Earlier in the year, Blackmagic announced the URSA Mini Pro 12K, and it took the whole industry by surprise. Now Blackmagic are known for being a bit of a market disrupter and they've been offering highly capable cameras for very affordable prices for years, but the URSA 12K represents the first time they've aimed a camera at higher-end applications.
In case you missed our original Up to Speed video covering this camera when it was announced, I'll give you a quick rundown of the key specs.
- 12K up to 60fps
- 8K & 4K full sensor readout in RAW
- 8K up to 120fps
- 4K up to 220fps
- Blackmagic RAW
- Same body design as the URSA Mini Pro 4.6K G2
Now, 12K is an insane resolution even in 2020, but this camera isn't just about shooting multiple 80-megapixel frames per second. There is a lot going on under the hood and at the heart of it, is the new sensor. Blackmagic has said that this sensor is the first sensor they've made with Blackmagic RAW in mind. It's also unlike any other sensor in a cinema camera currently on the market. Cinema cameras usually use CMOS sensors with their pixels arranged in what is known as a Bayer pattern, with two green pixels for every red and blue one. The URSA 12K's sensor has a sensor with an equal amount of Red, green and blue pixels (an RGB sensor) which could be why they've been able to cram so much performance into this camera.
This new sensor design is likely the reason that the URSA 12K does not need to window or crop in on the sensor when shooting at lower than its native resolution in RAW, which is something that we've never seen before. So you can shoot 12K, 8K and 4K using the full sensor, which is great if you don't want to shoot in 12K. There is a super 16mm crop mode, which is the only way you can get 6K out of this camera, and how you get 4K framerates above 120fps. In the video above, we briefly touch on the datarates of 12K and yes they are high, but they're not quite as bad as you'd initially think. We'll be doing future content on the URSA 12K, including a video looking at what you can record to what type of media so keep an eye out for that video.
The body design of the URSA 12K is the same as the URSA Mini Pro 4.6K G2, with the addition of a USB-C port (USB 3.1 Gen 2) on the back of the camera. This can either be used to connect their new SSD recorder or it can be used with an SSD which connects via USB-C, like the Samsung T5. So you still get dual C-Fast 2.0 & SD card slots, built-in ND's, XLR's an LCD screen and lots of buttons for control. The URSA 12K now ships with a PL mount which can be changed over to a EF mount by the user.
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