September 17, 2014

The 4KSDI from IO Industries Is the Smallest 4K Cinema Camera We've Seen to Date

IO Industries 4KSDI w/ Zeiss CP2
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.

IO Industries 4KSDI

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.     

Your Comment

27 Comments

This is an invitation to build your own.

September 17, 2014 at 3:50PM

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Jonathon Sendall
Stories
1743

yes... :D... in two years we will be building a camera like a legos... :P

September 18, 2014 at 2:19AM, Edited September 18, 2:19AM

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Ragüel Cremades
Film producer and director
7761

Wow, imagine that. I would be spending whole weekends to make my own camera. Hope the sensors are soon available for public use, or at least the coding (it must be very complex, though) (:

September 18, 2014 at 11:34AM

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Amaury Salas
Director, Director of Photography, Colorist.
227

yeah....

September 19, 2014 at 2:38AM

12
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Ragüel Cremades
Film producer and director
7761

yes..1080 will soon become old school..

September 18, 2014 at 4:21PM, Edited September 18, 4:21PM

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Arjun Kukreti
Cinematographer/Editor
133

If someone were to make something like this that was affordable, I would be all about it.

September 17, 2014 at 3:58PM

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Angus Lyne
Filmmaker and VFX generalist
315

Ditto.

September 17, 2014 at 7:25PM

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Namar Burton
Writer-Director-Cinematographer
166

Yeah wish someone like blackmagic would try something like this. Just a sensor with decent connections is all we need! The ursa is ridiculous, no one will be hauling the huge hunk of metal around in two years even if it can be user upgraded.

September 19, 2014 at 4:26PM

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matt
915

Looks like another system built on he CMOSIS CMV12000 sensor. We have enough of those already in use (BM4K) or in the pipeline (Ursa, Cion, Axiom). We really need better dynamic range and low-light performance.

September 17, 2014 at 4:32PM, Edited September 17, 4:32PM

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Could be a viable option to sell with some of our cine remote drones for a dedicated cine cam. I hope the price is decent, as there's plenty of options to choose from nowadays, at least for aerial cinematography using multicopters.

Jonathon is right, these could be a type of "diy" cameras for the rest of us, again if price is right.

September 17, 2014 at 4:38PM

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J. Fandino
Drone sales at www.providentialsystems.com
95

For $10-15K, you can get any of several 4K cameras completely assembled for you. Why settle for one whose specs are bound to be so limited?

September 17, 2014 at 8:07PM

0
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What do you say, 1 year before mid-range phones provide same video quality?

September 17, 2014 at 5:54PM

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Anna Lorentzon
Producer, Director
255

Now this would be a cool retrofit with an old Sony Bata cam. Wonder if the odyssey 7q would record the signal.

September 17, 2014 at 7:47PM

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Anthony F. Marino III
produce shoot edit
300

For those wanting modules, this + an Odyssey 7Q + power source + media could be a flexible option, if it were cheap enough. Although, because it's been designed for niche use, I suspect they don't need to make it cheap enough to sell to the masses, which is a shame.

September 17, 2014 at 9:16PM

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Ben Howling
Writer / Director
558

Not sure if they would all play nice together but I'm imagining this thing on a tiny rig with a Atomos Shogun and some kind of battery pack..

September 17, 2014 at 9:25PM, Edited September 17, 9:25PM

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Brenton Potts
1 man band
148

Exactly what I was thinking. Anker makes a 20,000mAh battery pack I was planning on getting to use with my BMPCC...

September 18, 2014 at 6:23PM, Edited September 18, 6:23PM

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Timothy McClanahan
videography student
114

Seems like a nice little unit for $1,500. For $10k, though, they're having a laugh.

September 17, 2014 at 9:40PM

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For a Super35mm size sensor with global shutter, 4:2:2 at 60fps, and you think that would be available for only $1,500? Get real.

September 18, 2014 at 6:24PM

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Timothy McClanahan
videography student
114

I think 1,500 isn't that far off really. An a7s isn't much more expensive and it has lots more tech built in, such as a screen and evf!

September 19, 2014 at 4:30PM

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matt
915

I'm feeling that today the bottle neck to the camera development -- price and capability-wise -- is the sensor. And the camera improvements we are seeing so far are rather sqeezing the juice from the same sensor tech rather than giving us better sensors.

Amirite?

September 17, 2014 at 11:16PM

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Alex Zakrividoroga
Director
3843

I'm sure if they had better sensors on hand, they'd be offering them, since everyone wants an edge. But if the sensor developers of the CMV12000 want to get every penny back on their R&D costs, plus profits, I don't blame them for holding back any advances. The only real competitors in this price range are Sony's in-house developed sensors, so it's not like anybody is forcing their hand.

If someone can't make a good film on this sensor, then I don't think the next generation of sensors is going to make any difference for them.

September 18, 2014 at 12:19AM

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Ben Howling
Writer / Director
558

We doesn't know how much will be the final price yet .... maybe it's not expensive... who knows....

September 18, 2014 at 2:21AM

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Ragüel Cremades
Film producer and director
7761

Hi All that are ready to read this. firstly I should add that I am the European Sales Manager for IO Industries - so my opinion may be biased, it also maybe fact.
Having just got back from IBC myself - where the product had a great launch and was generally received with extreme positivity I am certain the 4KSDI has a great future.
List price is still tbc, but expect no more than 8k USD and this includes the PSU, Hand-held remote and a lens mount of the customers' choice; which is currently limited to PL, EF and F and all are mechanical mounts only and with no lens control.
Image quality - dare I suggest that comments are passed after a test of the 4KSDI, but I do understand the concern.

Thanks for reading,
Stuart

September 18, 2014 at 5:24AM

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Stuart Chaston
EMEA Sales Manager
74

Mechanical only, ouch. Thanks for chiming in with real info, though; it's appreciated.

September 18, 2014 at 6:26PM

5
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Timothy McClanahan
videography student
114

Can we stop making cameras like this please. I want more ENG style large sensor cameras. Im tired of spider rig bull shit. I understand this can fit inside the butthole of a "DP out of high school" but who really needs this camera?

September 19, 2014 at 8:40AM

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Caleb Rasak
Camera Operator / AC
334

haha!

September 19, 2014 at 4:31PM

5
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matt
915

All this competition building new cameras can only be good for us.

September 19, 2014 at 10:25AM

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Luna Videography
Videographer
604

every time I read posts like this I get dissapointed... because the price tag is always right after the read ;-)

If it was on top I wouldn't even care to read on for this is way out of my league.

The one thing remaining is a thing that I am very thankful about: I rather stick to composing my music! :-)

Best wishes, Arnold Veeman | music composer | www.arnoldveeman

January 22, 2015 at 11:57AM

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Arnold Veeman
Music Composer | Film Editor
127