Canon were to start making FF sensors with two pixel densities: one very dense (perhaps 32 or 36 mpix) for those 3-4 fps 5D and 1Ds series cameras, and a lower density (maybe 24 or 18) mpix sensor for a 1D series camera.
The lower pixel density FF sensor would give unprecedented high-iso performance and allow huge fps. It'd be great for sports, journalism, things like that. It'd be great for video too!
Question then is of cost. Right now APS-H sensors are only put into 1D cameras. Would it be cheaper for Canon to produce two formats only? Would a low-density FF sensor cost significantly more than a APS-H sensor with similar pixel count?
Cost of a sensor is relative to the size, pixel count is not important. Canon has a good white paper explaining this.
Production costs for a full-frame sensor can exceed twenty times the costs for an APS-C sensor. Only 20 full-frame sensors will fit on an 8-inch (200 mm) silicon wafer, and yield is comparatively low because the sensor's large area makes it very vulnerable to contaminantsâ€”20 evenly distributed defects could theoretically ruin an entire wafer. Additionally, the full-frame sensor requires three separate exposures during the photolithography stage, tripling the number of masks and exposure processes.[
True. But there has to be some savings in mass production?
Right now they can make a 5D2 for less than a 1D4. Yes I know there's a huge difference in build. But it goes to show that sensors aren't the only thing determining camera cost.
Another thought: Maybe Canon can't beat Nikon in the high-iso department unless they increase the size of the sensor?