A Big Drop in Price for the Blackmagic Design URSA Mini Pro 12K

A Big Drop in Price for the Blackmagic Design URSA Mini Pro 12K

Beware, those with gear acquisition syndrome. Blackmagic Design has just dropped the price of their URSA Mini Pro 12K to $5,995.

This is not a review, as I have not personally shot with the camera. But, as a photographer who is also a cinematographer and whose jobs overlap on often an occasion, any camera from which I can grab frames that result in relatively high-megapixel images will pique my interest. Especially as I primarily use DaVinci Resolve as my post-production tool of choice and have spent many a frustrating night waiting for 8K footage from other cameras to render, the idea of working with a Blackmagic Raw video format made by the same company that makes the software appeals to me. The new rendering engine in DaVinci Resolve 17.3 is said to put high-resolution workflows more within reach for those of us with, ahem, humble computer systems at home.

The camera sports a 12K Super35mm HDR CMOS sensor and can record 8K up to 120 fps with 14 stops of dynamic range. It has dual slots for SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-II) cards as well as multiple options for recording directly to external media. The specs are truly impressive, but even more impressive at $4,000 off the initial asking price on B&H at the time of this writing.

But, as I have not shot with the URSA Mini Pro 12K, I’d like to get thoughts in the comments from those who have. Have you tried this camera in the field? How did you like it? And for those who want to know more about the camera, head on over to B&H and have a look at the crazy powerful and now more affordable production machine.

Christopher Malcolm's picture

Christopher Malcolm is a Los Angeles-based lifestyle, fitness, and advertising photographer, director, and cinematographer shooting for clients such as Nike, lululemon, ASICS, and Verizon.

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Like Nikon Z cameras, the Ursa Mini Pro 12k is a massively underrated platform. An amazing beast for creators and with this price cut.... WOW!
Chris, you have to get out there and play with one... you will be hooked!

I'm hoping to get my hands on one soon.

Cool! I look forward to hearing and seeing your impressions. Cheers!

Actually, they're not bad at all. Record to CFAST (which is expensive) or the much cheaper option of an external SSD via USB-C.

Blackmagic RAW is an incredibly efficient format.

12K @ 60fps (it does 120fps in 8K) will chew through 1TB in 11.5 minutes. But that's in the highest quality 5:1 compression. You can drop to 8:1, 12:1, or 18:1 (along with some other constant quality options). The reality is... no one is shooting 12K 60 fps almost ever and not at the highest bit rate. Most people don't really use this camera for 12K, except maybe VFX.

Its 8K RAW is comparable to the Canon C200's 4K RAW in file size, depending on the compression option you choose (I think that comparison is for 8:1, so the second highest quality).

There's always going to be storage consequences as we go up the resolution ladder obviously, but BRAW is an incredibly efficient format - you can edit these 12K RAW files on a MacBook Air....

Good to know the 8K file size is comparable to the C200 (if set up with the right compression).

Yeah it's very efficient. You can drop lower to to 12:1 or 18:1 and get smaller files too. There are also the Q0, Q1, Q3, and Q5 settings, which are constant quality (instead of constant bit rate like the 5:1, 8:1, etc.). I prefer those settings because, well, your image quality remains "constant" - downside is that certain situations like fast movement and action will drive the bitrate up (to keep up with the same level of quality) and so you use more storage when that happens.

But you can also use less storage in those modes if, say, you're recording interviews where the camera hardly ever moves.

Q3 is usually what I use with my Pocket 4K and Pocket 6K Pro.

I think it's great that there are some companies out there fighting to get video equipment where it's supposed to be. Those R and slr cameras are not video equipment and the R5 quickly showed that point and its limitations. ML is even worst of an oven than slr's...
To anyone starting in video, I would recommend looking at your options and build of the equipment. Dedicated may cost a little more but if it is more reliable, you can focus on doing your work, not on possible overheating issues. Do you use a Swiss knife to cook in your kitchen or do you have a selection of dedicated blades?

Waiting for the BMPCC 8K using the Ursa’s sensor (oversampled).