Today we are taking a look at the Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro G2 vs the ARRI Amira. It’s like $6000 vs $45,000!
Both of these cameras have been out for a while now and we’re going to finally put them to the test, looking at picture quality, looking at it in RAW.
There are some great frame rates with this Blackmagic; you can get 120 with no crop, that’s 120 frames a second. Or with a crop you can do 150 at 4k or 300 in HD.
The Amira will do up to 60 frames in 4k and 200 in 2k, not cropped, which is really nice.
The only recording option for the ARRI is CFast, but for the Blackmagic you have all of CFast, UHS and USB-C for recording options.
Ultimately the question is; is there a difference between a $6,000 camera and a $45,000 camera?!
In this test, we’re going to be doing 3 different videos and we’ll be doing the same setups in each, comparing different elements in each video. So let’s get started!
Picture Quality Test
The ARRI looks really nice right out of the box but we did a small bit of color correcting just to try to match them for comparison sake.
The overall skin tone is really pretty with the Amira, and it’s a little more crunchy with the URSA. And if you look at the foliage in the background, it’s not as green on the URSA compared to the Amira, and the blue in her pants is really rich in the Amira. But overall amazing pictures on both.
We should note that the Amira is 3.2k upscaled to 4k and the URSA mini is 4.6k that we’ve downscaled. There isn’t a very perceptible difference in the resolution. If you took both files and blew them up maybe you could find a difference in the image, but overall I wouldn’t worry too much about the resolution.
Mixed Lighting Test
We have a combination of warm lights and lighting from outside, and both cameras look excellent in the situation. Overall they look very similar and that was purposeful, as we tried to get the color to the same place. You could make an argument for both of these as far as color goes.
Dynamic Range Test
This image is properly exposed to her face which we metered with a light meter.
Already stating at normal, the concrete is holding better with the Amira. The G2 is just a little bit brighter and a little bit darker in the shadows.
Now her skin in this is plus 1 stops, but the concrete behind her is probably like +5 or +6 so we should see that blow out pretty soon here. Overall I have to say that the URSA mini has kinda a warmer look.
We’re starting to see that concrete blow out on the Mini and it’s getting there on the Amira, but it’s less and it’s not clipping.
They’re both clipping now. The ARRI is blowing out on the concrete. They’re both holding the color really well, the red hasn’t shifted very much.
Plus 4 stops is pretty nuclear. The grass, wall, sidewalk is gone for the URSA mini G2, it’s starting to posterize.
This is generally where the ARRI will start to lose it. It looks like the ARRI is shifting green and the URSA mini is shifting red. The Amira is still doing nicely, just holding on to some detail in the grass and her skin still looks nice.
Now, these cameras don’t tend to like underexposure as much, especially the ARRI.
Under 1 stop it doesn’t seem to be too bad, though the shadows are her face do seem to be a little darker.
You start to see it in the transition between her hair and her forehead, you start to see the red banding and the dress has got all sorts of noise in it. They’re both kinda falling apart in the same way.
The Amira is really suffering here. It’s got a ton of grain in her face and on the dress. The URSA mini has the same kind of issue but it doesn’t seem to be as bad.
It’s reallllly bad on both and they’re both responding similarly.
I would say the colors held together pretty well.
Starting at 400, which is really below the native ISO, so it’s really going to provide a cleaner image, but less dynamic range overall. Both these cameras start out really clean. The color on the Amira is more neutral and the skin tone seems clean and the URSA mini is a little bit warm.
They look pretty much the same in terms of noise.
On a normal day this wouldn’t shoot past this. This would be the top limit for me with the Amira. I’m confortable with it. It looks really good if you’re used to properly exposing the image at this ISO. I would say that the URSA has more detail.
All of the colors in the color checkr have noise now. This look is not that uncommon for a lot of films though. The URSA is getting a little bit of the same look, but I feel like it’s cleaner in her face. The color feels more washed out. I feel like her skin and the background are kinda washing together.
That was quite a homerun for the URSA Mini!
So let’s talk about these 2 cameras. They both have very professional features SDI inputs, XLR outputs, ND filters.
I really like about the URSA Mini that you can shoot all the different flavors of pro res and RAW at multiple compression settings.
It’s also really light weight, so taking a couple of these on set would be a lot easier than taking some Amiras.
With the Amira though, the money does pay for something. There’s better color separation, better tonality, a little bit more consistency with the Amira.
So there you have it! Our first look at the ARRI Amira vs the Blackmagic URSA Mini G2! The David and Goliath. We have 2 more videos comparing Blackmagic cameras with the Amira, so stay tuned.
Keep those cameras rolling and keep on clickin!