Jump to content
Australian Image (Ray)

Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 12K

Recommended Posts

This looks like it could set the cat amongst the pigeons in more ways than one: https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/au/products/blackmagicursaminipro.

Very impressive specs and amazing price for such a camera.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I admire Blackmagic for their guts, always has. They've been a big part of driving the prices down and coming up with new tech that benefits a lot of content creators and filmmakers. I personally do not need this kind of resolution, but for those who do or like having more Ks this is a great proposition. Price is very good compared to other high resolution video cameras.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree. But too much online commentary has taken the '12K' badge and run with it, even if Grant said this isn't only a new BMD sensor, but a new TYPE of sensor. It's not Bayer.

This isn't a "12K camera". Grant made that clear. It's a 12K and 8K and 4K camera. If you don't need 12K or 8K, choose 4K and enjoy much less data and extremely nice pixels. There is no scaling in going down in resolution and no "skipping image information".

This camera is part of a system consisting of camera (sensor and processing), codec (braw) and DaVinci Resolve (post processing and color science).

You can choose to have all 12K worth of photo site data (RGBW) rendered into a very solid 4K file internally with minimum rolling shutter. To add to this we have all the different flavours of braw compression.

This camera seems ready for any type of production from HD and above.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I too don't understand why people have become fixated on the 12K aspect so intensely. What is important, as noted, is the new sensor technology and especially how it interfaces with Resolve (BRAW). Being only a BRAW camera, it says a lot. So there's one thing the naysayers, especially those who still crave CDNG, can whine about.

What I also find amazing is the fact that it can shoot 12K all day without overheating, but can also shoot just about any other flavour using the full sensor. That to me is something perhaps even more amazing. Of course, because it's a S35 sensor, the naysayers will be pouncing on this fact and be hyper-critical that it's not FF.

That said, this is the technology that's going to appear in future, more generally affordable cameras and then we'll see what sort of cat this is. The pigeons might really get worried at that point.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Australian Image (Ray) From what I've read, some BM customers are irritated that BM are still launching new cameras when their older cameras still lack support. I am not a BM user myself, but I've read some still are waiting for updates for the 4K and 4.6K Ursa Mini and Mini Pro for problems that still are unresolved. But as I said I'm not a user so can't say. I do know they left the original Ursa in a ditch and left it to die a slow death though...

I admire BM for launching this camera, and their approach to BRAW is great. People need to stop complaining - but they do every time. If it's not for you, don't buy it. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only place where I've seen any complaints is on the Blackmagic forum and those tend to be from owners (?) who seem to hate Blackmagic (given their constant bagging of every product). My BMPCC4Ks have had numerous feature updates, some excellent ones indeed, and so has the VA, and it's well known that Blackmagic doesn't withhold things if it's within their capability (or the equipment's technical capability) to make changes or offer features.

I own Blackmagic products that receive this regular bagging and I sometimes seriously doubt that these people even own the products, as my experiences are diametrically opposite. It makes me wonder if these people are just on forums to try and discourage others from owning such gear, often pushing competitor's products. That couldn't be true.

But sometimes people's expectations are just too high, given the circumstances and technology advancements. I think that maybe because Blackmagic continues to provide numerous updates in both firmware and software, where possible, people expect this to be just a natural thing to meet any demand for any product, past or present. Then there are people who just like to complain, rather than getting on with their lives and making do with what they have.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wrote all this on the comments on the Newsshooter article, but it keeps getting flagged as spam (maybe because it's too long). Thought I might as well share here...

 

From what I've been reading, I can't help thinking that the additional white pixels are just to bring the dynamic range back to what is considered "normal" levels (14 stops), because by using such small pixels and such high resolution, without them the dynamic range and sensitivity would be greatly reduced.

Which makes me think.... is it worth it?

It feels like smoke and mirrors to win over the naysayers of ultra high resolutions: trying to wrap it up as things that enhance the image quality and sensitivity.... when in reality it's just a way of fixing the things that get compromised by having such small pixels and high pixel density in the first place.

They have to argue the benefits (whether they are real or not) of colour and sensitivity, because the dynamic range (ok, I can't speak for "usable dynamic range" / SNR, because I haven't seen tests that push that) is only just "normal" or arguably even just "average"... and because they maybe know that if resolution was the only selling point then it'd get criticism by those (majority, I think) who will say that much resolution isn't necessary.

Of course, let's see if the pixel structure of the CFA really yields significantly better 4K images. But the reality is, 4K supersampled from 6K bayer is already delivering outstanding images... which on most displays at correct viewing distance look perfect.

The argument for cropping room is lazy. Surely one doesn't ever need to crop that much. The argument for 8K deliverables... well... that's hardly commonplace, and won't be totally normalised for a long time.

I don't buy the whole "12K is good for VFX" line either. Maybe in a boutique post-house for certain shots... but I can't imagine many (if any) big post-houses are going to upgrade their full end-to-end pipeline to handle 12K resolution material (especially if the BRAW is converted to something like DPX, TIFF, or OpenEXR). Until recently, most of them (on major features and dramas) were still only running 2K end-to-end pipelines (even for 4K delivery)! Though I'm a little out of touch, so I expect many are now running in full 4K.

And for high-resolution background plates for set extension compositing etc, surely camera cluster arrays will still be better, because of the limitations of lenses (distortion, edge detail, edge vignetting etc.). Once an array is stitched you lose all of those issues, and can get a much wider field of view at a high resolution than would be possible with a single high resolutions sensor.

I applaud BMD and their lead sensor R&D guy for pushing something new, I can't help thinking this is innovation for the sake of innovation, rather than innovation to solve a problem or fulfil a need. That's how businesses have to work in a capitalist world though... stand still and you die. Need to always sell more!

On a side note, someone on Twitter flagged up to me that this "new" sensor deign (in the patent) is actually (apparently) basically the same as something both Aptina (now ON Semiconductor) and Kodak had already done to some extent. So I wonder if the patent will be granted... how much is actually totally new?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There was a link somewhere to John Brawley's website where he discusses how the sensor works, showing some pre-release footage that he's been able to take. It does appear that there's quite a bit of Blackmagic going on.

The biggest factor appears to be that the camera is now fully tied to BRAW which is tied to Resolve, so it's a complete ecosystem from start to finish that works together to produce what appears to be outstanding results.

4 hours ago, Nezih said:

I can't help thinking this is innovation for the sake of innovation, rather than innovation to solve a problem or fulfil a need.

I remember this being said about Olympus when they introduce IBIS, it was considered at the time that only OIS was required. Now everyone wants IBIS in their camera. I vaguely remember that autofocus also received similar comments back in the 80s or so.

It doesn't really seem that Blackmagic is selling 12K (it just the marketers at work), but a different approach to solving old problems. Those old problems in my view are limitations of existing sensors, hardware (like overheating), storage, computing power, software and firmware, and many incompatibilities.

We'll find out when the cameras are in users hands.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It was that blog post by John Brawley that made me think all of these things...!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm very intrigued to see what the sensor tech can do (currently the 16.3 beta crashes instantly on my machine if I go anywhere near the 12k sample clips).

And I agree that the 12k is kinda irrelevant (given that you can record "native" 4k or 8k if you wish). 

To me, the issues that do matter are the continued use of CFAST cards (which requires splitting recording across multiple cards to access full frame rate options), and the alternative (the SSD recorder) having to be externally plugged into the camera's USB-C port (an incredibly dangerous prospect for recording - since the connector is so fragile).

All the cameras make fine images these days - so it really is the functionality, ergonomics and feature-sets that set the good ones apart. And they've made a couple of really unfortunate choices on that front.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/23/2020 at 6:29 PM, Mark K said:

To me, the issues that do matter are the continued use of CFAST cards (which requires splitting recording across multiple cards to access full frame rate options)

Depends on the compression ratio used and the scene - you could potentially shoot 12K 60fps using Q1-Q5 to a single CFAST depending on how complex the scene is.

On 7/23/2020 at 6:29 PM, Mark K said:

the alternative (the SSD recorder) having to be externally plugged into the camera's USB-C port (an incredibly dangerous prospect for recording - since the connector is so fragile).

It does have a mounting screw at both ends on the cable to make the connection secure which makes a huge difference to a typical USB-C cable.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/23/2020 at 3:29 AM, Mark K said:

To me, the issues that do matter are the continued use of CFAST cards (which requires splitting recording across multiple cards to access full frame rate options), and the alternative (the SSD recorder) having to be externally plugged into the camera's USB-C port (an incredibly dangerous prospect for recording - since the connector is so fragile).

I couldn't agree more. It seems like BM is encouraging the use of SSD media more and more but the only option given is over USB-C. I personally would have loved to see the approach Kinefinity has taken with their cameras, specifically the Mavo Edge. While they do give the option for the SSD caddy that attaches to the back it adds a significant amount of length to what is an already somewhat long camera, and it still has to use USB C (the mounting screw makes it more secure, but still not as safe as it being inside the camera itself).

On 7/23/2020 at 3:29 AM, Mark K said:

All the cameras make fine images these days - so it really is the functionality, ergonomics and feature-sets that set the good ones apart. And they've made a couple of really unfortunate choices on that front.

BM choosing to keep URSA mini body design is the only thing holding me back from switching from our Helium DSMC2. I love the workflow with BRAW and Resolve and so badly wish they could this sensor in a more modular versatile camera body like the Red DSMC2 or Alexa Mini bodies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/27/2020 at 7:22 PM, CaptainHook said:

It does have a mounting screw at both ends on the cable to make the connection secure which makes a huge difference to a typical USB-C cable.

The power for the SSD unit is already routed internally, it's crazy to not include internal routing for the data connection as well.

Honestly, I think it's something you guys should think very seriously about revising before release.

The SSD unit makes the CFast limitations a non-issue. But the external USB connection (even with mounting screws) is just way too vulnerable. Route the data internally, and you eliminate everyone's concerns about recording.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Mark K said:

The SSD unit makes the CFast limitations a non-issue. But the external USB connection (even with mounting screws) is just way too vulnerable. Route the data internally, and you eliminate everyone's concerns about recording.

Personally, I think there are advantages to having an external connection via USB. One of the most significant is the potential for connector damage while inserting/removing a conventional SSD card (they aren't really designed for multiple insertions). I well remember the issues with CF Cards from my DSLR days, where connectors were regularly bent.

Good cable management alleviates any issue with sudden disconnections. I'm still utterly gobsmacked at what I see with people's camera setups, where they have cables hanging out everywhere on their rigs. I have no fear of my USB-C connector coming out at a critical point, nor are any of my other cables (power, XLR, HDMI) likely to suffer unintended disconnection.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Except that video isn’t actually about the 12K at all, he literally keeps saying that himself throughout the video.

Furthermore, he is ignoring that fact that many acquisition codecs that other manufacturers use are built upon well established standards, aided by organisations such as SMPTE and MPEG. It’s the fact that those codecs and standards are cross platform and universal that makes them so useful. Closed ecosystems can allow for optimisation, sure, but they can also put up walls that become a hinderance.

Also, Blackmagic aren’t the only company who make both cameras and their own Edit/Post software.... Sony and Grass Valley both do too.

Also he touches on the the historical “did we need 4K” ignoring the fact that 4K display resolution was proven to be the perfect upper limit for most home environment viewing distances vs screen sizes.

Also also, what’s with the conspiracy theory documentary style music and slow speech pace, haha 😂

Frankly, a mostly hyperbole video that could be said in the space of a single Tweet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think he hits the point that the 12K camera is more about the development of a complete eco-system that's fully under Blackmagic's control. This has been discussed by others as well, though I think it expresses the sentiment more clearly in this video. The Apple analogy is very apt. We're talking about mainstream here and products that will roll down to all levels of user.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Australian Image (Ray) said:

I think he hits the point that the 12K camera is more about the development of a complete eco-system that's fully under Blackmagic's control. This has been discussed by others as well, though I think it expresses the sentiment more clearly in this video. The Apple analogy is very apt. We're talking about mainstream here and products that will roll down to all levels of user.

I get his point, but there’s a lot of misinformation in that video. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't see what that misinformation is, especially 'a lot', I must be missing something. My understanding is that he's talking about the 12K camera as one element of a means to an end, the end being bringing all the Blackmagic technologies into one camp. Blackmagic is designing their own cameras, their own sensors, their own recording format, their own NLE, their own supporting hardware, all of which work in concert with each other.

Now there are certainly companies that make some of these elements themselves, but how many make and control everything? And a 'closed' eco-system is not necessarily a bad thing, Apple has managed to scrape by doing just that (and I'm not an Apple fan, not owning one Apple product). But you have to give credit where credit is due.

And he also makes a valid point about 12K vs 4K, and admits that he was wrong about 4K, a good example of 'When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir? - Keynes'. Who can really say what resolutions higher than 4K will provide in future, maybe interactive TV where the viewer can zoom in on things of interest that they are watching, taking control of the experience rather than relying on what the studio or live broadcaster deems is important.

At the end of the day, Blackmagic is doing a bit of disruptive work and that's not a bad thing. More power to them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How many of you Know about Blackmagic USRA MINI 12k (PL)'s new camera 7.0 Update. is that helpful? i'll share some news about it and discuss when you interested.

now Blackmagic USRA mini 12k have 75 fps frame rate on 12k resolution after camera 7.0 update, also they increases another resolution frame rates.

In 8k and 4k DCI anamorphic resolution the increase to 120 fps,  8k and 4k are 160 fps right now. 

240 fps we can get in 4k super 16.

one of the biggest thing is after camera 7.0 update we can get the Blackmagic RAW Stills capture support. I think it is the major advantage of camera 7.0 .

You can see more information here  https://unitedbroadcast.com/blackmagic-ursa-mini-pro-12k.html

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...