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Blackmagic Design releases URSA Mini Pro 12K camera

Blackmagic URSA Mini 12K thumb 16x9 copy

Today Blackmagic Design introduced a new URSA Mini Pro 12K camera. The camera looks very similar to the URSA Mini Pro but with an all-new 12,288 x 6480 12K Super 35 sensor and a stated 14 stops of dynamic range. The new URSA Mini Pro 12K is designed for high-end production and ships with a PL Mount however an EF mount will also be available. Why 12K? Grant Petty states that the 12K URSA Mini Pro is designed for 8K delivery and gives the user room in post for reframing and image stabilization.

Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 12K

The new sensor is 80 megapixels per frame with new color science and includes Blackmagic RAW. You can shoot at 60 frames per second in 12K with 80 megapixels per frame. Oversampling from 12K gives you 8K and 4K images.

Generation 5 color science

The URSA Mini Pro 12K features Generation 5 color science and a new updated Film Curve designed to make full use of the massive amount of color data from the new URSA Mini Pro 12K sensor. This delivers better color response for more pleasing skin tones, and better rendering of highly saturated colors such as neon signs and car tail lights in high contrast scenes. Generation 5 Color Science informs complex Blackmagic RAW image processing, with color and dynamic range data from the sensor preserved via metadata for use in post-production. Compatible with all previously shot Blackmagic RAW files.

You can shoot at 60 fps in 12K, 110 fps in 8K, and up to 220 fps in 4K Super 16. URSA Mini Pro 12K features an interchangeable PL mount, as well as built-in ND filters, dual CFast and UHS‑II SD card recorders, a SuperSpeed USB‑C expansion port. DaVinci Resolve Studio is included.

Screen Shot 2020 07 16 at 10 52 33 AM

Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 12K Features

  • Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 12K Features
  • 12,288 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 a 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.

New 12K S35 Sensor

The new 12K sensor has equal amounts of red, green and blue pixels and is optimized for images at multiple resolutions. You can shoot 12K at 60 fps or use in-sensor scaling to allow 8K or 4K RAW at up to 110 fps without cropping or changing your field of view. The new 12K sensor was designed around using 12-bit BRAW.

If you want a lot more information on the sensor Matt talks about it in his URSA Mini Pro 12K Thoughts article.

Screen Shot 2020 07 16 at 10 51 29 AM

BRAW records at a constant bitrate with encoding options of 5:1, 8:1, 12:1, and the new 18:1 are designed to give you the best possible images with predictable and consistent file size. 

Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 12K Rear Angle copy

No ProRes Options?

It seems that the URSA Mini Pro 12K doesn’t support internal codecs other than BRAW. This could be problematic if you don’t want to use Blackmagic’s Raw offerings.

Supported Codecs

  • Blackmagic RAW Constant Bitrate 5:1,
  • Blackmagic RAW Constant Bitrate 8:1,
  • Blackmagic RAW Constant Bitrate 12:1,
  • Blackmagic RAW Constant Bitrate 18:1,
  • Blackmagic RAW Constant Quality Q0,
  • Blackmagic RAW Constant Quality Q1,
  • Blackmagic RAW Constant Quality Q3,
  • Blackmagic RAW Constant Quality Q5.

The only other option would be an external recorder for non BRAW, but the camera only sends UHD, so you can’t get 12K or 8K externally. Only UHD. As for 12K capture, I think this does make sense since BMD is pushing the S35 sensor pretty hard, and recording a 12K signal has to be efficient.

Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 12K Side Angle PL Mount

Want to play?

Screen Shot 2020 07 16 at 10 50 55 AM

If you want to play around with some 12K footage you can download a few clips from Blackmagic Design.
Clip 1
Clip 2
Clip 3

You will have the latest version of DaVinci Resolve to open these files.

New Blackmagic URSA Mini SSD Recorder

Blackmagic URSA Mini Recorder

With big files, you would probably like to record externally and BMD knows this. The new URSA Mini Recorder lets you record 12-bit Blackmagic RAW files onto fast 2.5-inch SSDs, including the latest U.2 NVMe Enterprise SSDs. SSDs such as the latest 7mm U.2 NVMe disks are super fast, delivering data transfer speeds of up to 900 MB/s. This fast performance gives you longer recording times for full-resolution 4K, 8K and 12K 12-bit Blackmagic RAW files in the highest quality Q0 encoding.

The Blackmagic URSA Mini Recorder attaches directly to the back of the URSA Mini Pro between the camera and the battery. It’s controlled via the USB-C, so you don’t have to worry about manually starting or stopping the SSD recorder.

Another recording option is the Dual Card recording for 12K. The resolution is spanned onto two cards and then put together in Davinci Resolve. If an issue happens with one of the cards BMD states the software will scale the image down to 4K so you don’t lose the footage. Sounds pretty cool!

Editing 12K in Davinci Resolve

In the demo, Grant shows several 12K streams in a multi-clip editing situation with all the streams playing back in realtime. While this is possible with a high powered machine Blackmagic Design states you don’t have to have the best of the best computers to edit 12K. This is very subjective as computer configurations vary a lot from user to user.

It looks like a very interesting camera for those that need a lot of resolution for 8K delivery. I do like how BMD goes into a different direction and offers something no one else is. It surely separated them from the pack.

Availability

The URSA Mini Pro 12K will ship first to high-end DP’s then in 2 weeks time will be available for retail at $9995.00. BMD states it will be available this July.

What do you think about the URSA Mini Pro 12K? Do you think 8K delivery is going to be big enough to support 12K cameras?

If you want more information about the new URSA Mini Pro 12K camera Matt has written up an opinion piece that you can read.

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