Sharp joins Panasonic and Olympus in the micro four thirds camera market

Image: Kinotika YouTube Channel

2018 saw a slight slump in the micro four thirds (MFT) camera market with one of the standard’s co-founders – Panasonic – switching attention to a full-frame system, while the other – Olympus – held off from releasing a new product until January 2019.

That might change now, with Sharp officially signing on to the MFT standard, according to announcements from both Panasonic and Olympus.

This announcement comes days before the final specs of Sharp’s 8K video camera are expected to be revealed, the prototype for which was displayed at CES 2019.

According to the official statement, Panasonic and Olympus say that Sharp, a “driving force behind 8K imaging technology”, will begin making products for its own MFT line-up.

4K is so 2018

The statement, though, makes no reference to the upcoming 8K consumer cinema camera, which could be officially revealed at the NAB Show in Las Vegas this weekend.

When displayed as a "reference exhibit" at CES earlier this year, it set the photography world abuzz with excitement, particularly since it was said to cost under $5,000.

Like the Blackmagic Pocket 4K Cinema Camera, Sharp’s new offering also features a micro four thirds sensor and lens mount – that already gives it a range of optics available from both Panasonic and Olympus.

The new Sharp camera is said to shoot 8K video at 30fps using the H.265 codec, but the company is apparently already working to take that up a notch to 60fps.

It will also, most likely, feature in-body image stabilization and, if the prototype was anything to go by, a large 5.0-inch articulating touchscreen as well.

We can’t wait to hear about the final specs of this new MFT camera system – and a better name than just "8K video camera" – and we’ll update you as soon as we know more.

Sharmishta Sarkar
Managing Editor (APAC)

Sharmishta is TechRadar's APAC Managing Editor and loves all things photography, something she discovered while chasing monkeys in the wilds of India (she studied to be a primatologist but has since left monkey business behind). While she's happiest with a camera in her hand, she's also an avid reader and has become a passionate proponent of ereaders, having appeared on Singaporean radio to talk about the convenience of these underrated devices. When she's not testing camera kits or the latest in e-paper tablets, she's discovering the joys and foibles of smart home gizmos. She's also the Australian Managing Editor of Digital Camera World and, if that wasn't enough, she contributes to T3 and Tom's Guide, while also working on two of Future's photography print magazines Down Under.