July 16, 2020. We zoom from Wetzlar to Melbourne. Today was a day when resolution seemed to matter. A few hours after Andreas Kaufmann announced the new 40 Megapixel Leica M10-R (R for resolution) still camera, Grant Petty introduced the latest Blackmagic Design URSA Mini Pro 12K. He said that Blackmagic Design was aiming for the high end with this affordable camera.
Did he say 12K? Yes.
“Do not let the tongue speak before the mind has had a chance to think.”
We were bad boys in fifth grade at Collegiate School for Boys. During one history class made notable by our homework avoidance and determination to cover up by blurting out whatever came to mind, we were condemned to dreaded detention after school. Our teacher, George Mitchell, had us write “lines.” It was the usual form of punishment. Our transgressions that day resulted in 1,000 lines, writing the same phrase over and over until your hand ached. I still remember it: “Do not let the tongue speak before the mind has had a chance to think.” It was a Native American saying that was part of the homework assignment we had not done. It was very appropriate.
Since my jaw dropped at the 12K part, I will not let my tongue speak too much until I learn more about this fascinating new camera from Blackmagic. More will come tomorrow after discussions with their staff.
The Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 12K has a new 12,288 x 6,480 12K Super35 image sensor. It measures 27.033 mm wide x 14.246 mm high. The pixel pitch is not published yet, but if you divide 27.03 by 12, 288, you get approximately 2.2 microns. That’s tiny, and yet the URSA Mini Pro 12K has 14 stops of dynamic range and a native ISO of 800. The demo footage shot by John Brawley ACS showed silky smooth skin tones, gorgeous color and low to no noise.
It shoots 12K up to 60 fps and 8K up to 110 fps.
It’s not a Bayer pattern sensor. Grant Petty called it a symmetrical sensor pattern, with equal Red, Green and Blue photosites. Because Blackmagic Design designs the sensor, builds the camera, implements Blackmagic 12-bit RAW and drives DaVinci Resolve, well, that’s pretty much the entire imaging food chain within their control. That’s compelling.
Another nice thing about the sensor is that you can scale the image from 12K to 8K, 6K and 4K without cropping or binning.
The camera has an interchangeable PL and optional EF or F mounts, built-in ND filters, dual CFast and UHS-II SD media slots, and a USB-C connector, with 10 Gb/s data rate, to which you can attach an SSD or NVMe drive. One BNC connector outputs 4K and the other offers 4K or HD.
More information will be added to this story.
BLACKMAGIC URSA Mini Pro 12K Summary
-12,288 x 6480 12K Super35 sensor.
-14 stops of dynamic range and native 800 ISO.
-Real time Blackmagic RAW 12K editing.
-Generation 5 Color Science
-Up to 60 fps in 12K, 110 fps in 8K and 220 fps in 4K.
-Dual card CFast recording at up to 900MB/s.
-PL mount included, EF and F mounts available.
-USB-C for recording up to 10 Gb/s to external disks.
-Includes DaVinci Resolve Studio for post production.
-Compatible with new Blackmagic URSA Mini Recorder.
Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 12K will be available in July 2020 for around US $9,995, excluding duties or tax, from Blackmagic Design resellers worldwide.