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Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 12K tops Canon R5 video specs

Premium video camera manufacturer, Blackmagic Design, has one upped the Canon R5’s 8K video specs by unveiling the URSA Mini Pro 12K digital film camera, which shoots 12K video at 60fps.

The camera will be available this month, July, for US$9995 ($19,745), and is yet another impressive product from Blackmagic Design, a homegrown success story founded in Melbourne in 2004. The URSA Mini Pro 12K comes hot on the heels of Canon’s blockbuster EOS R5 announcement, with its most hyped and notable feature being 8K video capture.

Blackmagic is describing the URSA Mini Pro 12K as ‘multiple cameras in one’ thanks to the new 12288 x 6480 Super 35 image sensor, which can shoot 80-megapixels stills per frame, along with standard resolution 8K and 4K via in-sensor scaling.

The non-Bayer Super 35 image sensor, designed in-house by Blackmagic, has 14 stops of dynamic range, a native ISO of 800, and equal numbers of red, green, and blue pixels. The in-sensor 8K and 4K RAW scaling records at up to 110 fps without cropping or adjusting the field of view.

‘The URSA Mini Pro 12K sensor and Blackmagic RAW were designed together to make 12 bit RAW workflows in 12K effortless,’ the Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 12K press release states. ‘As an incredibly efficient next generation codec Blackmagic RAW lets customers shoot 12K and edit on a laptop, a capability that simply isn’t possible with other codecs. The massive resolution of the sensor means you can reframe shots in post for delivery in 8K and 4K. It’s like a multi camera shoot with only one camera. And it’s perfect for great looking vertical and square video, too. The advanced design of the sensor and Blackmagic RAW means that customers can work in any resolution in post production instantly, without rendering, while retaining the full sensor’s colour accuracy.’

Blackmagic states 12K ‘preserves the deepest control of detail, exposure and color during post,’ and oversampling into 8K provides sharp footage without harsh edges.

Blackmagic’s Generation 5 Color Science features a new film curve designed to make full use of the colour data from the new sensor, to deliver improved colour particularly for skin tones, and better rendering of highly saturated colours such as neon signs or car tail lights.

The camera has dual built-in CFast and UHS-II SD card recorders, and a SuperSpeed USB-C expansion port for recording to SATA and NVMe drives. A ‘Record RAW on 2 Cards’ feature provides the ability to record simultaneously across two cards – up to 900MB/s to two Cfast cards, or 500MB/s to UHS-II SD cards.

‘With Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 12K we have advanced imaging technology into a new generation where new styles of shooting will be possible,’ Grant Petty, Blackmagic Design CEO, said in the press release. ‘Its not just the 12K sensor, but there is so many other innovations in this camera. From the Generation 5 Color Science, the in-sensor scaling, new symmetrical colour pattern, full RGB quality and of course the 12K resolution, it’s going to be exciting to see what DOPs do creatively with this technology!’

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