Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 12K | Cinema Camera Review

3 Aug 2020

4 Min Read

12K! Never thought it would come so soon. I mean 8K is still some sort of luxury for many content creators and smaller filmmakers. And all of a sudden, Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 12K just pops into existence. so now that is here let’s take a look at the spec sheet and see what is what in this relatively cheap cinema camera.

Camera Sensor

The Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 12K is equipped with a Super 35 sensor that has 14 stops of dynamic range and a native ISO of 800. Pictures coming from this sensor can max out at the native resolution of 12,288 x 6480 and each of those frames will be at 80 megapixels! Imagine being able to choose any frame from your footage and then use it as a hi-resolution image! Content creators and YouTubers must love that for their thumbnails! Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 12K is capable of shooting 12K at 60 fps, 8K and 4K RAW at 110 fps without cropping or changing your field of view and if you are ok with some cropping, 4K RAW can reach up to 220 fps. Also, the aspect ratios that the camera works in are DCI, Anamorphic, 16:9, and 2.4:1 for 12K, 8K, and 4K. You can also get super 16 for 6K and 4K. Pretty neat!

12K Super 35 Sensor With 14 Stops Of Dynamic Range

Lens Mount

URSA Mini Pro by default uses a PL mount which is a good option for professional cinema work but it also has the option of interchangeable lens mount so that camera operator can relatively easily change the mount to EF and F mount if the production needs it

Built-in ND Filters

The built-in ND filter of Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 12K lets you move between 2, 4, and 6 stops when the lighting is not at its best. The plus point which can differentiate these ND filter form the competition is that they filter both optical wavelengths and IR wavelengths. This will eliminate IR contamination which is quite a bummer when working with regular ND filters.

Built in ND Filters

Blackmagic RAW

Blackmagic RAW files, which are as .BRAW files and probably cool to be pronounced like -Bruh- files, do actually look like black magic to me! Imagine being able to take RAW 12K 12-bit footage files and then directly start working on them on the go on your laptop! Well, that is what Blackmagic is claiming to do with its Blackmagic RAW file format! What it means is that no matter what resolution or bitrate you decide to shoot in, there is no need to worry about proxies! Blackmagic RAW stores camera metadata, lens data, white balance, digital slate information, and custom LUTs for more consistent and less complicated post-production.

Blackmagic RAW Files Are 12K 12-bit Footage Files

Blackmagic RAW not only takes advantage of all the cores inside the CPU and its multi‑threaded technology, but also is GPU accelerated and works with Apple Metal, Nvidia CUDA, and OpenCL. Blackmagic RAW 12K images provide unprecedented resolution and quality for color, keying, compositing, reframing, stabilization, and tracking in 4K or 8K.

Storage Options

Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 12K has dual, built-in CFast and UHS‑II SD card for recording the 12K footage at a high bandwidth. But if that is not enough or you need rather cheaper options for more storage, you can take advantage of the SuperSpeed USB‑C expansion port to record onto external SSD drives. By selecting the Record RAW on 2 Cards option in the camera menu, URSA Mini Pro 12K will record simultaneously onto two CFast cards at up to 900MB/s, 500MB/s to 2 UHS‑II SD cards. The speed when recording onto your SSD using the SuperSpeed USB‑C expansion port is dependant on the SSD drive you are using but the bandwidth can handle up to 900MB/s.

Editing Metadata

One thing that really caught my attention was the feature that lets you edit the metadata of the footage on the fly, inside the camera using the high-resolution monitoring display. This can be a game-changer at least for me and the workflow of our team cause the ability to set data like lens data, reel, scene, take, whether the footage is a day or night take, or stuff like that is really handy! they even have included a toggle to mark the good takes! I hope this feature becomes standard among other camera manufacturers!

Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro Has Built-in Metadata Editor
Metadata Options Like Lens Data, Reel, Scene, Take

Wireless Bluetooth Camera Control

With Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 12K you have the option to control the camera using Bluetooth from around 9 meters away. All you have to do is downloading the Blackmagic Camera Control app for iPad or use apps like Bluetooth+ or Trigger for iOS and Android devices. The free developer SDK with sample code is also available from the Blackmagic developer website, so if you are a tech-savvy coder, you can create your own remote camera control!

Input/Output Ports

Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 12K comes with a good selection of ports for use with different accessories and workflow styles. Stereo XLR with 48 volt Phantom Power, 3.5mm Headphone jack, 12G-SDI Out, 3G-SDI Out, 12G-SD In, Reference and Timecode Input, 12V Power for Accessories, USB-C port,  Broadcast Lens Control Connector, and a LANC port. 

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