Jump to content
huggie11

Blackmagic Ursa Mini Pro

Recommended Posts

Does anyone know of someone who has already built a shallow water/splash housing from aluminum or fiberglass for a BlackMagic Ursa Mini Pro camera? I just received the new BM 12k camera and need to get a housing with 4" dome port made. thanks

Edited by huggie11

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A quick Google finds the only option being an EWA Marine bag housing - might be OK for splash work,   Don't know if this is a newer model or not, but found older posts here: http://www.bmcuser.com/forum/blackmagic-camera/general-discussion/16779-no-underwaterhousing-for-ursa-mini-possible

Indicates nauticam have no plans to house.  You could maybe hire one from Hydroflex?  https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwj5lczsxqvsAhWJ7XMBHYPgCG0QFjADegQIAxAC&url=https%3A%2F%2Fhydroflex.com%2Fequipment-rentals%2Fcamera-housings%2F&usg=AOvVaw2Vg3fkAOKjBEXVdBCrruPu

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/11/2020 at 3:28 AM, huggie11 said:

Does anyone know of someone who has already built a shallow water/splash housing from aluminum or fiberglass for a BlackMagic Ursa Mini Pro camera? I just received the new BM 12k camera and need to get a housing with 4" dome port made. thanks

Huggie, 

whats the deal with the 12K ursa? Is it that good that a cu$tom housing is worth it ? BM are surely pushing the boundaries so it will be with great interest to see some footage from this cam underwater if you do manage to get it there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/11/2020 at 3:28 AM, huggie11 said:

Does anyone know of someone who has already built a shallow water/splash housing from aluminum or fiberglass for a BlackMagic Ursa Mini Pro camera? I just received the new BM 12k camera and need to get a housing with 4" dome port made. thanks

Hi Huggie11

Not sure if you have had any luck, but I came across www.GregHuglin.com  when I started looking for a housing for this amazing 12K camera too. Greg Huglin is an accomplished videographer and has built a shallow housing for his URSA 12K. Drop him a line, he seems to be vary willing to share.

Incidentally, I have been onto Nauticam, as we need housings that will go to 40m and they have suggested, that if we can get 10 confirmed orders, they will build a housing for the URSA Mini Pro 12K. We are currently trying to drum up support to do exactly this, if you are interested.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/13/2020 at 8:17 AM, John Doe II said:

Huggie, 

whats the deal with the 12K ursa? Is it that good that a cu$tom housing is worth it ? BM are surely pushing the boundaries so it will be with great interest to see some footage from this cam underwater if you do manage to get it there.

Hi John Doe II

12K URSA actually worth it you ask?

That is dependent on what you are using it for. We are stock footage shooters and 12K makes our product a lot more future-proof than 8K or below. The quality is mind blowing, the frame rates like 4K @240fps, 8K @120fps and even 12K @60fps take out all those underwater bumps and shakes, not to mention the digital cropping that can be done in post, which allows for a 9X crop zoom into the 12K frame and still produces a tack sharp TRUE 4K output. AND, the price of this camera just dropped from $9995 to $5995. Working in post with Blackmagic BRAW, using Davinci Resolve, is also a dream come true.

 

We are currently trying to rally enough support, need 10 orders in place, to convince Nauticam to put a housing into production for that stunning camera.

Cheers

Russ

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Hi Russ,

Yes I saw the price drop. I am most likely going to get this camera - my interest in it is the S16 feature. There is no other way to get 6K in a true S16 crop. Of course whether S16 lenses can resolve enough line pairs to make use of 6K is another question. I have a number of S16 lenses from vintage to early 2000's so will be interesting to see. I also have a set of Mamyia 645 lenses that have been converted to PL mount by Duclos - so those are nice fit for 8 and 12K S35 frames. All in all a very versatile camera. 

It would be nice if I could take it underwater - however I am sure if you can get those 10 users together it will be a 13 to 15K USD housing, if not more - its a bigger camera then a lot of the cameras Nauticam house. I do get the future proofing for stock footage but wonder how useful that 12K actually is underwater ? It would surely need a very top end lens to resolve 12K worth's of data. I dont ask this as a disparaging remark but an honest question - can we really make any practical use out of these higher resolution's underwater ?

 

Edit: OK 240fps @4K is useful. No other way to get that at this price point. But isn't that 240fps only for the S16 crop? If your S35 lens is up to it, 120fps @8K cant hurt while your down there capturing footage. However to punch in on your footage 9X is something else - everything would have to be perfect at time of capture for the footage to remain tack sharp. It is an interesting feature for sure as I am interested in shooting wildlife on S16 @6K for that exact reason - to be able to punch in for tighter framing to get close to the action but from a safe distance. I have one S16 lens that may be up to this challenge - the Canon 10.6-180mm T2.7 - I doubt my Angenieux S16 zooms would be sharp enough for a 9x punch in. Definitely an interesting feature though.

Edited by John Doe II

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi John Doe II

You make a number of good points and I do not have answers for all of them. We do not have access to any S16 lenses and only shoot with  Canon and Sigma top end DSLR glass that has already been designed to be used with 50 to 80Mpixel sensors, as the video lenses are just too expensive for my budget. So we do it all on full manual, compose the shot then focus before pulling the trigger. Then track and manually focus as the subject moves.

As noted, the Nauticam housing is expected to come out at around $10K to $12K and all the Nauticam ports and wet lenses that we currently have, will fit without a problem. As for sharpness when cropping in, we don't bother pulling the trigger until the focus is spot on and with the Sigma 18-35mm f1.8 Art lens behind the Nauticam WACP, we have been getting stunning sharp footage right up to the edge of the RED Dragon s35 sensor, which is 30.7mm wide compared to the 27.03mm wide URSA 12K sensor. So this should not be too much of a problem. When we are shooting in the bush, we have been using the Sigma 150-600mm Sport lens on the RED. At times that is just not close enough, so the 12K frame of the URSA, cropped to an 8K output, will effectively be the same as having shot with a 900mm and you are cropping out any softer focus elements on the edges. All in theory of course, have not been able to try this so far.

We would love to have that Canon 50-1000mm monster, but at R1.2M a pop, we will need to win the Lotto first:lol:

Other than price, why are you wanting to use s16 lenses?

cheers

Russ

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Ferox,

The S16 is because i like the S16 look, then there is the thing about the lenses being smaller. I bought the Canon S16 specifically for wildlife. The 12K Ursa is perfect for that lens - 6K on a native S16 frame - there is no other way of doing this. That canon S16 lens is a whopping 17x zoom ! Shooting that at 6K at a full native S16 frame allows for all the benefits you have pointed out - I am with you on all of that and totally agree. 

I agree with your lens selection and would also love that big Canon zoom - but most not likely in this life time. I decided to go the Mamiya 645 route. Its taken a few years of hunting but i have the 500mm f4.5 APO /300mm f2.8 APO/200mm f2.8 APO plus the lower end Mamiyas all converted to PL. The 12K URSA is just perfect for those lenses as well. Now imagine we could use the 12K underwater! What a dream come true.

It will be very interesting to see if Nauticam do a housing for the URSA. It may change things for the underwater crowd a bit. Hope you can pull this off.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, FEROXED said:

Hi John Doe II

You make a number of good points and I do not have answers for all of them. We do not have access to any S16 lenses and only shoot with  Canon and Sigma top end DSLR glass that has already been designed to be used with 50 to 80Mpixel sensors, as the video lenses are just too expensive for my budget. So we do it all on full manual, compose the shot then focus before pulling the trigger. Then track and manually focus as the subject moves.

cheers

Russ

While you may get those resolutions in air, I expect getting them UW may be a bit of a challenge, water degrades resolution as does the air/water interface, be it a dome or a flat port.  And to get the full resolution you need a very stable platform as well.  Another consideration is the sensor which as I understand is 27x14mm super 35 and at 12K resolution has 2.2 micron pixels, a little smaller than those from a 1" compact like an RX-100 (2.5 micron).   Based on pixels you would be in diffraction at around f5.6 - this is a difficult subject to quantify, I would guess you would not notice it as a problem at f11 if you used the whole sensor.  But as you start to crop the picture will start to soften.  So using a rectilinear wide that likes to be stopped down may limit you a bit as will typical macro apertures used to get DOF. 

No one talks much about diffraction in UW imaging even though you see people taking shots on m43 sensors at f22, on land people would be wringing their hands over this.  I don't have the data to prove it but my feeling is that the resolution loss due to the air-water interface will limit your ability to notice a lot of the aberrations, which also means that beyond a certain resolution the extra MP are just empty data.   

On the plus side for video you are not pixel peeping when you view the video, each frame is only up for a fraction of a second and as the subject is moving it's harder to concentrate on the fine details like you can when viewing a print.  The problem of course is there is very little testing data to show just what sort of resolution you actually get UW with such systems and whether there is a real advantage beyond 8K when shooting underwater.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi ChrisRoss

Thanks for the breakdown and insight. Your knowledge on the subject seems extensive and way beyond my ability to comment at all. Hopefully getting the Ursa 12K into the water will provide some answers. Thanks for your advice.

Cheers

Russ

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey huggie11

My Bad, I just introduced you to yourself:crazy:

Sorry, should have spent a bit of time researching and I would have discovered that huggie11 and Greg Huglin were one and the same:lol2:

Any interest in our new Nauticam housing for that 12K BM of yours?

Cheers

Russ

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

The really great thing though is we seem to have hit the wall in a technical sense. If 8K seems to be about the limit for a useful resolution underwater then its a good thing that today we have a camera that has surpassed that limit - even if we cant take full advantage of it. Only a few short years ago this was not possible.

At least we have a camera that goes past the point of what is useful to us underwater which infers that with this camera there is nothing left on the table as it were, we get every bit of data available. That cant be a bad thing.

With regards to the diffraction thing - if at 2.2 microns we hit diffraction at around f5.6 then if this camera does get housed it would be crying out for the WACP2 to be able to get good corner sharpness at f5.6. A fast lens, say f2 wide open, usually sharpens up nicely by f5.6 so f5.6 would work nicely behind the WACP2. I dont know of any zooms that go to f2.0 though so that is a problem.

It seems that the best way to use this camera underwater would be to use the full sensor at 12K because of the small microns and the diffraction problem. Thats interesting because one of the advantages of this camera to me topside is I have Mamyia 645 lenses converted to PL mount. Those Mamiya 645 lenses give full coverage at 12K because they were designed to cover a film frame of 6cmx4.5cm. The S35 sensor is using the middle of the image circle on those 645 lenses - the so called sweet spot of the lens. Nauticam would have to do the calcs to see if a Mamiya 645 35mm focal length lens would work behind the WACP2. A very interesting combo if it did work out. Then even if did all work out, we are deep into the area of diminishing returns for the investment.

It is possible to live with one kidney after all !! (inferring that we will have to sell a kidney to pay for a 12K housing, a WACP2 and a fast f2.0 lens)

But its nice to dream of pushing the envelope as far as we can. An example of that - why do people climb Everest? There is no practical reason for it, but they que up to do it. So I hope someone has the brass to try this out.

Edi: There is a 24mm fisheye in the Mamiya 64 lens range - 15mm in 35mm equiv

Mamiya_24mm.PNG

Edited by John Doe II
more thoughts on the matter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Exactly:good:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

After many months of messing about, I've finally managed to stuff my BM 12k into an existing housing I have that was built for a Red Epic. Shot this footage at 75 fps in 12k and then 'expanded it' to fit 16x9.

Lens is fixed at 8mm, f 11, focus at 22", ISO 1000.  Looks pretty good on my 8k TV.

Uploaded to YouTube which degrades it pretty heavily but here it it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GJwu25svDOA

 

Edited by huggie11

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi huggie11

Well done. It seems that the two of us are the only people on the planet that are at all interested in getting this camera underwater, such a pity....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Russ,

I think the 12k BlackMagic is not considered a 'pro' camera and is not widely used. Perhaps the reason for it's recent price drop. And, 12k seems to most people to be more than what is needed, currently. I remember when people said that 1080 res was 'too much'.

Like you, I shoot stock footage and I always want to future proof my work so that's why I changed my housing over from a RED Dragon to a BM 12k.  I still use two Red Dragons for topside jobs but underwater only 12k. One advantage, the BM has over the RED, besides higher framerate at 4k is that the BM sensor does not crop like the RED. When switching from 5k to 2k on the RED, you get a serious crop factor which, IMO, softens the image and the 2k resolution is pretty useless to me. For long lens work, the extra 'crop' is useful but I would rather use my Sigma 300-800 lens with a 1.4x and be able to shoot in higher res than crop with my RED at 2k.

The biggest hassle for me with shooting 12k is the file sizes..single shots that are 150gb (12k at 75fps). Storage is a problem and render times are slow. I'm using a maxed out 2020 M1 Macbook with 16gb and 2tb and it handles editing in Resolve 17 pretty well but to actually be able to play my footage (say 500gb from a shoot) I have to 'generate optomised media' and wait an hour or more. Then I can play my entire timeline with no stuttering. Also, I needed to use a very fast SSD with a Thunderbolt 4 cable to handle the data transfer rates from the camera.

For a monitor, I'm using an 8k LG 65" tv connected to my Macbook with a HDMI 2.1 cable and it looks almost identical to my laptop screen. Looks pretty cool even though I know it's upscaling my 2.5k Macbook screen rather than playing in higher res.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi huhhie11

How did you manage to convert your Nauticam housing to take the 12K BM? What control do you have on the camera underwater?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes this is interesting. I have just bought a Nauticam C200 housing - decided in the end to go for the C200 camera with its Canon Lite RAW. Its only 4K but will do for now. The BM cams are interesting to me and I will go that way in the future. I would love to get the 12K into a housing but where I am there are no facilities for this sort of work to be done to a housing.

What is very interesting is how you got this camera into a Nauticam Red housing - wondering how much custom engineering went into this?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My housing is a shallow water aluminium one custom built by SPL in the USA about 10 years ago.

It was originally for a Red Epic but I altered it to barely fit my BM 12k and it took many trips to the machine shop.

I can change the ISO and shutter speed but leave the aperture fixed at f11 for the DOF.

I have a Shraeger (bicycle) valve installed in the top of the housing and I slightly pressurise it with a bicycle pump to make sure it is sealed before jumping in the water.

I can turn on/off the BM screen as well but find that the screen overlay info partly obscures the ISO info which sucks. 

If I shoot long takes (like 60 seconds following turtles)  I find that the housing overpressures a bit from hot air.

I was using a WD black p50 SSD but it got really hot so I changed to a Sandisk Extreme pro which is smaller and does not seem to get as hot.

Since I use it in the surf, It's not a problem to release air through the valve. 

It's a bit funky looking and was certainly a hassle to adapt the housing from one camera to another, but the results are pretty impressive on my 8k TV which I use as a monitor. 

Here's some 12k footage, 60fps and uploaded to YouTube at 8k.

 

 

 

IMG_0445.JPG

IMG_0444.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the update. That makes sense now. For some reason I thought you had altered a Nauticam Red housing.

So this setup is not going to 40m then?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks huggie11

So happy that your setup is satisfying your needs, but we too require a deep water housing and are so surprised that, across 5 different forums, there appear to be only 2 other users in the entire world that want to take the URSA underwater.

So dissapointing.:o

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, huggie11 said:

I have a Shraeger (bicycle) valve installed in the top of the housing and I slightly pressurise it with a bicycle pump to make sure it is sealed before jumping in the water.

 

Just be aware that at a certain depth depending on how much pressure you add to the housing the pressures will equalise leaving very little sealing force on the o-rings.  O rings seal tighter as the pressure difference over them increases and need pressure to seal properly.  You are probably helped by the fact you can add closing force with all those wing nuts.  This why leak detection systems pull a vacuum on the housing as it pre-loads the o-rings usually the vacuum is equivalent to a depth of about 2m.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, FEROXED said:

Thanks huggie11

So happy that your setup is satisfying your needs, but we too require a deep water housing and are so surprised that, across 5 different forums, there appear to be only 2 other users in the entire world that want to take the URSA underwater.

So dissapointing.:o

Dont worry Feroxed, let them sleep. Its to our advantage when this camera is housed that no else is interested.

 It is an interesting camera for sure and to have it housed would be interesting. Its just not looking likely. Unfortunately. 

Edited by John Doe II

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sponsors

Advertisements



×
×
  • Create New...