Panasonic has decided to resume image sensor development in order to speed up the drive for 8K video. The company suspended its development program a few years ago, the report says, but now Panasonic is preparing to invest ¥10bn/$80.8m to get its R&D back up to speed.
The renewed effort is said to be aimed at producing sensors for 8K video output for its consumer and broadcast cameras, with production models expected on the market by 2018.
Recently, Panasonic has used its 4K video functions for a range of applications in addition to video, such as 4K Photo, where a still is extracted from a 30fps burst, and the Post Focus feature that allows users to change what is in focus after the picture has been taken. Presently, the stills extracted from clips made using these modes are only 8MP, but if that clip were recorded at 8K video (around 7680 x 4320) the stills would be in the region of 33MP, depending on the image proportions chosen. This is very much in line with Panasonic's previous promise that we will be extracting 33MP still images from its cameras by the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.
The report says that the introduction of 8K video in cameras will eliminate the boundary between videos and stills. It will certainly change the way images are created in quite a dramatic way.