Hitachi Develops New 8K Camera with Extended Dynamic Range

Hitachi Kokusai SK UHD8060B 1b

The new Hitachi SK-UHD8060B dockable 8K UHDTV camera is built with a new organic photoconductive CMOS sensor to capture 8K video with expanded dynamic range.

Existing 8K camera sensors are limited in their dynamic range and sensitivity by the size of their pixels, which must be much smaller than those of 4K and HD cameras to accommodate 8K’s higher resolution. Using a CMOS image sensor with an organic photoconductive film (OPF) enables a higher saturation charge compared to silicon photodiodes, thus increasing dynamic range without the diminished image quality inherent in previous range expansion approaches.

The SK-UHD8060B achieves greater than 400% dynamic range, enhancing the effectiveness of its support for the Hybrid Log Gamma (HLG) HDR specification, and combines it with built-in signal-to-noise management to optimise visual performance.

As dynamic range is a measure of the amount of light that the camera is able to transform to an electronic signal, taking 700mV as 100% – a normal video signal – 400% means that the new sensor is able to output 2800mV of signal, which is then processed after being converted to digital. The extra headroom of 2100mV is what equates to the HDR handling characteristics of the camera, or ‘exposure latitude’. It also means that the minimum noise is much lower due to the sensor’s efficiency.

Hitachi Kokusai SK UHD8060B 2b

The SK-UHD8060B’s Super 35mm OPF CMOS sensor delivers 8K video with 7680x4320 resolution, outputting 16 times the picture information of HDTV. The new camera conforms to global standards including UHD-2, the ITU-R BT.2020 colour specification, ITU-R BT.2100 for High Dynamic Range, and Japan’s ARIB specifications.

The SK-UHD8060B supports PL-mount lenses and can output multiple television standards including 8K, 4K/UHD, 1080p, 1080i and 720p. The new camera head can be paired with a dockable recorder that uses a visually lossless codec, avoiding the time-consuming, post-acquisition processing typically required with RAW 8K recording approaches.

“Hitachi Kokusai has been at the forefront of 8K camera technology for many years, and the SK-UHD8060B continues this tradition of innovation,” said Sean Moran, Chief Operating Officer, Hitachi Kokusai. “The use of a sensor with organic photoconductive thin film enables increased dynamic range not previously possible at 8K resolutions, while its compactness and configuration flexibility make it suitable not only for studio and outside broadcast applications but also for cinematography when combined with an appropriate lens and recorder.”

The SK-UHD8060B, as well as Hitachi Kokusai’s new SK-UHD8240 240 fps high-speed 8K camera, will be used at the major international sporting event in Tokyo next year.