Sharp’s 8K camera will ship this year with a price point aimed under $4,000

Jan 15, 2020

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Sharp’s 8K camera will ship this year with a price point aimed under $4,000

Jan 15, 2020

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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We haven’t heard much about Sharp’s 8K camera for a while. It was first shown off at CES 2019, a whole year ago, and it’s been pretty much radio silence ever since. At least, until CES 2020 last week where they had one on display, and a few updates to talk about – including a price point $1,000 lower than they said last year.

Alan from Personal View was at CES 2020, and had the chance to talk to them about the new camera, its specs and their plans for its future. On the specs side of things, we know a few things from last year…

  • It shoots 8K resolution h.265 video
  • Type-C USB socket
  • UHS-II SD card slot
  • 5″ Flippy out touchscreen LCD
  • Micro Four Thirds sensor and mount

But that was just an early prototype. Fortunately, it seems at least these specs have stood the test of time over the last year and will be coming to the final release. The most recent pre-production model shown in the video above confirms a few more specs, though. Some of these were mentioned during the original tease last year, but they were mostly only goals at that point.

  • Up to 200mbps at 10-Bit for all resolutions
  • 8K 30fps
  • 4K 60fps
  • 1080p HD 60fps
  • Full-sized HDMI (last year’s prototype
  • The flippy out LCD is actually 5.5″ HD resolution
  • Mini XLR microphone input
  • 3.5mm headphone and audio input jacks

Looking at the video, that massive 5.5″ articulating touchscreen LCD looks very responsive, and they say that the user interface is now complete. At this kind of resolution, though, I’m curious to see what lenses people would use on a camera like that have enough resolving power to justify this kind of resolution. Sure, many would likely be scaling down to 4K to bring back that perception of sharpness, but some will also just crop to a section. So, it’ll need to stand up to scrutiny at full resolution, too.

There’s still no confirmation on the IBIS (whether it’s physical in the sensor or electronic – although the lack of mention might suggest it doesn’t have it at all), but the specs seem to be rounding out quite nicely. But probably the most interesting thing is that the initial $5,000 price tag goal has been reduced to $4,000. Given some of the camera releases over the last year or so, though (particularly the likes of the Pocket 6K), this was almost certainly bound to happen, though. They have to adapt to the market or they will fail to really enter it.

What lens would you throw on something like this?

The Sharp 8K camera is expecting to be released in Japan first, in the second half of 2020, with the rest of the world to follow shortly after. Sharp expects to have a final production model available to demo at NAB 2020 in a couple of months.

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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