Blackmagic Design launches URSA Mini Pro 12K OLPF

Blackmagic Design has launched an updated version of its URSA Mini Pro 12K cinema camera, the Blackmagic Design URSA Mini Pro 12K OLPF. The new version has been enhanced with a high-performance optical low-pass filter.

What’s an OLPF?

An optical low pass filter (OLPF) is a filter that is built into some digital cameras in front of the image sensor. It is sometimes called an anti-aliasing filter. An OLPF reduces artifacts such as moiré and aliasing while preserving the color and image detail. Moiré can be caused by repeating patterns on clothing or the brickwork of a building, for example.  

URSA Mini Pro 12K OLPF

The OLPF in the URSA Mini Pro 12K has been precisely matched to the 12K sensor. It is also important for working in virtual production environments. The high frequencies of the LED matrix in video walls can cause problems for ultra-sharp modern lenses and high-resolution sensors, creating interference patterns. Using an optical low pass filter minimizes that interference, which results in a reduction of moiré and aliasing. In addition, the OLPF in the URSA Mini Pro 12K incorporates updated IR filtering that improves far red color response.

Other features

Blackmagic Design URSA Mini Pro 12K OLPF back
Image courtesy: Blackmagic Design

The Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 12K has a 12,288 by 6480 12K Super 35 sensor with 14 stops of dynamic range. This gives an incredible 80 megapixels per frame. You can also shoot in 8K or 4K, oversampled from 12K, which gives subtle skin tones and very high levels of detail. In addition, the URSA Mini Pro 12K can record up to 60 fps in 12K, 120 fps in 8K and 240 fps in 4K Super 16. The camera features an interchangeable PL mount which you can swap for EF or F mounts. It also has built-in ND filters and can record to dual CFast and UHS-II SD card recorders or via a SuperSpeed USB-C expansion port.

Netflix Approved

The URSA Mini Pro 12K digital cinema camera has now been added to the Netflix Approved Camera List. The list defines requirements such as dynamic range, resolution, codec and workflow compatibility necessary for cameras used on Netflix productions. 90% of a program’s final total runtime must be captured on approved cameras. Note that the Approved List only applies to content made and funded by Netflix.

What we think

The additional resolution of the URSA Mini Pro 12K’s sensor could increase the risk of moiré and aliasing issues. Therefore, the launch of the OLPF version of the camera is to be welcomed. As a high-resolution camera, the URSA Mini Pro 12K generates very large data files. As such, the camera is overkill for a lot of filming scenarios. However, it’s ideal for VFX work or when the highest picture quality is required. The ability to record in 8K or 4K oversampled will also give fabulous video images. In addition, the URSA Mini Pro 12K costs a fraction of other comparable cameras. If you need the high resolution it offers, the URSA Mini Pro 12K is a great choice.

Pricing and availability

The Blackmagic Design URSA Mini Pro 12K OLPF is available now from Blackmagic Design resellers worldwide. The body costs $6,385.

Pete Tomkies
Pete Tomkies
Pete Tomkies is a freelance cinematographer and camera operator from Manchester, UK. He also produces and directs short films as Duck66 Films. Pete's latest short Once Bitten... won 15 awards and was selected for 105 film festivals around the world.

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