Sharp probably isn't the first name that comes to mind when discussing digital cameras, but company had a surprise for CES 2019 visitors in the shape of an upcoming prosumer 8K MFT camera. The prototype on show was just a reference exhibit, and we only have one official photo of the device but there has been plenty of buzz so here's what we've gleaned from the chatter.
Though 4K UHD monitors and TVs are only just starting to break into consumer living rooms, 8K is already on the way. A Japanese broadcaster recently launched the first 8K TV channel, and CES in Las Vegas had 8K televisions aplenty. And content creators can already remortgage the house for 8K video cameras, but prosumers have few affordable choices.
According to Sean Cannell at the Think Media YouTube channel, Sharp is aiming for a target price of under US$5,000, perhaps even as low as $3,000, for its yet-to-be-named 8K camera. A proprietary Micro Four Thirds CMOS sensor has been confirmed, as has support for MFT lenses (an Olympus lens was mounted to the prototype at CES).
There's a USB-C port as well as full-sized HDMI, and a mini-XLR audio input jack suggests a movie-making target market. Around back is a vari-angle display panel – probably touchscreen – that rocks 5 diagonal inches.
The folks at Digital Camera World report that the camera will use a stabilized CMOS sensor to record 8K video at 30 frames per second using the H.265 codec, with Sharp aiming for 60 fps at full resolution prior to manufacture.
And CES visitor Dave Altizer reckons that the camera will only have a single UHS-II SD card slot, though this may change for the production version.
And that's about all Sharp has given away at present. The camera is still very much a work in progress and the company told us that more details will follow in the coming months.
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