Is 8K really that crazy?

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by Turbofrog, Jan 10, 2016.

  1. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    Panasonic has said they'll be releasing 8K Cameras by the year 2020.

    This caused a lot of stir when it first cropped out, with people suggesting that 8K on a 4/3 sensor would be absolutely crazy, so it was a sign that Panasonic was planning to strike upmarket into the a FF - or at least Super35 - sensor.

    But I'm not sure that conclusion logically follows at all. 8K is 33MP @ 16:9. For a 4:3 aspect sensor, you'd need 44MP. Yeah, that's a lot of pixels, to be sure. That's 2.2 micron pixels, down from the 3.7 micron pixels we've got now.

    But at the same time, people today already love to compare the image quality of the 20MP Sony 1" sensor with the 16MP 4/3 sensor. That sensor punches well above its weight, both in terms of dynamic range and ISO performance, being only about 2/3 EV worse than M4/3 (theoretically it should be a full stop behind).

    That's significant, because that Sony - now a several year old sensor - already has 2.4 micron pixels!

    Is it really shocking to suggest that Panasonic could achieve within 4 years, the same results that Sony was able to achieve 2 years ago?

    More challenging than the sensor performance to me seems to be the readout speed and heat dissipation required, not to mention the responsiveness. But again, 36MP, 42MP, and 50MP cameras exist today, and people don't complain about their responsiveness. I think it's naive to suggest that the CPU and processing in a D800 are any more sophisticated than a top-of-the-line Panasonic, a company that has a long history in electronics.

    And again, the Sony RX100 IV and RX10 with their stacked CMOS designs are already most of the way there. Granted, those sensor designs may be years ahead of any competitor on the market (except for Samsung - RIP! :( ) but Panasonics got years to go for their planned line-up.

    And on the computing front, think of what your smartphone or laptop was like 4 years ago, and think about what it is now. Think about the price of solid-state drives. I paid $150 for a Kingston 120GB SSD 3 years ago, and spent the same amount for a (faster!) Sandisk Ultra 480GB this year. In 4 years, will we have 1-2 TB SSDs at consumer-friendly prices in order to handle 8K footage with aplomb?

    Am I crazy, or is 8K not so crazy after all?
  2. Taurahe

    Taurahe Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 24, 2015
    Your crazy..... But I don't think 8k is crazy
    • Funny Funny x 1
  3. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler Subscribing Member

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Hi, what if they went with a circular sensor again? I believe it'd be a bit wider, so the pixels don't have to be quite as small, right?

  4. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    It requires 33mp in a 16:9 rectangle where the diagonal is covered by the lens' image circle. Fitting 33mp into a circle does nothing useful.
  5. DaveEP

    DaveEP Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 20, 2014
    8K will come. Do we need it? Hmmm..... for video, frankly, no. For photo from 8K video, now that's something people will likely jump all over, but I want raw, not jpeg ;)

    The other thing we need are faster write speeds on cards. 4K is OK when heavily compressed, but 8K is going to a whole new level (and 8K raw even more) and I really don't want to have some new and very expensive card system like Nikon / Sony are currently using. That has to come down in price - significantly - before it becomes mainstream consumer.
  6. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2012
    David Dornblaser
    Of course we need, it is the highest resolution that we can see. Progress, my friends, does wait for our budgets to keep up.
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2016
  7. narkotix

    narkotix Mu-43 Regular

    May 31, 2015
    if they can squeeze a few years back a 41mp sensor in a nokia phone which was 1/1.2 inch (10.67 x 8 mm) then I'm sure anything is possible these days. With modern NR and other processor trickery then I'm sure they will achieve it.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    They put that same 41MP into an even smaller 2/3" sensor the next year, too...

    Still the gold standard for smartphone imaging in many ways, though the processing power was not truly up to snuff in the Lumia 1020...
  9. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 10, 2010
    Kiillarney, OzTrailEYa
    too slack to do the maths, but would a multi aspect sensor like the GH1/2 assist enough?
  10. DoofClenas

    DoofClenas Who needs a Mirror! Subscribing Member

    Nov 9, 2012
    Traverse City, MI
    8k and 16k are not crazy at all. It's just a matter of time (maybe years).
  11. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    I think 8k is just what we'll get. Probably adding pixels. But maybe they will add an HDR mode where pixels, or pixels rows, are exposed for a different amount of time giving you a lower resolution image but with lower noise and better DR. I suppose we'll start to see tricks like this as soon as the technology allows to control single pixels. Another nice thing would be a dynamic color filter: when shooting something red more red pixels are used in that zone. Or pixels with variable ND micro lenses. Then multi-shot mode, with global shutter: hi-res, low-noise, etc. Eventually we'll get organic and graphene sensors, unless something better comes before. I'd like to see hexagonal pixels too :)

    Eventually they will add light based connections: a single light beam that goes out from the cpu, pass through routers and optical fibers unaltered and reaches another cpu (silicon photonics), with less heat and power too. This will take a little more, but not so much (here).

    There are a lot of things that can be done keeping compatibility. I just hope batteries will get really better too because all this tricks want power.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Tilman Paulin

    Tilman Paulin Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 10, 2013
    8K is ultimately probably possible on any sensor size.
    But is it really necessary - especially for home use?

    Up until recently movies for theatrical release have been digitized for digital postproduction at 2k - and nobody sat in a theatre and complained :)
    Currently a lot of the digital postproduction on movies is done in 4k - yet some of it is still done at 2k... and I don't think anyone notices the jump in resolution in a mixed workflow.
    When we worked on the digital effects of the IMAX sequences of a 'fairly successful' summer blockbuster a few years ago we determined in our tests that working at 8K would be ideal for preserving the resolution of 65mm film, but that we could get away with 5.6k for efficiency's sake - without visible loss of quality.

    So unless one is planning to project at the size of an IMAX screen, I'm not sure one really needs 8k :)

    (P.S.: and even then... IMAX is currently projecting at 4k in their "Digital Imax"-theatres)
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2016
    • Agree Agree x 1
  13. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    I tend to agree that for movie production purposes, 8K is not a particularly necessary output medium. But I think in much the same way that people are using 4K today to produce highly flexible 1080p movies, 8K can be used as essentially an "ideal capture" medium. From that, you can take 33MP stills. You can stabilize handheld footage giving you a huge amount of leeway for 4K output. You can punch in, or pan across the same frames Ken Burns-style) with no quality degradation. Or you can simply downsample - after all, after Bayer demosaicing you really need essentially 24MP to produce full-color 4K pixels.

    So it sounds like there's a lot to recommend an 8K sensor, really.

    I'm not even on the 4K train yet (got a colour-calibrated 1080p Dell a couple years back...) but it's always interesting to think about where technology will head, and why...
    • Agree Agree x 1
  14. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    It would be significantly more efficient than strict cropping of 4:3, that's for sure. You'd still need a 37MP sensor, though.

    (Roughly 6766x5086 @ 4:3, 7280x4320 @ 16:9 for 8K, and 7280x5086 for the full sensor)
    • Informative Informative x 1
  15. Biro

    Biro Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 8, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Right now the only practical use I can see for both 4K and 8K video would be for theatrical viewing and production, and possibly for television production. I certainly don't need either for home use and no U.S. broadcaster can transmit 4K or 8K. Heck, they can't even broadcast 1080p. And I have to wonder about bandwidth demands if a service like Netflix begins to offer 4K and 8K.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  16. Speedliner

    Speedliner Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Mar 2, 2015
    Southern NJ, USA
    I wouldn't sell the farm to become 4K capable, but if buying a new camera I'd want 4K. It will be standard in a few years just as HD is now. It will be because manufacturers need a reason to drive upgrades. It will soon be impossible to buy a tv or PC without 4K.

    That aside, I'd film all of my personal videos in 4K now because one day I'll want to see my kids and important events in the fullest possible detail.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  17. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2012
    David Dornblaser
    There is plenty of Indie 4K content out there. Netflix is committed to 4k, but not 8K, and they have started to offer content. List of 4K Titles on Netflix - Whats On Netflix

    Netflix chief explains why 8K TVs are a con

    CES 2016: Hands On With Sony's Troubling X930D And Dazzling 'Backlight Master Drive' 4K HDR TVs
  18. Carbonman

    Carbonman Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jul 10, 2014
    Vancouver BC
    I agree with Netflix. What people see as amazing in Best Buy and other reailers when they look at 4K TVs is the brightness and contrast, not the resolution. HDR is the way to go. Most residential television installations would be fine if they only managed to use 720p.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  19. Biro

    Biro Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 8, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Sometimes these industry-driven technology advancements work out, sometimes they don't. There was a big effort behind 3D television but it fell flat on its face. Most consumers simply weren't interested.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2016
  20. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    I've never seen a definitive comparison, i.e., three Monitors, same contrast, etc., same shot in 1080, 4K and 8K.
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