New Blackmagic Design Cameras NAB 2015

edited April 2015 in Filmmaking

Ursa Mini

BMCC Micro(for Drones)

I want the Ursa Mini, the only thing that could ruin it is if it has Cfast 2.0 cards as the media


  • Interesting news!   Any word on the price tag for the mini?


  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    Give it a few hours. The official announcement is in 90 min. In three hours the first articles will be up. 

  • edited April 2015

    Starts at 2,995.

     Cfast kind killed it for me.  Theres talk of 1 more camera too.

  • Aladdin4dAladdin4d Moderator

    I'm saying  this before having full details but CFast might not be a total deal breaker. CFast is pin for pin the same as SATA just like CF was pin for pin IDE and there are different types of CFast to full size SATA adapters out there. In theory there could be an adapter that would fit in the card slot that gets you to a full size SATA connector allowing you to use standard 2.5" solid state drives.

    No clue on the best way to mount such a thing to the camera yet but Shining Technology has been doing something similar over Firewire for HDV cameras for years with their Citidisk line.

  • LOl I said Cfast is for me.  I don't want to spend more on media then for the camera.  Id rather spend that money on lenses.  RIght when TB SD cards and TB SSDs drop down in price...

  • Aladdin4dAladdin4d Moderator

    @MichaelJames That's what I'm getting at. A $30.00 adapter that let's you use TB SSD's instead of the insanely expensive CFast media. 

    CFast is pin for pin identical to the SATA interface an SSD uses so all you need is a fake CFast card to fit into the CFast slot that breaks out to either mini or full size SATA connections to be able to use the considerably cheaper SSD's

  • Hmmmmmm.

    The cfast card thing was almost a deal-breaker, but the Ursa had a bad cast of the "black-hole sun" effect on its 4k sensor. Assuming they didn't change anything for the 4k mini, that same problem might exist. 

    As someone who shoots a lot of stupid artsy shots towards the sun, this is kind of a deal-breaker for me. Cfast is just an extreme inconvenience. I hope that SATA adapter pulls through. Would make media management WAY easier.

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    Cfast isn't a deal-breaker for me. Yeah, it's expensive, but it's still new and, eventually, it will drop. (I remember paying $250 for a 32MB CF card in 1998. Now I can get a 128GB CF card for $50. Remember when an SSD was $500 for 32GB? That was only five years ago. That same money now gets a TB.)

    Besides, at a grand a card an Ursa Minor with four cards is still cheaper than, say, a 4K FS-series Sony. The only thing competing with Ursa Minor is the BMCC, which lacks physical controls and has a puny sensor with massive crop factor! 

    New tech starts expensive. 

    @Keegan Think Ursa Minor us a new chip. Didn't they also announce sensor upgrades for Ursa to give it the Ursa Minor's chip? I suspect they tried to fix the issue with clipping photosites. 

    Older cameras could shoot 0-120 Ire (though broadcast output needed to be 8-100 Ire). Plenty of sensor headroom. I suspect the newer cameras with massive dynamic range got that range by sacrificing headroom. 

  • Aladdin4dAladdin4d Moderator

    @Keegan I didn't find one off the shelf yet but I did find a CFast card kit for developing CFast solutions that I'm thinking about ordering just to try a proof of concept kind of thing. I need to do some more digging on power specs first to see at what point an extra power source might be needed if it all. 

    The two things that make CFast so expensive are the write speed and the memory density. If you lower either one of those the price drops like a rock. Atomos introduced a line of CFast cards that write just fast enough to handle recording to ProRes so they aren't suitable for anything else but a 128 GB card is under half the cost ($240) of a high speed SanDisk ($500).  A 250GB mSATA drive can be had for around $150 that's if anything is little faster than the SanDisk card and 2,5 SSD's are cheaper still.

    @Triem23 I remember how much I paid for CF cards back in the day and how much I paid for a whopping 32MB thumb drive! That's part of the reason I know what I'm talking about is doable because I've seen me do it with a CF card shell, a 120MB IBM IDE hard drive yanked from a dead Thinkpad and some batteries all strapped to a Canon PowerShot. Ugly but it worked. Now it can be done much nicer.


  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    @Aladdin4D I believe you can hack it. Hey, remember a Panasonic P2 card is just a bunch of SD cards on a PCMCIA Parallel Bus. A total workaround, which was brilliant in 2004!

  • Aladdin4dAladdin4d Moderator

    I actually have two of these on a shelf somewhere.

    Maxell iVDR vc102

    Inside the cartridges is a plain jane 2.5" hard drive and the kits came with mounting hardware to mount to a camera rig. The saddle has rechargeable batteries for power. If I gut one to get rid of the firewire and iVDR stuff I should be able to retro fit SATA or mSATA connectors and be good to go. 

    Then the only thing I'd need is an Ursa or an Ursa mini to test with. If anybody is willing to donate one with the understanding that they'll never get it back and it might end up fried during the testing phase..........:)

  • Can the video footages from this new carema be supported by HitFilm? if not, that would be a pitty and I have to need Pavtube for video transcoding again.

  • Hi guys. It's true that most CFast cards are super-expensive. I've brought a new brand to market at which are much lower in price than the other brands. The Blackmagic Design community have tested them with success. Please check them out for yourselves, I'm always available to chat at


    Good luck!


    Lee Miller, sales manager at BiWin.

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