Blackmagic Design’s URSA Mini 4.6K camera was used to shoot Prime Japan, an Amazon Prime Original series.

Amazon captures 4K/Ultra HD content with Blackmagic URSA Mini 4.6K

Prime Japan, an Amazon Prime original documentary, was shot in 4K/Ultra HD (UHD)

An Amazon Prime Original production, Prime Japan features a variety of topics regarding Japan, from traditional culture, such as sushi, sake and Japanese swords, to more modern culture representing modern Japan, including design, fashion and architecture.

One of Prime Japan’s episodes, Wagashi, or Japanese Sweets, was shot entirely with Blackmagic Design’s URSA Mini 4.6K camera.

Shot on location and in the studio, the Zeiss classic series of lenses was chosen by DoP Takashi Chiba for the URSA Mini 4.6K on set and for studio shoots, Zeiss compact primes were used to shoot close-up shots of Japanese sweets.

Besides its ability to shoot in 4K/UHD, the URSA Mini 4.6K’s mobility was also key for Chiba as he and his team travelled across Japan to introduce the Japanese sweets. “It’s lightweight and easy to use, and having an EF mount camera means I can move my camera very easily,” he added.

The natural tone of the URSA Mini 4.6K was also a boon for Chiba, as it allowed footage to look natural. He explained: “The colour of Japanese sweets is usually pale and less saturated, and the camera pulled the delicacy of the sweets well.

“If you use some cameras that cannot capture high-quality images, you have to rely on grading heavily to make the footage look decent. On the other hand, this camera does not need to cheat with grading.”

The URSA Mini 4.6K also supported many of the high-speed shots in the episode, including a scene showing a confectioner making sweets rhythmically with classical music in the background. “By showing such action with high-speed shooting, we could give it a more appetising feeling as well as cinematic look.”