Holy hot tamales Batman! We’ve got a whole new level of resolution on the horizon with the Blackmagic URSA Mini 12k Camera. Personally, I was just trying to get used to thinking about 8K video on the new Canon EOS R5, and then suddenly Grant Petty slaps me with a big old 12K slice ‘o salami right upside the head! I definitely did not see 12K coming. Blackmagic Design have done it again and surprised many with the announcement of this new camera that’s set to start shipping in July 2020 – and likely more widely available in August. The Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 12K camera is priced at $9,999 and according to Grant Petty of Blackmagic is aimed at higher-end productions and DPs. Let’s check this Mamba Jamba out!
Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro Specs
The new Blackmagic 12K shares a similar body design to the URSA Mini Pro but features a brand-new 12,288 x 6480 12K Super 35 sensor. They are also claiming 14 stops of dynamic range, though we’ll be interested to see how it compares in testing to more traditional sensors. The new 12K sensor is the first designed specifically for Blackmagic’s proprietary BRAW codec.
The camera’s native ISO is 800 and is able to film at 60 fps in 12K…. 110 fps in 8K…. and 220 fps in 4K Super 16. Wowie. Wow. Wowwww.
The Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 12K also has completely new innards. During their Live Stream today, Blackmagic noted that they stripped the insides out of the previous URSA Mini G2, and updated the color science and architecture of the camera. So while it may look similar to the older camera, it is a complete redesign inside.
The new Super 35 sensor is optimized for a variety of resolutions so you can scale to 4K or 8K without cropping the sensor or changing the field of view. This is one of the biggest selling points of the camera for me. Because if you don’t need 12K you can still benefit from the color science and other new features of the camera while shooting other resolutions. For example, you might only want 4K for certain projects.
The new sensor also features a new Generation 5 Color Science that is completely new. Blackmagic claims this color science is optimized for more pleasing skin tones and better rendition of highly saturated colors like neon signs, car lights, etc. This is particularly exciting, as I think the skin tones are one of the areas Blackmagic could improve. So the fact they’ve developed this new sensor and color architecture with that in mind makes me very optimistic about the image quality the URSA Mini Pro 12K will produce.
Download some Blackmagic 12K Files!
If you want to test out the new Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro files, we have download links below. Make sure you are running the latest version of Davinci Resolve or they will not open.
Recording on the Blackmagic 12K URSA Mini Pro
One of the nice features on the new Blackmagic 12K camera is that they have moved the USB-C slot to the back of the camera, and offer a locking connector so high capacity USB-C SSD drives can be used to record all those large 12K files. They also have released a new URSA Mini Recorder that enables recording of 12-bit Blackmagic RAW files onto fast standard 2.5-inch SSDs. Me likey! And you can also record onto CFast cards through a dual recording process where half of the media is recorded to one card, and half to the other card. CFast Recording is up to 900MB/s. Very interesting stuff.
How to Edit RAW 12K Files?
One thing that immediately came to mind is, “How am I going to edit this 12K RAW Footage?” But it sounds like Blackmagic have optimized the codec and files for Davinci Resolve. During the live stream video they had 9 tracks of 12K RAW Video being edited in real time on a 2019 Mac Pro system. And they also demonstrated a few single streams of 12K RAW on a standard MacBook Pro laptop. So though it seems a bit daunting, it looks like Blackmagic have managed to make the files manageable, assuming you have a modern computer system and fast hard drives.
Blackmagic URSA Mini 12K Availability
The URSA Mini 12K will be shipping out to select DPs first in mid-July, and then Blackmagic has stated the camera will be available later in July 2020. With its higher price point of $9,999 compared to Blackmagic’s other cameras, it will be interesting to see how popular the URSA Mini 12K is with filmmakers.
What do you think about the new 12K camera? Is it something you’d consider adding to your kit or is the Blackmagic Pocket 6K more your style?
If you enjoy our content, please consider helping us support our channel. Film Jams has remained completely independent and sponsor free up to this point, and we’d love to continue offering unbiased opinions on camera and filmmaking gear for you!
>> Become a Patron! of FILM JAMS <<<