Blackmagic Design launches URSA Broadcast G2

A broadcast camera with 6K digital film sensor, featuring dual gain ISO up to +36dB, H. 265 and Blackmagic RAW file formats and more.

Blackmagic Design has introduced Blackmagic URSA Broadcast G2, a professional broadcast camera with 6K digital film sensor that brings digital film quality to both traditional and online broadcasters. 

The advanced 6144 by 3456 digital film sensor provides exceptional low light performance with dual gain ISO of up to +36dB as well as 13 stops of dynamic range. Blackmagic URSA Broadcast G2 also includes H.265 and Blackmagic RAW file formats, Blackmagic generation 5 color science, as well as a USB-C expansion port for external disk recording, and more.

Blackmagic URSA Broadcast G2 is a camera designed for both traditional and online broadcasters. The three cameras in one design allows it to work as a 4K production camera, a 4K studio camera or a 6K digital film camera, which can be operated with preexisting Blackmagic Design camera batteries.

End users can record to common SD cards, UHS-II cards, CFast 2.0 cards or external USB disks, using common file formats such as H.265, Apple ProRes and Blackmagic RAW. This means it’s compatible with all video software and broadcast media management systems. End users can even change the lens mount.

The large 6K sensor combined with Blackmagic generation five colour science gives end users the same imaging technology used in digital film cameras. The 6K sensor features a resolution of 6144 by 3456 so it’s flexible enough for broadcast and digital film work. 

When using B4 lenses, end users get a 4K window of the sensor for Ultra HD broadcast use. Then if end users change to a PL or EF lens mount, they can use the full 6K resolution of the sensor for digital film. With 13 stops of dynamic range, end users get darker blacks and brighter whites, so it’s perfect for colour correction.

URSA Broadcast G2 features low light performance so end users can shoot using ambient light or even under moonlight. The Blackmagic URSA Broadcast G2 features gain from -12dB (100 ISO) up to +36dB (25,600 ISO) so its optimised to reduce grain and noise in images, while maintaining the full dynamic range of the sensor. The gain can be set via a camera switch, the LCD menu or remotely using the SDI remote camera control protocol.

The new URSA Broadcast G2 features a B4 broadcast lens mount that includes optics specifically designed to match the camera’s sensor. The B4 lens mount lets end users use modern Ultra HD lenses or lower cost HD lenses. B4 lenses are par-focal, so the image stays in focus as end users zoom in and out. End users also get full electronic lens control to adjust focus, iris and zoom using the camera’s controls, or remotely. Plus if end users want to use alternative lenses, they can change the mount to PL, EF and more.

URSA Broadcast G2 features high quality neutral density (ND) filters that let end users reduce the amount of light entering the camera. The 1/4, 1/16th and 1/64th stop filters have been specifically designed to match the image sensor and colour science of URSA Broadcast G2, providing end users with additional latitude and better colorimetry. This lets end users use different combinations of aperture and shutter angle, in a wider range of situations.

IR filters have been designed to evenly filter both optical and IR wavelengths, eliminating IR contamination. Plus the filter status on the LCD can be displayed as a fraction, number, or stop reduction.

URSA Broadcast is designed to work with standard file formats that are used by all broadcast systems and editing software. End users can record ProRes 422 HQ and ProRes 422 into QuickTime files. The new Blackmagic URSA Broadcast G2 model can even record into H.265 for incredibly small files at 60:1 to 285:1 compression ratios, in 10-bit broadcast quality. Plus end users can record Blackmagic RAW files, a new format designed to capture and preserve the quality of the sensor data from the camera.

With dual CFast 2.0 recorders and dual SD/UHS-II card recorders, end users can choose the media that’s best for them. Both types of media are standard, inexpensive and readily available at computer and camera stores. Plus with dual media slots, URSA Broadcast gives end users non stop recording. When a card is full, recording automatically continues onto the next card so end users can swap a full card while recording continues.

End users get enough speed to record high quality ProRes and H.265 video file formats, even when working in Ultra HD at high frame rates. That means URSA Broadcast G2 is easy to integrate into their existing broadcast systems. End users can even record 12-bit Blackmagic RAW cinema files.

The Blackmagic URSA Broadcast G2 features a high speed USB-C expansion port on the rear of the camera that allows end users to record to external disks or connect to a wide range of accessories. If end users plug in a large and low cost external USB flash disk, end users can record ProRes, H.265 or even high quality 12-bit Blackmagic RAW files for later editing and colour correction. That means end users can just move the disk to a computer to work, and don’t need to waste time with file copying. Plus the USB port will power the disk that’s plugged in.

The Blackmagic URSA Broadcast G2 is not just a great Ultra HD camera, but it’s also an amazing HD camera too. The high resolution sensor and generation five colour science creates amazing images with high dynamic range and wide colour fidelity. However, when end users need to do HD work, the camera will scale the image sensor down to 1080HD video standards. This helps end users get stories on air fast, in HD or Ultra HD video standard, anywhere in the world. Plus when working in HD, the high resolution sensor allows sub pixel image processing for superior anti-aliasing and sharp images. Blackmagic URSA Broadcast G2 is a future proof camera that’s perfect for both HD and Ultra HD production.

URSA Broadcast G2 features an interchangeable lens mount so end users can easily swap the included B4 lens mount for an EF, PL or even F mount. URSA Broadcast G2 comes with a B4 mount already installed, plus a spare EF mount is included. That means if users are starting out end users can change the mount and use low cost photographic lenses. Photographic lenses are incredible quality because they’re designed for high resolution photography. End users can also purchase optional PL and F mounts separately. If users are shooting for digital film, the PL mount is best as it’s the most common lens mount for cinema lenses. With URSA Broadcast G2, end users get a single camera that works with virtually all modern lenses.

Featuring the same generation five colour science as the high end URSA Mini Pro 12K, the new URSA Broadcast G2 delivers an even greater advancement in image quality with stunning, accurate skin tones and faithful colour in every shot. End users get a new dynamic 12-bit gamma curve designed to capture more colour data in the highlights and shadows, for better looking images. The colour science also handles some of the complex Blackmagic RAW image processing, so colour and dynamic range data from the sensor is preserved via metadata which end users can use in post production.

The optional zoom and focus demands allow end users to use photography lenses for live production. The focus and zoom demands have USB-C connections so they control the lens via the camera’s electronic lens control. Each zoom and focus demand has 2 USB-C ports, so end users can daisy chain them then connect to the camera with a single USB connection. The design has an incredibly precise feel so end users get very fine lens control, and end users can frame and adjust the lens without taking their hands off the tripod handles.

There’s a wide range of accessories that are specifically designed to work perfectly with URSA Broadcast G2. However, a shoulder mount kit, V-Lock battery plate and top handle are included so end users don’t need to purchase anything extra. Plus end users get a spare EF lens mount if they don’t own a B4 lens and would like to start out using a photography lens. End users can add the optional Blackmagic URSA Viewfinder, or for live production, end users can add a Blackmagic URSA Studio Viewfinder. There’s also an optional fibre converter that can power the camera from 2km away via the single SMPTE fibre. For long duration recording, URSA Mini Recorder gives the option to record to external SSDs.

“Customers love the flexibility of the original URSA Broadcast and have been asking for a camera that also delivered the quality of digital film quality for broadcast use,” said Blackmagic Design CEO, Grant Petty. “We’ve listened and the new URSA Broadcast G2 means that customers now don’t have to choose between a broadcast focused camera design or digital film images. With URSA Broadcast G2, they get both! URSA Broadcast G2 can be used as a production camera, a studio camera or a digital film camera, so it’s really three cameras in one. We think both traditional and online broadcast customers are going to really enjoy the creativity of being able to shoot Hollywood quality digital film!”