Canon proudly intros 120 megapixel CMOS sensor, probably won't hit a DSLR in your lifetime

Oh sure, household names like Pentax are already producing cameras with 40 megapixel sensors, and we've seen quite a few gigapixel images crafted with a pinch of black magic, but Canon's newest innovation may take the mainstream megapixel race to its next logical level. Or should we say... illogical level. There's no two ways about it -- just trying to comprehend an APS-H-sized CMOS sensor with 120 megapixels is downright painful, and we're inclined to believe the company's claim that it's the world's highest resolution for its size. This new concoction has a pixel count of around 7.5 times larger than the company's highest-resolution commercial CMOS sensor of the same size (which is pegged at 16.1 megapixels), yet it still supports burst shooting of up to 9.5fps. Furthermore, it's fully capable of capturing 1080p video, but the one detail we're all eager to ingest isn't listed. For now, though, the plan is to let you know about the first camera to ship with it inside at Photokina 2030.

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Canon successfully develops world's first APS-H-size CMOS image sensor to realize record-high resolution of 120 megapixels

TOKYO, August 24, 2010-Canon Inc. announced today that it has successfully developed an APS-H-size*1 CMOS image sensor that delivers an image resolution of approximately 120 megapixels (13,280 x 9,184 pixels), the world's highest level*2 of resolution for its size.

Compared with Canon's highest-resolution commercial CMOS sensor of the same size, comprising approximately 16.1 million pixels, the newly developed sensor features a pixel count that, at approximately 120 million pixels, is nearly 7.5 times larger and offers a 2.4-fold improvement in resolution.*3

With CMOS sensors, while high-speed readout for high pixel counts is achieved through parallel processing, an increase in parallel-processing signal counts can result in such problems as signal delays and minor deviations in timing. By modifying the method employed to control the readout circuit timing, Canon successfully achieved the high-speed readout of sensor signals. As a result, the new CMOS sensor makes possible a maximum output speed of approximately 9.5 frames per second, supporting the continuous shooting of ultra-high-resolution images.

Canon's newly developed CMOS sensor also incorporates a Full HD (1,920 x 1,080 pixels) video output capability. The sensor can output Full HD video from any approximately one-sixtieth-sized section of its total surface area.

Images captured with Canon's newly developed approximately 120-megapixel CMOS image sensor, even when cropped or digitally magnified, maintain higher levels of definition and clarity than ever before. Additionally, the sensor enables image confirmation across a wide image area, with Full HD video viewing of a select portion of the overall frame.

Through the further development of CMOS image sensors, Canon will break new ground in the world of image expression, targeting new still images that largely surpass those made possible with film, and video movies that capitalize on the unique merits of SLR cameras, namely their high mobility and the expressive power offered through interchangeable lenses.