Blackmagic Design URSA Mini Pro 12K PL-Mount Reviews
A Real Camera
Rated 5 out of 5
As a Pocket 6K Pro owner I wanted to stay in the BMD world but have a better camera. This does the job. Very solid all around. No complaints except that I wish it recorded ProRes.
A unique cinematography camera to film wildlife
Rated 4 out of 5
The Blackmagic Design URSA 12K maybe one of the best value cinematography cameras to capture fast action wildlife. The super 35 high megapixel canvas & fast frame rates are ideal for this genre. The super 16 6K 120fps is a great filming option as it keeps the 12K pixel density. I wish preroll could be added to the camera control. The image sensor is unforgiving. It will expose any flaw in cheap glass. My go to solution is the Canon 400/2.8 which i also use on R5. Never had any R5 over heating issue since the heat mod done by Kolarivision NJ. The post punch in quality is simply amazing. It is like shooting with nine 4K cameras all at once. For medium to far shots the URSA 12K excels. For close up action the autofocus of the R5 is appreciated albeit at 4K. 8K30P is too slow for fast paced wildlife filming. 80MP stills from the URSA 12K look great as do pulling photos from the film production timeline. For this genre the promised Nikon Z9 8K/60 with AF may be a great alternative to consider but it was not available in 2021.
NOT SHARP WHEN PUNCHED IN
Rated 3 out of 5
I'm a professional video shooter and I did extensive tests with this camera over a 30-day period. I found that the 12k images softened considerably when punched into 4k and HD. By comparison, an 8k Sony A1 was razor sharp when similarly punched into 4k and HD. this camera is an excellent bargain if you don't need to punch in. Just don't expect RED results, or even Sony results. There's a reason it's selling for just 6k.
Awesome image quality
Rated 5 out of 5
This unit has an awesome image quality and there are many optional components which allows for simple handheld operation or complex static setups.
I Love it!
Rated 5 out of 5
Amazing camera! Highly recommended!
Rated 5 out of 5
The image out of this camera is simply outstanding. The footage has a sort of 3-dimensional quality to it - it's hard to describe, but it's different and feels special. It's only got a super 35mm sensor, but it feels like 70mm footage. The color accuracy is outstanding and detail in the 12k image is simply mind-blowing. On that note, you will need to use this camera with good quality glass as this is a sensor which is only as good as the lenses you put in front of it. Don't think you're going to get good results putting some $500 Cine DS's on the front of it. There's a reason it ships in PL only - because BMD knows you need to use serious high-end glass.
Amazingly it's also easy to edit 12k BRAW on my MacBook Pro 16. It's possible to edit in real-time without proxies and playback is smooth. Of course, you don't have to shoot in 12k - you can shoot in 8k down to 4k, no crop, all natively in the sensor. That makes the camera extremely flexible and obviously you don't always need or want 12k footage. Dynamic range is excellent - a little better than the URSA Mini Pro G2 in my opinion, at around 12-13 stops and similar to other high-end cameras. Latitude is especially impressive with usuable recovery from about -3 stops to +4.5 stops, which is a little better than ALEXA in my experience. Footage is useable up to 3200 ISO. If you shoot higher res, like 12k, you can drastically reduce any grain when you shrink the image down to a lower res. Overall, low-light performance is good, but you're not going to be turning night to day like you can with an A7S III for example. If you’re looking primarily for the low-light camera this is not it. Fixed pattern noise is not a problem that I’ve encountered as with some previous BMD cameras.
With its flexibility you can certainly film anything with this camera, but make no mistake, this is a serious camera for serious filmmaking that will challenge any camera out there at any price. I guarantee this camera will start to get used on major motion pictures, simply because the 12k footage offers so much flexibility in post and that 3-dimentional quality and amazing color I was talking about just gives footage that something special.
The body is more or less identical to the previous URSA Mini Pro cameras and I've owned all of them. It's practical and flexible for most shooting situations. It's not perfect. I don't like that the screen doesn't flip around and close flat to the body. It's bigger and heavier than I would ideally want it. The air vents are impossible to clean if they get dusty and are a silly design. I love that the mounts are interchangeable, but I wish they'd go with a more universal mount such as RF, e-mount, Kinemount, etc, where you don't have to unscrew the thing to switch to a different mount. BRAW is an amazing format, but I do wish they kept some flavor of ProRes available. I understand why that wasn't possible due to the new sensor design, but sometimes a production company just wants what they know.
Some people will argue that BMD should have made this a smaller, box-style camera like the RED Komodo. They'll say it should have been large format, not super 35. They'll say it should have had an RF mount. They'll say it should ship with an OLPF as standard (though Rawlite is making one for it). They'll say they should have implemented some kind of auto focus system and wouldn't it be great if the camera was useable up to 10,000 ISO. And yes, I'd agree with all those things and maybe that camera will come one day. However, the footage from this camera speaks for itself and all those grievances become mute when see the image for yourself.
Rated 1 out of 5
The camera records good video but there is no sound. Meters are moving but no sounds. It is same on multiple computers. They have me gather logs etc but that does not help. I bought this and two PL mount Zeiss from the nice folks at B & H. Buy something else.
SHOCKED. Almost Feel Guilty How Good it is.
Rated 5 out of 5
I don't get into the whole 'fan boy' thing with camera brands. I've owned around 30 cameras in my life from 8mm, 16mm, Canon, Sony, Panasonic, RED, and now Black Magics. I got tired of waiting for the Komodo and got the BMPCC4K and 6K and those blew me away. I was admittedly a little snobby, thinking Black Magic cameras wouldn't be that impressive... but they were, especially for the price. Then, I was waiting for RED to have something like a Gemini but at least a 6K, ideally, 8K version. But, that never happened and their cameras kept neglecting the various I/O and their storage was getting ridiculously overpriced.
Anyway, long story short... this came out and I was curious when it was $10K. Yeah, it's 14 stops of DR but then RED's claims are never accurate anyway, usually more like 14.5. This, though, had all of the specs I wanted; internal NDs, XLRs in, easy to rig, and cheap media (able to use SSD). I still was hoping RED would have something but their Raptor was a bit of a miss for me, especially with their sensor stitching issues. But, when this dropped to $6,000... it was a no-brainer.
I'm honestly SHOCKED at this. Blown-away, better than I could have dreamed. The look with the Gen5 color is so smooth, especially in the highlights. To me, it leans closer to Alexa than RED. What I love is that I was able to basically rig it and go without too much learning curve. I shot a music video while in Hawai'i with just myself and I was able to do it with a 'run and gun' style rig, just using the internal NDs with the harsh light. (I'll attach a still.) In the still I have... notice how it hold-up on his skin while not blowing-out the clouds and waves. This is just a touch of contrast but the DR is great, details in the whites and darks.
The menu interface is quick and responsive. The flip-out monitor is nice to have but that's the only part that's a bit clunky. But, mostly in a regular rig, with an add-on monitor, it's great.
I'm just super impressed overall. It's a steal for this price.