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Blackmagic's URSA Mini Pro 12K

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Blackmagic Design today announced Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 12K, a new digital film camera with an advanced 12,288 x 6,480 12K Super 35 image sensor, 14 stops of dynamic range and high frame rate shooting at up to 60 frames per second in 12K at 80 megapixels per frame. This new 3rd generation model supports new Blackmagic Generation 5 Color Science and higher Blackmagic RAW performance, all in the award winning URSA Mini Pro camera body.

Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 12K will be available in July 2020 from Blackmagic Design resellers worldwide for US$9,995.

Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 12K is a revolution in digital film with a 12,288 x 6480 12K Super 35 sensor and 14 stops of dynamic range, built into the award winning URSA Mini body. The combination of 80 megapixels per frame, new color science and the flexibility of Blackmagic RAW makes working with 12K a reality. Oversampling from 12K gives customers the best 8K and 4K images with the subtle skin tones and extraordinary detail of high end still cameras. Customers can shoot at 60 fps in 12K, 110 fps in 8K and up to 220 fps in 4K Super 16. URSA Mini Pro 12K features an interchangeable PL mount, as well as built in ND filters, dual CFast and UHS-II SD card recorders, a SuperSpeed USB-C expansion port and more.

URSA Mini Pro 12K’s extreme resolution goes well beyond traditional motion picture film. Customers get the benefits of shooting with film including incredible detail, wide dynamic range and rich, deep color. Perfect for feature films, episodic television and immersive, large format IMAX. The incredible definition around objects makes it ideal for working with green screen and VFX including compositing live action and CGI. Super sampling at 12K means customers not only get better color and resolution at 8K, but also a smoothness that comes from making aliasing invisible.

The Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 12K features a revolutionary new sensor with a native resolution of 12,288 x 6480, which is an incredible 80 megapixels per frame. The Super 35 sensor has a superb 14 stops of dynamic range and a native ISO of 800. The new 12K sensor has equal amounts of red, green and blue pixels and is optimized for images at multiple resolutions. Customers can shoot 12K at 60 fps or use in-sensor scaling to allow 8K or 4K RAW at up to 110 fps without cropping or changing their field of view. URSA Mini Pro’s interchangeable lens mount lets customers choose from the widest range of vintage and modern cinema lenses, so customers can capture every ounce of character and detail from their favorite optics.

The URSA Mini Pro 12K sensor and Blackmagic RAW were designed together to make 12 bit RAW workflows in 12K effortless. As an incredibly efficient next generation codec Blackmagic RAW lets customers shoot 12K and edit on a laptop, a capability that simply isn’t possible with other codecs. The massive resolution of the sensor means you can reframe shots in post for delivery in 8K and 4K. It’s like a multi camera shoot with only one camera. And it’s perfect for great looking vertical and square video, too. The advanced design of the sensor and Blackmagic RAW means that customers can work in any resolution in post production instantly, without rendering, while retaining the full sensor’s color accuracy.

Only Blackmagic RAW makes cinema quality 12-bit, 80 megapixel images at up to 60 frames a reality. Constant quality Q0 and Q5 options and new Q1 and Q3 lock the quality level, allowing compression to adapt, matching the detail of the scene. Constant bitrate encoding options 5:1, 8:1, 12:1 and the new 18:1 are designed to give customers the best possible images with predictable and consistent file size. Customers can record RAW to two cards simultaneously so customers can shoot 12K or 8K to either CFast or UHS-II cards, even at high frame rates. Blackmagic RAW stores camera metadata, lens data, white balance, digital slate information and custom LUTs to ensure consistency of image on set and through post production.

Shooting RAW in 12K preserves the deepest control of detail, exposure and color during post. Oversampling means customers get extremely sharp 8K without harsh edges. Best of all, Blackmagic RAW is designed to accelerate 12K for post production, making it as easy to work with as standard HD or Ultra HD files. It is highly optimized, multi‑threaded, works across multiple CPU cores and is also GPU accelerated to work with Apple Metal, CUDA and OpenCL. So customers can always work with their camera RAW files without having to make proxies. Blackmagic RAW 12K images provide unprecedented resolution and quality for color, keying, compositing, reframing, stabilization and tracking in 4K or 8K.

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. This delivers even better color response for more pleasing skin tones, and 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 customers take advantage of the new film curve even with their existing work.

URSA Mini Pro 12K is multiple cameras in one, shooting standard resolutions and frame rates in 4K, 8K and even insanely detailed 12K. With a massive 80 megapixels per frame at 60 fps in RAW customers can capture perfect stills and motion shots in a single camera at the same time. Customers can shoot up to 60 fps in 12K 12,288 x 6480 17:9. For higher frame rates, customers 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 an incredible 220 fps at 4096 x 2160 DCI. URSA Mini Pro 12K has flexible frame rate and resolution options, and captures with improved motion rendering which means that customers get smoother edges in 8K and 4K even at lower frame rates.

URSA Mini Pro 12K is the ultimate high bandwidth recorder with 3 options for recording 12K, which contains almost 10 times the resolution of Ultra HD. Customers get dual built in CFast and UHS-II SD card recorders, and a SuperSpeed USB-C expansion port for recording to fast SATA and NVMe drives. With "Record RAW on 2 Cards" turned on, URSA Mini Pro 12K can record simultaneously across two cards up to an incredible 900MB/s to 2 CFast cards, or an impressive 500MB/s to 2 UHS-II SD cards. The SuperSpeed USB-C expansion port on the rear can record to USB-C flash storage up to 900MB/s as a third recording option so customers won’t be short of choices for capturing stunning 12K up to 60p or 8K up to 110p.

Different projects require different lenses which is why URSA Mini Pro features an interchangeable lens mount. Customers can quickly switch between PL, EF and F mount lenses on the URSA Mini Pro 12K, as well as B4 lenses on the URSA Mini Pro 4.6K G2. That means customers can work with high quality large PL cinema lenses, EF or F mount photographic lenses, and even B4 broadcast lenses, making URSA Mini Pro compatible with the widest possible range of professional lenses.

Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro features an innovative high speed USB-C Expansion Port. The 4.6K G2 model features USB-C 3.1 Gen 1 which operates at up to 5 Gb/s, while the new 12K model has a USB-C 3.1 Gen 2 for a blistering 10 Gb/s. Customers can connect and power external flash disks and SSDs or on URSA Mini Pro 12K customers can connect the new URSA Mini Recorder for recording to fast NVMe SSD drives for longer recording times. NVMe SSD drives are ideal for shooting 12K in the highest constant quality 12‑bit Blackmagic RAW in the Q0 setting or for high frame rates. When shooting is complete customers can simply move the external disk to their computer and start editing from the same disk, eliminating file copying.

URSA Mini Pro includes a full version of DaVinci Resolve Studio. Customers get the world’s most advanced solution that combines professional editing, color correction, audio post and visual effects all in one software tool. DaVinci Resolve is used to finish more Hollywood feature films than any other solution, so users will get the best possible post production tools to edit native video from their camera and retain every bit of quality. Whether users are working on major Hollywood feature films, episodic television, music videos, commercials or even the latest YouTube shoot, DaVinci Resolve Studio gives customers a completely lossless workflow for native editing, color correction, effects, audio and delivery.

The new Blackmagic URSA Mini Recorder lets customers 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. This blazing fast performance allows customers longer recording times for full resolution 4K, 8K and 12K 12-bit Blackmagic RAW files in the highest quality Q0 encoding. The unique design of the Blackmagic URSA Mini Recorder means it attaches directly to the back of their URSA Mini Pro between the camera and the battery. It’s controlled via the USB-C so customers don’t have to worry about manually starting or stopping the SSD recorder.

"With Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 12K we have advanced imaging technology into a new generation where new styles of shooting will be possible", said Grant Petty, CEO, Blackmagic Design. "Its not just the 12K sensor, but there is so many other innovations in this camera. From the Generation 5 Color Science, the in sensor scaling, new symmetrical color pattern, full RGB quality and of course the 12K resolution, it's going to be exciting to see what DOPs do creatively with this technology!"

  • Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 12K Features
  • 12,288 x 6480 12K Super 35 sensor.
  • Use for feature films, VFX and high end TVC's.
  • 14 stops of dynamic range and native 800 ISO.
  • New Blackmagic RAW for real time 12K editing.
  • Blackmagic RAW optimized for Metal, CUDA and OpenCL.
  • Generation 5 Color Science with new film curve.
  • Shoot up to 60 fps in 12K, 110 fps at 8K and 220 fps at 4K.
  • Dual card CFast recording at up to 900MB/s.
  • PL mount included, EF and F mounts available.
  • SuperSpeed USB-C for recording to external disks.
  • Includes DaVinci Resolve Studio for post production.
  • Compatible with new Blackmagic URSA Mini Recorder.
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I love Black Magic and what they’ve done but I wish someone would concentrate on a sensor with amazing photos sites like the Alev3 and less on big pixel numbers.  I feel like no one but Arri gets it. 

Edited by Shawn Sagady
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5 hours ago, Max Field said:

Rolling my eyes kinda hard at this. Who's needing 12K for anything past a security camera? Who can run 12k on their computer??

The codec is very efficient, it can be worked with on a MacBook Pro no problem. 

Also, it's one of the first cameras in the world that can run at HALF and QUARTER resolution but use the full imager's resolution. So you can capture in 8k and get the full imager's look. That's a big change in how the tech works, thanks to an imager that doesn't have a bayer pattern. 

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I'm not sure that has much to do with the non-Bayer CFA. There are other cameras that will scale from the full imager so you can have the full-chip depth of field and field of view with a lower resolution recording.

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3 hours ago, Phil Rhodes said:

I'm not sure that has much to do with the non-Bayer CFA. There are other cameras that will scale from the full imager so you can have the full-chip depth of field and field of view with a lower resolution recording.

In this case, it has everything to do with the new CFA. Other cameras will either line bin (pixel skip) to get lower resolutions using the full sensor size, or window the sensor--both have major drawbacks. There are also cameras that will downscale in camera, but you can't do that in a RAW workflow.

The new CFA is symmetrical across the sensor, so rather than skipping lines, they can skip clusters of photosites. And since the sensor is so dense, there is essentially no penalty for doing so--using just 4K worth of photosites on this 12K sensor is essentially going to give you the same pixel pitch that a native 4K sensor would have had anyway.

It's very clever, and it means that they've made what could be the last camera they need to make for the next 10 years. Buy it now, shoot 4K. In a few years, you already have 8K. A few years later, you're already set for 12K.

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7 minutes ago, Andy Jarosz said:

they can skip clusters of photosites

That's sort of what I gathered from what Petty was saying, but the penalties to aliasing performance may not be particularly pretty, depending very heavily on exactly what they're talking about. What I'd hope is that they can do some averaging on sensor, which might be what he meant by "on-sensor scaling," but to be honest this is the sort of implementation detail that companies love to promote but hate to explain.

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It's not really clear what it's doing.

Reportedly, the sensor consists of 6 by 6-photosite blocks each containing six each of red, green, and blue filters, and the balance of unfiltered photosites (thus 50% of photosites are unfiltered). This implies that there can one one of each primary colour in each row or column of that block and that there are 2048 blocks across the width of the sensor.

The performance really rests on what sort of decision has been made on the behaviour of the optical low-pass filter, but no matter what you do, you can't simultaneously have maximum resolution (give or take what you lose or gain in the demosaic) and the ability to skip pixels with no aliasing penalty. Possibly it has the ability to add groups of photosites together on the silicon, which would give you that ability. All kinds of things become a factor at this sort of resolution including lens resolution and diffraction limits and all of this provokes questions about the zero-sum game between photosite size, noise, resolution, sensitivity and dynamic range.

It's probably better at this point, where the sensor is sharper than many lenses, to stop thinking of it as a sensor of a certain given resolution, and start thinking about it as a generic source of picture information which you either like or you don't. As (BMD supremo) Petty said in the presentation, the purpose of 12K is to shoot good 8K, or, back on planet Earth, to shoot very, very good 4K. It really depends whether the new colour filter array offsets the noise penalty sufficiently. Given the original 2.4K cinema and the Ursa Mini are really fairly good, it's actually got some pretty big mountains to climb.

Does any of this change anything about the need for good production design, lighting, grip technique, operation...


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The Day exterior samples shot by John Brawley so far look really good, especially the 8K 60p footage. He has posted them over on Reduser. It seems the color science and highlight roll-off have greatly improved from 4.6K and Pocket cameras. I just hope the reliability and tech support has also improved commensurately. 

From what I gather, Mr. Brawley has been using the G2 Ursa Mini only as a B Camera on his current production. I’m guessing this camera will now take its place. Hard to to imagine a 12K B Cam but at this point I don’t think I could trust a Blackmagic camera as an A Camera, based on my previous experiences with them. Hopefully that will change soon. 

I’ll be curious to see how the new camera performs in tungsten and mixed-lighting scenarios, as well as in existing light night exteriors. Would also like to see more highlight roll-off targets like hot windows and practicals. 

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