Today, Blackmagic Design announced a new URSA Mini Pro model boasting an incredible 12K resolution. Yes, you read that right, 12K resolution. That is an incredible 12,288 x 6480 (12K DCI). The cost of the new URSA Mini Pro 12K $9,995.
Same Body New Guts
Blackmagic Design combines the success of the URSA Mini Pro body styling and updating the entire electronics to support a purpose-built sensor to deliver a stunning 12K image. Via a “whole bunch of patents,” according to Blackmagic Design CEO Grant Petty, the new 12K sensor was built to harness the power of BlackmagicRAW and DaVinci Resolve to give an entire image pipeline.
Blackmagic Design’s Grant Petty stated the design behind the new 12K sensor targets extreme high-end cinema. I imagine the cost to shoot 12K for more extended projects might be a little expensive, even with compressed raw recording options in BlackmagicRAW.
Not 8K. Not 6K. It is 12K. The thought process behind a 12K URSA Mini Pro is simple. To get an excellent 8K image, you need to oversample 8K. Blackmagic Design thinks the best over-sampled 8K comes from a 12K source. Blackmagic believes the future of filmmaking is 8K, so the camera company blew past it. To get a good 8K, you need 12K is the thought behind BMD’s thought process. According to Grant Petty, CEO of Blackmagic Design, many high-end broadcast ops or cinematographers want full RGB
Native 800 ISO
The native 800 ISO is all the information Blackmagic revealed about the new 12K sensor’s performance. While a few low-light examples appeared in the online press conference, real-world examples were not shown. Grant Petty did not mention a dual native ISO or revealed any details about high ISO performance. A question remains to be answered how high the URSA Mini Pro 12K ISO can go before seeing too much noise, and does shooting at 6K or 4K reduce the noise?
The New 12K Sensor
What is new in the URSA Mini Pro 12K is the ability to shoot the entire sensor’s size in other resolutions in BlackmagicRAW. This new BlackmagicRAW feature gives users the option to harness the full Super 35mm sized sensor in either 12K, 8K, 6K, or 4K natively without cropping in. This new feature is different than the URSA Mini Pro 4.6K G2 or G1 when shooting BlackmagicRAW. Both of those cameras crop in from 4.6K to UHD when shooting BlackmagicRAW.
High Frame Rate Options
Blackmagic RAW gives users the option to shoot 12‑bit, 80-megapixel, 12,288 x 6480 17:9 images at up to 60 frames. 12K at 60fps. For higher frame rates, you can shoot 110 fps at 8192 x 4320, 140 fps at 8192 x 3408, and even window the sensor to Super 16 to capture 4K at 220 fps at 4096 x 2160 DCI.
If shooting 12K at 60fps gives you a media storage heart attack, Blackmagic announced a new 18:1 compressed raw recording option. The new URSA Mini Pro 12K has constant bitrate encoding options 5:1, 8:1, 12:1, and the new 18:1 to give you the best possible images with predictable and consistent file size. You can also record RAW to two cards simultaneously to shoot 12K or 8K to either CFast or UHS‑II cards, even at high frame rates. The BlackmagicRAW SDK will combine the two cards for you when you place the media into a folder.
Blackmagic also improved BlackmagicRAW. A higher playback performance becomes a must to play 12K on a laptop, which Grant Petty showed off during the press conference. Mainly, Blackmagic has tried to make working with 12K as easy as working with UHD. When Grant Petty turned to a Mac Pro, he showed how the beastly computer could play nine 12K clips simultaneously.
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
Grant Petty glossed over the new URSA Mini Pro 12K’s dynamic range during his presentation. 14 Stops of dynamic range are what Blackmagic lists on their webpage. 14 Stops of dynamic range are less than the URSA Mini Pro G2’s 15+ stops of dynamic range. 14 stops are nothing to side-eye at. 14 stops at 12K is pretty impressive to me.
In a smart move Blackmagic, moved the USB-C port to the rear of the URSA Mini Pro 12K instead of behind the LCD door like it is on the G2. This gives users better options for mounting a USB-C drive. The new location also allows use with the LCD door closed. This new location of the USB-C allows Blackmagic to use the USB-C for a newly designed SSD and free up the rear 12G SDI output for monitoring. The new 12K model has a USB‑C 3.1 Gen 2 for a blistering 10 Gb/s. The new Blackmagic 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
New Color Science
Blackmagic Generation 5 Color Science features a new film curve designed to make full use of the massive amount of color data from the new URSA Mini Pro 12K sensor. The new Generation 5 Color Science delivers even better color response for more pleasing skin tones and a 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, Generation 5 Color Science lets you take advantage of the new film curve.
The new URSA Mini Pro 12K only ships with a PL mount. EF mounts and Nikon F Mounts are available for the URSA Mini Pro 12K but will need to be purchased separately. The URSA Mini Pro 12K will roll out a little differently than other Blackmagic cameras have done so in the past. Blackmagic will ship out the new camera to high-end cinematographers to get feedback from those most likely to use 12K capture.
Effective Sensor Size
- 27.03mm x 14.25mm (Super35)
- PL mount included. Interchangeable with optional EF and F lens mounts.
- 12pin broadcast connector for compatible lenses and electronic control via EF mount pins on optional EF lens mount.
- 14 Stops
Built-in ND Filters
- Four-position ND filter wheel with clear, 2-stop, 4-stop, and 6-stop IR ND filters.
- 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)
- 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)
- The maximum sensor frame rate dependent on the resolution selected. Project frame rates of 23.98, 24, 25, 29.97, 30, 50, 59.94, and 60 fps supported.
- 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.
- 2 x CFast 2.0
- 2 x SD UHS-II cards
- 1 x high speed USB-C expansion port for external media.
- Blackmagic RAW Q0, Q1, Q3, Q5, 5:1, 8:1, 12:1 and 18:1 at 12,288 x 6480, 11,520 x 6480, 12,288 x 5112, 7680 x 6408, 8192 x 4320, 7680 x 4320, 8192 x 3408, 5120 x 4272, 6144 x 3240, 4096 x 2160, 3840 x 2160, 4096 x 1704 and 2560 x 2136 stored as 12 bit non-linear with film, extended video, video or custom 3D LUT embedded in metadata.
12K – 12,288 x 6480
- Blackmagic RAW 5:1 – 578 MB/s
- Blackmagic RAW 8:1 – 361 MB/s
- Blackmagic RAW 12:1 – 241 MB/s
- Blackmagic RAW 18:1 – 160 MB/s
- Blackmagic RAW Q0 – 241 to 578 MB/s 1
- Blackmagic RAW Q1 – 144 to 361 MB/s 2
- Blackmagic RAW Q3 – 96 to 241 MB/s 3
- Blackmagic RAW Q5 – 72 to 180 MB/s 4
8K – 8192 x 4320
- Blackmagic RAW 5:1 – 258 MB/s
- Blackmagic RAW 8:1 – 161 MB/s
- Blackmagic RAW 12:1 – 107 MB/s
- Blackmagic RAW 18:1 – 72 MB/s
- Blackmagic RAW Q0 – 107 to 258 MB/s 1
- Blackmagic RAW Q1 – 64 to 161 MB/s 2
- Blackmagic RAW Q3 – 43 to 107 MB/s 3
- Blackmagic RAW Q5 – 32 to 81 MB/s 4
6K – 6144 x 3240
- Blackmagic RAW 5:1 – 145 MB/s
- Blackmagic RAW 8:1 – 91 MB/s
- Blackmagic RAW 12:1 – 61 MB/s
- Blackmagic RAW 18:1 – 40 MB/s
- Blackmagic RAW Q0 – 61 to 145 MB/s 1
- Blackmagic RAW Q1 – 36 to 91 MB/s 2
- Blackmagic RAW Q3 – 24 to 61 MB/s 3
- Blackmagic RAW Q5 – 18 to 45 MB/s 4
4K – 4096 x 2160
- Blackmagic RAW 5:1 – 65 MB/s
- Blackmagic RAW 8:1 – 41 MB/s
- Blackmagic RAW 12:1 – 27 MB/s
- Blackmagic RAW 18:1 – 18 MB/s
- Blackmagic RAW Q0 – 27 to 65 MB/s 1
- Blackmagic RAW Q1 – 16 to 41 MB/s 2
- Blackmagic RAW Q3 – 11 to 27 MB/s 3
- Blackmagic RAW Q5 – 8 to 20 MB/s 4