Panasonic Shows off Working 4K Prosumer Camera at CES
Somehow this slipped through all of the news surrounding the CES show in Vegas, but Panasonic showed off a prototype similar to the Sony 4K camera we covered recently. This new 4K model was hooked up to a 4K display and is also capable of being connected to the 20" 4K Windows 8 tablet they were teasing at the show. We already know that professional cameras are heading towards 4K, but all of these consumer/prosumer models are really going to be what pushes the industry forward. Check out a full-size picture of the prototype below.
Here is Videomaker Magazine on the camera, which awarded it the Best of Show for 2013:
With the Panasonic 4k camcorder feeding a live monitor, they went nerdy and got extremely close up. The attempt to identify individual pixels failed. The ultra high resolution is what we're after, and while we don't have a model number for the camcorder, we do know that 4k video was very prevalent at the show. As far as we can tell the Panasonic 4k camcorder should be excellent, and it bears some resemblance to the AG-AC90, so our hope is that the price will too!
This is obviously going to be a small sensor camera just like the Sony, but a company like Panasonic is probably going to sell a lot more of these than a $10K Super 35mm sensor interchangeable lens camera. All we know so far is that the camera will be capable of both 4096 and 3840 x 2160, so it will be compatible with both cinema and UHD standards. I know this isn't a camera that's going to excite a lot of people, but these are the sorts of devices that can inform decision-making for the rest of the lineup -- namely the type of encoding within. If they are going to move to the brand new AVC-Ultra in the more expensive cameras, it's possible this camera could benefit from that codec and actually be released before the large sensor camera -- and possibly help develop NLE workflows ahead of time.
Since both Panasonic and Sony are heavily invested in broadcast cameras, it will be interesting to see if any of these sensors find themselves in the bigger bodies. Most broadcasters might be a ways away from 4K at this point, but a 4K camera like the F65 is already being used in NFL games to get a super close-up of the action without any loss in quality.
The Panasonic 4K AC90 look-alike is certainly not being released tomorrow, but we'll just have to wait and see how things shake out at NAB, as we're likely going to see most manufacturers with full working 4K cameras.