Canon’s Rumored 75-Megapixel DSLR May Have a Stacked Three-Layer Sensor

new canon sensor

Talk has been rife among shutterbug enthusiasts about the Canon camera that is said to be launched next year with a monster 75-megapixel sensor. If some of you are already daydreaming about the possibilities in terms of shooting humongous photos for billboards or other large display areas, that presumption may be a bit premature.

Here’s what the latest sleuthing has led us to believe so far.

Rather than use a regular 75-megapixel Bayer sensor that produces 75-megapixel photos, the upcoming Canon model could in fact use a stacked sensor system that uses three layers in red, green, and blue to be able to capture more amounts of color information in each shot. This type of 3-layer sensor technology was seen in a published Canon patent back in May by the Japanese website Egami.

canon 1d-xs

According to Northlight Images, they have reason to believe from a highly reliable source that Canon’s forthcoming high-MP DSLR will in fact use this type of sensor. They claim that 75 MP is a ‘total usable photosite’ count. That figure is said to be referencing a non-Bayer multilayer sensor that uses blue, green, and red layers.

Such types of stacked sensors started surfacing in the camera industry a few years ago when Sigma began using Foveon X3 sensors in their cameras. Those cameras have a reputation for having fantastic color reproduction at low ISOs, but are strained if the sensitivity is taken higher.

Similar to Nokia’s 41-megapixel PureView cameras, which have the ability to compress multiple pixels into one for a higher-quality/lower-resolution photo, Canon’s 75+ MP DSLR may not be a true 75MP machine after all. If the numbers are actually referring to three layers of equal sizes, then what we are actually expecting is a camera that takes 25 megapixel images created using 75 megapixels worth of color data. While that doesn’t sound too terrible, this makes the initial expectation a bit too fantastic. “75MP is just too big a number for any marketing department to ignore,” wrote Northlight Images.  They also caution to manage expectations of the new model.  “[…] expect some subtleties in wording if this one is for real.”

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Patricia Ramos

Patricia Ramos

I am a freelance photographer who is no stranger to smudged lenses, long hours in front of the computer, heavy camera bags (and the back aches that ensued) and missing lens caps. If you know what I'm talking about, you probably have as much love and passion for photography as I do.