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.
- 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
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.
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.
- 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.
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.
- 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)
- 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.
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.