Sharp's $77,000 camcorder shows that 8K is coming soon

Your 4K TV isn't obsolete ... yet.

Sharp has unveiled an 8K camcorder that is undoubtedly aimed at the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympics, but will be equally at home on a film set. Looking like an old-school ENG news camera, the 8C-B60A captures 8K, 10-bit 60fps video onto a large, Super 35mm sensor that's around the same size as the one on Red's Helium Weapon 8K. The custom 2TB SSD pack, developed in collaboration with Astrodesign, can hold about 40 minutes of 8K video.

With a large sensor and PL mount that can handle lenses from Zeiss, Leica and others, the 8C-B60A should be able to capture beautiful, cinematic images and not just sports and news. To handle such unweildy images (7,680 x 4,320, or about 33 megapixels), Sharp is using Grass Valley's HQX codec that reduces file sizes while requiring minimal processing, making storage, transmissions and editing chores easier.

While other companies like RED and Sony have released 8K cameras, Sharp's model has a lot of features that are clearly for broadcasters. That includes an integrated top-handle and viewfinder, simultaneous recording and output to, say, a truck or studio, and that distinctive ENG look, complete with a shoulder pad.

While $77,000 is clearly a lot, it's chump change for big broadcasters and producers. By unexpectedly introducing a camera like this, Sharp is pushing the 8K agenda ahead for broadcasters, particularly in Japan. Sharp happens to make 8K televisions as well, so once we all get bored of 4K, it wants to have the next thing to sell us.