The Canon EOS R5 may be about to launch with impressive video powers, but it won’t be the only small 8K camera in town for very long – Sharp has just put the long-rumored 8K Video Camera on its official website for the first time.
Described on Sharp’s Japan website as the ‘Small 8K video camera’ and ‘under development’, the unnamed product certain lives up to its billing – the squat design makes it look very much like a Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera.
Like the latter, it will also feature a Micro Four Thirds sensor, which is where it fundamentally differs from the full-frame Canon EOS R5.
Still, the rumored specs, rounded up by Photo Rumors, suggest it could otherwise be very competitive for those looking for a small 8K camera, assuming it launches globally. It will apparently shoot 8K/30p, 4K/60p at 200Mbps at 10-bit, and provide pro-pleasing features like a full-size HDMI out, a mini XLR input for pro microphones, plus both headphone and audio jacks.
The Sharp 8K Video Camera, which still doesn’t have an official name, has been a mysterious beast – it first appeared in early 2019, before resurfacing again at CES 2020 with improved specs and an expected price tag of under $4,000. That was the target set by a Sharp spokesperson an interview picked up by 43 Rumors.
Interestingly, the spokesperson also said that the camera was due for release in the “second half of 2020” in Japan, with a US launch following shortly afterwards. So while the Canon EOS R5 will likely beat it to market, Sharp’s camera could follow relatively soon afterwards in the US.
Why shoot in 8K?
With two small 8K cameras preparing to launch in the second half of 2020, the big questions are – who are they for, and why shoot in 8K?
Right now, there are very few consumer 8K TVs or ways to watch video at that resolution, but shooting in 8K can bring other benefits. One of the main ones is the ability to crop the frame and get different 4K angles from the same shot.
In other words, this effectively gives videographers a second camera in some shots, plus a small, relatively future-proofed companion to their bulkier, full-size cinema cameras.
The Sharp 8K Video Camera is actually shaping up to be even smaller than the Canon EOS R5, while having a much bigger 5.5in articulating screen, so in this sense it’s shaping up to be more of a Blackmagic rival.
We’re expecting the EOS R5 to a hybrid all-rounder that catches the eye of both stills photographers and videographers, which is why it’s such an exciting prospect. But it’s certainly good to see more 8K interchangeable lens competition on the horizon from the likes of Sharp.