Canon May Drop Nuke in Megapixel War with a 75+ Megapixel Pro DSLR


The megapixel war appears to be alive and well. The rumor mill has been churning the past weekend after a report emerged that Canon is in the process of field testing a DSLR camera that packs a whopping 75+ megapixels.

Eric Reagan over at Photography Bay writes that he received the tip this past Saturday from a trusted source:

[…] 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.

Rumors of prototype high-megapixel Canon DSLRs have been floating around for quite some time now. In September 2012, it was said that Canon was field testing a 46MP DSLR, but a report the following month suggested that there are prototypes packing “well over 50 MP.”

Canon's upcoming high-MP DSLR will reportedly have a "pro style" body like the 1D X

Canon’s upcoming high-MP DSLR will reportedly have a “pro style” body like the 1D X

Photography Bay‘s source is also saying that the uber-high-MP DSLR will have an ultra-high-resolution LCD screen on the back, and may have a frame rate that’s even speedier than the Canon 1D X (thanks to one or more new image processors found in the camera).

There may be an official announcement for this camera by the end of 2013, but the actual release may not come until sometime in 2014. Canon Rumors writes that they also believe that a high-MP Canon DSLR will be arriving sometime next year.

Image credit: Canon EOS-1 D by sukiweb

  • Vlad Dusil

    75+ MP? Silly.

    I am doubtful that the current L lens glass can resolve such a high resolution. Unless, of course, Canon will release a whole new range of premium glass to go along with it.

    Also, what CF cards will be able to write that much raw data to maintain the presumably faster frame rate?


  • Killroy™

    How could you possibly test a lens to see if it resolves that high without having a camera that has such high resolution? Even film scanned at 7200DPI (about 100+MP) can show that most high end lenses are more than capable of doing it.

  • Dez

    No, the L series wont. But the Zeiss 25mm Biogon and the new 50mm f1.4 will. :)
    And the CF card problem will be solved by Toshiba with 150MB/s write speed of the EXCERIA PRO series.

    The question is do we need 75+ megapixels? I doubt it.

  • Bruno Inácio

    About the lenses i don’t know, but maybe they are good enough..
    About the CF card, I thing they will use the same system from IQ280 – Firewire / USB 3.0 connected to a laptop / MAcpro.

  • Jonathan Maniago


    Why do people even ask this question? Just think of any application that would usually demand stitched panorama shots.

  • Emil Nyström

    need… No. Want – YES. I can say most lenses on a d800 looks better than on a d700. even the cheapest ones. I’d love to see this camera in action.

  • Matt

    For all the pixel-peepers, this should unsettle all the medium format manufacturers. Sure, there are other considerations with larger formats, but the raw numbers require investigation.

  • Sean

    I only hope that camera companies realize that high megapixel cameras are a niche, and not the norm. The day all of my photos are 1 GB each because that’s the smallest size available in a camera… well, nothing will change. But I’ll be bothered, I guess.

  • CurrentCo

    better go dust off my 2TB CF cards….

  • DarCam7

    Could they use the 75MP sensor to oversample and have lossless zoom? Kind of like the Sigma Foveon and Nokia 1020 manages those “41MP” shots?
    75MP seems rather ridiculous and unnecessary, and how would those pixels actually perform under low light situations? Am I wrong to assume that to cram all those pixels you’re reducing the amount of light each one of them can capture, thus reducing quality?

  • Banan Tarr

    That will never happen. They’ll start to provide more cropped and downsampled sizes. If you only want a 12mp file I’m sure they can provide that even though the camera is capable of 75mp.

  • Dave

    I can’t wait to see this – after the Magic Lantern team fixes it.

  • Steven Wade

    Why would anyone who was looking for a camera with this many megapixels need a fast frame rate? You know people have different needs for cameras.

  • Steven Wade

    Yet a good deal amount of people buy 80mp medium format cameras.

  • Trent Levitt

    Perhaps it will require multiple cards or a new kind of card.

  • Sean

    I certainly hope so. Nikon hasn’t caught on to that hot line of thinking yet. Highest megapixel DSLR, and you have to shoot all 36 megapixels. But I hope that if they continue to grow exponentially like this that you’re right.

  • Andrew Iverson

    If it gets them to lower the prices on the MF stuff, even a little, i’d be happy.I know they will never be “cheap”, but even a little less would be nice. If this gets them to do it, great.

  • Matt Lundstrom

    They use something called a lens projector. It takes the image projected through a lens and blows it up so it can be seen on a large surface. That way they can test at resolutions beyond the latest high pixel density sensors.

  • Genkakuzai

    I’ll laugh my ass off if they still haven’t been able to push the sensor above 12 steps in dynamic range.

  • wickerprints

    There are at least three misconceptions in your post. First, the resolving power of a lens doesn’t behave as you imply–as if there is some defined spatial frequency above which the lens is unable to resolve. Instead, a lens has an MTF, decreasing in a continuous fashion as a function of spatial frequency. There isn’t a sharp cutoff. The MTF at 10 lp/mm at the image center may be 0.95, 0.6 at 40 lp/mm, 0.4 at 50 lp/mm, and 0.2 at 80 lp/mm. But that doesn’t mean that the lens isn’t “sharp enough” at that spatial frequency.

    Second, even if we grant that a lens has insufficient ability to “resolve such a high resolution” (whatever that means), we are at least guaranteed that the resultant image cannot be WORSE in so far as spatial information is concerned. Per-pixel noise may be higher, and dynamic range may be lower, but there is nothing to lose in terms of detail even if the lens is not sharp.

    Third, the megapixel count is proportional to the square of the linear pixel pitch of the sensor. Compared to the 21 MP sensor of the 5D2, a 75 MP full frame sensor has pixels that are only 1.89 times as closely spaced. Compared to the 36 MP sensor of the D800, it is only 1.44 times as closed spaced. The pixel density of APS-C bodies is even higher than the 5D2; a hypothetical 75 MP sensor has only 1.2x the linear resolution of the 70D’s sensor. And yet no one is complaining that L lenses are useless on that body.

  • Courtney Navey

    really? 75 MP? why? who in the world wants to pay that price tag even if it was on the horizon? The 1DX is plenty of camera for any Pro DSLR photographer. Anything more than that just seems pointless.

  • dannybuoy

    And next year a 100mp version. Inevitable this technological advancement stuffs

  • Lee

    so….. there is no need for telephoto lens anymore I guess? just ‘enhance….’. :-)

  • Daniel Lowe

    If you’re asking “why do we need 75 Megapixels”, then you haven’t done night sky or landscape photography.

    You can do great portraits & headshots with a 12 megapixel camera. It’s us freaks who stay up all night and take photos of stars, sunsets and sunrises.. we’ll get the absolute most of of the added megapixels.

  • s0undmind

    Wow, Canon is really thinking outside of the box here! Very innovative move!

  • AluKed

    That would be my guess, that they’re going the supersampling route, with the options of getting the RAW 75MP file, a lower res crop or a 4:1 downsample (with a final file of around 18MP) that will massively improve color rendering and the noise profile. With some clever processing, the 18MP files will be sharper and cleaner than a straight 18MP shot.

  • Robbie Khan

    I’m more interested in what this will likely cost, lol.

  • babalarry

    not true. The D800 offers multiple crop formats that greatly reduce the file size.

  • Hellas

    I wait better for the 900MP Pro+DSLR…

  • Marco Santa Cruz


  • cameron

    Really. Just go get a Phase One and be done with it.

  • David Safier

    hope they fix there low dynamic range issue

  • uksnapper

    cropped format is not the same as full format with lower pixel count.
    If via firmware I could shoot smaller raw size files on my D800 maybe I would do so in some cases.

  • uksnapper

    Only ridiculous to someone that does not need the image size.
    Dont forget that while many people were happy with 35mm film many of us were shooting 5×4 and 10 x 8 inch sheet film to get the image detail we needed.
    That need is still there hence the medium format digital kit and the large format scan backs in use the world over.

  • uksnapper

    Not so as ” any pro ” will tell you.
    I still shoot some work in the studio with my D800 and stitch 4 or more images together to give the client file sizes they need.

  • uksnapper

    What disappoints me with Canon and Nikon is the rigid adherence to 35mm Film slr camera design.

    A central viewfinder so ones nose is squashed when viewing is hardly a ergonomic way of using a viewfinder.The medium format cameras are much easier to use and if any of you ever used a Rollie 3000 camera you will probably agree.

    Even cameras for enthusiasts like the early Minolta Dimage 7 had excellent handling characteristics.
    Nikon and Canon need to break the mould and come up with more than just bigger sensors and we could also do with different formats,the 35mm format is less useful perhaps than a square or even the 5×4 shape apart from ultra wide angle work.

  • BadBatz

    >The question is do we need 75+ megapixels? I doubt it
    – Who would ever need more than 640 K of RAM?
    (attributed to Bill Gates)

  • Furunomoe

    Hmm… what if this is isn’t a 75MP bayer but a 25MPx3 Foveon?

  • Ron

    I still prefer medium format for the captor size alone… Even the D800 can’t beat a Blad with a Phase One back of similar MP value….

  • Ron

    Charlie Waite doesn’t need 75 MP and he does shoot landscapes… Check him out. So your reply is void.

  • Daniel Lowe

    “He is noted for his square format images using a 6x6Hasselblad”

    No, Sir, YOUR reply is invalid. Why does Charlie need Medium Format? Bigger really is better, when it comes to landscapes. Period.

  • DarCam7

    Well, I would say a 75MP sensor would work better as a medium format camera if it isn’t oversampling to get a smaller, more detailed image.

    The 35mm digital format has hit its peak, at least where MP are concerned. I think adding more dynamic range and low light performance is where Canon/Nikon/Pentax should put their r&d in.

  • Black Light Shoots

    Dem it. Your reply is too much for my brain I stopped reading short of 2 sentences at the end. But I think you say that it’s ok.

  • Matthew Wagg

    Any truly serious landscape photographer will already be using either large format 8×10 film or medium format back on an LF camera. Or even a scanning back which has a resolution in the hundreds of megapixels.

  • Matthew Wagg

    Its nice that the research has pushed this far but wouldn’t it be far better to say lose the bayer filter system? Maybe go to a three sensor system like with the high end video gear. That is something worth pushing for.

    I think its all just about Canon and Nikon playing keeping up with the Joneses rather than providing what photographers want now.

    Canikon, if you’re listening, lets have some sensors that do super low iso’s like ISO25 or lower. You’ve done the mega high end of the iso scale lets go the other way.

    Or how about stitching some of the 5dmk3/d800 sensors onto a medium format style back and bring out a modular system like we used to have with film. We buy the body with the features we need and then get the sensor package we need instead of forcing us all into one size fits all.
    I mean come on especially Nikon, you did the amazing F3 series, lets have some of that.

  • logic

    why? autofocus or liveview with the phase one sucks at 10x the price

  • logic

    18 megapixels may be plenty for you but you don’t speak for the behalf of all other “pro dslr photographers” out there bud.

  • logic

    their* dynamic range issue. don’t use the supplied raw converter (dpp) and you may get more than 12 stops of measly d-range then

  • logic

    the sensor is well above 12 steps if you know the proper raw converter to process the files with…

  • logic

    uhh yeah it can. d800 beats the phase one above iso400 and also in terms of handling, autofocus, speed, etc, size. what kind of shoot are you talking about? photojournalism? d800 wins. weddings? d800 wins. sports? d800 wins. etc etc etc.