We've seen plenty of 4K cameras, and we've even heard a whisper or two about 8K, but the quality of a viewing experience isn't tied only to resolution -- frame rate also comes into play, especially with fast-moving subjects. NHK's prototype Super Hi-Vision camera doubles the capture rate from the standard 60Hz to a much speedier 120Hz, yielding sharper motion. While the difference isn't noticeable with static or slow-moving scenes, it certainly comes into play when filming rapid-motion sporting events or panning the camera. The Japan Broadcasting Corporation's latest model was on hand at IBC in Amsterdam, and the advantages of a 120Hz cam were immediately crystal clear.
Filming a rotating image that paired ordinary objects and cityscapes with letters and numbers, you could see the difference instantly, with the 120Hz image on the right side yielding far shaper details, while the left side was often a blurry mess. There's no software smoothing on hand here -- because the higher frequency comes directly from the source, it appears perfectly natural, and much more pleasant. We captured a video demonstrating the expo floor rig, but because our camera doesn't sport the same spec, you won't notice a difference in the hands-on clip after the break. You can see the difference in our stills gallery below, however, and you can take us on our word -- the improvement is quite dramatic.
NHK 120Hz 4K camera eyes-on