Blackmagic Design Goes Big with URSA Mini Pro 12K

Credit: Blackmagic Design
During its livestream, Blackmagic Design made some huge announcements including a 12K capable URSA Mini Pro. 

When a company drops the price of one of its products, it's likely something fresh is on the horizon. When Blackmagic Design lowered the cost of the Pocket Cinema Camera 6K in late-April by $500, you had to think a new camera could be next. Turns out, instead of a new Pocket version, Blackmagic went big with a the new 12K URSA Mini Pro 12K cinema camera. 

Key Features

  • 2,288 x 6480 12K Super 35 sensor
  • Use for feature films, VFX and high end TVC's
  • 14 stops of dynamic range and native 800 ISO
  • New Blackmagic RAW for real time 12K editing
  • Blackmagic RAW optimized for Metal, CUDA and OpenCL
  • Generation 5 Color Science with new film curve
  • Shoot up to 60 fps in 12K, 110 fps at 8K and 220 fps at 4K
  • Dual card CFast recording at up to 900MB/s
  • PL mount included, EF and F mounts available
  • SuperSpeed USB-C for recording to external disks
  • Includes DaVinci Resolve Studio for post production
  • Compatible with new Blackmagic URSA Mini Recorder

Sensor

Blackmagic jumped 8K and went with a native resolution of 12,288 x 6480 for its Super 35 sensor that touts 80 megapixels. According to the company, filmmakers can expect up to 14 stops of dynamic range and a native ISO of 800, which is similar to ARRI's Alexa and Mini cameras. The 12K sensor is said to have equal amount of red, green, and blue and is optimized for multiple resolutions including 4K and 8K. The camera provides 12K at 60fps, or scaling for 8K or 4K RAW up to 110fps. 

Blackmagic says "oversampling from 12K gives customers the best 8K and 4K images with the subtle skin tones and extraordinary detail of high end still cameras."  They're right. If you want to deliver 8K images you're going to want more resolution that 8K. But as we know, resolution isn't everything. 

RAW

Blackmagic's RAW format has been optimized for 12K workflows. Several new constant quality and constant bitrates have been added, including Q5 and 18:1.  It will be interesting to test how that 18:1 compression rate looks. RAW can be recorded to two cards simultaneously allowing you to shoot 12K or 8K on either CFast or UHS‑II cards at high frame rates.

Two CFast cards can record 900MB/s while two UHS-II SD cards offers up to 500MB/s. The SuperSpeed USB-C expansion port on the rear can record up to 900MB/s as a third recording option at 12K up to 60p or 8K up to 110p.

Supported codecs: 

  • BRAW Constant Bitrate 5:1, 8:1, 12:1, 18:1
  • BRAW Constant Quality Q0, Q1, Q3, and Q5

What's interesting is that the URSA Mini Pro 12K only supports BRAW codecs. There's no support for Apple ProRes of any kind. Maybe in a future update? 

Generation 5 Color Science 

Blackmagic introduced an updated color science to harnesses all data in the 12K sensor. The company says Generation 5 Color Science delivers "better color response for more pleasing skin tones" and improves the rendering of highly saturated colors. The new color science works in tangent with Blackmagic RAW, for better image processing which preserves the color and dynamic range metadata for post production. 

Recording Formats 

The URSA Mini Pro 12K can shoot 4K, 8K, 12K, or even 6K. Filmmakers can shoot at 60 fps in 12K, 110 fps in 8K and up to 220 fps in 4K Super 16. Frame rates vary depending on the format mode, but include 23.98, 24, 25, 29.97, 30, 50, 59.94 60fps, and higher. 

12K

  • 12,288 x 6480 (12K DCI)
  • 11,520 x 6480 (12K 16:9)
  • 12,288 x 5112 (12K 2.4:1)
  • 7680 x 6408 (12K Anamorphic)

8K

  • 8192 x 4320 (8K DCI)
  • 7680 x 4320 (8K 16:9)
  • 8192 x 3408 (8K 2.4:1)
  • 5120 x 4272 (8K Anamorphic)

6K / 4K

  • 6144 x 3240 (6K Super16)
  • 4096 x 2160 (4K Super16)
  • 4096 x 2160 (4K DCI)
  • 3840 x 2160 (4K 16:9)
  • 4096 x 1704 (4K 2.4:1)
  • 2560 x 2136 (4K Anamorphic)

High Speed Frame Rates

  • 12K 17:9 full sensor up to 60 fps
  • 8K DCI full sensor up to 110 fps
  • 4K DCI full sensor up to 110 fps
  • 8K 2.4:1 and 4K 2.4:1 up to 140 fps
  • 6K Super 16 up to 120 fps
  • 4K Super 16 up to 220 fps

Besides high res, the camera can record full-HD and 2K formats. 

Build 

The ergonomics of the URSA Mini Pro 12K echo the 4.6K models. It has a 4" LCD on the side, and all the professional inputs you'd expect on a cine camera, including 12G SDI in/out, a 3G SDI out, USB-C data for external recording, LANC, a broadcast lens control connector, timecode in, a 12V power input, and yes, a headphone input.

The camera features an interchangeable PL mount that can be switched between EF, F, and B4 lenses. And if you're wondering, yes, the URSA Mini Pro 12K does have built in ND filters. 

Price & Availability  

According to Blackmagic, the URSA Mini Pro 12K will be available in July 2020 for $9,995. But what do you think of it? Let us know in the comments below.      

Your Comment

46 Comments

Pretty much no one needs 12k (yet at least) but holy cow I'm glad they shot for the moon here. Will be interesting to see how far the footage can be pushed. Exciting stuff!

July 16, 2020 at 9:47AM

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Alex Everingham
Video Editor
969

12K but still limited to 12-bit... lol REDCode has been 16-bit forever. Just sayin.

I will admit, it's pretty awesome that it can do 8K RAW or 4K RAW using the full field of view, though. I thought for sure it would have to be cropped at lower resolutions. So that's super cool! What kind of black magic are these folks at Blackmagic doing?

July 16, 2020 at 10:07AM, Edited July 16, 10:10AM

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That's because Red cameras have an extra green channel for whatever reason. That's partially why BM made a point of saying there's an equal amount of RGB pixels in this new sensor.

July 16, 2020 at 2:20PM, Edited July 16, 2:20PM

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Green channel = luminance...
Its for light gathering

July 16, 2020 at 3:01PM

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Andrew Kierans
Digital Cinema Technician
355

Yes and no. Extra green channel contributes to the human perception of brightness but it isn't the luminance channel.

Either way you want to define it, my point was that saying this new BM camera is "only" 12-bit compared to 16-bit isn't completely fair considering Red cameras have an extra channel of color information altogether.

July 16, 2020 at 7:30PM

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you are right - I was trying to simplify things.

I like this explanation from
www.cambridgeincolour.com

"Why are there more green pixels?
Each primary color does not receive an equal fraction of the total area because the human eye is more sensitive to green light than both red and blue light. Redundancy with green pixels produces an image which appears less noisy and has finer detail than could be accomplished if each color were treated equally."

July 17, 2020 at 9:26AM

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Andrew Kierans
Digital Cinema Technician
355

16 bit linear unpacks to 12 bit log.

ARRI, BMD and RED are actually exactly the same and most people don't even realize this. RED loves saying 16 bit but it's only semantics. Don't get caught up in the marketing brochure hype;)

July 18, 2020 at 9:32PM

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Roan Mayln
Cinematographer / Writer
30

Whether we like it or not, 8K is the next thing. Perhaps not for home viewing but in terms of capturing high fidelity and flexibile images (especially as far and going to the cinema is concerned) it is the future. This is a Cinema camera, it's not a vlogging camera, it's not a youtuber camera, it is for high end Cinema, that has been Blackmagic's goal from the beginning and they just made the Industry notice them.

July 16, 2020 at 10:08AM, Edited July 16, 10:10AM

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McSaint
Director, Cinematographer, Editor and Colorist
128

I saw this headline and my insides screamed. WTF are we doing here? 4.6k/6k is an incredible amount of resolution. Should aim for 16bit instead. 8k is overkill. If your D is too big for a V nobody is having fun. Sorry to be crass but I just don't see this as a desire from filmmakers. Maybe the future will prove me wrong. Interested in that codec

July 16, 2020 at 10:54AM

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Aaron Harper
Rental House Manager
406

I agree with you, but it's also important to remember that the cost in making it 16-bit is probably far higher from an R&D standpoint and implementation standpoint. It reminds me a bit of the Alexa LF being just 2 ALEV sensors stitched together. Probably cost ARRI far less than if they were to get the tech to go 18 bit. I'm not an engineer, but I imagine that the cost of the hardware needed would've put BMD into a different consumer market that they didn't think they would win in. If you have to pay $15K for it, but it has 16bit, why wouldn't you get a Red at that point? They know that their color is seen as inferior to most of their competition. It's a useless product for me, but it makes sense if they can't make a 16 bit for cheap.

July 18, 2020 at 8:29AM

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CameraNerd
Assistant Camera
118

OK, why?

July 16, 2020 at 10:55AM

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Chris Santucci
Cinematographer
392

the same question I asked myself yes

July 16, 2020 at 4:17PM

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Oliver Milne
Director/Cinematographer
130

Mind-blowing for sure, but how about innovating a decent autofocus solution for these cinema cameras instead of astronomical resolution?

July 16, 2020 at 11:04AM, Edited July 16, 11:07AM

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TG3
TG Studios LLC
114

Out of all the other options, autofocus shouldn't be the priority. This is a "cinema" camera, right? If you're not going to be doing a run-and-gun documentary project, you probably won't need autofocus. If you're making cinematic projects, chances are you're gonna be working with a crew. Where one member could be a focus puller who will have more control than autofocus. In addition, you'll probably be using cinema lenses that don't have autofocus functionality. If you need a well-rounded camera with autofocus, there's the FX9. However, I don't think Blackmagic is trying to make an all-rounded camera, so don't give it the same expectations. (Not to mention this is cheaper than both the FX9 and C500 which is another popular cinema camera within a similar price range)

July 17, 2020 at 3:56PM, Edited July 17, 4:11PM

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Pang Films
Student Cinematographer
74

Excited to see if they make an URSA Mini Pro G3 with more dynamic range, auto-focus similar to canon, low light, higher frame rates in 4K and 6K without crop. Glad to see that they were ready with something new. I don't personally need the 12K, 8K, or even 6K resolution, but it does help the price to come down on the G2 I'm gonna buy. Heh heh heh!!

Love the cinematic look of BMD. They have that over most in my opinion, very film like.

July 16, 2020 at 11:34AM

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D Jones
DP, Editor, Animator
171

Instead of 12K, I would focus on: INBODY STABILIZATION; 5" or 7" TOUCH SCREEN ON TOP HANDLE (Like RED, with touch focus; not on the side); MUCH-MUCH-FASTER TOUCH-SCREEN FOCUS; CANON-SONY-LEVEL AUTOFOCUS (would be nice); USABLE ISO AT up to 6400 (no more FNP); 30% SMALLER (after getting rid of the flip-scrren!); 16.5 stops of DR; 8K or even 6K FULL FRAME; ND, XLR and PRICE pretty much the same! I'd pre-order aforementionedd right now even if it was 8K or even 6K.

July 16, 2020 at 12:18PM

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Alberto G. Faccon
Producer
83

12k wow!!!
(Continues scanning ebay for a 2nd 2.5k bmcc classic; because the Fairchild sensor is better than the latest sensors for organic filmic image)

July 16, 2020 at 12:22PM

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Vincent Gortho
none
1329

Typo under Key Features ("2,288 x 6480") Thought they were making a vertical sensor or something hahahahaha

July 16, 2020 at 12:42PM

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Ian Park
Documentary Editor / Director
420

I'm a little sad we didn't get a BMPCC6K with the Canon RF mount. That would be the dream.

July 16, 2020 at 12:53PM

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It's all pointless.. The human eye caps at 8k.. It cannot resolve anything past that..And there are only a few number of people anyway... that can really see the whole 8k RESOLUTION..

So..when you talk about 12 k....Forget about it.. .. Its sharper..but irrelevant since you dont have the receptors to resolve that 12k.. This is all science..data..and research..

Not going to share many links to proof..as this thread would be way to long..so I'll just provode one..
http://www.702.co.za/articles/318108/tvs-are-becoming-so-good-our-eyes-m....

Bottom line..manufactures are not in your best interest.. See.when you say..Panasonic is listening..or Cannon..because they finally made that full frame camera with auto focus ...that shoots 12 bit.4.44.. Internally..etc..that you asked for.....they didnt do that because you asked...they did that because they need to keep up with the demand of technology..

So..your purchase just happens to be coincidental because it falls in the same timeline. That being said...this 12k camera your drooling over had to be manufactured if these companies want to stay in the game. They have to keep checking new boxes.....even if it means... Passing a threshold that makes no sense!!

July 16, 2020 at 1:04PM

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"It's all pointless.. The human eye caps at 8k.. It cannot resolve anything past that..And there are only a few number of people anyway... that can really see the whole 8k RESOLUTION.."

You just forget the entire post-production pipeline. It is not only the resolution, you can see with your eyes, it is the information you need for proper 3D tracking, greenscreening, reframing, cropping, scaling down to 8k and still have a better resolution than native 4K.

July 17, 2020 at 3:14AM

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JeffreyWalther
Steadicam Operator/Owner
2389

If you don't understand why, it's probably safe to say you're not part of BM's target demographic for this camera. I hope people listen to you though. Means more long-term job security for me.

July 17, 2020 at 11:31AM, Edited July 17, 11:37AM

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Ryan Sauve
@sauvedp
237

With all the RGB detail you will end up with more subtle colors.

July 17, 2020 at 9:49PM

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David Barrington
Videographer
241

Wow, love it, especially if we don't need a quantum supercomputer to edit. But I would add a 180 flippable monitor, so that I can close it to the body with monitor out, very useful (I know, they wouldn't sell so many video assist monitor in that case...), an auto-tracking focus chip, a SSD module for poor G2 owners (that bought the camera just one year ago) that could record full slow motion without dropping quality to raw 10000:1, and I would put back old URSA gyroscope to record movement data, which was a great idea.

July 16, 2020 at 2:40PM

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ginuz
119

The best news today actually came from the forum: an BMD engineer confirmed that you can use the new gen color science with existing BRAW clips from the pocket 4k/6k and fix their red oversaturation issues, and yellow tint (that turns most greens to yellow). Requires the Resolve 16.3 beta for Mac released today (Windows version not yet out).

Here is a guy showing the differences between the two color sciences using existing BMPCC 4k footage: https://forum.blackmagicdesign.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=117852

July 16, 2020 at 3:37PM, Edited July 16, 3:42PM

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Eugenia Loli
Filmmaker, illustrator, collage artist
771

This is just becoming a game of whose camera has the most pixels.
It's no longer about offering a tool better suited for the job.
It's a measuring contest, if you know what I mean?
Ridiculous as the human eye can only recognize so much resolution, after that, it's pointless. But try telling these giant manufacturers that.

July 16, 2020 at 4:58PM

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Kimo Fatsaai
Producer
147

As mentioned, if you don't understand why, this camera is probably not for you.

July 17, 2020 at 11:33AM, Edited July 17, 11:34AM

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Ryan Sauve
@sauvedp
237

I'm sure that 12K FIXED NOISE PATTERN will look gorgeous. My 4.6K sure has lots and lots of it!

July 16, 2020 at 6:38PM

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Personally, I'd have preferred a 4K with 16 stops DR...

July 16, 2020 at 9:26PM

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Martin Brewer
Director, DOP
690

This is really dope news technically... Blackmagic has now pushed the Level to Witchcraft lol. Truth is 6K LF with 16stops of DR would have been cool but I have to respect BM for pushing the envelope. Not sure when I'm upgrading from my G2 anytime soon but this is great flexing.

July 16, 2020 at 11:36PM

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Wentworth Kelly
DP/Colorist/Drone Op
2725

Still dicking around with C-fast cards... I can't believe it!

July 17, 2020 at 2:03AM

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Jerry Roe
Indie filmmaker
1696

“Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should...” - Ian Malcolm, ladies and gentlemen

July 17, 2020 at 2:14AM

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geoff webb
Director, Producer, DOP, Editor
526

I'l always say the same thing when it comes to new camera tech. If I have to choose between resolution and dynamic range, I'll take dynamic range... and the highest quality recording codec I can get my hands on. That's what sold me on the original first generation Ursa Mini Pro.

Blackmagic gets a thumbs up for continuing to try and push the industry. Remember, this is a 12k “RAW” camera for under $10k. That's pretty amazing access all things considered.

On a side note: I wonder if this camera might actually be a really good solution for photogrammetry... If you're into that.

July 17, 2020 at 7:09AM

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Chris Toll
Production Manager / Producer / DP
181

Cameramen has been putting nets in front of the negative since the dawn of cinema to control texture... In this age one don't know what is backward anymore"art form or technology"

July 17, 2020 at 8:03AM

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Actually, what we HAVE HERE is a 79.6 megapixel 60 fps BURST RATE sports, action, wildlife pro-level STILLS CAMERA that can get top end imagery good enough to be printed in National Geographic all for probably less than a fully kitted-out Canon 1Dx Mk3!

You ALSO NOW HAVE a 79.6 pro-level portraiture and landscape camera that's getting into Phase-One/Hasselblad territory AND it can do video when you want or need it to!

If I was a modern sports/action/wildlife stills shooter, I would SERIOUSLY be looking at this camera to get my sidelines and goalkeeper action shots or wide landscapes or long-lens wild lion photos for PRINT and WEB use. Out of the 60 frames per second, I could EASILY find that perfect shot and do a simple colour grade for my magazine editors.

In fact, If Tokyo 2021 Olympics DOES go ahead, I might just use this VIDEO CAMERA as my main action sports stills camera!

All I need to make sure I do is use the best prime lenses or Sports Zooms I can afford! I would shoot at 1/400th to 1/2000th of a second shutter speed depending upon the sport at ISO 1600 or ISO 3200 and do a 12-bit down to 10-bit HDR colour grade right then and there at the venue on my laptop before sending off my favourite stills to UPI, AP, SI, etc. etc.

That two weeks will completely pay for the entire system right there!

V

July 17, 2020 at 9:09AM

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Henry A. Eckstein
Director, Research and Development
319

It's an amazing camera, no doubt.

July 17, 2020 at 11:20AM

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Álex Montoya
Writer/Director
724

Ok we should be getting close to the theoretical "benefit limits" of megares cameras. Soon companies won't be able to sell us on higher resolutions because there will be very few people who value high resolution over things like dynamic range, frame rate and ease of use. Still glad to see updates though.

July 17, 2020 at 9:18AM

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Dantly Wyatt
Writer, Director, Content Creator.
899

It could really be a game changer for sports photographers. hd cropped stilsl are at 640% zoom

July 17, 2020 at 2:40PM

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Gregory Greenhaw
DPO/Colorist
131

game changing point:
- rgb sensor mean bye bye Red patent (raw debayerd limits patent) and bmd register its patent for future cameras with this kind of tech (like old ccd but without that problems)
- Braw optimization for DUAL recording at same time mean that in future you can decide to reduce comrpession also if your support not allow you that speed be cause you can split over different support
- New Braw flavour to optimize quality and space
- New color science appliable to old cameras with braw, also to old shooting (to shut up people that told braw not have characteristics of raw)
- rgb pattern mean recording downsampled raw files without cropping

ehm... who other had these strong points?

July 18, 2020 at 3:02AM, Edited July 18, 3:02AM

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Carlo Macchiavello
Director (with strong tech knowledge)
871

so what?

July 18, 2020 at 6:17AM

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I would have preferred to see some smaller form factor camera, at 6K to compete with the C200, with autofocus. I would still get a C300MKIII for the same money.

July 18, 2020 at 9:11AM

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Paolo Mugnaini
Director/DP/Editor
345

Yeah, I'm waiting for a loaner from Canon to make my decision. Any day now...

Might get the R5 as a B camera (first time my Cam B outresolves my A Cam). ;)

July 20, 2020 at 6:31PM

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Jon Wolding
DP/Director
203

During its livestream, Blackmagic Design made some huge announcements including a 12K capable URSA Mini Pro.

July 19, 2020 at 10:19AM

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Website 500k
Website 500k | Dịch vụ thiết kế web giá rẻ chỉ từ 500k
182

why can't anyone focus in improving dr in 4k

July 20, 2020 at 1:02AM

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Agreed.

Canon did improve a bit with the C300 iii. Supposedly more DR than the C500 ii.

I do like that BMD 12K can do (S16) 4K at 220fps. Get to that ~500fps territory and I can save some money on Phantom rentals.

July 20, 2020 at 6:42PM, Edited July 20, 6:43PM

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Jon Wolding
DP/Director
203

Can anyone confirm that fixed pattern noise is no longer an issue with this new 12K sensor?

I'm still seeing chatter about FPN and the 4.6K.

July 20, 2020 at 6:44PM

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Jon Wolding
DP/Director
203