January 19, 2013

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.

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Your Comment

19 Comments

4k prose

Unless companies push their
prices way low
on current products
I'll stash my cash
for NAB.

'Seems like this is
a breaking year for gear
that could have
long-lasting impact.

January 19, 2013

2
Reply
cheetah_4k

... burma shave.

January 19, 2013

-4
Reply

canon will have to rethink some of their product line and it's pricing if it is to keep ahead - I'm sure there are quite a few surprises in store this year ;)

January 19, 2013

0
Reply
Mitch

Canon is the worst company out there. Seriously, you can't even download the EOS UTILITY for your camera if you have lost the CD. And by the way, who the hell uses CD's in 2013....

January 19, 2013

1
Reply
mike

Go Panasonic!

January 19, 2013

-1
Reply
Awkward

I've always liked Panasonic. Their pro camcorders are really good and very practical. I'd like to say that this new 4k camcorder would help bring down prices, but it probably won't. I think the BMCC and other similar cameras will play a larger role in that.

January 19, 2013

1
Reply
Some Guy

I think Panavision should step up their game already!

January 19, 2013

0
Reply
Cody A

Agreed about Panavision. But I think Panavision was playing the long game and has been waiting till processing technology progressed, and storage came down in price. Now they can introduce new Panavision models without having to invest in R&D as much. Some cell phone processors can handle 4k decoding now, so the bulk of the cost should be in the sensor and software.

January 19, 2013

1
Reply
Some Guy

I want a new AF-4000!

January 19, 2013

0
Reply

Will the image really be any sharper than full HD?
Is the lens quality on these camcorders that high?

January 19, 2013

0
Reply
Reinis Kaulins

have you ever heard of a lens that maxes out at around 2 megapixels? Because that's the resolution of "full HD."

these lenses will be just fine.

January 19, 2013

1
Reply
dv

Was kinda hoping that their consumer 4k camera would have a m4/3 mount :(

January 19, 2013

1
Reply

I think that the consumer electronics giants are grasping at straws. Last year at CES it was 3D TVs .This year it's 4Ks turn ... and there was no 3D to be seen. What straw will they will they grasp at next year??

Inexpensive 720HD TVs are killing the TV market. Because No-One-Cares about high-cost quality that they can't see. For most people good-enough is more than they need.

January 19, 2013

-1
Reply
c.d.embrey

Hell, even 4K for cinema use isn't exactly something anyone is clamoring over, considering the Alexa does just fine at 2.5K - even when translated to those faux-IMAX prints. We're basically reaching the upper limits of perceived technical quality...and manufacturers have good reason to be nervous.

January 19, 2013

0
Reply
Swested

Dream on pedro, dream on. If people thought that they have reached their upper limits in technology you would be sitting somewhere writing with a pencil on paper....

January 19, 2013

1
Reply
mike

4K isn't 3D. Love it or hate it it is the next format resolution.

January 19, 2013

1
Reply

You actually can download the EOS utility...and I am not defending Canon...

January 25, 2013

1
Reply
Augusto Alves d...

I recently saw true 4k shown on LG's 4k 82 inch panel. Absolutely breathtaking!

The sooner the big players ditch 3D and devote all resources to affordable 4k cameras/DSLR's the better!

February 4, 2013

2
Reply
Skeptikal

When is the release date?
What is the price?
I was about to buy the Panasonic AC90, but I'll wait for this 4K to be released.

February 10, 2013

-1
Reply
MovieBuff