Blackmagic URSA Shifts into Live and Studio UHD Broadcast

URSA Broadcast Rear 3 Qtr

Blackmagic URSA Broadcast is a new professional broadcast camera designed for both ENG and location work, plus studio and live production. It works with existing B4 broadcast HD lenses and has a 4K sensor that can be used for both HD and Ultra HD production, with a setting that extends its dynamic range. The camera body includes traditional external controls and buttons, dual CFast and SD card recorders, and built-in optical ND filters. URSA Broadcast is available now from resellers.
URSA Broadcast is built for fast turnaround production, and to handle a variety of applications on short notice. Its new video mode extends the camera's dynamic range and colour fidelity to produce accurate skin tones and colours that are vibrant enough to go to air without colour correction, shortening video processing time for news, live sports, studio talk and game shows and others based on nearly live delivery.

The camera's 4K image sensor suits both HD and Ultra HD production, resulting in images with fine texture and detail, and supports sub pixel image processing and anti-aliasing to increase sharpness. It records to DNx145, DNx220X or ProRes, preventing the need to copy or transcode the video by making it compatible with most existing broadcast systems and NLEs.

It is also designed to work with the equipment and systems that broadcasters will generally already have, such as B4 HD and Ultra HD lenses. The standard ⅔” B4 lens mount can be swapped with optional EF, F and PL mounts to support a whole range of lenses from conventional stills lenses up to very large cinema lenses. The lens mount optics are designed with spherical aberration correction, to match the camera’s sensor.

Because B4 lenses are par-focal – that is, stay in focus when magnification and focal length are changed and have an extremely wide depth of field - images stay in focus when zoomed in and out. Taking time to change lenses or refocus between close up, medium and wide shots is unnecessary. Its electronic B4 lens control adjusts focus, iris and zoom using the camera’s controls, or remotely from an ATEM switcher or ATEM Camera Control Panel.

URSA Broadcast Angle

Unusual for a broadcast camera, URSA Broadcast records onto inexpensive standard SD cards, UHS-II cards and CFast cards, and records 1080i or 2160p video into standard .mov files, with .mxf to be added in future updates. The camera has a compact handheld magnesium alloy body, tough and lightweight. It includes a foldout touch screen for reviewing shots without a second on-set monitor, professional connections [see below] such as 12G‑SDI, XLR audio and built-in stereo microphones. All controls on the camera have a redundant backup, including the power.

Neutral density (ND) filters with IR compensation, used to quickly reduce the amount of light entering the camera, are built in. The ¼, 1/16th and 1/64th stop filters are specifically designed to match the colourimetry of the camera and extend the latitude, even under harsh lighting conditions. Photographers can use different combinations of aperture and shutter angle to achieve shallower depth of field, or specific levels of motion blur, in a wider range of situations. The filters are true optical filters that evenly compensate for far red and infrared wave lengths to eliminate IR contamination. They come with a precision mechanism that quickly moves them into place when the ND filter dial is turned.

The control buttons, switches, knobs and dials, placed on the outside of the camera, give users direct access to the camera's main functions. The controls are laid out in a logical order that makes them easy to remember so operators can use the camera without having to look at the buttons, hunt through menus, or take their eye off of the action. URSA Broadcast also has a high visibility LCD status display, which shows important information such as timecode, shutter and lens settings, battery, recording status, and audio levels. The status display has a backlight and is designed to be clearly visible in both dimly lit studios and outside in direct sunlight.

URSA Broadcast Side

URSA Broadcast's dual CFast 2.0 and dual SD/UHS-II card recorders are standard, non-proprietary and available at most computer and camera stores. Customers can record broadcast quality 10-bit  DNxHD 220X, DNxHD 145 or ProRes files with metadata, to help integrate URSA Broadcast into existing broadcast systems and workflows. URSA Broadcast can even record lossless 12-bit CinemaDNG RAW files for special programming and to use in post production. The dual slots for each media type support automatic non-stop recording.


All connections on URSA Broadcast are standard television industry connectors, including multi rate 12G-SDI connections for video output and return program feed input. Both connections automatically switch speed, so that they work with HD and Ultra HD formats up to 2160p60 over a single cable. The camera also has HD-SDI monitoring out, two LANC inputs, balanced XLR audio with phantom power, and timecode/reference input. A 12 pin Hirose connector supplies analogue and digital controls and power for SD, HD and Ultra HD broadcast lenses. A 4-pin XLR 12V DC power output and HD-SDI monitor output can be used with Blackmagic or third party viewfinders and monitors.
Blackmagic Design's camera accessories also work with URSA Broadcast, including the URSA Viewfinder or a large 7 inch Blackmagic URSA Studio Viewfinder. Microphone mounts, standard V-Lock and Gold battery plates, optional lens mounts and others are also available.