Why Use A Broadcast Camera Over a DSLR Camera for Documentaries, News, and Multi-Camera Studios

Why Use A Broadcast Camera Over a DSLR Camera for Documentaries, News, and Multi-Camera Studios

Why use a broadcast camera over a DSLR camera? In this video I am go over the benefits of why and where to use a broadcast camera over a DSLR camera for ENG, Documentaries, Broadcast, News, and Multi Camera Studios. Featuring the Blackmagic URSA Broadcast Camera with the Fujinon 2/3" Mount LA16x8BRM-XB1A 8mm - 128mm Lens. For how to set the back focus on the LA16x b4 lens check out my video at

Blackmagic Design URSA Broadcast Camera Kit with Fujinon 2/3" Mount LA16x8BRM-XB1A Lens

Blackmagic Design Shoulder-Mount Kit for the URSA Mini

Blackmagic Design CINECAMURSANEVFP Blackmagic URSA Viewfinder

Blackmagic Design CINECAMURVLBATTAD Blackmagic URSA VLock Battery Plate

Core SWX HyperCore 150Wh 14.8V V-Mount Battery

Sound Devices MixPre-3 II Recorder

Blackmagic Design SWPANELCCU4 ATEM Camera Control Panel

Fujinon MS-01 Rear Zoom and Focus Lens Control Kit

Any questions feel free to email me at


Hey, what's going on, everyone? Joel Wallis here. So today I'm going to talk about the Blackmagic, the URSA Broadcast camera with the Fujinon 8 to 128 millimeter lens. And this lens is only available with the Blackmagic URSA Broadcast Camera as a bundle. So I'm going to tell you what the benefits of this camera and why, and how it should be used with documentaries or multicam setups or within churches or concerts, you name it.

So let's just jump in and we'll start from there. So you might be asking me what's so special about this camera that's different from other cameras? Well, to begin with, this is a broadcast camera or an ENG camera. That stands for electronic news gathering, like you see your cameraman out, you know, in the news or a documentary.

This also can be used in studios. There's a lot of features within this camera that a cinema or a DSLR camera doesn't have. The unique thing with Blackmagic is that they want to be able to have their cameras as rugged as possible. So let's just say, you know, something happened to your camera out in the field and now you broke the power on button.

Cool thing is that you can actually go in to the camera, and there's two buttons down here with the record and the fast forward. And you can just hold those two at the same time and it'll power on the camera. Pretty much every feature that's inside of the menu is on the outside of the camera so you can fully control the camera from the outside of it and you can control it inside of the menu of the camera.

Pretty cool features to have that capability. Where, take like this Canon 5D, if we want to be able to record, we only have one button to record video. What happens when that breaks? I mean, it rarely happens, but, you know, when you're shooting in the extreme environments like a documentary or in news chasing hurricanes, you want to have those extra features.

You can also set the white balance, say on A, we'll be setting that to be white balance for indoors and then we're going to be going outside all in one shot. Then we can set the white balance to B for the outdoors. So as we're going through the door, we can immediately just toggle the switch to go over to B versus on our DSLR camera, we don't have that capability of switching our white balances on the fly like that.

You have record buttons in multiple spots, one on the outside of the camera on the side, one on the back of the zoom rocker where your thumb lives, next to the handle. You have one on the touch screen. You also have one inside where you have your menu control. And then for recording with the camera, there's several ways that we could do this. One, the camera natively has CFast 2.0 card slots.

You can also record with SD cards. And then another cool feature is that you could use the SSD add-on for the camera. So this would actually mount to the back here and then your battery would go on to the back of this. And then that would allow you to be able to use an SSD to be able to record too. Some huge savings that you can get with the SSD and longer record times.

The other thing that's going to stand out with these types of cameras is they use a VCT-Style for their tripod quick release plate. This will allow for the camera to be on and off the tripod quick like for you. Some huge, big differences that you're going to see out of this type of camera versus the DSLR cameras is, you're going to see battery.

Because when we're on the field, we really need a lot of juice and we can't be swapping out batteries like we do on some of the smaller DSLR cameras. They just don't last very long. These cameras here, they use either V-Mount or Gold-Mount. This one is the V-Mount by Core SWX. It's their Hypercore 150. And this is going to be able to give us additional power accessory ports.

By that what I mean is D-Tap. The VLock plate from Blackmagic, this one gives us one D-Tap out. Our battery as well has a D-Tap port. We also have a USB on this battery. So for example, with the D-Tap, well, you need to have an onboard light. Say we're chasing a hurricane and all the power is out and we're shooting a report and there's no electricity around, we can easily plug in a D-Tap cable and now we can power our camera light.

With our DSLR cameras, we're probably going to get maybe an hour or so or more of battery time, and it's just a tiny battery. I don't see any D-Taps or any other ways to be able to power any accessories. So, again, we're kind of limited. We're going to need to add on additional parts in order to build this camera out to be something like this.

This has XRL built into it. With a DSLR camera, you only have one mic input so now you're going to have to use an audio mixer. So with these types of cameras is that it really is a one person that's operating everything within the camera. So we're going to get, again, that XLR for audio, we're going to have our professional audio inputs.

The cameraman can then monitor the audio and be able to adjust it. We can still adjust it from the outside of this camera. And as well as that inside the menu, we can adjust the audio within the menu as well. We're also going to have ND filters, that's neutral density. So it's kind of like wearing sunglasses. It's going to cut down the light. So we have four options.

We have clear, then we can have our next step, which gives us two stops to be able to cut down. The third option is going to be four stops and then our fourth option is going to be six stops. So that will allow us to really control the light without having to go back to the camera and now add on filters on the front or do a map box. Different places to use this gear, but again, this is going to be an all-in-one style camera.

Other ways this camera is used in multi-camera setups or in studios. We can control the camera in the director's room at the director's board. We can now control the cameras, if we have multiple cameras. We can control them all, set the same white balance for the cameras, set the same iris. You get it. You have all those capabilities in a studio camera that you're going to get out of this camera here with that too.

The Blackmagic URSA Broadcast Camera also ships with the B4 lens turret. So it's not going to come natively with an EF mount or PL mount. This one will be already set up for using with like broadcast lenses. All right. So now jumping over to the lens. This is the Fujinon LA16x 8 to 128 millimeter 4K lens. Big features that you're automatically going to see right off the gate with this is that you're going to have a zoom rocker.

This is going to allow you to be able to zoom out, zoom in. You're not going to have to worry about when, say, for example, you're shooting on a DSLR lens, that when you go to zoom in, your focus changes. Whereas on this lens with the Fujinon, when you go to zoom in, you set your focus, you zoom out, everything is going to be in focus from there.

So it's part focal. You can use this in a church setting, for example. And what you're going to gain out of this is that you're going to have a really nice, good quality lens that you're going to be able to do that long distance shot. So say, for example, you had a PTZ camera and if you don't know what PTZ stands for, that's Pan Tilt Zoom. So you have a PTZ camera off to the right. We'll call that camera one.

Camera two, we have this bad boy right here and then camera three we'll have off to the left. So this would be our long shot to go to get the pastor or, you know, if there's a guitar that's up on the stage or whatnot, this would be a really good lens to be able to zoom in and follow that subject. And then you'd have your other two cameras on the side, be your cutaway cameras or those can do some zoom ins and do some zooms out.

But this would be a really good lens for kind of all around in that scenario for getting your long shots in a church. Another really cool, unique thing that I discovered with this camera when I was playing around with it, how do you set the back focus? What's really cool with this is that this one electronically does it for you in a way.

It's super simple, you hold a button down for about five seconds, the camera lens zooms in, you pull your focus. Then you hit the button again, it zooms out, you pull your focus, hit the button again and you're done. Pretty simple. It's just taking out a lot of the process in the back end of having to set the back focus and then setting the front focus. It's electronically doing the back for you. You still will definitely want to use a focus chart.

And if you don't have one, you can easily print one off the Internet or just use an object roughly about 10 feet away. I'll post up and I have another video that I'm going to post up of how to set the back focus for this camera, and I'll put a link in here somewhere in one of these corners down here for you. Or else I'll put it in the description. This lens has a macro built into it.

So with the slide of the focus ring, we could slide it forward. And now we're in macro for getting those extreme close up shots. With a DSLR lens, we're going to have to change out a lens to a macro lens and then switch back as we're going through different shots. Again, coming back, all in one camera, it has it built-in. Other features you're going to have is that you're going to have a manual iris ring as well as you can have this go to automatic as well.

There's a button on the front. You can actually have it set to automatic iris or manual iris, but it's nice to always have that ring to be able to do the fine adjustments yourself. Other features we kind of covered about having the servo zooms, the rocker to be able to zoom in and zoom out. We can also turn that off. And then we can do those whiplash kind of style zooms.

So for stylistic or like in a documentary, reality TV show, we can easily zoom out, zoom in to get those cool effects to that shots that we want. It's a little tougher with these cameras to be able to do that. It is sort of possible. I've done it before. It's okay. It works somewhat okay.

But not as cool as how this turns out. And then another cool feature that this lens has the capability of doing is being able to add in a rare zoom and focus control. And what that means is that in a studio, what you can do is instead of having to physically go up and adjust focus from here, you can have this up on your sticks or your tripod or in your studio boom.

And now you can control zoom, you can also control your focus. So pretty cool features with that. And that's more of an studio applications. So this really is a pretty sweet combination that you get with this package for either documentaries, ENG, multicam studios, church livestreaming, you name it.

If you have any questions or if there's anything that I didn't cover that you'd like to know, feel free to ask away in the comments. I'll also put my email address down below in the description for you. I'll also put the whole build that I've got going on with the camera and everything that you saw in this video. I'll put all the links down below as well. And be sure to like, subscribe and follow. Thank you.

15th Oct 2019 Joel Wallis

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