July 2020

Blackmagic's new 12K RAW 80MP Camera | Tech Specs and Updates

blackmagic 12k ursa camera

Blackmagic has done it again! Releasing jaw dropping technology and revolutionizing the camera space. They just live streamed today 16th July talking about some new tech they are releasing in the coming month. I bet most of you have heard about the news already and are researching for some updates and tech specs, so here we are, here are some of the most technical updates you will find from their live stream:

New product updates (Prices without Duty Tax):

  • Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 12K Camera
  • Blackmagic Video Assist 3G Monitor Recorder 7” - $695
  • Blackmagic Video Assist 3G Monitor Recorder 5” - $495
  • UltraStudio Recorder 3G 3G-SDI HDMI Converter with new Rec2020 Color Space - $115
  • UltraStudio Recorder HD Mini 3G-SDI HDMI In and Out Converter $495 
  • UltraStudio Recorder 4K Mini 12G-SDI HDMI In and out Converter - $995
blackmagic3g sdi

Blackmagic Video Assist Specifications

  • 2 Different sizes 5” and 7”
  • Full HD screens
  • Recording formats Prores & DNxHD
  • External 12v DC
  • 11 Languages
  • HDMI & SDI In/out
12k vs 8k vs 4k

Blackmagic URSA 12K Camera

URSA 12K has been in the works for a while now way back since Blackmagic RAW was being designed. They have created a new 12K sensor of their own which features a new color science and new technology now patented by Blackmagic. The new sensor is designed to work specifically with Blackmagic RAW and it’s workflow with DaVinci Resolve. The pipeline of the workflow from the sensor to Blackmagic RAW and to DaVinci has really streamlined to work very well together, something they have not done before. The new sensor is designed specifically for focus on the extreme high-end film production. Graham mentioned that the anti-aliasing is beautiful on the 12K. The camera comes along with 14 stops of dynamic range which is still plenty! But not quite as high as RED or Arri Alexa. 

Specifications

  • 12K brand new built sensor (12288x6480 resolution) Super 35 14-stops 80 megapixel frame at 1.8963:1 aspect ratio 17:9 DCI
  • aspect ratio Native ISO of 800 works with all super 35 and PL lenses
  • Built-in ND Filters
  • Dual CFast cards and SD
  • Interchangeable Lens Mount (Ships with PL)
  • Super Speed USBC expansion port for external drives
  • SDI Ports
  • USBC Super speed
  • Native ISO 800
12k camera
6k

All previous kit for the older models of URSA will still work which is great so you don't have to go and buy new upgraded add-ons. Things like the studio viewfinder, shoulder mount etc. The entire electronics have been ripped out and upgraded but the outside is the same shell as the previous URSA cameras with a few minor changes here and there.

Why 12K?

There's a bunch of reasons to go beyond 8K Graham mentioned. The ability to reframe shots and choose your shot in post. Sub pixel 8K where you can use a full 12K sensor and record lower resolutions which essentially means you get a sharper image in 8K. High end film guys want full RGB which this new sensor will deliver. 

blackmagic sensor 12k upgraded

Would this be overkill shooting in 12K?

The answer is no. Blackmagic RAW is super efficient and they support lower resolution while using the whole sensor. You wont get aliasing issues because the crop is in the sensor and not in the software. You can choose from options in the settings for 12K, 8K, 6K and 4K. So basically you can use this camera's full sensor while using any of these resolutions of choice. Due to the fact the scaling is on the sensor it decreases the data rate from the sensor too, so this means you can have higher frame rates for lower resolutions.

Framerates:

  • 12K 60fps full sensor
  • 8K 110fps full sensor
  • 4K 110fps full sensor
  • 6K 120fps Super 16 cropped sensor
  • 4K 220fps Super 16 cropped sensor

Working with metal which Apple tech is built with, they have optimized Blackmagic RAW to work very efficiently. Their aim is to make working with 12K as easy as working with 4K and be able to use it even on a laptop. They demonstrated it with it live using 12K footage in DaVinci Resolve playing super smooth with no lag on a MacBook Pro. Isn’t that just insane?! DaVinci Resolve is a very efficient program and works very smoothly. 

New Color Science

They have designed a new color science to work well with the new sensor. It has a better gamma curve, highlight roll off, a greater consistency with 3D LUTs, better skin tones, more range when color grading. They will be rolling this out to older Blackmagic cameras a bit later as well so it won't just be a feature for their new 12K URSA. You will have the ability to switch between Gen 4 and the new Gen 5 color science in the Blackmagic RAW options.

color science

Conclusion

So there we have it, Blackmagic have just blown everyone away with their new tech introduction. It’s pretty incredible that Blackmagic has created a product for each step of the pipeline of video production. From the sensor right down to the delivery. This is such a huge step in progression for Filmmaking. We really see Blackmagic beginning to lead in the professional cinema world very soon with the likes of RED falling behind.If you're interested in seeing more about the new gear, go check the Blackmagic Design website for more information.

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