Consumer Demand for 8K is Too Low Says Panasonic: Report

A Panasonic S5 IIX (left) and a Nikon Z8 (right) are next to each other on a two-toned background.

Anyone waiting for Panasonic to bring its cameras into the world of 8K resolution may have to keep waiting. The company reportedly says the demand for 8K is simply “not enough” to justify an update.

Panasonic’s interesting stance on 8K came up during a Photo & Imaging event panel in China, which included Kentaro Tamaki, Panasonic’s director of the global marketing for imaging, Digital Camera World reported.

This claim also seems to quash rumors of a Panasonic Lumix S1H successor with 8K and a 50-megapixel sensor. However, the mere possibility of a Lumix S1H II is nothing more than an unverified rumor at this point.

To achieve 8K video resolution with a typical 3:2 ratio camera sensor would require 39.3 megapixels. Meanwhile, Panasonic’s latest full-frame cameras, the S5 II(X), the first Panasonic cameras to sport phase-detection autofocus, only feature a 24.2-megapixel sensor. Bringing 8K capabilities to its next full-frame camera would require Panasonic to increase the megapixel count.

Panasonic already has a camera with enough megapixels to shoot 8K video, the Panasonic S1R. However, that high-resolution camera can only record video up to 4K resolution.

“The current popularity of 8K in the consumer market is not enough, it will be released later,” Chinese publication Camera Beta reports, as spotted by Digital Camera World. Beijing Worth Buying clarifies why Panasonic might be holding out, noting that 8K products like televisions have not reached popularity with consumers.

The Panasonic S5IIX is seen from behind with the digital viewfinder folded out.

Additionally, the 8K mirrorless market already has some heavy competition. Nikon has the Z8 and Z9, Sony carries the a1 and a7R V, Canon has the EOS R5 and R5C, and Fujifilm has the X-H2, to name a few.

But it is a somewhat interesting change in tone, as the S1H was the first 6K mirrorless camera when it came out in 2019. Beyond that, Panasonic actually teased the arrival of 8K cameras. All the way back in 2015, the company tied a possible 8K camera release to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which ultimately never came to fruition.

And though 8K monitors and TVs haven’t reached gained widespread appeal, there also isn’t much content for them either. That said, if it does not include 8K, Panasonic’s upcoming rumored camera might feel dated sooner rather than later, should consumers ramp up their adoption of 8K displays and content.

8K’s appeal also stretches beyond simply replicating the ultra-high-definition resolution as is. Recording in 8K over 4K, or even 6K, allows for more flexibility in post-production. It gives photographers and videographers additional cropping and framing options when creating 4K content.

Of course, as Panasonic itself knows very well, video quality goes far beyond resolution. Even if Panasonic is hesitant to introduce 8K recording in its cameras, it is at the cutting edge of high-end video features and performance.

Image credits: Panasonic and Nikon