Blackmagic is capitalized with the stunning new URSA Mini Pro 12K. Yes, you read that correctly.
It's the time of year again when a cryptic teaser announcement from Blackmagic gets camera and film fanatics freaking out and causing them to wonder loudly and online at anyone who is listening – is this the day today? Today is the day Blackmagic suddenly unveils another breakthrough camera?
Yes. Yes it is.
Blackmagic launched the Ursa Mini Pro 12K today.
While the body has largely the same design as the other easily available models, the internal electronics have been completely torn out and replaced. There is a new sensor, a new film curve, a new color science and a whole series of new recording functions.
First, let's talk about the elephant in the room. 12K. Why?
Most of the production world has finally adapted to the 4K and 6K pipeline. Why three times as high? Well, it's not so much the shooting aspect for 12K graphics, but rather to provide a better 8K experience. Grant Petty addressed this in the live stream of the announcement:
"We're really trying to target top-class workflows, and when we really look at it, there are a number of reasons why we should go beyond 8K – to get essentially good 8K." The obvious thing is that you can use it to redesign recordings. If you have more resolution, you can go a little far and redesign without losing the resolution. "
Every year when the Oscars roll around you will find lists documenting which cameras were used for nominated productions. It's usually filled with Arri, some RED, and a mix of smaller models used for foreign indie productions and in the documentary category. We hardly see Blackmagic Land on these lists, if at all.
While the company is popular with low to medium budget productions, the big studios never seem to be well received. Blackmagic tries to change this with this camera.
The URSA Mini Pro 12K has a revolutionary new sensor with a native resolution of 12,288 x 6480, an incredible 80 megapixels per frame. The sensor is not a typical Bayer sensor – it is symmetrical, which means that the same number of RGB colors is present in the array. This isn't particularly useful for a 4K camera, but it means that this 12K camera can effectively produce full-screen RGB 4K.
Similar to 4K downsampling to 1080p, you get a better HD picture online. With 12K Super Sampling, 8K gives you better color and resolution than native 8K sensors.
This means that no sensor is cut when moving resolutions as we are used to. Regardless of whether you're shooting 12K, 8K or 4K, the Ursa uses in-sensor scaling to avoid cropping or adjusting the field of view. Blackmagic also indicated that this new sensor operation will not cause aliasing problems.
And that seems to be the whole idea behind the camera. Get the best results with 8K and the resolutions below, instead of directly producing 12K native footage. The Super 35 sensor also has 14 levels of dynamic range.
Features at a glance
- Blackmagic RAW for all resolutions
- Up to 60fps 12K
- 110 fps at 8K
- 220 fps (Super 16 crop) at 4K
- Interchangeable lens holder (supplied with PL)
- Built-in ND filters
- Dual CFast & USH-II SD
- SuperSpeed USB-C expansion port
- And, of course, it comes with the Studio version of Resolve.
Price and availability
During the presentation, Grant repeatedly suggested that the camera be aimed at high-end work. As a result, the first models are first delivered to working DPs.
As such, one would expect the release price to match, if not slightly undercut, current production models. No of course not. That is Blackmagic. The first 12K camera costs $ 9,995.
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