Canon is developing a 120-million-pixel DSLR, according to a statement it has released today.


For illustration purposes only

Canon said: ‘Featuring a resolution of approximately 120 effective megapixels, the SLR camera now being developed will incorporate a Canon-developed high-pixel-density CMOS sensor within the current EOS-series platform, which will realise compatibility with the Company’s diverse interchangeable EF lens lineup.’ Its statement added: ‘The high-resolution images that the camera will be capable of producing will recreate the three-dimensional texture, feel and presence of subjects, making them appear as if they are really before one’s eyes.’

Press release
United Kingdom, 8 September 2015 – Canon Europe, a leader in imaging solutions, today announces that its parent company, Canon Inc., is developing a Cinema EOS System 8K camera and professional-use 8K reference display that will support the production of next-generation 8K video content, along with a still-image single-lens reflex camera equipped with a CMOS sensor featuring approximately 120 million effective pixels. Through the Company’s proprietary imaging technologies, Canon provides still and video input and output devices that will contribute to the development of imaging culture.

Canon, as a leading company in the field of imaging technology, conducts research and development into devices designed to support cinema and video production with the aim of expanding the boundaries of visual expression. Through the further enhancement of the Cinema EOS System 8K camera and professional-use 8K reference display under development, Canon aims to contribute to smooth production workflows, facilitating not only the input and output of 8K video content, but also such processes as 8K to 4K down-conversion and 4K cropping.

The Cinema EOS System 8K camera being developed will be equipped with a Canon Super 35 mm-equivalent CMOS sensor that makes possible high-resolution 8,192 x 4,320 pixel (approximately 35.39 million effective pixels) imaging performance even at a frame rate of 60 frames per second with 13 stops[i] of dynamic range and a richly expressive wide colour gamut. Additionally, featuring a body size that realises outstanding mobility and a design that delivers high levels of operability, along with an EF mount that offers compatibility with Canon’s extensive interchangeable EF lens lineup[ii], the camera will support diverse shooting styles and means of visual expression.

Incorporating Canon image-processing technology, the ultra-high-resolution 8K reference display currently under development will achieve high brightness, high contrast (high dynamic range) and a wide colour gamut. Additionally, with a pixel density exceeding 300 pixels per inch, a level approaching the limit of human visibility, the display will make possible ultra-realistic imaging that enables the reproduction of subtle changes in light that were previously not possible. Furthermore, when used in combination with the Cinema EOS System 8K camera, the display will be capable of conveying truly impressive levels of visual expression.

Featuring a resolution of approximately 120 effective megapixels, the SLR camera now being developed will incorporate a Canon-developed high-pixel-density CMOS sensor within the current EOS-series platform, which will realise compatibility with the Company’s diverse interchangeable EF lens lineup[iii]. The high-resolution images that the camera will be capable of producing will recreate the three-dimensional texture, feel and presence of subjects, making them appear as if they are really before one’s eyes. The camera will facilitate a level of resolution that is more than sufficient for enlarged poster-sized printout while also enabling images to be cropped and trimmed without sacrificing image resolution and clarity.

– ENDS –

  • ira j.

    you’re gonna need this technology as long as there’s someone out there who wants to brag “mines bigger’n yours”

  • cookedjacketpotato

    Yes, thanks Entoman, I hadn’t thought of that. Of course, the pixels would be minuscule. Still,subject to control of noise, I dare say that on a non cropped picture it would give a smooth film like image.
    As a not very tech photographer, I have sometime wondered why we cannot just have one very large pixel.

  • entoman

    A 1Dx sensor in a 5 series body, with a motorised mirror mechanism to allow increased frame rate! I think Canon will deliver the goods, in the 5DMkiv, but a body price of under £1000 is sadly a bit unrealistic. The 5DMkiv will probably launch at over £2000, but will undoubtedly drop significantly 6 months later.

  • entoman

    In theory, yes, it’s possible to crop an image from a D810, 5Ds or A7iiR down to APS-C equivalent, to achieve “telephoto” results without the expense or weight of long lenses.

    Unfortunately there is a price to be paid – the more megapixels you cram into a given area, the smaller each pixel has to be. That means fewer photons hitting each pixel, which in turn means the signal has to be amplified more, creating more noise.

    OK, to an extent, advancing sensor technology, powerful processors and clever algorithms can reduce that noise, but basically, the bigger the pixel (i.e. the fewer of them), the better the image quality in terms of noise control, colour fidelity and dynamic range (given all other factors being equal).

  • cookedjacketpotato

    Sony has already out gunned Nikon with its 42 meg sensor and I understand that Nikon uses Sony sensors…

  • Anthony Lines

    250MP! What for? All I require is high dynamic range, a fast frame rate, 8-10 fps and manageable file sizes, a 100% viewfinder and a body price below £1,000. How many Canon lenses can resolve letters on an aircraft at 11 miles? I think someone has released these details early. They were meant to be announced on 1 April 2016.

  • cookedjacketpotato

    But would not a huge mega pixel count sensor in a camera which includes all the other requirements enable severe cropping which would remove the need for massive, heavy and very expensive telephoto lenses. There could be in camera crop options as there are on my Nikon D810. This would allow you to frame distant subjects because the required area would be magnified.
    I believe that Canon have also announced a 250 mega pixel sensor for smaller format cameras which they propose for surveillance use.

  • entoman

    It’s crazy, but there again a few years ago we were all saying that 8 MP was enough for everyone! I guess that Canon are anticipating that within a few years we will all want to view our images on wall-sized ultra high definition 8G TV screens. It will be interesting to see if Nikon and Sony join the battle. My guess is that they will…… “mine’s bigger than yours, buddy”……..

  • John Scriven

    This reminds me of Lewis Carroll’s tale ‘Sylvie & Bruno’, concerning a map-maker who continually increases the scale until it reaches 1:1 ….

  • Stephen Garratt

    This is SURELY..for Professionals only. The files must be enormous. My comments are exactly mirrored by “entoman”.
    I have the EOS 5D MKIII that serves me more than well on Pixel count and even my lovely little bargain priced 18mp EOS M gives images which make me grin from ear to ear.
    My friend a Pro Photographer, still uses and gets brilliant results for his work with the 12mp Nikon 700D…

  • skullpit

    All very well, but do I need to replace my Mac so I can actually manipulate the resulting files. This all sounds like Canon trying to be king of the castle.

  • entoman

    IDx is an amazing camera and fufils most of my criteria, apart from 2 things – it’s much too expensive for me, and it’s much too heavy (I often spend 8 hours or more a day walking in hilly forested terrain doing wildlife photography, so carrying a 1Dx AND a backup camera would simply be too much). 8fps is enough for me, 24-28 megapixels would be perfect.

  • Connie E

    I bought the 5DSR and sent it back for the 1DX. I must admit it is pretty close to perfect. Except for the things I have listed above. I began my photography journey with Sony’s A350 then the A700 then the A77. The noise was horrible so I switched to Canon. It is much more acceptable at high ISO. Always Always room for improvement. Lets pray they focus more on what we need and want in the future. MP don’t mean much if the other things exist.

  • entoman

    Yes it’s a great shame that Canon don’t listen to their existing customers, who demand less noise at high ISO, more dynamic range, and more lenses with IS.

    There are pros and cons to IBIS, personally I’d be happy to see Canon incorporate IBIS in new bodies, but more IS lenses are essential for those of us who want to retain our existing Canon bodies.

    There will always be people who (often misguidedly) demand more megapixels. Canon have already catered for them with the 5DsR, so it seems pointless going to 120 MP, and I can only assume it’s a case of “look how clever we are”, as I can’t think of anyone other than NASA who would make use of such a high MP count. Canon claim it will make it easy to crop without loss of resolution. Maybe, but all that cropping will magnify camera shake and focus inaccuracies.

    From what I hear and read, I’d estimate that 99% of pros and advanced amateurs are more than happy with 24-28 MP. Yes, I6 is enough for many people, but for work intended for publication, photo editors like to crop to fit their page designs, and 20-24MP is needed.

    As regards your comments about light weight and portability, very many people including myself actually prefer the size, feel and well-spaced controls of a decent-sized DSLR, and find that mirrorless cameras are fiddly and feel fragile in comparison.

    Ergonomics and glass? Canon are renowned for their excellent ergonomics whereas Sony (who I greatly admire for their innovation) draw constant criticism in that department. Canon and Nikon both have extremely well regarded and very complete lens and accessory systems. Sony have good quality glass, but a very limited lens range, in fact many purchasers of Sony cameras buy them simply so that they can attach their Canon glass to a mirrorless body with a Sony sensor.

  • John Duder

    I’m a Sony user, and I’m gently amused by Canon users having waited years for more than 22mp – then there’s a glut of new and promised models.

    I sympathise about the desire for in-camera IS (it’s lovely: how about an Alpha 7r Mk II and an adaptor?) – a legacy for both Canon and Nikon owners of the marques having thought up and introduced IS back in the days of film.

    And yes, 24mp is enough: for many purposes, 16 is sufficient – and an Olympus or Lumix outfit is light and portable beyond the dreams of any DSLR user.

    All part of the rich tapestry of camera development: in the end, it’s the quality of the glass and the comfort of the ergonomics that matter more…

  • Scottishlandscapes

    After a lifetime in photography all I want is a decent camera with a decent dynamic range, decent colour and a decent range of good lenses. A price that isn’t indecent and no pixel peepers. At the end of the day a great photograph will always be a great photograph because of the content not just because it could cut your fingers like a sheet of paper can without having any feeling.

  • entoman

    Pinning my hope on the 5DMkiv. Please don’t let us down Canon! Give us the camera we want and need, and forget about trying to win “bragging rights” in the battle with Sony and NikNok.

  • Connie E

    Well said! I didn’t read your post before I posted and we are on the same “Wishlist” line!

  • Connie E

    I don’t really need that many MP. My dream camera would consist of: low noise with high ISO, fast focusing, (I really liked the option of changing the crop factor in the 5DSR) touch screen would be sweet. Last, at least 8 fps. I believe @entoman:disqus and I kinda want the same thing! @canon Please please listen to us and you will sell tons of cameras!

  • entoman

    As a working pro who has used Canon cameras for several years, my message to Canon is NO, NO, NO! You are going in completely the wrong direction. Pros and advanced amateurs have no need or desire for such a camera. 24-28 MP is more than enough for us. What we want is noise-free images at ISO 3200 and above. What we want is significantly increased dynamic range, to retain shadow and highlight detail in contrasty lighting. What we want is better subject tracking. What we want is image stabilisation incorporated into ALL Canon lenses, or IBIS bodies. What we want is bigger, brighter viewfinders in the APS models. What we DON’T want or need is ridiculously high megapixel counts!