Blackmagic Design has again rocked the Digital Cinema world with the introduction of their latest camera, the URSA Mini Pro 12K. They leapfrogged over the expected move up to 8K by designing a Super35 Sensor that can natively shoot 12K as well as 4K, and 8K. As explained by Blackmagic CEO Grant Petty in a live stream, instead of the traditional Bayer-pattern single sensor design, this camera uses a Symmetrical pattern readout that allows the full sensor to natively output the various resolutions without cropping or computationally intensive scaling, allowing the user to select which resolution best suits their needs. The sensor is 80 megapixel – 12,288 x 6480, and is said to produce 14 stops of dynamic range. The camera can shoot higher frame rates including 12K up to 60fps, 8K at up to 110fps, and 4K at up to 220fps.
The camera comes with a PL-mount that features lens metadata connections, but an interchangeable lens mount to Canon EF mount will also be available. The camera has internal ND filters, Dual cFast cards, 12G SDI output, and a USB-C port for recording on external SSDs. The camera can actually simultaneously record to both cFast cards at the same offering up to 900MBps recording speed. This recording method also works somewhat like a RAID where every second frame gets saved on each card, so if you happen to lose one card, you still get a usable file, albeit with only half the frame rate. They are also coming out with an external USB-C Recorder that can hard-mount onto the camera body for fast economical recording that 12K will require to be practical.
Blackmagic Design has leveraged not only their camera design, but their full technology eco system updates to DaVinci Resolve and Blackmagic RAW in order to make 12K recording practical. The first cameras will ship to selected “high-end DPs” to get feedback from them and then to all other customers in a few weeks. MSRP is $9,995US including, as usual, a full copy of DaVinci Resolve.
See the whole presentation here, (including new 3G models of their popular Video Assist recorders):