Are you in the market for a new video camera? We have a deal!
Yes! This is no pricing mistake, error, or “fell off the back of the truck” kind of deal.
There is a catch. There’s always a catch.
You need to spend $5,990 on the new Blackmagic Ursa Mini Pro 4K, which just released very recently.
The Ursa has been criticised for its bulkiness and heavy weight, and was quickly replaced by many studios with it’s little sibling – the Ursa Mini – a couple of years ago. It’s still a very solid camera that is a workhorse in many production studio. We know it certainly is in ours 🙂
Since the URSA Mini Pro has been released, you may ponder as to why anyone would buy the original URSA in the first place. The price tag certainly justifies the camera.
When you think about it the Original Ursa has many positives.
Here’s some specs:
- 3840 x 2160p Global Shutter CMOS Sensor
- 12 Stops of Dynamic Range
- 10.1″, 1080p Flip-Out LCD Screen
- Dual 5″ Touchscreens for Menu Access
- Records CinemaDNG RAW and ProRes
- 12G-SDI Output for 10-Bit 4:2:2 4K
- 2x XLR Audio Inputs with Phantom Power
- Aluminum Frame with 3/8″-16 Mounting
- LANC Port for START/STOP, Iris, Focus
- Dual CFast 2.0 Card Slots
You end up spending the same amount of money as you would on an entry-level DSLR to get a wide variety of great features, such as a 4K Super35 sensor, 12 stops of Dynamic Range, ProRes and Raw recording, XLRs, SDIs and multiple screens for dedicated audio output. We’ve also this camera dozens of times on many different jobs and are very pleased with the image quality and low light performance. Here’s and example of a video we shot almost entirely on the original Ursa.
Needless to say the caveat to this amazing price is that you have to buy the spanking new Blackmagic Design URSA Mini Pro. It seems like B&H is trying to get rid of their stock of original Ursas, and therefore we recommend acting on this deal quick.
Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro Released
Blackmagic’s new camera is here.
Contrary to the rumors and to all of our expectations and speculation it was not a new Pocket Cinema Camera, but the next step forward in the Ursa line of cameras.
March 2nd, 2017 – Blackmagic Design releases their new Ursa Mini Pro. As they say “The world’s first digital film camera with professional broadcast camera features and controls!”
At Veuwr we’ve used the full-size Ursa for quite a few projects – just a few days ago we used it to for a promo video we did for a clothing line based out of Alachua, FL (home base for us). We found the Ursa to be a very good camera, with it’s own set of flaws. The full-size Ursa suffered from a fairly heavy case of the common issue where the sun was purple (the client actually ended up liking the effect) and the weight of the camera was completely unacceptable. We had a team of 3 handling the audio and video for the shoot and at times it got to the point where we wanted to stop using the heavy Ursa.
Now that the Ursa Mini Pro is out we are actually very excited for it.
25.34mm x 14.25mm (Super35) Sensor
15 stops of dynamic range
Frame rates of 23.98, 24, 25, 29.97, 30, 50, 59.94 and 60 fps supported.
Built-in 2 stop, 4 stop, and 6 stop ND filters
4″ LCD touchscreen
Focus button turns on peaking, auto focus available using compatible lenses. 4608 x 2592, 4608 x 1920 (4.6K 2.40:1), 4096 x 2304 (4K 16:9), 4096 x 2160 (4K DCI), 3840 x 2160 (Ultra HD), 3072 x 2560 (3K Anamorphic), 2048 x 1152 (2K 16:9), 2048×1080 (2K DCI), 1920 x 1080Compatible with EF and PL mount lenses
Congratulations Blackmagic! We hope you guys are able to ship the camera on time and without the regular delays and hardware and software issues. We hope! We’re rooting for you and are your biggest supporters.
Coming in at a price of $5,995 before lenses and accessories I personally think the camera is of good value. Compared to the competition you can’t really do cheaper without skimping on quality.
New BM 4K Camera Coming 3/2/17?
Thanks to our friends at 43RUMORS we’re hearing news that Blackmagic is planning on releasing a new camera tomorrow.
M43 mount. 4K, same or almost the same size, better battery life, H265 possible. Might see it at NAB although will not ship then (lol – Blackmagic shipping on time).
Courtesy of 43rumors.
We at Veuwr are very excited! A new camera from our favorite video equipment company can only be good thing, if you’re willing to put aside their mistakes in the past. At the end of the day considering blackmagics history it will probably take 12 months to actually to actually ship, but hopefully once the bugs are all ironed out we’ll have a very capable camera in our hands.
The old Blackmagic Pocket Cinema camera is true super 16 digital film camera, as they call it, that we use on a day to day basis and that we’ve found to actually be superior to the GH4. Low light performance is very good even though the lens selection is so-so. Hopefully the new blackmagic camera works on this and adds more and is better in every way. We also have our fingers crossed hoping it’s going to be useful for our live streams, even though the new Blackmagic studio cameras are already a welcome addition, along with their new ATEM switcher which now supports everything we needed without external boxes!
Ultimately what could they release that would be worth the upgrade? I’d be happy with a 4k sensor that does better in low light and would even be ok with minor upgrades at this point. Blackmagic is slowly moving past their past reputation of being slow with updates, always having buggy software, and having severe hardware issues. This is anecdotal of course, but we at Veuwr primarily use Blackmagic equipment for our live streams and we have had very very few issues. Issues do occur, as they would with any piece of technology, but we’ve found that if anything the Blackmagic equipment has been reliable for us than certain other “large” companies.
EDIT: Camera was released. Turns out it’s the Ursa Mini Pro and not a replacement for the Pocket Cinema Camera.
December 16th, 2016. Florida to Atlanta. Today was an exciting day.
Yesterday evening a very important package came in the mail! FedEx brought our new Blackmagic Studio Micro camera – right in time for our live stream from KirtanFest Atlanta. Needless to stay we were very excited.
The day today started very early – by 4:30am we were getting up and packing our equipment into my car. Space was at a premium today since we decided to do the 5 hour drive to Atlanta in my Camaro. By 6am we’re all gathered and all of our equipment is filling every cubic inch of my trunk. We buckle in and make a quick pit stop for our morning coffee and bagels at Dunkin’ Donuts. Then we drive.
A little less than 5 hours later we’re finally at location in Atlanta. 6 hours till the start of our broadcast.
We quickly stop to grab lunch and then head to the site. Today is going to be a relatively small broadcast with 3 cameras using our blackmagic system. My favorite kind of broadcast because I know that sticking with one brand and system will just work as designed.
Everythings great so far. Lightning is fairly bad in the hall but luckily the micro and full size studio cameras are more than equipped to handle the task.
But what would an event be without its own set of problems? The Atlanta sound guys aren’t able to give us anything except an output piggy backing off a speaker located near our desk which produces a terrible hum every time we connect. Great.
Brainstorming time. Luckily Uddhi remembers that the full size studio camera takes XLR input as an audio source and are able to take audio in for the event directly from the desk into the camera, which then embeds the audio from the mixer into the SDI stream which then goes into the Blackmagic ATEM switcher. 26 minutes till showtime!
By around 7pm it is pitch dark outside and the inside lights are dimmed. The new studio micro camera has a 25mm f1.4 lens mounted on it and is serving our needs admirably. Low light performance is a+ with all three of us agreeing that the quality is nothing short of stellar.
One major issue however was the lack of a screen on the camera itself. We knew that from the get go but we didn’t expect it to be this much of a problem. Sure, the camera is now tiny and fits in the palm of my hand – does his matter though when can’t frame the shot without constant assistance over talkback?
ill be sure to write more soon.
This was just as just a quick report and review that I thought of sitting here in the back while my team handles everything else. Please forgive any grammatical mistakes or other issues as I typed this up on my iPhone.
On November 18th, 2016 Veuwr bought Iris Aerials, an established aerial imaging and videography company that is also based out of Gainesville. Iris Aerials has been doing amazing work for 3 years and their company values strongly coincided with ours.
As listed on their website their values are:
- Customer Satisfaction
They’ve been doing mostly focused on the real-estate and agricultural industries and lately have been getting the insurance adjusting and construction and building/pipeline inspection industries.
With this acquisition Iris Aerials will be merged with Veuwr brand and their services shall be offered under Veuwr’s umbrella. In addition to the branding change Iris Aerials will now be operated by our team who are also experienced pilots and camera operators.
Veuwr will also take ownership of all of Iris Aerials drones and from now on the company shall be referred to and known as Veuwr Aerials.
We want to assure all of Iris Aerial’s customers that the level of service and quality of footage shall only increase with this acquisition. Veuwr exists to serve.
What is Streaming?
Wowza Streaming a media is multimedia that is constantly received by and presented to an end-user while being delivered by a provider. In our present technology world, we got a lot of multimedia like audio, video, chat, radio etc.
A peek into types of Streaming
There are a lot of encoders or transcoders for each protocols. At least one encoder per format. And each transcoder encodes each stream in particular bitrates to provide adaptive bitrates. And each transcoder handles the streams for a single protocol
1. Each format is delivered by a different streaming media server from a different vendor, each with its own programming languages and OS requirements. Hence the management of these streams gets complex
2. Although the video and audio is same and sometimes uses same codecs to stream into different formats, which always end up with dozens of renditions of same title in order to deliver the best possible video quality to all desired playback endpoints.
3. The cost of transcoders, servers, content protection systems, and storage for multiple formats is high.
4. Overall User experience is very good. Because each devices has its own protocols and there is a particular stream for the device. So User gets the best quality experience.
Parallel Streaming is best for High end Broadcasts where there will be millions of users, because vast storage is required and the cost is high to provide the best User Experience.
This type of streaming is different than parallel streaming. It uses one or more transcoders to transcode a single ingest stream to different output formats and different protocols. By choosing a good streaming server software that provides this transcoding on the fly. For on-demand, there can be different renditions batch converted early in different bitrates. According to the bandwidth on the client side the streaming server software streams the video.
1. Less disk content is required. because there is only a single file is needed which transcodes the video in different protocols and formats
2. The management of the streams is not so complex as that of hardware streaming or parallel streaming.
3. The cost is very low as there is not much requirement for many transcoders. Depending upon the service provided transcoders are needed and that will not cost much
Wowza Streaming Engine.
- Just like its predecessor, Wowza Media Server, The Wowza Streaming Engine is a powerful streaming media server, used for streaming of live and on demand videos, audios, over network to desktop, laptop, and tablet computers, mobile devices, IPTV set-top boxes, internet-connected TV sets, game consoles, and other network-connected devices.
- Its a Java based software and easily deployable on Linux, Mac OS X, Windows, Unix, Solaris.
- Wowza Streaming Engine can stream to multiple devices simultaneously, including the Adobe Flash player, Microsoft Silverlight player, Apple QuickTime Player and iOS devices (iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch), 3GPP mobile phones (Android, BlackBerry OS, Symbian, etc.), IPTV set-top boxes (Amino, Enseo, Roku, Streamit and others) and game consoles such as Wii, Xbox, and PS3.
- Wowza is also compatible with streaming protocols like RTMP and its variants RTMPS,RTMPE, RTMPT, RTMPTE, HDS, HLS, MPEG DASH, RTSP, Smooth Streaming, MPEG-TS, and ICY(SHOUTcast/Icecast) Streams.
- Supported Filetypes are MP4, FLV, MP3.
1. Streaming Live videos over the network, without much hardware requirements.
Anyone can publish video to a Wowza Server to playback the videos on to a site, by the use of a camera to record the videos, and encode the camera feeds using RTMP, RTP/RTSP and MPEG-TS encoders, and stream it over the network using RTMP, HTTPS protocols. The video once published live can be viewed in various devices at a time.
Wowza can be useful where we need to have live webinars or conferences or video conferencing, where we need to stream live videos without much expense and hardware requirement.
2. On Demand Audio or Video Streaming.
Streaming of stored video files over the network is another great advantage, where a site can be hosted and video can be available to playback on the website using Flash players like JWPlayer, Flowplayer, etc. Also we can make a custom player with our own requirements to suit the needs of the website.
Also uploaded video contents can be playbacked as live using playlist functionality, which adds the added advantage of the video on demand, or applications like play your favorite song.
3. On-line radio re-streaming from legacy SHOUTcast/Icecast encoders and servers
Re- streaming of audio from radio servers like SHOUTcast/Icecast is a feature that wowza provides with live streaming. A radio station set on a server can be made available to web apps and mobile apps through wowza, and can be readily available on the fly over the network.
4. Interactive communications: video chat and conferencing; audio/text chat; white boarding, screen sharing, and online games
Video chat, Conferencing, Screen sharing and online multiplayer games can be hosted on a high end Wowza server. But at a production level, wowza works effectively on one to one video conferencing and screen sharing. Multiple video chats, online games need much read/write speed in servers with a very high speed data transfer over the network. But Wowza happens to have latency in delivering the data/streams which is a drawback for such purposes.
Wowza runs on Java which is a very good advantage for Java developers. Wowza is very flexible, such that, It can be customized upon our requirements by developing Modules, which does a function which we implement with Wowza and httpproviders which is to pass a request to the module to act according to the command provided.
6. Adaptive Streaming
Streaming of video content to end user’s devices depending on the available bandwidth at the end user is a key feature in streaming, because a video when its viral is watched by a lot of people on various devices. If the network bandwidth is very high, then High Quality video works good. But the same HD video will not playback on a 2G Network connected device. So conversion of a single video into Multi bitrate videos and playback of the videos through a SMIL(Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language) file, which is automatically generated for a live stream and a file that is already setup on server for on Demand streams, which contains all the details of all the multiple bitrate videos and which video bitrate video to play according to the end users bandwidth.
To encode a live stream to different bitrates require a third party encoder which converts the live stream to different bitrates and the streams are published live. This is a bit tedious because making use of external transcoders and encoders are expensive. Wowza provides an add on where a monthly bill is charged which is cost effective and a single source stream is only needed which is converted into multiple bitrate on the fly with the help of Transcoder. This requires only a good server spec and no additional hardware spec is required.
nDVR is also known as Network Digital Video Recorder. This is an add on we can add where the live streams will be recorded to the time set for recording and the whole recorded stream will be available for the set time window duration. This is an essential feature which we can implement in an STB or IPTV setup
DRM or Digital Rights Management is a security feature provided by wowza to protect the video content from the server. The DRM is provided by third party providers like Verimatrix, BuyDRM, EZDRM. Wowza provides integration with the following DRM Key Management Service partners to enable on-the-fly DRM encryption of premium video on demand and live content for a variety of playback devices. The videos will be encrypted and can be decrypted by a specially customized player to decode and playback the videos.
Wowza Streaming Engine Applications at a glance:
Wowza Streaming Engine as a streaming server is widely used in various fields of networking and streaming of Audio/Video. Some of them are:
1. Individual Websites:
Websites like youtube, Vimeo have a streaming server at its backend. For starters, a Dedicated server with Wowza installed is a good option for streaming video content over the network.
2. Content Delivery Networks (CDN):
These networks are a group of servers hosted in different datacenters in different parts of the world to make available data content to end users without latency. Wowza when integrated with CDN’s can provide streaming content, whether its live or on demand, to end users very fast in real time without latency. Some of the CDN’s wowza supports are Akamai, BrightCove, Limelight, Level3. The best and Wowza recommended CDN is Akamai.
Wowza is used in the telecommunications field which include data transfer like audio message, Video message, Video call. Specially Customized modules can be developed to serve the purpose.
4. TV and Radio Broadcasting:
An advantage of live and VOD streaming in Wowza makes the use of IPTV or OTT. IPTV or internet protocol TV can be setup with Wowza, where the videos are streamed to a TV via a connected STB(Set Top Box) where the channel content are streamed to the STB through Wowza. Whereas in OTT or Over The Top is a setup where the channels are available on end user devices like Mobiles, Laptops, PC’s, Tablets over the network, rather than the use of a STB.
We at Veuwr are experts at Wowza Streaming and it is one of the software that we use at events. If you’d like more information and what we can do for your event please contact us today.
We thank one of our outside consultants for writing this article.
It’s Wednesday evening, and I’m watching the skyline of New York City fade into the distance on the way back from a short live stream that we did. To be honest, I’ve never experienced a conference or trade show that was quite so busy. I had practically no time to check email or goof off on Twitter. I mostly talked to people about streaming video, and it’s clear that live streaming on the Internet is only going to get bigger.
Streaming video is a very interesting topic. Basically, it means watching video online before it has been downloaded, so it is the only way to webcast a live event. For a large enterprise network, the live event may be produced within the same building or campus as most of the viewers. For a live webcast meant to be viewed all over the world, it can be produced just about anywhere, provided the producer, the viewers and everyone in between have fast Internet connections and goof-proof capture and delivery technology.
Live Streaming is Easier Than You Think
Compared to television, live business and education webcasts are a lot more prevalent. There are live webinars and videoconferences going on all over the world every day. In television, live broadcasts are used primarily for sports, news, and only one scripted program that I know of, meaning Saturday Night Live. And all of these productions require a small army of people in highly specialized technical capacities.
Live streaming on the Internet is a hundred times easier, of course. It usually takes a couple of people to prepare and present the material, while two or three other people provide technical and marketing support. That’s it. As long as you follow a few webinar rules, specialized hardware and software does the rest.
The Magic of the Event
There are several reasons to present material in a live production online. Some of them are tangible and measured, but the best reasons, as usual, are more psychological:
- There is excitement surrounding a live event: Remember when the NBC television show ER did a live episode? For a show that featured loud dramatic drumming, doctors wheeling bodies around and people yelling “Stat!”, it was an ambitious undertaking. And the network never let you miss just how difficult and daring it was. A live event like that lets you push the limits of a coordinated marketing campaign, using email, partnerships, public relations and social media to raise the expectations of the audience.
- The higher perceived value yields better ROI: When used for lead generation, a live webcast is seen by the audience as having greater value, requiring their involvement at a specified time. There is a higher threshold of dedication, which means the people who take the time to register and attend are the ones most ready to do business with your company. Next to directly asking for your product demonstration, a live event usually drives the highest lead quality for your business.
- The timeliness of the content raises immediacy: The best example of this is the news, where you need to watch if you want to know what happened in crime and politics, how the game is going, and what tomorrow’s weather will be. For your purposes, if you need to cover what is happening in your industry, or a new technological advancement, or the details of an upcoming retail sale, a live event is practically the only way to do this.
- People want a chance to interact with you: In just about every interface you have with people, there is a delay. You post website pages and blog posts, and people find them days later. On social platforms, it may be hours. With live events, the audience has the best chance to respond immediately to what you say, and get questions answered in a raw context, where you haven’t had a chance to run your answer through the marketing mill. That’s a compelling draw.
- Live events get higher response rates: This seems counterintuitive, since a piece of content that is recorded or published for posterity will eventually drive a lot of business, but a live event pushes much of that business into the short-term. The result is a higher response from people who are interested in the company or its products at the moment. It creates a spike of activity that can cause a flurry of sales activity and help the business reach a revenue goal.
- It’s easier to track engagement: One reason given for live events is that the organization is able to gather a list of viewers through a registration process, while a piece of recorded material may be published in many places that are not trackable. This means that at least once, the live event is seen by the maximum number of viewers it is ever going to reach at one time, and you will know who they are. Later viewing won’t be as effective for lead generation.
- Live events let you try out ideas: Producing a live event can create a buzz around a big milestone, such as a product launch or partnership announcement. You can create a program involving a big-name guest or a controversial topic. You may want to present something that simply can’t be done in a scripted way. You can also decide that your live event will not be recorded, raising the stakes for viewers to register and attend.
Live Streaming in the US. Still a industry in its childhood, but one that can’t be done without.
Music festivals in the United States are very popular and well attended, but much of the social media buzz which is generated surrounding these events is created by those not actually at the event, meaning there’s a significant void to be filled by live streaming.
Few industries in the US reach as many people as music festivals, with 1 in 10 Americans attending at least one every year. That means 32 million people attend at least one of the 800 festivals spread across the country, and many attend multiple events. The under-40 crowd is willing to go to greater lengths than ever to see a litany of their favorite artists in one place, traveling 903 miles on average to go to a festival. With VIP ticket prices for major festivals in the thousands, general admission can be as high as $400-$500.
So what does all this mean for livestreaming?
Social media is quite possibly the biggest driver behind the rapid growth of US music festivals. Events like Coachella, Burning Man, and Electric Daisy Carnival each generate millions of tweets. One may not realize how much of this social media buzz is created by people who are not physically in attendance. In a study of 20 million social media conversations, Eventbrite found that 23% of these posts were made by fans who weren’t physically at the show, meaning an additional 4.6 million people tuned in remotely via livestreams (Youtube, Twitch, etc). This is a particularly noteworthy number, simply considering the potential to monetize that large group of dedicated fans.
Consider EDC, for instance, the largest festival in the US with an estimated 150,000 attendees per day. Over the event’s 3 days, EDC’s overall attendance number is somewhere in the neighborhood of 500,000 people. To put that in perspective, the largest music festival in the country is still 9x smaller than the 4.6 million people who tune into festivals via livestreams. This is an untapped audience that festival can market and sell to.
We’re here to help. If you’d like to stream your event or festival, contact us today!
A little History:
Over the past few years Blackmagic Design (BMD) has helped to change the face of live streaming. They can get a bad rap from time to time, but frankly they are meeting a need and bringing capabilities to production companies that they could never dream of achieving with other manufacturers. Up to this point, BMD has had its entire focus centered on capture and processing of live video. But as it continued to grow its line of products, the next step was to produce a camera.
In 2012 the company released the Cinema Camera, a high-resolution, feature-packed and, most importantly, affordable camera. Now that they had the technology figured out, all they had left to do was pair it with their already popular line of Atem switchers to create a complete video production package.
The 10-inch viewfinder is huge. It’s basically like having an iPad on the back of the camera. It’s quite impressive. The 1080p version of the camera uses a Super 16-mm sensor—the same sensor as in the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera. It has a micro four-thirds (MFT) lens mount
, but through third party adapters it can use an assortment of lenses. There is also a 4K version available that costs only $1,000 more.
So what makes this camera different? Why do you need a studio camera at your company? I’ll dive into the nitty-gritty here and try to explain all that this camera has to offer. In the studio, as opposed to field recording, you run all your cameras back to a central location and connect them to a switcher. The Blackmagic Studio Camera has no onboard recording capabilities for this very reason. Instead, it features both optical fiber and HD-SDI connections. Here at Veuwr we try to use fiber instead of SDI because of it’s versatility.
Both options function simultaneously, which is nice and allows for some flexibility in use. With this you could also connect a recording drive like a Blackmagic Hyperdeck Shuttle via SDI, and capture an isolated feed from the camera while transmitting to the switcher via fiber. The Studio Camera also features built-in talkback that is transmitted over the fiber or
SDI along with the camera audio, tally, and control commands. A “Program” button below the camera’s viewfinder allows for the operator to quickly check and see what is coming out of the switcher’s program feed, as well. The talkback connections take a standard ¼-inch plug, which is nice because you can use a variety of headsets, depending on your budget. With the XLR audio connections, each camera can embed audio from an external microphone and transmit it with the video signal to the switcher.
The image quality of this camera is superb. We used it at the Chant 4 Change event in Washington DC and even though the lighting was terrible the camera did an amazing job. Definitely the best MFT camera that I’ve laid my hands on.
This screenshot on the right was taken with 0 frontal lighting. Let that sink in for a minute. Very impressive.
Recommend this camera to everyone!