According to Nikkei Asian Review, Panasonic will resume its sensor development business following a four-year hiatus. The focus will be on chips that support ultra-high resolution 8K technology and faster image processing speeds. Although these new sensors will first appear on Panasonic’s own consumer and broadcasting cameras, the company hopes to extend their application to self-driving cars, surveillance systems, smartphones and more.
Why is the arrival of 8K relevant to the photography industry? Well, it means that the line dividing stills and video will become increasingly ambiguous. Take for example Panasonic’s 4K Photo mode. With this feature, you can grab 8MP stills in-camera from 4K footage taken at 30p. While this is good enough for web use and small prints, 8MP is far below the industry standard for still photography. If, however, 8K becomes the standard on future Panasonic models, that resolution would go from 8MP to a whopping 33MP, which would be more than enough for most applications.
Excited? I know I am! 🙂