Chances are none of us are ready for 8K, (hell, I am not even ready for 4K) but regardless, the industry is pushing 8K (and full-frame) like it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread, so strap yourselves once more, this will be a bumpy ride.
All poor attempts at a joke aside though, Atomos are not joking with their new pro-grade NEON 4K (and soon to be 8K) HDR recorder/monitors, which we reported on in this post here.
Their most recent press release says that “…the Atomos Neon Cinema Series can now be upgraded to 8K with the new 8K Master Control Unit. This will enable recording and monitoring 8K at 60 fps in both good ol’ ProRes and the new ProRes RAW flavour.
Image by Atomos
“We love delivering innovative, disruptive solutions for today’s progressive filmmakers and creators who demand high quality content. And to that end, we’ve once again collaborated with camera and computer ecosystem partners to deliver ProRes RAW at 8K resolution, which is built for the amazing new Mac Pro.” Said Jeromy Young, Atomos CEO.
“We are blown away by the 8K ProRes RAW video recorded with the new Neon Cinema Series monitor-recorder. The detail is incredible, with enough resolution to reframe for 4K and 6K and even enable virtual multi-camera angles from one shot. And the RAW camera sensor data available makes ProRes RAW the ideal format for HDR workflows.” Said Jeromy.
“Creativity knows no bounds and we have to keep up with that mindset. So our driving force at Atomos is to keep working with our valued partners to continue to deliver products that work seamlessly together, giving filmmakers and content creators the best tools available.” Added Jeromy.
The Atomos Neon 8K Master Control Unit is is due to hit the market sometime later in 2019.
Image by RED
But what cinema cameras (apart from RED) shoot 8K now? The Sharp 8K camera? What else?…
Well, it looks like it will be Canon soon, believe it or not.
Some backstory – Canon was slow to adapt to the fad of 4K (yeah, the C500 had it, but no one bought the camera), then they put it on the C300 II, but the FS7 killed it… So since 2015, Canon have been dragging along to just about every trade show a modified C500 monstrosity prototype 8K camera with a thousand SDI ports that outputs a quad-stream 4K to get to 8K onto an external recorder, and now it looks like four years in the making they finally have an 8K camera, that they secretly (or rather purposefully) have been showing off in the background of events such as WWDC…
It looks like Canon is now making good on their promise to go 8K full-speed ahead and skip 6K altogether – a smart move, since 6K is as niche as 2K was back in the day (4K is so much easier to market, and so will 8K be). 6K in my opinion will remain reserved as an oversampling acquisition format for high-end cine cameras like the VENICE, which will deliver in 4K. Oh, and niche full-frame mirrorless cameras like the freshly announced S1H from Panasonic.
But back to Atomos. I’ve always liked their products and innovative attitude – they literally changed the game in the on-camera monitor world.
And if you look closely – Atomos even put the not-yet announced 8K Canon EOS Cinema Camera (aka the Canon C300 Mark III perhaps?) in their promotional materials for the new 8K Neon Master Unit (see photo below and look closely on the lower side of the camera above the big red recording button).
Image by Atomos
Further Proof of Canon’s 8K Cinema Camera
The mysterious 8K Canon Cinema Camera was present at the Apple WWDC 2019 conference mounted on a crane, and was prominently featured in at least 2 Youtube videos by prominent tech Youtubers such as Jonathan Morrison (link to his video here) and Rene Ritchie – link here (be sure to watch in 2160p and full screen in a new window to see the side of the camera in the screenshot below more clearly).
Here is a poor resolution screen grab from Rene Ritchie’s Mac Pro 2019 video (link in previous paragraph) showing the mysterious 8K Canon Cinema EOS camera with that sweet Sigma 18-35mm T2 cine zoom. This confirms reports that the C300 III has been undergoing testing the wild for some time now and apparently was used to capture some of the 8K footage for the new Mac Pro 2019 promotional campaign.
Screenshot from Rene Ritchie’s video (link above)
Since the body resembles that of the C300 II, I can assume this is going to eventually end up being the Mark III version of the camera, which will have some sort of 4K/60 at least or even 4K/120 (dare I dream), and possibly an 8K upgrade path for those that want it.
So, all in all, great stuff from Atomos this Cine Gear, and good for Canon for teasing their new C300 III. Now it’s time for us C300 II users to flog the Mark II’s on ebay before prices tank. Just kidding, who in their right mind will by a used C300 II in 2019?
In the meantime, you should go and check out the awesome NEON range at Atomos.