There seem to be a lot of conflicting rumours with regard to the resolution of the new 1Ds seriesâ€™ sensor. Iâ€™m sure that there are people here that will be better informed, but my guess would be that any new full frame cameraâ€™s sensor would be based on an existing wafer.
Which pixel pitch will they use?
[Based on the table by Keith Cooper: http://www.northlight-images.co.uk/cameras/Canon_1DS_MkIV.html
]APS-C Camera Year 35mm FF Camera Year
~3MP D30 2000 - 2002 ~11MP 1Ds 2002 - 2004
~6MP D60/10D 2002 - 2004 ~16MP 1Ds mk2 2004 - 2007
~8MP 20/30D 2004 - 2007 ~21MP 1Ds mk3 2007 - present
~10MP 40D 2007 - 2008 ~26MP ? ?
~12MP 450D/1100D 2008 - present ~31MP ? ?
~15MP 50D 2008 ~39MP ? ?
~18MP 7D/60D/550D/600D 2009 - present ~46MP ? ?
~21MP ? ? ~54MP ? ?
(How the 12.7MP 5D fits into this, Iâ€™m not sureâ€¦)
The pattern for the first three generations seems to have been that when the APS-C sensor was superseded, the pixel pitch equivalent full frame sensor appeared. This has now broken down: there was no 26MP / 31MP full-frame camera. My question is, if Canon wanted to produce a 1Ds MkIV with one of these resolutions, why wouldnâ€™t they have done so in quarter 3 2010, when everyone expected them to? A quick calculation of what Digic 4 is capable of:
5D MkII - 21MP x 3.9fps = 81.9
31MP x 5fps = 155
Dual Digic 4s should have had enough processing power for a 31MP 1Ds MkIV at 5fps. So why wait a year? A 1Ds MkIV with this sensor, the 1D MkIVâ€™s AF system and HD Video would surely have been enough of an upgrade for anyone contemplating it. Did Canon thought that the economy was too weak to sell enough of them? Were they worried that Nikonâ€™s new D4 would outshine it this year?
Thereâ€™s a suggestion at Northlight that a 40+MP 1Ds MkIV prototype was tested, but has been rejected because of poorer than hoped for high ISO performance. Referring back to the table shows that a FF equivalent to the 18MP APS-C sensor would have ~46MP. This raises the question of what Canon were looking for in this regard in a â€˜studioâ€™ camera compared to the 7D et al. Is read noise higher from a full frame sensor?
Maybe Canon is looking to produce a single 1D series body that merges the product lines, but as Keith Cooper states: which price point do they market it at, the 1Dâ€™s or the 1Dsâ€™? Perhaps Canon fear that the Pentax 645D makes the 1Dsâ€™ traditional price point untenable? Assuming that this is not the case, what impact will the 5D MkIII have upon all of this? Will Canon carry on with putting the same sensor in it as in the 1Ds, or will they revert to a lower resolution sensor as in the original 5D? If they do the former, expect the 5D MkIII to look very much like the 5D MkII in terms of its other specifications to maintain the differential between the two lines. If they put a different sensor in the 5D MkIII, then it would help them to beef up the other aspects of its performance to head off the expected D800.
Will we see a 1Ds MkIV based on the 50D pixel pitch at ~39MP and a 5D MkIII based on the 40D (1D MkIV?)/ 450D pixel pitch at ~26 - 31MP?
Apologies for the length, Iâ€™ve been saving it up for a while -havenâ€™t posted in ages!