In this series of blogs, we take a look at the kit which we have in-house at Silvertip Films…
We’ll start with our primary camera, the fantastic Blackmagic URSA Mini 4.6K!
We’ve used Blackmagic cameras for about 5 years now and wouldn’t go back to anything else for our main range of cameras to work with. The picture quality and grading options from the footage are outstanding, the camera OS is easy to use and functional and the actual design of the cameras are sleek and modern.
The URSA Mini 4.6K forms one of the URSA range which includes the standard URSA and the URSA Mini Pro.
This model films in HD, 2K, UltraHD and 4K plus 4.6K for that little bit of extra detail to be captured. There’s a variety of codecs available to film with including ProRes and the recently released Blackmagic RAW which is high quality, low file size. We predominantly film with ProRes 422 format as it works smoothly in DaVinci Resolve, which we edit with, and Adobe Premiere which we also use on occasion.
The Silvertip Blackmagic URSA 4.6K kit including the Sony ECM-673 mic on top of the Blackmagic handle, the Canon 70-200mm lens, a V-Lock battery at the back and the camera sits on the Manfrotto N8 fluid head tripod.
The camera has two XLR inputs for audio add ons and also has an internal mic. The internal mic is perfunctory and captures clean audio, focusing on the loudest source in the environment. The XLRs can be individually adjusted for recording volume, they can also be Phantom powered if they don’t have their own battery source. One downside of the camera is the inability to record one audio channel via an XLR and the other via the internal mic. If you are filming presenters on a mic, you might like a general audio recording so this has to be acheived via an additioanl mic.
We couple the camera with one of, or both of, our Sennheiser AVX mics and also have a Sony ECM-673 electret condensor mic for a separate, XLR feed of the general audio in the environment. This mic can be phantom powered by the camera. It is housed in the patented Blackmagic URSA Mini Mic Mount (try saying that three times fast!) which holds it out to the right of the camera handle. The Sennheiser mics are powered by rechargable batteries and give clean, sharp audio and will hop between channels to get the best, clean signal when being used.
Our URSA also has the Blackmagic handle and shoulder mount system with it – a large handle on the top of the camera to carry and hold it with and then a shoulder mount rig. The side handle of the camera is removed and attached to the bottom of the shoulder mount arm and then the LANC cable to connected back to the body of the camera, to enable you to record whilst holding the side handle on the end of the arm.
Alongside that, we also have more branded Blackmagic gear in the shape of the Electronic View Finder – this bolts on to the top of the camera / front of the handle system and enables you to look at the shot in darkness, so there’s no interference from external light. Various controls including peaking and shot zoom for focus checking are available through here.
Filming with the EVF visible above Geoffs right thumb
We power the battery via the mains unit when filming indoors or via V-Lock batteries when outdoors. The pair we carry will last longer when the camera is used without the EVF as it draws additional power to run it. We also have a battery charger unit which is always with the camera, so when dead, a battery can be charged whilst the other one is used.
We have a number of lenses which travel with this camera, including a Canon 5omm, Canon 70-200mm and a Sigma 18-35mm, all of these are 1.8f at their widest open.
The camera bag also carries a selection of Neutral Density filters and a UV filter, plus a selection of footplates for using on our Manfrotto fluid head tripod, our lightweight Manfrotto tripod or our Manfrotto monopod.
Neutral Density filter in place on the Sigman 18-35mm lens
The principal tripod with it is the Manfrotto MVTTWINMC Carbon Fibre Twin Leg Tripod which has a Middle Spreader on it and uses an Nitro N8 fluid head which is smooth and easy to use and perfectly balances the camera so there’s no sudden drops from it when left unattended, and it’s ready to move when you are, with no need to untighten anything.
We love the set up with our Blackmagic URSA Mini 4.6K – it’s ideally suited to interview/talking head shoots plus corporate/promo video shoots plus event coverage and even music video production.
A look inside our ORCA kit bag which houses the camera.
Interested to see what we can get for your video with it? Get in touch and let’s see what we can do for you!