In a nutshell, the new URSA 1.9.9 firmware upgrade offers up to 80-fps, a new CinemaDNG 12 bit RAW format that uses 3:1 compression, in-camera formatting for CFast 2.0 media, on-screen framing guides, and much more.Press Release
Fremont, CA – November 20, 2014 – Blackmagic Design today announced Blackmagic Camera 1.9.9, a major software update with multiple new features for the Blackmagic URSA digital film camera. This new update has been developed in conjunction with the high end cinematographers that are using URSA cameras for high end work.
Blackmagic Camera 1.9.9 can be downloaded now from the Blackmagic Design web site.
One of the most powerful new features in Blackmagic Camera 1.9.9 is support for higher frame rate recording combined with the new menu control of recording frames rates for URSA cameras. This new software increases the recording frame rate up to 80 frames per second, which allows enhanced slow motion shooting with a more fluid feel to shots.
The frame rate settings in URSA have been changed and now the record frame rate is not limited by the video frame rate. This means customers can select the frame rate they want their work to be done, such as 24 frames per second for a feature film shoot, and then independently select the recording rate from 5 all the way up to 80 frames per second. The advantage of this is the URSA camera can shoot slow motion or fast motion shots but all the recorded video files are always set to the video rate, and you can see the effect of the higher or slower frame rate when playing. This means you can playback the exact same look on the cameras as the clips will play in a time line of editing software.
When shooting higher frame rates for high end feature films and television commercials, where image quality is critical, this new Blackmagic Camera 1.9.9 update includes a new CinemaDNG 12 bit RAW format that uses 3:1 compression to allow RAW files to be recorded in one third of the size of uncompressed RAW files allowing double the storage capacity on the same sized CFast card. This new compressed RAW 3:1 format allows higher frames to be recorded in the CFast cards, while retaining all the advantages of RAW recording, where the image processing in software such as DaVinci Resolve can get access to every single bit of quality from the sensor data in the camera.
Blackmagic Camera 1.9.9 also includes in camera formatting of CFast cards so when on a shoot, a computer is not needed to prepare CFast cards for use. Unlike formatting on a computer, the Blackmagic URSA camera technically analyzes the CFast card’s memory storage structure and will optimize formatting to allow best performance when used for real time digital film data recording. This means a card formatted in URSA can get much better performance than a card formatted on a computer.
This new software update also adds multiple new user interface changes to the Blackmagic URSA camera, including the new Dashboard menu screen allowing features such as formatting and other settings to be selected. Also included in the new user interface is scrolling menus. The new scrolling menus allow customers to slide their finger on the touch screens vertically to scroll through a longer list of settings in the menus, vital on a camera with so many features that can be customized by the cinematographer.
New menu settings included in Blackmagic Camera 1.9.9 includes on screen framing guides allowing a range of common feature film aspect ratios to be displayed on the fold out monitor, such as 2.35:1, 1.85:1 and more. These framing guides are displayed as translucent letterbox overlays and the opacity can also be adjusted by the user. Multiple other framing assistance guides can also be displayed.
“This is a massive update for all URSA customers,” said Grant Petty, CEO, Blackmagic Design. “There are so many new features in this software, it’s like having a whole new camera, just by updating the software! We have worked hard on this update and we think this software update is really showing off the power of the URSA hardware design and what it’s capable of doing. There is more to come!”
Blackmagic URSA Key Features — Large high resolution 4K Super 35 mm sized sensor with superior handing of image detail. — Professional global shutter for smooth pans and image motion. — Wide 12 stops of dynamic range allows capture of increased details for feature film look. — Compatible with extremely high quality PL or EF mount lenses, depending on model. — User upgradable design allows customers to upgrade and change the sensor and lens mount. — Built in dual CFast 2.0 card recorders allow unlimited duration recording in high quality. — Open file formats compatible with popular edit software, such as ProRes, CinemaDNG RAW and CinemaDNG RAW 3:1 in 12 bit. No custom file formats. — Support for ProRes HQ, ProRes 422, ProRes LT, ProRes Proxy at resolutions up to Ultra HD. — Features all standard connections, including dual XLR mic/line audio inputs with phantom power, 6G-SDI output for monitoring with camera status graphic overlay and separate XLR 4 pin power output for viewfinder power, 6G-SDI monitoring input, headphone jack, LANC remote control and standard 4 pin 12V DC power connection. — Built in stereo microphones for recording sound. — 3 separate built in LCD monitors for camera settings and metadata entry. Large 10 inch screen folds out for full resolution HD monitoring with wide viewing angle and high brightness. — Supports Ultra HD and 1080 HD resolution capture in 23.98, 24, 25, 29.97, 30 up to 60 fps. — Liquid cooling system allowing higher frame rates when future sensors support this feature. — Supports quick release tripod mounts and adding V-Mount or Anton/Bauer mount battery plates. — Includes full copy of DaVinci Resolve software color grading and editing software.
Availability and Price Blackmagic Camera 1.9.9. update is available for free download now from the Blackmagic Design website for all Blackmagic URSA customers.