Atomos has developed an 8K image sensor for cinema cameras
Atomos, an Australian company most known for its line of Ninja video monitors and recorders, has announced it’s developed a new 8K video sensor designed for use in cinema cameras. The new 8K sensor was revealed in an announcement to investors earlier this month, but only caught our eyes today, thanks to Image Sensors World.
Atomos doesn’t reveal any technical specifications for the 8K sensor, but notes it’s the result of the company’s acquisition of broadcast equipment firm, Grass Valley, five years ago. Specifically, Atomos says the ‘intellectual property rights and technical team’ behind Grass Valley was the driving force behind the development of this ‘leading-edge 8K video sensor.’
Atomos ‘is exploring opportunities to commercialise its unique IP and is in discussion with several camera makers,’ but no definitive information is given as to when we could see this sensor in action, nor what camera it might be inside. Development is finished for the sensor though, so aside from legalities and the logistics of getting this new sensor inside of a camera, it should be ready to go.
‘[Atomos is] exploring opportunities to commercialise its unique IP and is in discussion with several camera makers’
In its announcement, Atomos suggests ‘8K sensor technology is extremely rare,’ but that isn’t exactly the case. Canon, Nikon and Sony all have cameras capable of shooting 8K video with their Canon EOS R5/R5 C, Nikon Z9 and Sony a1, respectively.
It’s more to do with the intensive hardware demands of 8K shooting and resource-heavy workflow required to capture and edit 8K footage, not necessarily the lack of sensors. And that’s to say nothing of the lack of widespread 8K display technology to make the most of all the pixels being captured. There is, of course, the advantage of being able ‘crop in’ on 8K video for image stabilization or post-processing purposes, but even those use-cases are a bit heavy-handed for all but the most high-budget projects.
Still, it’s nice to see another sensor manufacturer pop up alongside the likes of Canon, ON Semiconductor, Sony and a few others. We’ve contacted Atomos for additional details, but are yet to hear back as of publishing this article.