Australian Film Gear Company Atomos has announced the results of a five-year development project that has yielded the company’s first 8K image sensor, which it is now shopping around to various cinema camera companies.
The image sensor was created by the technology team and IP that Atomos had acquired from video broadcast equipment giant Grass Valley and is being positioned as a leading-edge, world-class cinema camera image sensor.
The Melbourne-based film gear company made the announcement to a group of investors that the company believes the time is ripe for expanding the tools needed to create ultra-high-definition content.
Outside of offering 8K resolution, Atomos isn’t sharing a lot of details about the new sensor, but the company says its development of the sensor is complete and is in its final form.
Company representatives have even gone so far as to say that technical specs are only available under NDA to potential commercial partners.
The company responded in a comment thread of the announcement that their first image sensor design is “complementary to what Atomos has done historically (as well as not being a big shift away from core products) and creates opportunities for new revenue channels in very similar market segments, addressing very similar end users.”
Meanwhile, the website Image Sensors World echoes this by stating that the company has several companies that are “showing great interest.”
So, the question is will Atomos accept a third-party parts supplier position, or is it seeking inroads into the cinema camera market through a strategic design partnership for a future cinema camera design?
The question is timing. Is Atomos behind the curve when it comes to timing considering that the development of new camera models could take years, and companies like Blackmagic are already offering 12K options?
There are also other cinema cameras out there offering 8K images, like RED, Canon, and Sony.
It really comes down to the design and how well it manages the color gamut and dynamic range. Atomos has a lot of ground to make up before it can claim the mantle of a bonafide competitor in the market space.
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