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.
It looks like the race is on. After Xiaomi’s code was torn apart recently, suggesting that they’re working on a phone capable of shooting 8K 30fps video, it looks like Samsung’s S11 may be capable of the same. The team at XDA Developers, the same team that delved into the Xiaomi, has found hints that the S11 will bring 8K video after looking at the latest Samsung Camera App (presumably one that fixes this problem, too).
They do stress that just because evidence may exist in an Android Package (APK) file does not mean that it will necessarily come, as these features are currently unimplemented and may be pulled at any point in the future. But that it’s appeared now in two major competing manufacturers smartphones does seem to suggest that it’s on the way at some point.
So, there’s still no news from Sony about the mythical A7S III, but they are working on 8K sensors for smaller cameras. In this case, though, it’s not full-frame, or even APS-C, but Micro Four Thirds. They have just released the spec sheet for a new IMX492 47-megapixel Micro Four Thirds sensor that offers 17:9 and 4:3 aspect ratios. And it offers them in 8K resolution at up to 30 frames per second.
We’re only just starting to see 8K cinema cameras come down to more reasonable prices, and they’re still way beyond the needs of 99% of video shooters out there. But don’t let that deter you. According to the team at XDA Developers who’ve been looking at the source code for Xiaomi’s latest MIUI 11 source code, Xiaomi’s working on getting 8K into a smartphone.
We first mentioned the Pilot Era last month after we spotted it at NAB 2019 in Las Vegas. It’s a 360° camera with some serious muscle. It shoots 8K footage through four f/2.2 aspherical fisheye lenses onto four 12-megapixel Sony CMOS sensors. It’s Android-powered, has in-camera stitching all the way up to 8K and half a terabyte of built-in storage.
Now, their Indiegogo campaign has gone live, with prices starting at $1,999 (the $1,799 super early birds are already all gone). Unlike many IGG campaigns, though, the first production run has already happened and they will be shipping next month.
Five years ago, filmmaker and YouTuber, Brannigan Carter posted a video called “You don’t NEED 4K“. And five years ago he was probably right. It was only just starting to come out, the cameras were still ridiculously expensive to acquire, as was the kit to play it back. Unless you were a big Hollywood production company, there just wasn’t all that much point.
But here we are today in 2019. Just about every new camera coming out has 4K video. And 8K is on the way. And now Brannigan is back with a follow-up video saying that we still don’t need 4K, and that 8K is “crazy talk”. Let’s talk a little about that.
It has no name, right now, other than “8K Video Camera”, but this 8K Micro Four Thirds camera from electronics giant Sharp is currently on display in prototype form at CES 2019. It was spotted by Dave Altizer at Kinotika discovered wandering through the CES show floor. And he decided to make a short video to tell us all about it.
After a recent leak over new 8K full frame Sony sensors, as well as the spec sheet for one of them, now we’re seeing information about Sony’s new “XEVC” codec, which offers 8K 12-Bit RAW 24fps video at up to 240Mbps and 1080p 10-Bit video up to 240 frames per second.
Leaked through both Sony Alpha Rumors and EOSHD, the XEVC codec seems to be based around H.265 (HEVC) Version 2. It supports Bayer RAW encoding, 8K and 4K resolution at bitrates low enough for even today’s current SD cards. You might not even need UHS-II.
With all the talk of potential 8K Sony cameras recently, there have been a lot of cries of “Overkill!”, “Way too much”, “We’ll never need that!”. On the other hand, Japanese broadcaster NHK just launched the world’s first 8K TV channel. And it kicked off with Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey.