Canon announces two new 250mp APS-H image sensors

Canon Rumors Guy

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Canon Japan has announced two new APS-H image sensors from Canon with 250mp of resolution. As Keith at Northlight points out, that’s a resolution of 388.7mp if they were full-frame sensors.
From Canon: (Google Translated)
As a new product of APS-H size (about 29.4 x 18.9 mm) CMOS sensor, Canon will release “LI8020SAC (color) / LI8020SAM (monochrome)” capable of imaging about 250 million pixels (19,568 x 12,588 pixels) in 2020. It will be released in late October of the year.

Main features


The new product is an ultra-high resolution CMOS sensor with approximately 250 million pixels, which enables you to capture detailed information in an image while shooting a wide range. In addition, by setting the pitch of one pixel to 1.5 μm (micrometer), we have achieved approximately 250 million pixels in APS-H size, making it possible to use it for various purposes. It can be used for various purposes such...
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HarryFilm

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Canon has ALSO made a 440+ Megapixel CMOS sensor as per a 2010 Article (I also saw this super-chip at a demo at UBC aka University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada)

I should ALSO NOTE Canon is NO STRANGER to high performance high pixel count sensors having made a 25,700 x 17,142 pixels 200+ mm super-sensor in 2009/2010, which would be a 440 Megapixel sensor + plus add extra calibration pixels to make it 448 megapixels -- So they KNOW how to make BIG SENSORS !!! And this sensor was from 2009/2010, so who knows what they've got in their labs NOW in the year 2020?!

Here is the original "TechNews Daily" magazine article for this sensor which is now being used in Satellite imaging:

MSNBC TECHNEWS DAILY: (2010)

Canon image sensor may redefine photography

updated 9/12/2010 3:33:41 PM ET

-Camera maker Canon recently announced what is by far the largest CMOS image sensor ever made, measuring 202mm x 205mm (8 inches x 8.1 inches). To put that in perspective, that's about 40 times the size (by sensor area) of Canon's next-largest CMOS sensor, the 35mm-sized (36mm x 24mm) sensor in the top-line Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III and EOS 5D Mark II digital SLRs. It's hundreds to thousands of times larger than the sensors typically used in point-and-shoot consumer still and video cameras.

The giant new sensor is also extremely sensitive and capable of extremely fast read-outs, which in turn allows it to shoot video images at high frame rates in very low light. Canon claims the ability to shoot video at 60 frames per second at light levels of 0.3 lux, which means it could easily shoot very good quality, extremely high resolution video in very low light.

But...why?

So, other than bragging rights, what could be the reason for building such an enormous image sensor? What would be the use?

It turns out there are endless uses for a sensor like this. Though Canon has not released the pixel count, it will obviously be capable extremely high image resolution. If it uses a pixel size of 9 microns x 9 microns (9 thousandths of a millimeter square — pure speculation at this point, but a typical pixel size for a professional digital camera) it would mean the new Canon sensor would be able to deliver approximately 488 megapixels per frame, far larger than any other previous single sensor.

That kind of resolution means, for instance, that a photo with this sensor encompassing all 102 stories of the Empire State building would be so detailed that one could make out the faces of every person looking out every window. (Each pixel would cover an area of 16mm x 16mm, or 2/3" x 2/3".) And because the new Canon sensor also boasts very high (0.3 lux) sensitivity and very high (60 frame per second) frame rates, it could show those faces in real time on high-speed video. By moonlight.

Nothing even near that kind of resolution and capability has ever been possible with any previous image sensor.

Don't wait for the pocket camera! According to Canon, the limitation on the size of this sensor is that CMOS silicon wafers (the thin silicon-based disks of which computer chips are made) are currently not large enough to make CMOS sensors any larger. And because that greatly limits the production of sensors like this, the cost of these sensors will always be very, very high, quite possibly in the hundreds of thousands of dollars each. Adding to the cost of a camera for this sensor will be the optics required to make use of it. The very large, extremely high quality optical elements required to use the full resolution of the
sensor could easily cost more and take longer to make than the sensor and support electronics. So cameras using this sensor are not likely ever to be produced in large numbers.

So who will use them?

Use of these sensors will likely be limited to scientific, military, or other specialized applications where such costs can be justified. Astronomers will likely be among the first to use them as sensors for sky surveys where the requirement is for a sensor that can cover a relatively large area of sky while still maintaining high resolution. Aerial mapping, forest and geological surveys, sky surveillance, ground-based satellite tracking, and other such very specialized uses will likely be where these sensors are used, though one can't help wondering what kind of cityscapes, landscapes, and high-resolution movies could be
made with something like this.

But even if they're never available in large numbers, this breakthrough image sensor is likely to redefine what's possible in many forms of imaging. And because the nature of digital electronics is that prices are driven ever downward, it will also likely lead to much improved sensors and technology, potentially all the way down to popular commercial and even personal cameras, making it a very significant breakthrough indeed.

----
 

HarryFilm

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Again! Canon KNOWS how to make HUUUUUUUUUGE image sensors and they DO NOT NEED Sony's help AT ALL!

Global Shutter DCI 8K and DCI 16k resolution sensors at Full Frame and Medium Format sensor sizes would be a piece of cake for Canon!

They just need the CAJONES to put them into a R1dx series or a R7, R6 and R5 series camera sell than at less than $5000 USD!

Even a one inch DCI 16k sensor in a XC-20 body would be a CAKEWALK for Canon to do for $2999 USD !!!

JUST DO IT !!!

Cuz Apple is gonna BEAT YA TO IT!

V
 
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bbasiaga

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I bet Sony will still kill them on DR. :ROFLMAO:

Seriously though, I get the feeling something like this is for inspection equipment, not photographic use like we focus on here. Though at some point the technology may cross over. Could be interesting to see.

I don't even have a 4k monitor, so I can only imagine what images may look like off of this thing.

-Brian
 
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VivaLasVegas

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At a moments notice from marketing, Canon can release FF 16K(punisher) ML body. I guess Canon is just waiting for computer hardware and software to catch up in the future. This will be god send for landscape photographers. As for me, I prefer a FF ML with a quad pixel, +16 stops of DR and global shutter in a 25-50 mp body.....please please Canon!
 

Antono Refa

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My mistake in the MP area! I used the APS-C conversion by mistake (~2.56x) rather than the APS-H one (~1.7x)
That makes it -only- ~420MP at full frame :-(
The sensor is 29.4mm x 18.9mm = 555.66mm^2. An FF sensor is 36mm x 24mm = 864mm^2. (864 / 555.66) * 250MP = 388.7MP

Just wondering - how many photographers need that much? How much would lenses capable of resolving >300MP cost?
 

keithcooper

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The sensor is 29.4mm x 18.9mm = 555.66mm^2. An FF sensor is 36mm x 24mm = 864mm^2. (864 / 555.66) * 250MP = 388.7MP

Just wondering - how many photographers need that much? How much would lenses capable of resolving >300MP cost?
Thanks for the detailed correction- I've just had an Epson P900 turn up for review and I plead distraction ;-) ;-)

The lens issues is sometimes a bit of a red herring - a rising boat floats all boats. I tested this with TS-E50 and TS-E24 ii and the Panasonic S1r multishot - a mere ~180MP - definitely extra info to extract. Similarly the issue of 'diffraction' likely to be raised in some quarters.

150MP would suit my architectural and archival work - the fact there's not enough suitably paying work to justify MF for me suggests that a 100MP sensor with multi-shot would serve me for many years ;-)
 
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HarryFilm

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The sensor is 29.4mm x 18.9mm = 555.66mm^2. An FF sensor is 36mm x 24mm = 864mm^2. (864 / 555.66) * 250MP = 388.7MP

Just wondering - how many photographers need that much? How much would lenses capable of resolving >300MP cost?
---

I might be able to help on that question. The company I consult to (i.e. as a personal favour to its owner!), has manufactured at its Vancouver Canada facility, the worlds LARGEST CMOS 64-bit RGBA colour AND Greyscale imager chip on a 400 mm wafer (i.e. also the world's largest single-piece silicon wafer at 400+ mm) at a final resolution of 131,072‬ by 131,072‬ pixels (i.e. 128k resolution 1:1 aspect ratio) usually used in satellite Optical-band and IR/UV band imaging!

EACH one of those chips is about THREE MILLION USD (i.e. 4 million Canadian dollars) and the 4800 mm super-telephoto Acrylic lens assembly (i.e. coated high refractive index plastic lenses!) is around $1.5 million USD to 3D-XYZ CNC-machine and assemble in Vancouver.

Soooo, for Canon's 250 megapixel+ APS-H sensors, I am saying around $150,000 for the custom chips and lenses that are SHARP ENOUGH to resolve those megapixels. Think of them as being special versions of Zeiss/Arri Master Primes which are about $240,000 US per set.

Those costs are mostly for the PERSONNEL TIME required to monitor manufacturing processes for quality control and due to specialty optical measurements/instruments. Again, for lenses past 200 megapixels on APS-H or smaller sensor sizes, the resolving power of glass lenses NEEDS ultra high precision and superb quality control so an 85 mm prime lens is probably around $50,000 to $75,000 USD and an 800 mm or longer telephoto prime would likely be in the neighbourhood of $150,000 USD and above!

Of course with MASS production (10,000 units or greater!), you could get those lenses down to about $5500 USD each for the 85 mm prime and maybe $15,000 USD for the 800mm telephoto designed for a 250 megapixel APS-H sensor. It depends upon the amount of automation on the Quality Control side of things. If they could automate it fully at high precision, prices could really drop!

I would also say that mostly landscape and luxury product photographers use that type of resolution. A high end Hasselblad and/or Phase One camera can do pixel-shifted 200+ megapixel shots and I personally know eight of them just in the Vancouver/Whistler, Canada area who do that type of luxury products photography and they tend to buy new gear on lease payments every 3 or 4 years.

Extrapolate that to 5000 such artists worldwide, you are looking at maybe a 25 million dollars in revenue per year for manufacturers. Engineering Design companies would maybe buy 10x that per year that many so maybe about $250 million USD in revenue for such super high end gear manufacturers. NATO Militaries and Space Imaging centres tend to buy the MOST of such high end lenses and CMOS sensor gear so maybe another $750 million to $1.5 Billion USD in revenue per year split amongst multiple companies so basically NOTHING compared to the revenue created by just the consumer-level Canon M50 and Powershot series or Sony A7 series cameras which are the BIG moneymakers for manufacturers!


--

V
 
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Antono Refa

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The lens issues is sometimes a bit of a red herring - a rising boat floats all boats. I tested this with TS-E50 and TS-E24 ii and the Panasonic S1r multishot - a mere ~180MP - definitely extra info to extract.
Its a matter of diminishing returns. The difference between 50MP and 180MP will give you more than the next step to 310MP.

And I'm sure you can get more with a TS-E or super tele than you can get with, well, a lens that doesn't cost north of $2,000.
 

Mt Spokane Photography

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Sounds like its for surveillance cameras or machine cameras. Mine all have the ROI function. It allows for high resolution readout in only a specific area like faces or serial numbers or anything that can be detected in a area of the sensor and processed with high resolution. I'd think that machine vision cameras are the best application but security cameras would work as well.
 

HarryFilm

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This is the sensor that Canon should have put in the M50 Mark II.
I would have paid an extra $50.
Canon really missed out on my money.

--

The TRUE "Sweet Spot" for an M50 Mk2 would have been a 26 megapixel Global Shutter sensor at 10 fps burst rate and with 24 fps and 30 fps DCI 4K video and 120 fps 1080p video. Even at $749 body-only it would have been a total steal of a price. And at $999 USD with a cheap purpose-made-for-mk2 16-to-50mm kit zoom lens it would have been AN AWESOME DEAL!

That would have made a FORTUNE with all the Students and Vloggers needing something BETTER than their smartphone.
And 26 megapixel is even good enough for budding magazine photographers to try their initial hand at print and web publishing!
Those users would eventually UPGRADE to an R6 or R5mk2 over a period of 4 years. It's ANOTHER CASE of Coulda, Woulda and Shoulda for Canon!

Both Sony and the upcoming Apple cameras are gonna EAT CANON'S LUNCH if they keep doing this low-feature-set basic ILC camera gear! All the grandmas/grandpas buying this gear for the teenage grandkids and or mom/dad buying for college-age kids are gonna LISTEN to work colleagues who are gonna say GO WITH SONY FOR LOW END GEAR and APPLE for high end gear and eventually CANON LOSES ALL THE WAY DOWN THE LINE on ALL THOSE LOST UPGRADE SALES!

And RUE THE DAY that Apple hits up the world with those 50 megapixel+ large sensor Super-Smartphones coming soon --- BOTH CANON and SONY are DEAD once the teenagers get their skateboarding feet and video gaming hands on those super-phones!!!

V
 
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Mt Spokane Photography

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Canon has now released a english language version not requiring a translation.

As suspected, its a industrial sensor, not a sensor for consumer cameras. Machine inspection cameras that can check very fine detail are a big cost saver for a factory.

Here is the first part.




Canon U.S.A. Announces Three New Industrial Imaging Sensors

MELVILLE, NY, October 19, 2020 – As imaging sensors continue to be an essential component of industrial processes, Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, is excited to announce three new CMOS (complementary metal-oxide semiconductors) sensors: the ultra-high-resolution LI8020 series, the ultra-high sensitivity LI3030 series, and the LI7050SAC. These sensors help expand the company’s lineup of industrial vision products while offering integrators and end-users additional capabilities when developing solutions for various applications.

LI8020SAC/LI8020SAM

The LI8020SAC (color)/LI8020SAM (monochrome) ultra-high resolution CMOS sensor features a pixel pitch of 1.5 µm (micrometer) and a resolution of approximately 250 million pixels, which provides detailed images in a wide range of applications and situations. The sensor will help meet the needs of manufacturers to inspect flat panel displays, which frequently exhibit 4K and sometimes even 8K content. The sensor can also be a tool for video production, digital archiving, wide-area monitoring, and the medical industry by providing ultra-high resolution and ultra-high-speed signal readouts. Due to the ultra-high pixel count of the sensor, images can be captured that maintain incredible image quality, even if an area of the moving or still image has been cropped and enlarged using an electronic zoom.
 

David - Sydney

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If my maths is okay... 250m pixels @ 1.25b pixel readout per second would be 0.2s/frame which matches 5fps. my question is whether the same readout speed could be used with a smaller resolution sensor. I have read that the R5 has 15ms sensor read and the A7SIII has 10ms. What sensor readout speed would be considered equivalent to global shutter? Ideally = zero ie simultaneous read from all pixels. Would a global shutter mean that all pixels are read simultaneously and held in memory before being read out line by line?
 

Mt Spokane Photography

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If my maths is okay... 250m pixels @ 1.25b pixel readout per second would be 0.2s/frame which matches 5fps. my question is whether the same readout speed could be used with a smaller resolution sensor. I have read that the R5 has 15ms sensor read and the A7SIII has 10ms. What sensor readout speed would be considered equivalent to global shutter? Ideally = zero ie simultaneous read from all pixels. Would a global shutter mean that all pixels are read simultaneously and held in memory before being read out line by line?
The Canon patents I've seen have memory for each pixel on chip. The values are saved to memory essentially all at the same time and then read out. Thats likely the way it will work.
 
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