When representatives from Japan’s national broadcaster reached out to IO Industries (IOI) about needing small cameras for their 8K broadcast of the 2020 Olympics, IOI knew just what to suggest. Designs were already underway for a new member of the popular point-of-view (POV) camera series IOI already provided to sports broadcasters and video production studios for years. Fast forward, the 2020 Olympics were unfortunately postponed, but IOI’s new 8KSDI camera was announced nonetheless, paving the way for the next evolution of live broadcasting.
As its name implies, the camera combines 8K (and UHDTV2) capture with live SDI output. Its design makes it suitable for use in professional live broadcast and video production environments. Other applications include virtual reality content creation (180°/360° VR), visual effects, remote monitoring, and wide-area surveillance.
The 8KSDI is a compact, single-piece miniature video camera designed for low latency connection over 12G/6G-SDI to other infrastructure such as video recorders, monitors, or distribution equipment. IOI is pitching the 8KSDI against larger, often more expensive 8K cameras despite its small size.
At the heart of the 8KSDI is a new global shutter CMOS image sensor from ON Semiconductor, the XGS 45000. The sensor combines high resolution with high image quality and uniformity, eliminating motion artifacts and flash banding effects. In-camera processing features include manual or automatic exposure control, ISO and gamma settings, color and saturation adjustment, and detail enhancement. For applications not yet needing 8K resolution, an in-camera scaling mode enables 4K/UHD output at up to 60fps via single-link 12G/6G-SDI. This highly detailed 4K/UHD output mode exceeds the measured resolution of 4K cameras with native 4K image sensors.
The new camera is shipping today with two choices for the factory-installed lens mount, either F-mount or Active EF-Mount. Depending on the mount option, retail prices vary from 8k to 10k USD. The F-mount is a passive, mechanical-only mount requiring manually adjustable lenses. The Active EF-mount electronically controls any attached EF-mount lenses, providing remote control over the iris and focus.
Japanese lens manufacturer Entaniya recently released a new PL lens mount adapter for the 8KSDI, allowing their popular HAL 220 PL super-fisheye lens to be used with the 8KSDI camera (as well as any other PL-mount lenses). The HAL 220 PL is designed to cover Super 35 format sensors with 8K resolution, providing up to 220° horizontal FOV. This lens has a recommended retail price of 1,150,000 JPY, which is approx. 10.5K USD.
The PL lens mount adapter for the 8KSDI retails for 170,000 JPY, or approx. USD 1,575.
Some useful Entaniya links:
We asked IOI why they believed this new camera represented a breakthrough compared to what was available on the market. They pointed out that “many internal-recording cameras with 8K sensors like the RED/Z-Cam/Kinefinity do not have live 8K outputs. Indeed, they usually offer resolutions only up to 4K, using HDMI or sometimes SDI so they cannot be used in live 8K broadcasting situations.” IOI told us that the list of 8K-capable cameras with 8K live outputs is growing but is still small, including large pro broadcast cameras like these:
And a selection of smaller-size cameras mainly from one vendor:
When paired with an 8K recording deck (like https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/ca/products/hyperdeckextreme), the 8KSDI enables production-quality (ProRes HQ) 8K 60fps recording. IOI stressed that the smaller form-factor offers advantages over existing full-featured 8K cameras from RED, Blackmagic (URSA), or Sony (CineAlta).
We couldn’t yet find any customer feedback, but IO Industries sent us this verbatim response from an early beta-tester:
“We evaluated the image quality very carefully. We could do some pixel-accurate image tests as we have an 8K, 6m wide projection screen. The camera is very sharp with high contrast scenes and produces real 8K quality. In lower contrast scenes, it is not visible so much, but the overall picture quality is excellent. It needs some color tweaking to get a production-grade image, but it can be done with ease! We need to pay attention to the camera’s dynamic range for high dynamic scenes, but it is a bit better than most broadcast cameras.
We also noticed that the camera has appreciable high sensitivity and gain that can be set to a high level with low noise. The noise itself is producing a lovely gentle grain on the image, adding a Cinema feeling;)
Also, a very nice feature is the short startup time, the low noise level of the fan, and low heat production.”An early beta tester
It should also be noted that the 8KSDI is considerably less expensive than alternative 8K broadcast cameras. The 8KSDI is available in stores, usually within 2 to 3 weeks for order. Indeed, these aren’t the kind of cameras you’d find in stock. They are more of a specialist camera chosen for particular purposes.
|Sensor||ON Semiconductor XGS45000|
|Output Modes||8K, UHDTV2, 4K, UHD, up to 60 fps|
|Optical Format||Super 35 (8K/4K: 29.6mm diagonal; UHDTV2/UHD: 28.2mm diagonal)|
|Sensor Type||CMOS w. global electronic shutter|
|Sensor Options||Color (Bayer) or Monochrome|
|Dynamic Range||67.5 dB|
|Output Interface||Quad-Link 12G/6G-SDI, Single-Link 12G/6G-SDI (HD-BNC connectors)|
|Output Format||10-bit 4:2:2 (Y’Cb’Cr’) or RAW (Bayer)|
|Exposure Control||Automatic (adjusts exposure, gain and/or iris if available) or manual exposure|
|Image Enhancement||Gamma (1D LUTs), master pedestal control, denoise filter, detail enhancement filter|
|Color Control||Auto white balance or calibrated presets, color correction matrix, RGB offsets, saturation control|
|Synchronization||Tri-level sync input|
|Camera Configuration||RS-485; use handheld remote for OSD, USB adapter for PC software or direct ASCII protocol, or 3rd party remote control panels (RCP)|
|Dimensions||62.0 mm x 62.0 mm x 154.7 mm (WxHxD, with F-mount)|
|Lens Mount||F-mount or Active Canon EF-mount, or 3rd party mount adapters|
|Camera Mounting Points||Top/Bottom: 1/4″-20; All sides: 2x M4 x 0.7|
|Weight||715 g (with F-mount, no lens)|
|Power Requirements||Approx. 14W @ 12V DC|
|Operating Temperature||-10°C to 50°C, 20-85% humidity (non-condensing)|
|Storage Temperature||-40°C to 85°C, 10-90% humidity (non-condensing)|