Sharp are bringing out an 8k camera with a micro four thirds sensor?!
Well this has come out of nowhere! After so much speculation on whether a micro four thirds sensor even could produce 8k video, here we have a prototype camera — from a new manufacturer! — that can?
What a time to be a Micro Four Nerd.
Now, it isn’t cheap. It won’t be for the average user. The predicted price point is under $5000. Yeah. That doesn’t sting any less even if you say it fast, does it?
Official specs aren’t finalised yet, so lots of this is of course subject to change, but it’s an exciting prospect all the same! Full specs are due in a few months time, probably to be formally announced at NAB. The lofty price tag is still not too bad, when you consider a lot of content creators opt for more expensive Sony or Canon setups. not too bad… Still a lot. But then again it’s new tech. There’s nothing to rival it yet.
LOVE: Flippy screen!
I mean, the 8k is nice and all, but Sharp are hitting the ground running with the flippy screen, right?
Is it just me that gets happy at flippy screens?
It will absolutely please the content creators out there for sure.
In Camera Stabilisation
Sharp are unclear just now on what sort of stabilisation it will come with, but they’re talking about some stabilisation, which makes me very happy. Unlike the GH5s, which is unashamedly a professional camera without stabilisation in body, it seems this Sharp offering is geared more towards the everyday consumer — especially given the inclusion of the huge 5” flippy screen.
The camera is tiny!
It reminds me a lot of the black magic cameras, but the design looks a lot more polished. The black magic cameras have some amazing specs but they do look like a ‘My First Camera’ sort of kids toy, with their ridiculous hand grips and weird ergonomics. I think the Sharp — even the prototype — looks very sleek.
Again, this small form factor tells me the camera is aiming squarely at the youtuber market, as well as the professionals.
Also worth considering… what about 8k stock footage? This would be a great, portable option for the stock footage crowd. Ooooh this camera is making me excited already.
8k video recording — frame rates
24p and 30p is in the bag, but the more exciting — unofficial! — Announcement is that they’re hoping to up this to 60p. Wow. If you’re editing on a 1080p timeline, you’ll be able to crop in EIGHT TIMES and slow the footage down to 40% speed. That’s insane. You basically would never have to correctly frame anything ever again.
Even if you’re editing in 4k — because let’s be honest, not many of us will be editing in 8k any time soon — that will still give you 4x crop and 40% speed, at 4k resolution. GRABBY HANDS. Wiggle room is always handy. I shoot most of my professional work in 4k 60p, and edit on a 24p timeline. having 8k 60p would enable me to have the exact same flexibility but edit in 4k.
I’d better get stocked up on some external storage though.
Currently the camera is only single card SD reader. BOO!
You’d hope at this price point that they’d put in two cards. It’s a feature I really value, but I can understand why there might not be room as this device really is compact.
And as an aside you’re going to need some super fast, super large SD cards to cope with all this data.
But this is only a prototype, so maybe this will be changed before release. I really hope they stick another one in if there’s room. It’s almost as if Sharp have ACTUALLY LISTENED TO CONTENT CREATORS. I know that’s a wild and wacky thing to do for a camera manufacturer these days. They all leave at least one thing out that everybody wants. If this camera ends up with dual slots I think it’s well on the way for ticks across the board.
Connectivity — knocked it out of the park. Again.
Full sized HDMI
Like the GH5 range, there is a full size HDMI, which is a brilliant feature to have espeically on a camera body so small.
Mic input: YES
Headphone jack: YES
Mini XLR: Yes!
The audio specs are so cool, especially with the addition of the mini XLR. Tick tick tick, and plenty to keep the professional and the “prosumer” happy.
Sharp 4k camera: Conclusion
Sharp have done something wonderful here. They’ve got the specs to woo the professionals for sure. But with the addition of the small form factor, flippy screen, in camera stabilisation, and the generous audio options, I can see this being a huge hit with youtubers and content creators as well as professionals.
If they add in a dual card reader I think this camera addresses and solves every gripe most youtubers have ever had.
Could this camera be the next GH5? Perhaps, especially if Panasonic are busy focussing on their full frame lineup for the foreseeable future.
Personally, I’m so happy to finally have a definitive answer: can a micro four thirds sensor even produce 8k footage? Apparently it can.
I’m wary of the battery life, given the size of the camera and that huge touch screen. And I’m also aprehensive of the brand. Sharp are an unknown entity in this arena. What will their menus be like? Will the ergonomics be as good as the existing brands? Will the build quality?
I’m also hoping for some robust weather sealing. If someone is going to drop so much money on something like this, I really hope the weather sealing is up to scratch. It’ll be a disappointment if not, given how close this is coming — already! — to pleasing most people spec-wise.
One thing for sure is this: if Sharp pull this off to the best of its potential, this new camera will be one to watch!
And another thing: A NEW PLAYER HAS ENTERED THE GAME. Is micro four thirds dead? Sure doesn’t look like it from where I’m sitting!
Roll on NAB for more info!!! And a huge thank you to all the tech warriors at CES 2019 for unearthing this gem. There are a few reporting on it. I’ll leave some videos below for you to check out.