ except for just one which was 24 FPS, the shot of the sun actually rising in shot.

One thing to note. The Cooke 25-250 zoom is a vintage lens that’s over 30 years old. It’s quite soft on the edges even when the centre is sharp. You’ll also see a lot of chromatic aberration. It’s hardly what you’d call a modern lens design. But I like it for it’s personality.

I used the True ND 9 and 1.5 once the sun was up.

Vimeo doesn’t do the original ProRes files justice either. They are gorgeous.

I should add, single node grade in Resolve, no NR and I had to fix two shots with black sun”.

Blackmagic Design have told V&F that the camera will begin shipping very soon.
If you want to find out more about the URSA, check out our article A Closer Look – Blackmagic’s URSA.

Below is the footage Brawley he took in Bronte:

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