Dave Altizer from Kinotika made an interesting discovery during his tour of the CES at the Sharp stand: probably the first 8K prosumer camera. It is still a prototype, but the 8K camera will be officially presented at NAB 2019 in April.
Interesting is not only the unexpected manufacturer and the design, which resembles a Pocket 4K Cinema Camera. Also the integrated Mini XLR audio input reminds strongly of the Blackmagic model.
The fold-out 5 inch display should be urgently necessary for 8K sharpness evaluation and according to Dave 8Kp30 with H.265 compression should be written away via an SD card slot.
If the 8K CMOS sensor would support the minimum 8K resolution of 7680 x 4320 Sensel, a Sensel would only have an edge length of 2.25 µm. Nowadays, such small pixels can only be found on smartphone cameras or consumer camcorders with sensors under one inch.
Even in photo mode, Panasonic and Olympus never got involved with such small pixel spacings, because such narrow Sensel structures severely restrict luminous intensity and dynamics. After all, such a sensor has to accommodate 33 megapixels with a 16:9 format.
Perhaps the upcoming sensor technology in 2019 will also be good for another surprising leap. And to get the 8K halfway through the optics at all, you can also use a speedbooster thanks to MFT. Nevertheless, there are good physical reasons why Panasonic will also be using full format in the future. We would therefore rather expect the dynamics of a consumer camcorder with this 8K camera from Sharp.
If you still want to be infected by Dave Altizer&s enthusiasm about his own trade fair find, here&s his very empathic video about the first 8K consumer camera from Sharp...
But that&s only half the story: this Sharp 8K camera was allegedly developed in close cooperation with Foxconn. Ring a bell? At the beginning of the year, Foxconn announced in a rather strange way, together with RED, that it was developing professional 8K cameras for the masses: "We will make cameras that will shoot professional-quality films in 8K resolution but at only a third of current prices and a third of current camera sizes".
This Sharp camera could thus be the result of this cooperation, which RED does not want to market under its own flag. The XLR input and the fact that Sharp is planning NAB as an interview date also speak for a more professional orientation of the camera.
The obvious similarity to the Blackmagic Cinema Camera would then be all the more understandable as the Sharp-Cam could become a direct competitor. Especially if a better codec from RED were installed in the camera. And so RED could also spit Blackmagic into the soup. Because if someone can get something out of small pixels, then RED.
It is also conceivable that RED has already said goodbye to this cooperation and that we "simply" see Sharp and Foxconn trying to secure a good position in the coming 8K camera market with an early 8K consumer camera. But somehow we don&t really want to believe that...