Coming from reports from Red Shark News, the long-anticipated Fran 8K Cinema Camera appears to be no more (read our original write-up on the project here). What we do know is that this is in no small part because its manufacturer company Cinemartin has reportedly gone out of business.
Hopefully this will be a lesson for the rest of the industry as the ambitious Fran Cinema Camera was truly a monstrous (if not completely foolhardy) beast of a rumored offering which may have been too good to be possible.
Let’s take a look at the 8K camera that almost was to see where it went wrong, and how both future manufacturers and consumers can learn from this camera’s passing.
The Dangers of Shooting 8K
While prototypes were released for hands-on reviews just a few months ago, the Fran appeared to certainly be a good deal away from completed. Advertised as a competitive cinema camera option, the goal was originally going to be an “8K for $8k” offering, however those prices still seem pretty ridiculous.
(Almost as ridiculous as their preview video which Philip Bloom teased above. You can watch it in all of its glory below.)
From the company’s website, the Frank 8K promised the following specs:
- 8K (7920 x 6024 pixels)
- 47.7 MP G.S.
- 4:4:4 Raw
- Dual ISO
- 15.5 Stops of Dynamic Range
- Internal Downsampling
- RAW + LUT support
- Avid Prores Realtime Post
- Assist Tools
Along with other offerings including “pleasant skin tones” and HDMI, USB & Thunderbolt ports and SD card slots which weren’t all included in the prototypes.
But 8K IS on its WayYet, while news of the Fran 8Ks passing, it’s probably best to assume that this will do little to deter the competition from continuing to chase 8K.
What this news can teach us though, as consumers and professional users in the industry, is that these first generations of prosumer 8K cameras are indeed difficult to pull off. Chasing 8K resolution absolutely pushes camera design theoretical limits and could mean that some of these early 8K options might struggle in first-gen models with over-vexed 8K recording (and other areas which may have fallen to the wayside).
So, unless you're absolutely sure 8K is for you, it might be best to wait for the first wave of 8K to come and go before you settle on the best option to invest in. Otherwise you might end up looking like Fran 8K himself.