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Key News Network Captures Breaking News with URSA Broadcast G2 Cameras

Blackmagic Design
(Image credit: Blackmagic Design)

FREMONT, Calif.—Blackmagic Design has announced that Key News Network (KNN) is relying on Blackmagic URSA Broadcast G2 cameras to capture breaking news, major event incident coverage, and daily spot news for major news outlets. 

Delivering more than 100 news stories a month, the KNN team also uses DaVinci Resolve Studio editing, color grading, visual effects (VFX) and audio post production software’s intuitive editing tools to help meet their deadline-driven workflows.

KNN covers news in California and other top U.S. markets, supplying footage to local and national stations by using the latest ENG technology to quickly acquire breaking news content.  KNN’s content is also made available on its YouTube channel, KeyNewsNetwork, as well as its online site News Break.

“No night is a typical night,” said Zak Holman, director of photography at KNN. “In a moment’s notice, we can be in downtown Los Angeles covering a protest, then rushing to the cliffs above Malibu filming a helicopter rescuing victims from a crash,” “Every month, we shoot, edit, feed, and air more than 100 stories for our clients. Each one is as unique and challenging as the last. When it comes to breaking news, we never know what's in store for us. In almost 15 years, I don't think I've ever had two identical shifts.”

To keep up with the fast paced demands, the KNN team chose three URSA Broadcast G2s due to their portable and sleek design, 13 stops of dynamic range and most importantly, low light performance with dual gain ISO. Capturing all footage in 4K, the cameras are outfitted with B4 ENG lenses.

“The URSA Broadcast G2s’ dynamic range allows us to film events like fires in entirely new ways, capturing every detail precisely,” Holman said. “It's even more difficult at night because of the difference in exposure we need to deal with. In some shots, we have super dark surroundings with car headlights aimed directly into the lens, and with the URSA Broadcast G2s, we're still able to pull a usable shot. The cameras are perfect for filming in these situations and prove themselves multiple times in a shift. They help us tell the story without limitation.”

Blackmagic Design

(Image credit: Blackmagic Design)

“There are plenty of dark alleys in Los Angeles County and chances are we've been to most of them,” Holman added. “The URSA Broadcast G2s see right into them. The low light performance is brilliant and makes the footage usable.”

Holman and his team also rely on DaVinci Resolve Studio’s edit page to prepare the footage for KNN. 

“The biggest thing is making sure our workflow stays streamlined and fast,” Holman said. “In breaking news, we work with seconds to spare on most stories. DaVinci Resolve Studio gives us the speed we need to keep a competitive edge when editing in the field. Hearing how happy all of my videographers are with DaVinci Resolve is confirmation the platform works flawlessly.”

To continue capturing all the action, KNN will be expanding its workflow by adding more URSA Broadcast G2s.

“Blackmagic Design produced a camera that is light years ahead for ENG,” Holman concluded. “We have three cameras in one with the URSA Broadcast G2 at a price that's unheard of, effectively future proofing our equipment for many years to come. Not to mention that the images are absolutely breathtaking. We’re excited to continue to deliver high quality content with the URSA Broadcast G2.”

George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.