Blackmagic Design URSA update includes 80 fps 4K recording


Blackmagic Design has released a major software update developed in conjunction
with high-end cinematographers, which offers multiple new features for its
URSA digital film camera. The Blackmagic Camera 1.9.9 can be downloaded from
the Blackmagic Design website.

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
frame 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 the record frame rate is
now not limited by the video frame rate. This means users can select the frame
rate they want their work to be done in, such as 24 frames per second for a feature
film, and then independently select the recording rate from five 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, the new update includes a new
CinemaDNG 12 bit RAW format which uses 3:1 compression to allow RAW files to be
recorded in one third of the size of uncompressed RAW files, meaning double the
storage capacity on the same sized CFast card. This new compressed RAW 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 analyses the
CFast card’s memory storage structure and will optimise 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

The update also adds multiple new user interface changes to the 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, which allows customers to slide their finger on the touch screens vertically
to scroll through a longer list of settings in the menus.

New menu settings featured in Blackmagic Camera 1.9.9 include 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.


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