Does Micro Four Thirds Really Need a New Camera Manufacturer?

Only time will tell if the Micro Four Thirds market place has room for another player.

During the recent CES (Consumer Electronics Show) Sharp surprised just about everyone in the photography and videography world with an announcement about a new 8K Micro Four Thirds camera that they have in the works. There’s no doubt that the camera sounds exciting and the tech should really get vloggers and videographers ears perked up, but do we really need another manufacturer to enter the Micro Four Thirds camera space? 

A recent report over at 43rumors suggests that Sharp are ready to move ahead with the camera in the coming months. Consumers lust, and desire for more of everything has driven Sharp (who are owned by Foxconn) to develop this 8K Micro Four Thirds camera, and while in-depth details are still pretty scarce about the camera, officials at the show did share some information about the device.

The Sharp 8K Camera (it’s current official name) will feature a Micro Four Thirds sensor that’s capable of capturing 8K video at 30 frames per second. The prototype device had connectors for headphones, a full size HDMI port, headphones, and audio in port, a microphone jack, and what looks like one slot for a UHS II SD card.

The 8K camera also sports a fully articulated 5-inch display, and it will have sensor stabilization. The camera didn’t work as it was just a prototype display model, but the specs that we know about do sound great on paper.

“Yes. $5,000 for a Micro Four Thirds camera. Let that sink in for a while.”

The Micro Four Thirds market has been dominated by both Olympus and Panasonic for many years now, so one has to wonder if Sharp will be able to infiltrate the market place with a camera that could cost $5,000.

Yes. $5,000 for a Micro Four Thirds camera. Let that sink in for a while.

With news floating around that Sony’s new cameras could feature a Full Frame 8K sensor, you have to wonder if this will even take off given that an offering from Sony will likely be the same price, or possibly less.

Micro Four Thirds

Current Olympus and Panasonic Micro Four Thirds cameras are incredibly capable devices; especially the Panasonic GH5S. The cameras from these two powerhouse players are incredibly affordable, and they are firm fan favorites with the whole Micro Four Thirds camera fan base due to their exceptional build quality, and proven performance.

On the other hand, Sharp have been out of the consumer camera game for a very long time, and the reliability, and build quality of any cameras they produce will obviously come in to question regardless of the final specs. The final specifications are supposed be announced at the upcoming NAB Show, or in Q2 of 2019.

One thing is for sure. Trying to sell a new camera to a Micro Four Thirds fan base that have already chosen their allegiances will be tough; especially when the camera in question could cost a cool $5,000.

There could be another reason for this display too though. Perhaps the plan here is for Foxconn to show other manufacturers that they have the capabilities to produce this kind of technology. Foxconn may well be using the Sharp name as a placeholder for the tech, but really have no intentions of releasing the camera themselves. Maybe they are just trying to turn heads so that they can sell the technology to other manufacturers. Check out the video of the Sharp 8K camera that was captured by Kinotika.

A lot can happen between now and the time when more official information hits the streets. No matter what though, it seems as like 2019 will be a huge year for 8K when it comes to cameras. I sure hope early adopters of this tech have enough memory cards to store 8K video, and have powerful enough computers to even render their recordings. Things are tough enough as it is with 4K video.

What do you think about the possibility of Sharp releasing a Micro Four Thirds camera that can record 8K video? Is your head being turned? Let us know in the comment section below.

Brett Day

Brett Day is the Gear Editor at The Phoblographer and has been a photographer for as long as he can remember. Brett has his own photography business that focuses on corporate events and portraiture. In his spare time, Brett loves to practice landscape and wildlife photography. When he's not behind a camera, he's enjoying life with his wife and two kids, or he's playing video games, drinking coffee, and eating Cheetos.