Toshiba launches dinky TrueHD camera

April 8, 2008 // 7:20 a.m.

Tags: #broadcast #camera #camera-head #high-definition #ik-hd1 #toshiba #truehd

Toshiba is due to launch the worlds smallest camera head capable of capturing a full 1080p high-definition image at thirty frames per second at the National Association of Broadcasters show in Las Vegas next week.

The snazzily named IK-HD1 is a minuscule 1.6”² and weighs in at a svelte 65g. The stunning size – or rather, lack thereof – is due to the use of a clever 'prism block' layout within the camera head. The upshot is the first TrueHD ready camera that you're likely to lose down the back of the sofa.

That's not the full story, of course. The tiny cube is just the camera head – you'll still need to connect it to the control unit (pictured) and from there to wherever you're storing the footage. This isn't a spy's wet dream, as disappointing as that is. Even with the additional extras accounted for, the IK-HD1 still represents a massive size and weight saving over traditional high-definition cameras.

The units aren't designed to replace traditional broadcast cameras, however – with a choice of 4mm or 15mm lenses there's going to be a limit to the quality of the picture you can capture from this puppy no matter how clever the 3CCD prism block technology. Instead, the idea is for the cameras to be used to capture high-definition imagery from sporting events where the light weight and unobtrusive size can be useful – helmet-mounted cameras for extreme sports, or in-car cameras for racing events. Toshiba has even found its first customer before officially announcing the product, with the IK-HD1 having been used to produce helmet-cam footage on the latest series of American Gladiators.

Toshiba may well have lost the format war to Blu-Ray, but it's clear that they're not giving up on being a leader in high-definition technologies just yet – and with a camera of this size available to broadcasters now, how long before our mobile phones get TrueHD recording capability?

Do you think Toshiba is on to a winning formula here, or will the quality of such a small camera be to low to bother with capturing at 1080p? Share your thoughts over in the forums.
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