The new Blackmagic Ursa Mini Pro 12K is the finest of all since it shoots in 12K, if bigger is better. The camera’s astoundingly high resolution, though, is almost an accidental result of what the Australian researchers at Blackmagic planned to do. This was done to create a camera that can capture the greatest 4K footage while maintaining a fairly filmic appearance rather than looking overly digital.
There are, of course, good reasons to shoot in 12K, such as the vast amount of room for cropping if you’re producing a 4K or HD movie. Additionally, it helps your footage last longer when 8K and higher resolutions become standard. Additionally, it’s perfect for VFX professionals who need the highest resolution for their green screen work.
Despite the trend toward ever-larger sensors, Blackmagic discovered that using very high-resolution 12K sensors in the smaller Super35mm CMOS size provided the best overall filmic quality.
Although the high-ISO performance of this smaller sensor with its numerous tiny photosites may not be the finest, the highlight roll-off and color gradation is much more natural and film-like.
Blackmagic is involved in all three of the technical phases of video capture in order to get the desired aesthetic. The camera records in the business’s proprietary Blackmagic Raw format, which is then processed, edited and graded using Da Vinci Resolve software from Blackmagic Design. No other organization has absolute integration like that.
The sensor is CMOS, however, it does not employ the conventional Bayer configuration, which favors green and necessitates meticulous color balancing to achieve natural color. The new 12K sensor from Blackmagic includes equal red, green, and blue sampling for more even, film-like colors.
The sole alternative is to record in Blackmagic Raw utilizing Log, which is subsequently edited in the new fifth-generation color system of Da Vinci Resolve.
The footage’s precise, cinematic appearance is a result of sticking with Blackmagic technology throughout the entire process.
Build Quality And Design
The camera is identical to the previous 4.6K Ursa Mini Pro G2 except for the addition of the 12K logo and the placement of the USB-C socket on the back. The body is incredibly sturdy and gives you the impression that it could carry you through and back from a battle zone. A plate to hold the large V-Lock-style batteries is located on the back.
The screen is bright enough to be used on a tripod and has a nice viewfinder for shoulder use. There are numerous exterior buttons to access many of the key settings, and you can also explore the menus, much like with all professional cinema cameras.
You accomplish this using a responsive and user-friendly touchscreen. With clear tabs throughout the screen to select a group of settings, the menu system is simple to use. Simply tap and swipe to change settings. There are displays for the histogram, zebra, false colors, and peaking to assist you in getting your photographs perfectly exposed and in focus.
The built-in 2, 4, and 6-stop ND filters on the Ursa Mini Pro 12K provide IR correction. A second LCD panel on the left of the camera displays information about the frame rate, shutter angle, aperture, white balance, ISO, iris, battery life, and audio meters.
Additionally, there are two LANC inputs, a 12G-SDI out connector, an HD-SDI monitoring out connector, a timecode in the connector, and a reference input. Filmmakers with experience prefer and employ that kind of control.
Shoot at an ISO of 800 or less for optimal results, then expose to the right to let in as much light as possible. Once the Raw data are processed, the 12K camera offers incredibly filmic colors along with a remarkable dynamic range of 14 stops.
To correctly color correct and grade, you can alter ISO, white balance, sharpness, and colors as much as you’d want thanks to the 12-bit Raw files. It is ideal to overexpose and recover detail rather than underexpose and disclose shadow noise, therefore some highlight recovery is required. Noise is revealed as ISO is increased over 800, but it can be removed in post-production.
However, because the focus of this camera is spectacular quality, it truly works best when shooting in full 12K, which results in enormous file sizes, and with lots of light and a low ISO. These are stored on the quickest SD cards available, the C-Fast 2.0 cards, or an extremely quick SSD.
Blackmagic Raw gives you the option of 5:1, 8:1, 12:1, or 18:1 compression levels at a consistent bitrate to reduce file sizes. The choices are Q0, Q1, Q3, or Q5, or to maintain constant quality by adjusting the bitrate.
Therefore, a constant bitrate of 5:1 is recommended for the best quality. However, it does eat up memory. We discovered that 8:1 or Q5 compression struck a decent equilibrium because it was incredibly difficult to distinguish any discernible difference in quality. In actuality, all of the settings produce photos that look almost like they were taken with a film camera and have authentic colors.
|Lens Mount||ARRI PL|
|Sensor Resolution||Effective: 79.6 Megapixel (12,288 x 6480)|
|Sensor Type||27.03 x 14.25 mm (Super35) CMOS|
|Built-In ND Filter||Mechanical Filter Wheel with Clear, 2 Stop (1/4), 4 Stop (1/16), 6 Stop (1/64) ND Filters|
|Capture Type||Stills & Video|
|Shutter Type||Electronic Rolling Shutter|
|ISO Sensitivity||125 to 3200|
|Advertised Dynamic Range||14 Stops|
|Internal Recording Modes||ProRes 422 HQ|
3840 x 2160 at 23.98/24.00/25/29.97/50/59.94 fps
1920 x 1080p at 23.98/24.00/25/29.97/50/59.94 fps
1920 x 1080i at 50/59.94 fps
12288 x 6480 at 23.98/24.00/25/29.97/50/59.94 fps [72 to 578 Mb/s]
11520 x 6480 at 23.98/24.00/25/29.97/50/59.94 fps
12288 x 5112 at 23.98/24.00/25/29.97/50/59.94 fps
7680 x 6408 at 23.98/24.00/25/29.97/50/59.94 fps
8192 x 4320 at 23.98/24.00/25/29.97/50/59.94 fps [32 to 258 Mb/s]
7680 x 4320 at 23.98/24.00/25/29.97/50/59.94/119.88 fps
8192 x 3408 at 23.98/24.00/25/29.97/50/59.94/119.88 fps
5120 x 4272 at 23.98/24.00/25/29.97/50/59.94/119.88 fps
6144 x 3240 at 23.98/24.00/25/29.97/50/59.94/119.88 fps [18 to 145 Mb/s]
4096 x 2160 at 23.98/24.00/25/29.97/50/59.94 fps [8 to 65 Mb/s]
3840 x 2160 at 23.98/24.00/25/29.97/50/59.94 fps
4096 x 1704 at 23.98/24.00/25/29.97/59.94 fps
2560 x 2136 at 23.98/24.00/25/29.97/50/59.94 fps
|External Recording Modes||Raw via USB|
12288 x 6480
8192 x 4320
6144 x 3240
4096 x 2160
|Sensor Crop Modes||Super35 / APS-C|
|Variable Frame Rates||12K: Up to 60 fps|
12K Anamorphic: Up to 75 fps
8K: Up to 119.88 fps
DCI 4K: Up to 119.88 fps
8K Anamorphic: Up to 160 fps
4K Anamorphic: Up to 160 fps
6K (Windowed): Up to 119.88 fps
DCI 4K (Windowed): Up to 240 fps
|Recording Limit||Up to 403 Minutes|
|Built-In Microphone Type||Stereo|
|Audio Recording||2-Channel 24-Bit 48 kHz|
Still Image Capture
|Aspect Ratio||2:1, 16:9, 4:3, 1:1, 4:5|
|Image File Format||Raw|
|Media/Memory Card Slot||Dual Slot: CFast (CFast 2.0)|
Dual Slot: SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-II)
|Video I/O||1 x BNC (12G-SDI) Input|
1 x BNC (12G-SDI) Output
1 x BNC (3G-SDI) Output
|Audio I/O||2 x XLR 3-Pin Mic/Line (+48 V Phantom Power) Output|
1 x 1/8″ / 3.5 mm TRRS Headphone/Mic Input/Output
|Power I/O||1 x XLR 4-Pin Input|
1 x Molex 12-Pin Input/Output
1 x XLR 4-Pin (12 VDC) Output
|Other I/O||1 x USB-C (USB 3.2 / 3.1 Gen 2)|
1 x USB-C Data Input
|Display Type||Articulating Touchscreen LCD|
|Secondary Display||Side: Status Display|
|Type||Optional, Not Included|
|Focus Type||Auto and Manual Focus|
|Focus Mode||Automatic, Manual Focus|
|Operating Temperature||32 to 104°F / 0 to 40°C|
|Storage Temperature||-4 to 113°F / -20 to 45°C|
|Operating Humidity||0 to 90%|
|Accessory Mount||4 x 1/4″-20 Female|
1 x ARRI/Hirth Rosette
|Dimensions (W x H x D)||9.2 x 5.92 x 5.87″ / 23.4 x 15.04 x 14.91 cm|
|Weight||5.62 lb / 2.55 kg|
|Package Weight||8.25 lb|
|Box Dimensions (LxWxH)||14.9 x 8.8 x 8″|
You’ll adore the robust Blackmagic Design Ursa Mini Pro 12K if you demand the highest resolution conventional video camera, never shoot in low light, manually control your camera, always use a tripod or Steadicam, have the time to edit your video raw files in Da Vinci Resolve, and have almost $10,000 burning a hole in your pocket. To modify the data, you’ll also need to spend more money on memory cards, hard drives, and perhaps an upgrade to your computer.
The camera’s little brother, the 4.6K Ursa Mini Pro, delivers the same experience and a larger selection of codecs, and quicker frame rates at a significantly lower price if you don’t need 12K. Both of them need to be viewed as manual focus cameras with push-assist AF for focusing on stationary targets.
However, there are alternative movie cameras on the market that make more sense if you want contemporary phase-detection AF, amazing low-light performance, a full-frame sensor for an even smaller depth of field, image stabilization, a choice of codecs, and even live streaming capability.
And these are unquestionably more practical for shooting in a run-and-gun fashion. However, nothing else, of course, shoots at 12K or 8K at 110 frames per second in video Raw at any cost.
Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 12K Price
Pros & Cons
- Nothing else shoots in 12K as it does!
- 8K and 4K are functional and gorgeously filmic
- Built to last for years and is extremely durable
- AF is fairly restricted
- Not a full-frame Super 35
- Recordings only in Blackmagic Raw