Blackmagic Design 12K Image Sensor

  • 2021

  • Engineering

Designed By:

Commissioned By:

Blackmagic Design

Designed In:


The Blackmagic Design 12K Sensor is the world’s first 12K video image sensor designed specifically for Hollywood films, episodic television and IMAX. Developed in Australia by Blackmagic Design and leveraging proprietary Blackmagic RAW and Generation 5 colour science, it possesses an unprecedented 12,288×6480 resolution and 14 stops of dynamic range.

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  • Overcome the technical challenges of extremely high resolution professional video imaging. Consider processing time, storage costs and post-production workflows. Challenge the norms of traditional sensor architectures to create better, more effective pixels and maximise the potential of the underlying sensor. Address the challenges associated with shooting in various resolutions to maintain creative intent and prevent lost image data. Ensure the sensor remains affordable, carefully managing manufacturing processes to reduce production costs.

  • Informed by years of research and engineered from the ground-up, the Blackmagic Design 12K sensor is a Super 35 sensor with a native resolution of 12,288 x 6480 (80 megapixels) per frame. Possessing an expansive 14 stops of dynamic range and native ISO of 800 for exceptional low-light performance, its unique architecture features equal amounts of red, green and blue pixels, and is optimized for shooting at multiple resolutions without cropping field of view (FOV). Developed in close parallel with proprietary Blackmagic RAW codec, it produces extreme resolution, film-like images that are efficient and flexible to work with in post-production.

  • The Blackmagic Design 12K sensor is the first sensor to be completely designed by Blackmagic Design from the ground up. The culmination of a strategy that unifies a multiple technology developments, it leverages extensive IP and design, and represents a revolutionary advancement in the cinematography and broadcast industry. The Blackmagic Design 12K image sensor is a ground-breaking example of Australian design and manufacturing ingenuity, representing a massive leap forward in the global video technology industry. For less than $10,000 cinematographers can leverage the very cutting edge of cinema camera technology for a tenth of the price of typical high-end alternatives.

  • Improved Sensitivity to Light and Colour The Blackmagic Design Sensor's innovative 6x6 RGBW Colour Filter Array (CFA) has an equal ratio of six red, six green and six blue pixels balanced with eighteen white pixels to control luminosity. This greatly improves light sensitivity and dynamic range, allowing an exceptional breadth of detail to be captured in high contrast and low-light scenes. Optimized for Fast Flexible Post Production Shooting RAW in 12K preserves the deepest control of detail, exposure and colour in post-production. Paired with Blackmagic RAW, The Blackmagic Design 12K Sensor enables shooting of cinema-quality, 12-bit, 12K at up to 60 fps. When working in 8K or 4K, innovative in-sensor scaling enables it to work twice as fast, doubling the frame rate to 120 fps without cropping or altering the field of view. Blackmagic RAW Image Capture Depending on the workflow, users can prioritise constant quality levels, where compression adapts to match a scene's detail. Alternatively, constant bitrate encoding produces the best possible images with predictable and consistent file sizes. RAW files can be recorded simultaneously to two cards simultaneously so you can shoot 12K or 8K to either CFast or UHS II cards, even at high frame rates.