Canon Develops CMOS Sensor With Mind Blowing 250 Megapixel


Canon is taking the pixel count fight to a whole new stratosphere, with strong competition from smartphones threating to kick camera’s out of business, the company is now asking back the question with this new 250 megapixel CMOS sensor. Developed at an APS-H-size (approx. 29.2 x 20.2 mm) the CMOS sensor incorporates approximately 250 million pixels (19,580 x 12,600 pixels), the world’s highest number of pixels for a CMOS sensor smaller than the size of a 35 mm full-frame sensor.

When installed in a camera, the newly developed sensor was able to capture images enabling the distinguishing of lettering on the side of an airplane flying at a distance of approximately 18 km from the shooting location.

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The prototype Canon camera used to test the 250mp CMOS sensor, shown with EF35mm f/1.4 USM lens

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The new Canon-developed CMOS sensor, however, despite its exceptionally high pixel count, achieves an ultra-high signal readout speed of 1.25 billion pixels per second, made possible through such advancements as circuit miniaturization and enhanced signal-processing technology. Accordingly, the sensor enables the capture of ultra-high-pixel-count video at a speed of five frames per second. Additionally, despite the exceptionally high pixel count, Canon applied its sensor technologies cultivated over many years to realize an architecture adapted for miniaturized pixels that delivers high-sensitivity, low-noise imaging performance.

Video footage captured by the camera outfitted with the approximately 250-megapixel CMOS sensor achieved a level of resolution that was approximately 125 times that of Full HD (1,920 x 1,080 pixels) video and approximately 30 times that of 4K (3,840 x 2,160 pixels) video. The exceptionally high definition made possible by the sensor lets users crop and magnify video images without sacrificing image resolution and clarity.

Canon is considering the application of this technology in specialized surveillance and crime prevention tools, ultra-high-resolution measuring instruments and other industrial equipment, and the field of visual expression. Doubt we will see the sensor on DSLR anytime soon, we have the 50MP 5Ds to content with for now.

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