Blackmagic URSA Studio Viewfinder
The What: Blackmagic Design recently revealed its URSA Studio Viewfinder, a high resolution 7-inch studio viewfinder with variable tension mounting points, tally, and external controls.
The What Else: The URSA Studio Viewfinder features a large, 7-inch high-resolution screen and is designed for camera operators working on live events at which they need to stand behind the camera and capture the action for long periods of time. The all-metal design is durable and features high-quality variable tension mounting points, as well as an articulated arm so the viewfinder can be raised, lowered, moved forward and backward. These mounting points can be set for resistance so that users can pan and tilt the viewfinder. This means camera operators can use the large viewfinder handles to move the camera completely independently of the viewfinder itself. This in turn allows camera operators to look directly into the viewfinder while the camera moves to follow the action.
The large RGB tally light on the rear of the monitor lights up red when the camera is on-air and orange for ISO recording. In addition, it includes customizable clip-on numbers that can be inserted for easy camera identification from up to 20 feet away. When shooting a live event, it’s important to have physical buttons to quickly adjust settings on the fly. The Blackmagic URSA Studio Viewfinder features a physical dial, knobs, and three customizable function buttons that let camera operators quickly adjust brightness, contrast, and peaking without having to hunt through menus while live on air. The customizable function buttons can be used for zoom, false color, edge focus detection, loading 3D LUTs, and more.
The Blackmagic URSA Studio Viewfinder displays frame guides that can show the location of a lower third, graphic, logo or ticker so camera operators can accurately compose and frame shots. In addition to viewing the built in camera HDTV, 4:3, 2.4:1, 2.39:1, 1.85:1 and thirds frame guides, users can also create up to three black or white custom cursors that can have variable height, width, and position, making it simpler to match the location for all the graphics that will be added live or during later broadcast. When attached to URSA Mini, the camera sends information via the SDI connection to the viewfinder so customers can see the critical information they need such as recording status, camera settings, battery life and more while shooting.
The design of the Blackmagic URSA Studio Viewfinder should make it familiar to use for anyone that’s worked with other traditional studio cameras before, as the layout of the controls follows a common industry layout. The base of the viewfinder also features a standard V-lock bracket for mounting and detaching the monitor to the URSA Mini handle so it can be quickly set up and repositioned in seconds. This is especially important for camera operators at live events where they might need to set up the camera quickly or when they might want to quickly remove the viewfinder because the camera is going to be used with a shoulder mount.
The Bottom Line: When combined with the URSA Studio Viewfinder, URSA Mini becomes an Ultra HD live production camera. Unlike traditional studio cameras, which use older video technology, URSA Mini is a digital film camera combined with a DaVinci Resolve YRGB primary color corrector and full broadcast studio camera features. There's also a B4 lens mount available that lets customers use their existing broadcast HD lenses with full lens control on URSA Mini PL.