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

  • uksnapper

    We,me included, lose sight of the technical advances in the purity of the signal which creates the image.I recall Testing Tri-X and HP3 back in the 60s in various developers to acertain the best film for specific jobs and arriving at a conclusion which was applied throught the Royal Air Force photographic trade at the time was a great job.
    It was of course eclpsed by the introduction of HP4 ,and so ,that way of progress continues.
    Today we have digital images on £50 phones that are superior to the half a megabyte images that were produced on the first Kodak digital backs for Nikons.
    They cost £25000 .
    The peak has not been reached by a long long way.
    I recall pundits commenting that the Phillips (later aquired by Dalsa)6mp chip was the best one would ever get from a 35mm sized chip.
    We move forward and although the D800 images far exceed the image sizes I eventually use for most of my work in general, its great to have the ability to crop film style,and retain detail which is something my wondeful D3 was unable to deliver. .
    Rather like the progress of CPUs we are still at the beginning of history.

  • Jacqui Dee

    If it’s still a 35mm sensor then the performance in low light will be naaasty.

  • gochugogi

    UKSnapper writes, “A central viewfinder so ones nose is squashed when viewing is hardly a ergonomic way of using a viewfinder.” Somehow my nose doesn’t touch the LCD, at least on my 5D2/7D, and I find the SLR form factor and handling much more comfy than my mirrorless cams or my old Pentax 645. Maybe need more model choices to fit different size noses…

  • Zos Xavius

    Not all landscape photographers…

    Some want the convenience of a DSLR. I’m going to make a guess and say that very few people shoot 8×10 anymore. A recent story published here showed that the 5dmk2 was the stock photography weapon of choice, so what does that tell you?

  • Zos Xavius

    True. Its also true that even poor lenses improve with higher pixel counts. That has been more than proven.

  • Zos Xavius

    This. Thanks for throwing common sense into the debate. If you extrapolate the 24mp D71000 sensor you end up with something like over 50MP on full frame, so the technology is most certainly there and picture quality can do nothing but improve as long as noise stays at the same levels.

  • Zos Xavius

    and you know this for fact? you have experience with this theoretical sensor?

  • Zos Xavius

    I stitch many frames from a 5dmk2 for the work that I do. More MP is always welcome.

  • Zos Xavius

    How so? Is the D7100 nasty? Pixel pitch is going to be similar….

  • Tom

    I don’t know of Charlie Waite but I’m guessing (one of the main reasons) he uses medium format is for the benefit of larger dynamic range.

  • Zos Xavius

    They are slowly pricing themselves out of their own market. The only reasonable value in the MF world is the 645D IMO. I think there will likely always be a place for medium format though. There will always be people that need the sheer quality it offers.

  • Stanco55

    Just think how Hasselblad could sex up one of these suckers!!!

  • collegegraduate

    We’re all thinking it so I’ll just say it. I like Canon more than Nikon and it’s time this argument ended.

  • Alex Masters

    Phew. So glad I dropped 38k on a Leaf Credo 80.

  • Alex Masters


  • Laser

    I just want one. Two will do.

  • Alex Masters

    Does Trey Ratcliffe count?

  • Alex Masters

    Not even a little bit. People still buy 22MP backs for MF systems at 10x the cost of the 35mm equivalent. It’s not JUST about MP, but.. you cant really expect someone who has never owned a MFDB to understand that.

  • Alex Masters

    The medium is irrelevant when it comes to film. Portra 160 in a medium format camera has no more or less dynamic range than the same film stock in a 35mm camera. And – P45+ aside – most MFDB sensors crap out with ‘long’ exposures (I have to shoot mine at ISO 35 to be able to get a usable 2min) and can’t be pushed above ISO 400.

  • Alex Masters

    Wouldn’t be be using something a little larger than 6×6 for landscapes it was really about bigger being better?

  • Daniel Lowe

    There are a ton of technical details we can argue about here, and yes, I made a metaphor between the “sensor” and the “developing medium” (film/digital crosstalk), and for the most part, your results depend on the skill of the photographer..

    But.. all things being equal, a larger sensor and higher resolution output are better.

    The “real” reason (in my opinion) that they want to push to 70+ Megapixels is that they want a super high quality source to downsample for 4K video (in da future, not really right now)

    That’s just my opinion. On the whole, you guys are probably right.. at this exact moment in time, nobody really needs 75+ megapixels. But I can see a day, when we get 4K immersive displays with super zooming, augmented reality, google glass.. those days are not far away.

  • Zos Xavius

    I love this quote….from wikipedia….

    One critic of Trey Ratcliff commented, “…your cliched travel images and horrendous post-processing combined with your unfortunate popularity has probably done more to hurt the integrity of photography than anyone else in the world in recent years. You have made it incredibly difficult for millions of honest photographers trying to produce honest images. Please reconsider the effect you are having on photography.”

  • uksnapper

    thank you your your honesty

  • robin

    why are still increasing mp… it pointless… they should develop much higher dynamic range cameras… the part that is still losing compare to film.

  • uksnapper

    I can only surmise that the majority of commentators on here do not earn their living from producing images.
    In simple terms the more information the better the image.
    If you dont already understand that,dont comment,listen and learn

  • MF shooter

    First, the difference in medium format is Not (just) the number of megapixels, it is the size of the sensor. The reason that medium format is so much “better” for landscapes and commercial shoots is the sheer size of the sensor, depth of field, etc.

    However, I would welcome a 1D “series ?” to augment my Phase One IQ180. I can even get 800mm lenses for the Canon. Just so you know, it is not just landscape photographers that would like the extra megapixels. I didn’t say we had to have them but it would be good. We had the same arguments a few years ago with 12, 16, 18 and 24 megapixels.

    As far speed, I doubt, at least in the next generation of these that it will shoot 12 FPS. Someone wanted to know “why” landscape photographers “needed” 12 FPS? Imagine this if you will, wildlife photographers REALLY like (although PER YOU we do not need) the extra megapixels. Speed wouldn’t hurt either. Have you ever tried to photography running animals? Animals on the move?

    Quite frankly, I will NEVER understand why a group of people have to say that I or someone else “don’t need” extra megapixels. We don’t tell you what you “need”. Frankly, we don’t care what your work needs. We care what our work needs. That is not being confrontational. It is just being real. Everyone’s business is different. My customers love the extra that my high megapixel photos have. I somehow don’t think that they want me to revert back to 12 or 18 megapixels.

    Your business is probably much different from mine.

    My business would pay for that body in a week’s worth of work. To me, although you may say that I don’t “need” it, my customers do.

    I hope you find the gear that you need to do your work. I wish you great success in your work. Please, let me assess what I “need” or do not “need” in my business.


    MF Shooter

  • Bob

    But , but, does it have full auto mode? NO. So what good is it anyway?

  • Norshan Nusi

    Would be much better! :D

  • Norshan Nusi

    Credit card for sure.

  • Matt

    ‘course, some of us who have shot both 135 and 120/220 can say a few things about how larger formats wind up being a bit nicer, even given the same ‘print’ size.
    But arguing about hard-to-understand benefits underscores that MF digital manufacturers are going to have some trouble convincing the NEXT generation of potential customers that the larger units are worth the extra cash. If word-of-mouth doesn’t do it, advertising sure won’t do it either.

  • Adam Cross

    80mp on a medium format sensor and 75mp on a 35mm sensor is completely different

  • Josh

    Price bracket please?

  • mocking bird

    75mp at 0.5 fps.

  • Steve

    If new lenses are needed, why don’t they make the sensor a bit bigger? There’s a space between 35mm full frame and medium format. I don’t understand why digital cameras still comply to the old film sizes? Craming the pixels on a 35mm size sensor is never going to be as good as using a larger sensor. It will make the camera and lenses bigger and haevier but a Mamiya 7 style body with a good EVF would fix that problem. Don’t think Canon are inovative enough to do that, perhaps Sony or Fuji are?

  • Johan

    A frame rate higher than the EOS-1D X is unlikely, not (only) because of the massive number crunching that would require, but because of the mechanics of the mirror. At 12 fps the 1D X is already pushing the envelope, so why would Canon invest time and money to increase this even further for a high megapixel camera? Photographers who need high megapixel counts usually don’t need high frame rates as well and vice versa. The combination would make the camera even more expensive while very few customers need that combination.

  • Alan Rivera

    W H O A A . Will Canon please drop a nuke also on their bridge cams? I have an SX1-IS which is old but still good despite a shot right scroll. But if I may make a few suggestions: Will Canon stores please offer workshops for their cameras? It’s not fun going through a digital owners’ manual with too many cross references. Analogue was easier to follow – you read the manual while holding the camera and going through the lessons.

    Will Canon also nuke the MP in bridge cams? And my auto focus very often doesn’t focus well. I still get something like blur (which I’ve learned to live with).

  • Mark Morris

    Does it come in black?

  • Mike

    Yes, L series glass will do fine with 75mp.

  • Mike

    He makes millions. The person who posted that is probably just jealous. He is popular because people like his work, simple as that. There is nothing fortunate or unfortunate about it.

  • Ken Maldonado

    Hopefully this will result in another price drop in the digital medium format market the way the D800 did.

  • gasdive

    It doesn’t matter if they produce *perfect* lenses. The physics don’t allow resolution at that level. It’s completely impossible. 35mm full frame sensors can’t resolve more than about 25 mp. If they could it would mean we need to chuck out all the physics of the last 100 years. It’s *completely impossible*, not just a technical challenge. It doesn’t matter if your lenses come from Germany and have special sauce. It’s *not allowed by physics*. It’s called the Uncertainty Principle and it a foundation of modern physics. You can’t know both the momentum and the position of a particle to arbitrary levels. When the particles of light go through the aperture you know their position to the size of the aperture. Where they land on the sensor tells you the direction they travelled (their momentum). Unless you shoot all your landscapes at f/1.4 (so you don’t know the position and can know more about the direction) then the direction will be somewhat uncertain. The photons will spread out over several pixels. No matter how well you make the lens, this will *always* happen. The only way around it is to have physically larger sensors. MF or large format. Then you can have 80+ mp.

  • gasdive

    You’re right. No lens can resolve to that level. It’s not allowed. The uncertainty principle expressly disallows this.

  • Zos Xavius

    It made me laugh. Honestly, Trey doesn’t bother me that much. I do agree that his stuff is way overcooked, but I never was a huge HDR fan.

  • gasdive

    Landscapes can’t be shot at f/1.4 because nothing would be in focus. You need f/8 or more to get a decent DoF. At f/8 a 35mm full frame lens can’t resolve more than about 20-25 mp. It’s not allowed by the physics of light. You’d still need to stitch shots to get a real 75 mp because a sensor/aperture that small simply can’t resolve detail that fine. You need a larger sensor which is exactly what you get when you stitch.

  • Courtney Navey

    first of all i’m not your “bud.” second of all, “pros” made great use of the Canon 1Ds Mark II for YEARS and handed off great work to their clients. Joe McNally is among many of the great shooters who managed to “get by” on DSLRs that weren’t sitting pretty at 75 MP. Jeremy Cowart shoots portraits for some of the most prominent celebrities and uses a Canon 5D Mark II. Anything beyond 21 MP is just over kill. I’ve shot for country artist on bigger labels, stock product for start up companies turned big time, and PLENTY of graphic designers and art directors who were all designing for mass marketing and NEVER had a complaint about file size with my 1D Mark IV or 5D Mark II. UKSNAPPER and LOGIC, you sound like old school gear heads who think too much of your work.

  • Richard Smith

    “He is popular because people like his work…”

    People like the Kardashians too. Doesn’t mean they’re a class act. Art isn’t as simple as a popularity contest.

  • Mike

    So you are the judge of what is art and what isn’t?

  • Will

    Moving from a Nikon D700 to a D800, I’ve already noticed I generally need a higher shutter speed to avoid the subtle (but soul destroying) blur from camera shake. I can’t imagine what sort of minimum shutter speed I’d need with a 75MP sensor and I dread to think how quickly I’d chew through storage.

  • Michael Andrew Broughton

    if you think lightroom’s slow now…

  • Smurfsahoy

    1) You incorrectly assume that depth of field is the only way to get the scene in focus. There are also camera movements (e.g. tilt shift lenses). If you tilt an f/4 lens in the right way, you can get certain landscapes fully in focus in a way that might require f/16 from a straight on lens.

    2) You’re wrong anyway about the theoretical limits. Theoretical limit for f/8 is 186 lines/mm. You need about 3 pixels per line to consistently distinguish them, so that’s 558 pixels/mm. A full frame camera sensor is 24×36, so that comes out to 13,392 x 20,088 = 269 megapixels at f/8.

    Since we use interpolated pixels though, not full spectrum pixels, it’s actually about 1/3 of that = 90 megapixels.

    And if using a tilt shift at a wider aperture instead of DOF, that number goes up into then hundreds of megapixels.