During the past week, more 4K cameras have been announced than we could have possibly expected. Another 4K cinema camera, the 4KSDI from IO Industries, packs amazing professional features into an absolutely tiny form factor.
The folks at IO Industries have been manufacturing minuscule camera heads for cinema and broadcast use for some time now, but this will be their first foray into the wide world of 4K. The new 4KSDI, which was announced at IBC last week, packs some impressive specs, including a s35 CMOS global-shutter sensor that outputs 4k and UHD 4:2:2 10-bit video up to 60fps.
Here are the base specs for the 4KSDI:
- 4K global shutter CMOS sensor, APS-C / Super-35mm size (22.5mm x 11.88mm)
- DCI 4K 4096×2160 and UHD (3840×2160) output formats
- 10-bit 4:2:2/RAW up to 60p, 10-bit 4:4:4 up to 30p
- Multiple lens mount options (PL, Nikon F, Canon EF)
- Remote settings control with RS485 serial interface or handheld remote control and on-screen menu
- Tri-level sync input for multi-camera synchronization
- Small size: 90x90x60mm, approx. 730g (not including lens mount)
And here's a snippet from the IO Industries press release for the 4KSDI:
The 4KSDI is the first 4K camera designed to get the tight shots in difficult locations that are otherwise impossible with larger camera systems. Despite its size, this small form factor camera delivers the same image quality demanded by professionals. Flexible lens mount options including PL, Nikon F and Canon EF, allow familiar lenses to be used, while an integrated Optical Low Pass Filter helps remove moiré artifacts.
With four 3G/HD-SDI outputs, connection to peripheral devices is made easy. Depending on the output format, either two or four cables are needed to connect the 4KSDI to a growing selection of 4K/UHD field recorders, monitors, and live production switchers. For multi-camera configurations, either stereoscopic or panoramic, precise camera synchronization is possible using a tri-level sync reference.
Because of its simple, compact design (it's basically a sensor in a box with a lens mount), the 4KSDI needs to be connected to either an external recorder or to a production switcher in order for it to be functional. The camera settings are all controlled by an included remote. The 4KSDI is ideally suited to applications where both the smallest possible form-factor and the highest possible image quality are essential to the production. It's likely to see heavy use in cinema for car-related shots, as well as with aerial photography.
There's no telling yet how much the 4KSDI will cost, but if IO Industries' prior camera head, the 2KSDI, is any indication, there's little chance that the 4K head will come in under $10k. The complete 4KSDI system, with an adequate 4K external recorder, will most likely end up in the $15k-$20k range, putting it out of reach for most filmmakers. Then again, this is very much a specialty camera designed for a unique set of applications, so it's almost certainly a rental item for most people.