Rumors Insist Canon Still Testing MEGApixel Cameras

Field Tests of 75+ MP underway

By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)

The talk that Canon is developing larger DSLRs with higher resolution just refuses to go away. But is it really practical to work on an 8K-capable DSLR at this point? Or are these rumors largely about still-centric camera platforms that Canon is playing around with to see how far they can push their sensor platform? Either way, when a story pops up about a field test of a 75+ megapixel (MP) DSLR, you can bet we’re going to notice.

[…] a pre-production high resolution Canon DSLR is currently undergoing field testing. The camera is a pro-sized body like the 1D X. The resolution of the sensor is greater than 75MP. Wow. – Eric Reagan, Photography Bay

According to Eric Bay, Canon has been testing these larger resolution cameras since developing a 50MP APS-H sensor in 2007.  But he also says that Canon has managed a size of up to 120MP as well.  But in APS?  I rather think that if they are shooting with MP that large, that they’re likely basing it on a full frame sensor, especially if they have any hope of apply ultra high definition video capability up to 8K, in order to boost their 1D platform, which can already image 4K video files.   I speculated about that a few months ago, and back then, I said there was no evidence it would be coming.  But evidence has begun to mount since then.

Other talk is that in addition to its ultra high def imaging, the LCD screen will be the highest resolution quality that they have ever developed, and an even higher frame rate than their Canon 1D-X.   And Northern Lights says that the 75MP sensor will be a Non-Bayer multi level sensor design, which, along with its split pixel sensor on the Canon 70D, would mark the first redesign of Canon’s CMOS sensor in years.  Canon had patented the design back in May, employing separate red, green and blue layers, so it makes sense they would be field testing the design to see where they can take it.

The rumor mill believes that Lake Success will announce a larger format DSLR at the end of the year, for a 2014 debut.  but even the rumor sites are skeptical that the 75 MP 1 series DSLR will be the camera.  It just seems to conventional wisdom that is a way too giant a leap to release.  Then again, Nokia came out with a pretty impressive Lumia smartphone with a shocking 41 MP PureView camera, so who knows?  But even if it isn’t ready for 2014, it could point to Canon has refined the earlier 46MP 1DS to the point where their R&D department is looking over the horizon and doing a little “skunkworks” activity for the next generation DSLRs once the industry starts looking beyond 4K to the 8K spectrum.

I rather think that if you’re field testing radical designs, that’s a healthy indication of a vibrant R&D cycle that no longer rests on the laurels of its previous successes.  So whether just fanboy speculation or reality, I’m hopeful that no matter when we see it, that Canon is trying new things.  Because that’s when we get amazing things like the 5D Mk. II doing video and turning our industry upside down.

Hat Tip – Peta


About James DeRuvo

James has a multi-faceted career that spans radio, film and publishing. A writer about the technology in the video industry for nearly 20 years, James is also an award winning film director, having garnered a Telly Award for his short film Searching for Inspiration. He's also worked as a producer of many talk radio programs in Los Angeles with topics ranging from entertainment to travel to technology.

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