Blackmagic Design has pushed a new operating system for its Ursa Mini camera into public beta. The new software is a free download from the Blackmagic website.

Among the features of Blackmagic Camera 4.0 is a new user interface designed to reduce the number of menu and submenu selections required to access core settings including ISO, white balance, iris, shutter angle, and frame rate. The new OS will allow users to toggle quickly between different settings, which should help them identify the best approach under different shooting conditions. Once the best settings have been chosen, shooters will be able to save presets to a memory card for loading into multiple cameras.

Control over shutter angle has been expanded, with an on-screen keyboard designed for easy entry of settings, and the new Ursa OS has a calculator that suggests flicker-free shutter angle settings based on calculations involving frame rate and electrical system frequency (50/60 Hz).

 A new "slate" screen for entering metadata related to a shot or project is accessed with a left or right swipe of the touchscreen. Predictive text suggestions are meant to speed up the metadata entry process, and shots and takes will automatically increment within a given scene before resetting to 1 when the scene number is changed. Lens information can be read automatically or entered manually. The metadata is stored with the files for later use in editing and color-correction.

The feature boosts aren't limited to the UI. Blackmagic said the Blackmagic Ursa Viewfinder now has improved colorimetry, proximity sensor sensitivity and time-out settings. It will also support the new metadata features as well as new frame guides, safe areas, grids and more.

As usual, the company cautioned against loading the beta firmware for use on commercial productions, but asked users who are eager to test the new software to send any bug reports via email: For more details on the 4.0 feature set, read Blackmagic's release notes below, or visit the company website's support page.

What's new in Blackmagic Camera Setup 4.0 Beta

Blackmagic URSA Mini 4.6K and 4K
•New URSA Mini OS.
•New heads up display.
•New menu system to allow faster operation.
•New monitoring options separately configurable for different SDI outputs.
•Added ability to load 3D LUTs (Look Up Table) for monitoring.
•Added ability to save and load camera settings presets.

New Heads Up Display Features
•Swipe up or down to show and hide the heads up display.
•Added pan-able focus zoom.
•Added ability to change frame rate directly from heads up display.
•Added ability to change iris from heads up display on electronic lenses.
•Added ability to toggle timecode or duration from heads up display.
•Added ability to toggle favorite off-speed frame rate quickly.
•Added ability to change shutter angle from heads up display.
•Added flicker free shutter angle suggestions.
•Added manual shutter angle option for up to 2 decimal places.
•Added indicators for genlock, timecode status, and sensor window in heads up display.
•Added ability to change ISO from heads up display.
•Added ability to change white balance from heads up display.
•Added white balance presets including daylight, tungsten, fluorescent, mixed lighting, and overcast.
•Added tint control.
•Added auto white balance feature.
•Added audio input and headphone level control from the heads up display.
•Added media status page for formatting cards and media information.
•Added ability to toggle battery indicator from heads up display.
•Added monitoring option controls from heads up display including zebra, focus assist, frame guide and grids.

New Metadata Features
•Improved slate and metadata functionality.
•Added lens data information to slate metadata.
•Added auto-fill lens metadata from electronically controllable lenses.
•Changed slate shortcut from a single tap to a sideways swipe on the LCD.

New Record Features
•Added additional ProRes resolutions for URSA Mini 4.6K including 4.6K 16×9, 4.6K 2.4:1, 4K DCI, 3K Anamorphic, 2K 16×9 and 2K DCI.
•Added additional RAW resolutions for URSA Mini 4.6K including 4.6K 2.4:1, 4K 16×9, 3K Anamorphic, 2K 16×9 and HD.
•Added option to select the preferred card for recording.

New Monitor Features
•Improved screen colorimetry for the built in LCD.
•Added ability to switch 3D LUT on and off for each output individually.
•Added ability to switch false color, zebras, focus assist, frame guides, grids and safe area guide on or off for each output individually.
•Added clean feed toggle for each output.
•Added program tally indicator for the built in LCD and Front SDI when using ATEM.
•Added monitoring option for tally, crosshairs and centre dot as part of grids.
•Added 14:9 frame guides.
•Added configurable safe area guides.
•Expanded options for focus assist to include red, green, blue, black and white as well as peaking.
•Added option for viewing codec and resolution setting instead of meters on the built in LCD.

New Settings Features
•Added ability to program function buttons as a preset for frame rate, iris, white balance, ISO or shutter angle.
•Added ability to program function buttons for Up or Down frame rate, iris, white balance, ISO or shutter angle.
•Added ability to program function buttons as a toggle for clean feed, display LUT, frame guides, focus assist, false color, zebra, grids, safe area guides, off-speed and color bars.
•Added flicker free shutter frequency selection for 50Hz or 60Hz.
•Added support for drop frame timecode.
•Added ability to trigger color bars from camera.
•Added factory reset function.
•Added hardware ID display.
•Added software version display.

New Presets Features
•Added ability to create up to 12 global camera settings presets.
•Added ability import and export camera presets to CFast media.

New 3D LUT Features
•Added ability to monitor with 3D LUTs.
•Added ability to import 3D LUT from CFast media.
•Added ability to store up to 6 custom 17 point or 33 point LUTs into the camera's internal flash memory.
•Added the ability to export one of the camera's 3D LUTs to CFast media so you can pass the 3D LUT to a colorist or editor.
•Added ability to delete 3D LUT from camera's internal memory.

New General Features
•Improved timecode functionality for external timecode and jam timecode.
•Improved white balance performance.
•Added option for single clip or all clip playback.
•Added loop playback feature.

Blackmagic URSA Viewfinder
•Improved colorimetry for viewfinder.
•Improved proximity sensor sensitivity.
•Improved proximity sensor timeout settings.
•Improved frame guide appearance.
•Added support for URSA Mini OS metadata settings.
•Added support for new frame guides, safe area guides and grids.
•Added menu items for configuring overlay settings.

Minimum system requirements for Mac OS X
•Mac OS X 10.11 El Capitan or better
•Mac OS X 10.10 Yosemite or better
•A suitable USB 2.0 port
•Thunderbolt port for UltraScope and Media Express when using Blackmagic Cinema Camera or Blackmagic Production Camera 4K 

Minimum system requirements for Windows
•Microsoft Windows 10 64-bit
•Microsoft Windows 8 64-bit
•A suitable USB 2.0 port
•A suitable Thunderbolt port when using Blackmagic Cinema Camera or Blackmagic Production Camera 4K