120MP Canon EOS enough?

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by bobatkins, Sep 8, 2015.

  1. Sorry, not a 250MP APS-H DSLR, but Canon have announced their intention of making a 120MP DSLR (presumably full frame). Hope that's enough pixels.
    "TOKYO, September 8, 2015—Canon Inc. announced today that it 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......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 realize compatibility with the Company’s diverse interchangeable EF lens lineup"

    No time frame given, but if the push behind the DSLR is 8K video, Canon won't be dragging their feet. They are really serious about being King of the Hill when it comes to video and they are likely to be funding this project pretty generously.
  2. I am actually very torn by this announcement. On the one hand I am extremely excited to see that kind of resolving power be put into a camera. So much for incremental adjustments, Canon is just gonna blow the doors off the megapixel war. And apparently a good number of their lenses will work just fine with the new sensor, at least according to Canon. This will definitely spur other manufacturers to up their game as well so we will all (eventually) benefit from it even if we don't currently shoot Canon.
    On the other hand this pretty much signals to me that a high end, professional Canon mirrorless camera wont be coming anytime soon. That's disappointing, as I was really hoping to see what Canon could do when it seriously tackles that market segment. But this new sensor might mean they are just going to keep putting DSLR's at the top of their priority list and ignore any hardcore, professional mirroless offerings.
    I have to say, a 120mp DSLR is definitely a way to keep that type of camera current and relevant.
  3. I'm more interested in the 8k display, though the word "reference" translates as "absurdly expensive". Even current DSLRs record still images in much higher resolution than the best currently available monitors (5k).
  4. Sensors seem to still be improving, both in hardware and software. What looks extreme one year may well be standard in a few years time. I'm all for it.
  5. ...For when you absolutely, positively, have to read the lettering on the side of an airplane... from only 9km away.
  6. More resolution I don't need. I am wondering what use 8K video will ever be to the average person. I am still wondering about 4K video. It is all about selling new stuff because Canon can do it. I am not convinced of its utility for 99% of us.
  7. I think it's not so much about more resolution to give sharper images (who needs them?), it's more about the ability to crop and still get sharp images. 120MP gives you a "crop factor" of 2.5x over 20MP full frame. Assuming you're taking full advantage of a high resolution lens, that means if you have a 300mm lens on your full frame 120MP full frame camera you should be able to get images equivalent to those taken with a 750mm lens on your 20MP full frame camera.
    Canon's vision for the future has included ideas about cameras with very high pixel counts that do much of their zooming via cropping. Get enough pixels in there with a good enough lens and the concept of "digital zooming" becomes quite viable.
    I don't think the utility of many things becomes obvious until they are available. History is full of such things. Home computers are a prime example. 8K video will become useful when it's the norm and the price has dropped to consumer levels and wall size displays are commonplace.
  8. So then, the next technological hurdle is commensurate stabilization.
  9. Bob, A fair point. They will really need to ensure their lenses are up to scratch if that is their plan ...and their stabilization technology is better than now.
  10. Keep it and give me 16MP and ISO 3,000,000 instead.
  11. A 300mm f/4 lens cropped by 2.5x will give similar SNR and depth of field to a 750mm f/10 lens (without cropping) so it's close to worthless for any kind of action photography (used in this way) because motion won't be stopped with good image quality. Also if the camera is a DSLR, the image of the subject will occupy a tiny part of the frame which means the photographer is nearly blind when shooting with regards to subject emotion and expression. The autofocus accuracy will likely be woefully inadequate to make full use for the increased sensor resolution. Finally because the MTF decreases as the spatial frequency is increased, the detail will have poor contrast and sharpening the image to bring the detail out amplifies the noise. It is not a good way to get to 750mm. A 300/2.8 would be slightly less useless but still not as good as a real 800mm lens on a full frame camera. I only see occasional utility to the ridiculous pixel count and a great penalty for the amount of data generated when you're not cropping in camera (in terms of post workflow and storage, especially if used for action or events). I think the sweet spot for most applications is around 20-30MP (with special applications requiring a bit more, e.g. landscape photography with the aim of wall size prints). Most applications of photography where the finished work is used do not require great resolution.
  12. Provided it doesn't cost too much, it will be a boon for those (mostly institutions maybe) who want to copy large glass plate negatives, maps & plans photographically, or almost any photographic application where you might have chosen a larger sensor camera, like pixel peeping landscape. They would be bound to provide a few specialist lenses that capitalise on the extra pixels.
    Maybe that's all we can get in a few years time, & we will have to downsize images in camera?
  13. Also if the camera is a DSLR, the image of the subject will occupy a tiny part of the frame​
    I assume any such camera would have an EVF which, if it corresponded roughly pixel for pixel could work OK. You would have to select what cropping you wanted in advance.
  14. A 300mm f/4 lens cropped by 2.5x will give similar SNR and depth of field to a 750mm f/10 lens (without cropping) so it's close to worthless for any kind of action photography (used in this way) because motion won't be stopped with good image quality.​
    Can you elaborate on this? I don't really understand how a cropped image from an f/4 lens can't freeze motion as well as a longer lens.
  15. Jamie, the problem is that a cropped image is made by detecting only a relatively small number of photons compared to a full frame image shot (with a longer lens) at the same ISO, thus the SNR of the cropped image is relatively poor (when evaluated in a section of the whole image that matches content with the corresponding section of the full frame capture). In order to improve the SNR to the level of an uncropped full frame image, a (ca 3 stops) lower ISO can be selected but then it becomes more difficult to keep a fast shutter speed. The availability of faster lenses at short focal length evens out the matter but since the deciding factor is the front lens diameter, the cost difference will be fairly small if the diameters match.
    I'm not saying that a decent image could not be captured in bright outdoor daylight. But in practice you can expect quite a bit better results using a longer lens than cropping from the image captured with shorter focal length lens, especially if you do a heavy crop such as 2x or higher.
  16. Thanks Ilkka, I understand now. I think the possibility of cropping may be better suited to shorter focal lengths.
  17. Will it at least match the dynamic range of Nikon and Sony sensors? If not - canon is wasting our time.
  18. "Keep it and give me 16MP and ISO 3,000,000 instead."
    Would much rather have the ability of TechPan at ISO 3 or 6. Even Kodachrome ISO of 25 would be great. Most of todays sensors are way too high and require Neutral Density filters.
    Eye control focus like my EOS3 bodies would be welcome.
    Add a mechanical mirror lock so we don't have to futz around with all the menu stuff and the time limits while waiting for the subject to get located in the frame.

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