Interesting about a quicker sideband "refresh" of the 5D line. I wonder if that is because Canon is finally ready to move to a newer 180nm process, and want to get all of their cameras on it sooner rather than later. I, for one, would happily spend a few grand on a high MP, high frame rate, 5D X (or whatever it ends up being called) if it had reduced read noise and competitive DR (i.e. at least 13 stops).I can see that you want such a product (dont we all), but what makes you think it will be high framerate? "Big megapixel camera" makes me think that it is to be a D800/MF killer for landscapes/macro, and that framerate/AF/high-ISO will be less prioritized.
I think it will be high frame rate because high frame rate is what Canon does better than anyone else. I have also been poring over Canon patents for the last month, and they seem to have quite a number of parallel readout and parallel pixel processing patents for high speed readout of high megapixel count sensors. Canon has also prototyped a 120mp sensor with a 9.5fps readout rate using some combination of block and row/column parallel readout and on-die image processing.
I see no reason why that technology could not be applied to a "measly" 30-40mp FF sensor to achieve at least 6-8fps. I also see no reason why ISO range would have to suffer. High ISO capabilities are not mutually exclusive with low ISO capabilities. On the contrary, high ISO is limited by physics, while low ISO is limited by electronic noise sources. Canons maximum well capacity is already more than high enough to fully exploit 14 bit data, as well as fully exploit 16 bit data...the only thing in the way is their high read noise. That could be solved with a parallel digital readout approach that applies digital noise reduction similar to Sony. If Canon solves the noise problem, they could easily have both quality high and quality low ISO performance.
Thanks for your post, jrista.
Now THAT sounds logical... and promising!
I keep my hopes up. Currently a happy 7D user, but always looking to technological advances helping my future photography.