Panasonic unveils the first 8K camera with an 'organic' sensor

No rolling shutter and a wide dynamic range.

Earlier this year, Panasonic unveiled a so-called organic sensor that would give cameras better dynamic range and low-light sensitivity. Now, it has unveiled a camera to go with it, the AK-SHB810, which will be the world's first to pack an 8K organic sensor. Panasonic claims it will have a "wide dynamic range" compared to regular CMOS cameras, and packs a global shutter that records the entire image at once, eliminating so-called "jello" or rolling shutter.

In contrast to regular single-layer CMOS sensors, an organic sensor has two layers: an organic photoconductive film and separate circuit. That allowed Panasonic to incorporate high-speed noise cancellation in the circuit, while increasing light-gathering powers in the organic light-sensing layer.

Rolling Shutter

That allows for better dynamic range, even in shooting situations with a lot of contrast, like a stadium in bright sunlight with the audience sitting in the stands, Panasonic said. On top of that, as long as the shutter is higher than 120th of a second, the entire sensor is read instantly rather than line-by-line like in a DSLR or mirrorless camera. That "global shutter" can thus eliminate rolling shutter effect, which skews vertical lines on fast-moving objects.

All of this is good news for camera fans. Though it's essentially a reference machine, Panasonic intends to start selling the device in the fall of 2019 at an unknown price (probably a lot). However, the technology should start trickling down to consumer products eventually, yielding cameras with much better dynamic range that perform better in low-light situations and have no rolling shutter. It's also rare to see another company trumping sensor leader Sony, creating some much-needed competition in that area.