Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 12K is a resolution powerhouse

Chris Davies - Jul 16, 2020, 12:17 pm CDT
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Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 12K is a resolution powerhouse

Blackmagic Design has revealed its latest camera, and if you’ve been waiting for 12K to come within reach – or just about, anyway – then the URSA Mini Pro 12K could fit the bill. Latest of the company’s high-end video cameras, it also promises up to 8K at 110 fps, or 4K at 220 fps, all for under $10,000.

The heart of it is the 12,288 x 6,480 12K Super 35 sensor, which Blackmagic says packs a full 14 stops of dynamic range. That’s squeezed into the existing URSA Mini body, for a total of 80-megapixels per frame.

Even if you’re not interested in 12K – yet – there are reasons you might want to have a camera that can capture it. Oversampling from 12K to 8K and 4K, for example, should mean better skin tones and detail, the company suggests. Color and smoothness – which Blackmagic describes as “analog style purity and subtlety” – should also benefit.

In 12K mode you’re looking at up to 60 fps, with interchangeable PL lens support and ND filters. Footage is captured to dual CF or SD cards, while there’s USB-C for recording to an SSD. There’s a feature which can simultaneously record across two CFast cards at up to 900 MB/s, or 500 MB/s on two UHS-II SD cards.

It’s captured in Blackmagic RAW, which the company says is so efficient you can still edit at full resolution on a laptop, rather than needing a hefty workstation. Compression is up to 18x, which Blackmagic says leaves the final file smaller than 4K, in fact. Encoding options include 5:1, 8:1, 12:1, and – newly added – 18:1.

Obviously, this isn’t aimed at most videographers (even though there’s actually a vertical shooting mode for portrait video better suited to smartphones). 12K’s detail, Blackmagic suggests, pays dividends when you’re working with green screen or trying to composite live action with CGI, the improvements in definition around objects helping keep edges sharp and crispy. Or, you can shoot in 12K and then reframe at 4K or 8K for alternate scenes, without losing usable resolution.

To deal with all that, there’s new software like an updated Blackmagic Generation 5 Color Science – with new color curves – and the full version of DaVinci Resolve Studio which comes with the camera. A new Blackmagic URSA Mini Recorder, meanwhile, allows for recording onto 2.5-inch SSDs, using U.2 NVMe Enterprise solid-state drives. Figure on up to 900 MB/s data rates when connected via the camera’s USB-C port.

The URSA Mini Pro 12K is expected to ship this month, Blackmagic Design says, priced at $9,995. As for the URSA Mini Recorder, that’s priced at $395.


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