4K has become all but the industry standard when it comes to camera resolution, but the industry’s already beginning to shift to higher resolutions, with 8K now considered the new bar for developers. We’ve been seeing more and more 8K cameras emerging, like RED’s Weapon 8K VV, and the circle of 8K camcorders is expanding further now after Sharp Corporation’s announcement that they're launching the 8C-B60A (60p), an 8K camera. Sharp has describe this new professional camcorder as “a world’s first” because it’s “integrating capabilities for video shooting and recording, playback, and line output” for 8K.
The 8C-B60A’s able to shoot in 8K due to its large sensor, which is reportedly a Super 35mm-equivalent CMOS image sensor with 33 million pixels. Sharp says that this sensor will enable “efficient 8K (60p) image editing and approximately 40 minutes of continuous recording (when using the bundled 2-TB SSD pack).”
It’s also supposed to capable of live transmissions because it supports real-time output of 8K uncompressed images at the same time that a recording is happening.
In addition, the camera’s said to uses the Grass Valley HQX Codec (4:2:2 sampling and 10-bit recording of 8K (60fps) footage) and its video compression rate runs at 6 Gbps.
With the announcement of this camera, Sharp seems like they are getting serious about 8K. In a press release for the 8C-B60A, they stated that “With this professional-use camcorder as the entry point to the creation of 8K images, Sharp is striving to disseminate 8K image content in its aim of establishing an 8K ecosystem at the earliest possible date.”
This camera is, however, a professional camcorder so it comes with a pretty hefty price tag, running for $77,352 US. It's expected to be released the beginning of 2018 and it will be on display at the Sharp booth at the International Broadcast Equipment Exhibition 2017 (Inter BEE 2017) at the Makuhari Messe in Mihama, Chiba, Japan from November 15 to 17, 2017.
Sharp hasn’t released any sample footage shot by it, so we can’t make any judgements about it other than that it looks interesting and holds promise. It will also be interesting to see how the 8C-B60A stacks up against 8K competitors, like RED.