As we speak, Dr David Smith is reviewing a Blackmagic URSA 12K camera for Australian Videocamera. Yep, that’s right, 12K. Makes my little(?) Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 6K Pro sound tiny, doesn’t it?
We hope to have the full review available shortly, but the major reason for this piece is to highlight an issue that is going to be more and more front and centre as camera and optics technology goes forward.
Not that long ago, a 256GB SD card was classified as “yuge” and cost a pretty penny. The trouble is, if I put one of those in the BPCC 6K Pro and shoot at maximum resolution, I’ll get around 16 minutes. And it costs around $350 for the 128GB version that is fast enough to record at the full 6K in Blackmagic RAW.
As this camera also supports CFast cards, how do they compare cost wise then? A bit more expensive as it turns out, although you can get them up to 1TB (which’ll set you back over a grand!).
The best option then seemingly is to go for an external SSD. But not all USB-C drives are equal as it turns out.
Thankfully, Blackmagic Design has a useful section of their website detailing exactly what SSD’s (and SD and CF cards) are supported. Sadly, and my mistake, I only discovered this after the fact, and blew some $ on a non-supported Samsung drive instead of the supported Samsung T5 1TB unit. Never mind, that now acts as a storage drive for the Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini Pro and is doing a Stirling job there
So I got the T5 (seems I was lucky to find it though as they seem as rare as rocking horse poo), and it set me set me back just over $130 on special, and while is adequate, for general purpose shooting, is not usable at the full 6K Blackmagic RAW 5:1 up to 50 fps, being limited to 6K 2.4:1 Blackmagic RAW 5:1 up to 60 fps and lower. Trap for the unwary; it is easy to think that if you cannot find a T5, a T7 will suffice. Not so. Blackmagic tells me there are reports of “issues” with these at present.
For the full beans, I was pointed to a LaCie Rugged SSD Pro at around $600 and this is doing a champion job. Being small. I am currently working out a way of adapting a phone holder to contain it and it’ll then mount on the Miller Air 75 Solo tripod nicely.
As I stated at the start, as the tech of cameras gets better and better, having to use this amount of memory for recording is going to become the norm. My suggestion therefore is if you are about to fork out hard earned cash for SD cards or the like, go as high in capacity as you can as in the not-too-distant future, you are going to need it. 128GB will be as laughable in a year or so as 16GB is now.
Oh and for reference, the test files David Smith shot for his review – and these are JUST test files – amounted to 900GB!