Now that a little bit of time has passed following the Blackmagic Design 12K camera’s announcement, a few examples from the new 12K sensor has made its way onto the internet. Cinematographer John Brawley shares with anyone who wants to see the 12K sensor in action. I know I do.
You can see in this is a simple cut from Brawley shooting the weather for a show he is on in Canada. The footage is not an edit per se, but a collection of shots he captured as the sunset behind the rain clouds.
Brawley shot over 2 hours with camera settings dialed into 12K Q3 with 57 mins of footage stored as 227 Gb across two 128GB CFast 2.0 cards. Shots are in order as the sun goes down. Brawley states the sun sets around the two-minute mark in the original post, and the color gets interesting around the four-minute mark.
What you see is not graded 12K footage. It is straight out of the Blackmagic Design 12K with the simple extended video look applied in-camera. Brawley used Zeiss CPs with the emphasis he mostly used the 15mm, 21mm, and the 135mm.
So why is pixel-peeping at this video relevant? Sunsets can show off a brilliant amount of color and gradation from one fully saturated color to another. I remember the first HD XDCAM camera I used, and it was kind of useless after the sun set below the horizon because of its lack of light sensitivity.
The 12K detail also shows strength in the shots showing more contrast detail in the waves. When I see these shots, I feel like the image pops off the screen. To me, these moments reveal why a higher resolution like 12K can make a difference.