Seeing Impossible at Canon Expo 2015

This September Canon Expo opened its doors in New York City for its showcase of innovative imaging and printing solutions and research. Mr. Fujio Mitarai, Chairman and CEO of Canon Inc., greeted VIPs with a keynote speech that invited all to “see impossible” with Canon, and that we did.

As many of you are aware, Canon’s reach goes far beyond the realm of photograpy, with imaging products whose applications range from security to healthcare. The expo not only showcases the cutting edge of Canon’s product lines, but it presents many ideas and prototypes that are still under development. While these products are not fully realized or currently for sale and may change as development continues, it was impressive to have a glimpse inside to see what Canon is working toward.

If you didn’t make it to the expo there is still time for you to “see impossible” too. Canon Expo will be visiting Paris in October from the 13th to 15th and then making stops in Tokyo in 2015 and Shanghai in 2016. Even better, now you can visit Canon Expo from the comfort of your own home. The Virtual Expo is available at

Click the arrow to begin the slideshow.

250 Megapixel Ultra-High Resolution CMOS Sensor

Canon is developing a 250 megapixel CMOS sensor (APS-H size) that can capture images in low light without noise. This ultra-high sensitivity sensor can also capture video at 5 frames per second.

250 Megapixel Camera Prototype

Ultra-High Sensitivity 35mm Full-Frame CMOS Sensor

Canon’s ultra-high sensitivity CMOS sensor makes it possible to capture imagery in extreme low light that the naked eye cannot clearly see. For instance, this sensor makes it possible to capture the Milky Way in stunning detail.

EF 600mm f/4L Lens with DO + BR Optics Technology

Here Chuck Westfall of Canon presents the developments in Canon’s next-generation lens technology. These advancements combine two types of Canon’s proprietary optics, namely Blue Spectrum Refractive Optics (BR Optics) to completely eliminate chromatic aberration and dual layer Diffractive Optical (DO) elements, allowing the lens to be lighter and 30% shorter.

Yankee Stadium

This baseball stadium backdrop was created by taking photos of Yankee Stadium, stitching them together, and then printing them. Pro-level cameras with various lenses were set up on all sides for attendees to try out while live players played a few innings.

Zooming in on the backdrop with one of these cameras, you can clearly discern fans’ faces in the stands, showing off both Canon’s optics and printing capabilities.

Connecting You with Your Images

Canon had a number of futuristic concepts to demonstrate in their “Home” area, such as a wearable camera, home security, photo album creation, and more.

Here you can see their sensing table where you can easily interact with your photos. By placing your camera on the table, you can see the images on the memory card, crop images, print them, and arrange them in a photo album.

image © Theano Nikitas

The demonstrator shows how to create an interactive photo album.

Next Generation PRO Printers

(left to right: 17", 24", and 44" prototypes)

These three prototypes in the pro lineup of printers have a new image processing engine and use a 12-color pigment ink system. These printers can print at a high resolution that can faithfully show the image captured in-camera.

Standing here, it would seem you’re simply looking out a window at the airport. Go back one slide and take a closer look at the image being printed by the 44" printer on the right. This large format print shows remarkable detail and perspective, making you feel like you’re really there!

A Detailed Look

Canon Expo attendees take a closer look at the fine details of these prints.


In this museum-like gallery space pictured here, attendees were invited to touch. The wallpaper? It’s actually printed. The hanging paintings? They’re printed too. Even more, both were printed with texture to mimic the originals.

To realize these reproductions, the originals were photographed with a 50.6-megapixel 35mm full-frame CMOS sensor and were then analyzed to determine the characteristics of their texture. The high resolution of the camera system allows fine details of elevation and gloss from surface reflections to be captured, and finally realistic reproductions can be printed by the advanced printing technology from Océ. Canon has named this “Super Creative Printing.”

Tsuzuri Project (Cultural Heritage Inheritance Project)

The Tsuzuri Project is a corporate responsibility program and joint reproduction project with the Kyoto Culture Association (NPO). It uses the technology described on the previous slide to create high-resolution facsimiles of historical works of art so the originals can be safeguarded.

The panels shown here are a facsimile of Kano Motonobu’s Flowers and Birds of the Four Seasons (Muromachi era, 16th century) created using Canon’s technology. Gold leaf is applied after the images are printed to achieve an authentic-looking reproduction.

Super Creative Printing

As you saw two slides earlier, Canon not only uses its “Super Creative Printing” technology to make reproductions, but also to make other textured prints for purposes such as wall paper. Here you can see a variety of sample textured prints on display at the expo. Not quite 3D printing, the printer inks are layered and raised from the flat surface to create the look and feel of texture.

A close-up of printed snake skin texture.

It’s difficult to tell from this photograph of the print, but the runner actually pops out from the surface. Depending on which angle you view it from, the raised portions of the runner will make him appear different.

8K Film Production

This scene of a tailor’s shop was set up to test-drive various video cameras on display. Announced at the beginning of the expo, Canon is developing the Cinema EOS System 8K camera with the high resolution of 8,192 × 4,320 pixels (approximately 35.39 million effective pixels).

Ultra-High-Definition 8K Display

Canon’s 8K displays show images with incredible realism. 8k is the theoretical limit the human eye can see, and these displays have a pixel density of over 300 ppi. Here you can see an attendee closely examining the fine detail.

image © Theano Nikitas

Photoacoustic Mammography

Canon Expo showcased myriad other applications for their imaging technology. On display in the medical area were diagnostic machines for general imaging, retinal imaging, and the 3D photoacoustic mammography (PAM) imaging pictured here. PAM is under development and will use light and ultrasound to capture blood vessel images to diagnose patients in a less invasive way.

Mixed Reality

The Canon MREAL (mixed reality) system on display in the “Enterprise” area creates a visualization experience by combining CGI with reality. It’s envisioned to be used in training programs where it’s important for physical objects to be part of the exercise. Here you can see a woman wearing the MREAL system in a driving training program. She’s adjusting her virtual rearview mirror while steering and sitting in a physical car mockup.

Canon Virtual Expo 2015

Canon Expo covered a lot of ground, so if there’s something you’d like to learn more about, you can experience the expo online at

Sign in or Sign up to post response