Some people are still coming to terms with the fact that 4K is the new 1080i, wait till they get a load of 8K REC.2020 NHK style.

They keep shrinking the camera down. That thing was about the size of a small car about 24 months ago, and now NHK say they will continue to shrink the camera head while continuing to improve the image quality.

Back in May 2012 NHK had a prototype shoulder 8K camera which looks similar to the current version give or take mods on the cladding. But it’s what’s under the hood that appears to have changed, as well as the ability of the camera system to now take off the shelf 35mm full frame lenses. Plus NHK state they are still going to downsize the 8K camera to a more compact size. Remember they put out a 2kg version with Astrodesign, and that thing is a beast with all the other bits needed to make it work.

Reducing the camera size requires the development of both a smaller optical system (lens and color separation prism) and a smaller signal processing system for the camera. While the size of the signal processing system can be reduced through higher levels of integration of its electronic circuits, developing a smaller optical system necessitates either reducing the size of the image sensor itself or incorporating a single-chip system with no prisms. However, reducing the size of the image sensor involves using a smaller pixel, which leads to a drastic decrease in resolution and sensitivity.

NHK Single-chip Compact Super Hi-Vision SHV Camera System

We fabricated a new 2.5-inch 33-megapixel color CMOS image sensor that does not need a prism. This resulted in a new single-chip camera system with a sampling structure (Figure 1) and pixel count equivalent to those of a conventional 1.25-inch 8.3-megapixel four-chip SHV camera (Figure 2).This new camera head weighs 5.3 kg, or less than 10 kg when combined with the lens and viewfinder. Its compatibility with commercially available 35-mm full-frame lenses enables it to be used in various shooting styles. We also achieved a high level of integration of the video signal processing circuit and succeeded in reducing the CCU size to less than half that of the previous model.Our future work will involve enhancing the camera system’s image quality and operability, and we will advance toward the goal of building high-performance single-chip image sensors for shooting full-specification SHV video.

See more about NHK’s SHV 8K camera system HERE.

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