Blackmagic URSA Cine 17K with 65mm Sensor Explained

On the show floor at NAB 2024, we stopped by Blackmagic Design’s booth to learn more about their upcoming URSA Cine 17K from Business Development Manager Stuart Ashton. The camera is still under development and won’t start shipping before the end of this year, but we could still get an idea of what is all about. Let’s take a look!

Blackmagic Design has kicked off NAB 2024 with style by unveiling nothing less than 3 new cameras, including the full-frame, box-style PYXIS 6K, the URSA Cine 12K, and the impressive URSA Cine 17K with a 65mm sensor.

In this article we will focus on the 65mm model, but make sure to follow our NAB coverage for more videos on the other cameras as well as a sneak peek into the spanking-new AI-powered features of DaVinci Resolve 19.

Blackmagic URSA Cine 17K with LPL mount. Image credit: Blackmagic Design

Blackmagic URSA Cine 17K – Gateway camera for 65mm cinematography?

To start off, let’s quickly sum up the impressive specs of the Blackmagic URSA Cine 17K’s 65mm sensor. While the body seems to be identical to that of its 12K sibling, the sensor is massive, measuring 50.808×23.316mm (55.9mm diagonal) and offering a resolution of 17.520×8.040 pixels. This makes for a pixel pitch of 2.8 microns.

Blackmagic URSA Cine 17K 65mm (left) vs Cine 12K full-frame (right) sensors
Blackmagic URSA Cine 17K 65mm (left) vs Cine 12K full-frame (right) sensors. Image credit: Blackmagic Design

According to Stuart, the sensor was engineered in-house by Blackmagic Design and its development required a considerable amount of time, especially because the company doesn’t want to comprise on dynamic range (claimed DR: 16 stops).

The camera will be available with either an ARRI LPL or Hasselblad mount to make it possible for users to mount large-format cinema glass or medium format lenses designed for still photography.

Blackmagic URSA Cine 17K with LPL mount. Image credit: Blackmagic Design

Until now, large format cinematography has only been accessible to a small niche of professionals working with high-end tools like ARRI’s flagship ALEXA 65. But if you’re on a budget and are looking after a “larger-than-full-frame” look, your best bet nowadays is probably using a medium-format-to-full-frame speed booster, like KIPON’s adapters for example, or a hybrid medium-format mirrorless camera of the likes of the FUJIFILM GFX100 II (our Lab Test / Review).

Blackmagic URSA Cine 17K 65mm sensor
Blackmagic URSA Cine 17K 65mm sensor. Image credit: Blackmagic Design

However, at NAB 2024, there’s air of change. American company OFG Customs has recently unveiled a modded version of the FUJIFILM GFX100 II for cinema applications and, of course, Blackmagic Design is taking the stage with the URSA Cine 17K.

Besides size, resolution becomes a major concern when it comes to such a large sensor. And while you might be wondering if you really need 17K, there’s certainly specific applications that do, such as compositing, VFX, heavy crops, and more.

Price and availability

The URSA Cine 17K won’t be available before the end of this year. Currently, there’s no information regarding the price of this 65mm format cinema camera. For reference, the new Blackmagic URSA Cine 12K is now available to pre-order for $14,995.

For more information, please visit Blackmagic Design’s website.

What do you think of the new Blackmagic URSA Cine 17K? Are you interested in trying out 65mm cinematography? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!


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