Organic Thin-Film Construction Is Said to Expand Dynamic Range

Panasonic announced the AK-SHB 810, a new 8K camera system with a newly developed organic sensor, with a planned launch next fall.

The AK-SHB 810 is a box camera with a PL lens mount that transmits HD, 4K UHD or 8K UHD-2 images via fiber-optic cable to an accompanying image-processing unit, the AK-SHU 810, also due in fall 2019.

The camera’s sensor, which the company described as the first-ever 8K organic sensor, replaces the photodiode of a traditional sensor with two different components. The use of an organic thin-film layer for capturing light, rather than a much thicker silicon photodiode, allows incoming light to be collected from larger incident angles, improving color reproduction. The thin-film layer also increases sensitivity by allowing more light to reach each photosite, Panasonic said. Additionally, the sensitivity of the organic thin-film layer can be controlled by varying the voltage supplied to it, meaning the sensor has an electronic ND-filter function built in for more control of exposure.

Also thanks to the new design, Panasonic said, the organic sensor can also function as a “global shutter” system — meaning all pixels are exposed at once, rather than a row at a time. This should eliminate common “rolling shutter” artifacts including skew and flash banding.

Panasonic stressed the new sensor’s suitability for shooting sports at 8K, noting that it will be capable of capturing a strongly sunlit playing field as well as the fans seated in the shadows together in one shot.

The products were described in a press release issued by Panasonic in Japan that had not received an official English translation at this writing. Panasonic’s efforts at developing organic CMOS image sensors (using organic photoconductive film developed by Fujifilm) were first announced in February 2016.

Panasonic said the AK-SHB 810 will be demonstrated at InterBee 2018, scheduled for November 14–16 at Makuhari Messe in Chiba city.