Filmmakers have more opportunities than ever to take advantage of virtual worlds — if they have the right cameras. So we want to point out the affordable new Blackmagic Design cameras that designed with virtual production in mind.

To ring in 2024, we’re highlighting some of the biggest plot twists in filmmaking of this new year — things no one saw coming just a few short years ago. Recent breakthroughs we’ve covered include the increasing availability of LED Volume screens, and the rise of virtual production workflowws that are closely enmeshed with Volume screen filmmaking.

But without the right cameras to capture Volume spaces, 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.

That’s why Blackmagic Design introduced its Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 12K OLPF, a new model of the highly advanced digital film camera that adds a high-performance optical low pass filter to the 12K Super 35 image sensor. It retails for about $6,300.

“Since we released the Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 12K, we’ve been hard at work to make the camera even better for new production methods such as virtual production with LED video walls,” said Blackmagic Design CEO Grant Petty, when announcing the innovation last spring.

“That’s why we have taken considerable time and effort to develop an optical low pass filter that is perfectly matched to the sensor and not only reduces artifacts such as moiré, but preserves and enhances the details and color the URSA Mini Pro 12K is renowned for.” 

The Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 12K OLPF, courtesy of Blackmagic Design

Additionally, using the new codec Blackmagic RAW allows you shoot 12K and edit on a laptop. And the senspor’s resolution allows you to reframe shots in post as 8K or 4K.

Social media is another form of virtual reality, with people living to create, consume and share viral content through their smartphone screens, using platforms like TikTok, Instagram and YouTube.

As more videography professionals are being hired to produce content specifically for these platforms, the company released an update for Pocket Cinema Camera owners to shoot cinematic quality content in vertical aspect ratios such as 9:16 and 4:5. 

Petty said the update was in response to customers who love the camera asking for a way to make social media content creation easier. “We’ve been able to do that with this update, not only making it easier to shoot vertical video but also edit it with a new preset in DaVinci Resolve. All customers need to do is rotate the camera.”