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Re: Ursa Gold: can we quantify?

Hi Rob,
opinions of URSA GOLD vs URSA:-
In my view the 10 bit 4:4:4 architecture is only half the story, because I have
worked on upgraded (normal) Ursas, as well as GOLDS, and the 2 do not compare.
I think the new design of the URSA GOLD improved a lot of reliability problems
and noise problems which are not documented anywhere.
The Ursa Gold is a very sweet machine to work on, although it still requires
the TLC that all Ranks demand. 
The 10 bit architecture is a noticeable improvement when dealing with graduated
backgrounds, smoke, and some transparency work (where the definition is higher
due to the larger image size. Otherwise it is not very noticeable. It does
however mean that if you are recording to an 8 bit device (D1), you need to be
careful where you do the rounding down. The Da Vinci 8:8:8 does this much
better than the VTRs
Frankly 4:4:4 is not mindblowing and I wouldnt upgrade unless I really needed a
4:4:4 output. Just my opinion. The word in London is "With 4:4:4 you will never
see noise so clearly!" There is an improvement in Kilovector and possibly other
secondary color corrector performance, that will be appreciated by the colorist
if nobody else.
All in all the Gold is a much better machine just because it is made better, I
reckon. As an aside, the Da Vinci Users Group unanimously voted the URSA GOLD
as the best Telecine currently available.

Jumpfree. I use jumpfree and never pin anything. I've never had a problem, and
we've gone 15 layers.
It is not absolutely perfect,neither is Stedi-Gate. Now with stabilisers on
Henry, and SGI software I think it really is good enough. It has a problem with
cut neg if there is no overlap, and Ursa (normal) had a problem with a random
kick occasionally. Maybe that has been fixed.
Lowspeed is very desireable if you have jumpfree. Not only does it extend the
speeds to cover some very useful speeds (6,9,12 fps). These take away much of
the competition from the varispeed of the BTS machines. More importantly, it
also involves the fitting of an improved Servo board.

I'd be interested in what others think.