Canon’s Testing a 75MP+ Pro DSLR

Canon 1D X

I received word yesterday from a reliable source that a pre-production high resolution Canon DSLR is currently undergoing field testing. The camera is a pro-sized body like the 1D X.

The resolution of the sensor is greater than 75MP.


The rear LCD is shockingly high resolution. So is the frame rate, which is possibly greater than the 1D X; however, I don’t know if that’s at full resolution or not. Presumably, the camera has a new processor (or processors) inside to handle the increased resolution and the higher frame rates.

What’s even more interesting is that the source believes that there might be an announcement for this camera prior to the end of 2013; however, availability may not be until next year.

Of course, Canon has tested cameras and technologies before that never made it to the market. And, this seems like such a massive jump in resolution from what is currently on the market.

However, Nikon jumped from the 12MP D700 to the 36MP D800. Tripling Canon’s top cameras at 20+MP resolutions puts us in the ball park of 75MP.

Additionally, Canon has had a 50MP APS-H sensor since at least 2007, and a 120MP APS-H sensor since 2010. A 75MP or higher resolution full frame sensor is not out of the realm of possibility – particularly when we are seeing smartphone cameras at 41MP.

Canon EOS 1S

The Canon EOS 1S has been in the rumor mill for some time as a high resolution pro DSLR, albeit prior rumored specs of 47MP-ish. Just because Canon is testing cameras with 75MP+ sensors doesn’t mean that a 47MP sensor won’t end up in the final model.

Likewise, that Canon EOS 3D has been floating around for several years as a rumored high resolution model. Recently, those rumors were revived with possible sightings and claimed specs in the 46MP range.

While I believe that this pre-production camera is in the wild, I’m not ready to proclaim that Canon is going to announce a 75MP+ DSLR this year. I just have a hard time believing Canon will make such a big jump.

If any sources want to chime in with additional details on this or other pre-production models, please reach out via the contact form or email me directly at contact [at]



  1. Oberoth says

    It still comes down to making money. Most customers won’t pay all that money to upgrade from their current camera to a new model when all your get is 10% increase here and and 15% there. So basically all camera manufactures can hope for is to sell to the people that have old cameras, out of data cameras but if they do a Nikon that jumped from 12mp to 36mp then even people own the most current model might upgrade because it really is something worth upgrading for.

    Put simply, if you give customers something worth buying then you will sell a lot more!

  2. jVh says

    If this is going to happen, ( just a matter of time, anyway ) it will be very welcome improvement by professional photographers.
    Having an arsenal of lenses plus other Canon accessories this will be a huge money saver then switching to PhaseOne or Hassy systems.

    I can’t wait.

  3. says

    a EOS 1 body will be very expensive $ 9,000.00 or more. then theres the proper glass to effectively get proper resolution from the sensor, only adding to cost. Not so sure this body will be a popular seller. But then maybe there will be 30mpx APS-C and a future 45+ mpx FF bodies more in line with main stream photographers budget later on. In per say a year or two. Can I say I need 75mpx at this time for any of my work no, but then there’s also those who still believe ten is more then enough for most work. Added resolution can be a great thing with proper light, but at what $ cost and ISO lost? how practical will this body be for most. Maybe the 30 and 45+ will be better then 75mpx right now. just a thought.

  4. Larry L says

    I find a 75 meg FX all hard to believe since the ablity for the lens to be to focus down to that fine of a grid may be impossable for the current lens being made unless Cannon is making some super high res len line up way beyond Nikon. Perhaps in around the 50’s is the max limit. Just like the DX sensor limit is about 24 or so. I tested a Sony DSLR DX having 24 megs with the kit lens and the lens was not able to focus well enough to utilize the 24 meg sensor.

    Even in a perfect world, where the lens and sensor would be limitless, perfect sharpness, the depth of field range would go to almost 0 causing blur just outside of the focusing point.

    Bottom line, you need a larger sensor at some point in all of this.

    $$Marketing however may be the reason for the increase more than the practical funtion.

  5. says

    What’s hard to believe here is the part that goes “which is possibly greater than the 1D X”. Maybe it’s another way of doing it, like the article suggests… like a fast electronic shutter, etc.

    A single 75MP raw frame even at 12-bits is close to 110MB without the embedded preview. So that’s 1fps (or a bit over) for most of the current range of fast CF cards or 2fps-something if it’s on those recent Toshiba SD cards. Maybe the full body is for writing in parallel… but that’s a 2x increase… to what? 2fps or 3fps? :)

  6. says

    There’s many out there believing it is all in the megapixels but what really counts is sensor size and pixel density. If you compare a full frame sensor to a full frame medium format sensor you understand that no matter how many megapixels you squeeze in, you will never get the sheer resolution of medium format. Heck, digital backs from 8 years ago are still on par, if not better, than current 35mm technology.

    Bye-bye Mamiya and othters? Nah … it ain’t gonna happen …

  7. says

    Once again the issue is going to be the glass. Look what happened when the 5dmII came out and people tried to use the Canon wide angle zooms on the full frame sensor. Didn’t work very well. Then Canon realized they had a problem and came out with series II lenses and charged a heck of a lot more money for them. Nikon users have found out with the D800 that only the best glass will give you the results needed. Many have bought Zeiss glass to use on the D800 or D800e for better results. I believe that both Nikon, Canon and Zeiss will all be selling glass that matches the price and quality of leica lenses in the next few years just to keep up with new sensors.

    • Larry L says

      We have many factors that come into play when trying to use relative small sensors with medium format resolution and then expecting the same results. Even if the lens was made perfect you still have camera shake that is amplified with trying to utilize a small dense sensor. So better ISO performance would be a new need.

    • bobby says

      chicago photographer . . .

      canon didn’t come out with mark II lenses specifically for the 5d mark II.

      they release a mark II version of a lens once the mark I ‘s technology is considered outdated – then the original is eventually taken out of production.

      call canon and ask them yourself.

      also, because someone might read your comments and believe them, make sure you’re typing fact instead of fiction.

  8. says

    Lens resolution will be limiting factor. Even Zeiss glass’ limitations will be evident at that resolution. It’s good for photographers who are more interested in hardware than photos.
    There are a lot of those folks out there. I welcome the high quality lenses. The sensors less so. I don’t want to wrangle files that big so it’s overkill for me and my customers. I used to work with top-of-the-line 6X6 sensors and these is an advantage to a CCD sensor in acuteness. There are also drawbacks to the glass that go with it. I really enjoy having a moderate priced 5D MK II outfit and not worrying about schlepping a $12 grand body when he sky opens up or a camera bag goes missing. I strap on everything from Hartblei to Zeiss to old Zuiko glass. But I enjoy strolling past big iron in a 2 liter too!

    • Michael C says

      What if it isn’t a 75MP Bayer type sensor, but rather three stacked 25MP sensors: one each for Red, Green, and Blue? Since you wouldn’t need to interpolate colors using demosaicing because there would be no Bayer filter, you would achieve better image detail with the same amount of data it takes to record a 25MP file.

  9. says

    What about the new sensor Canon was testing earlier this year, that had an ISO range upwards of 1,000,000? A special camera body was built specifically for the testing, and the shots of exteriors were like that of daylight, even though the lighting was done by the light of a full moon? A finding in those tests had a person in a regular sized room, lit only by the glowing ends of 3 incense sticks! Now, would this new sensor be a by-product of those tests? I’d like to see better AF, like the announcement for the 70D, less moire and aliasing, and a direct to download of HD video, and a 3.0 USB port.

  10. Jerry Peavy says

    Right, and at this point why would anyone believe that Canon actually cares about a prosumer camera to compete with Nikon. Canon has let everyone down too many times!

  11. dick ranez says

    maybe the “75 megapixel” new Canon is really a 37.5 mp camera with the new dual pixel
    technology from the 70D. Certainly Canon can make the design and the glass for newer
    high resolution lenses, even one that could compete successfully with the Leica lenses, but
    the secret is in the assembly process and mastering the tolerances. That’s why each Leica
    lens is individually tested and “tweaked’ – with a record of individual lens specifications – and
    why they cost three to five times the “equivalent” Canon or Nikon.

  12. R Boks says

    It is possible to put 75 MP or more on a FX sensor, but the limitation is the optical resolution. Even the best lenses can handle 75MP the limt is around 40-50MP for FX size.
    It’s just physics.
    The only way is to go for a bigger sensor, like the small medium format sensors from Leica, Pentax, Leaf,Phase-one and Hasselblad. But also for that format the limitations are around 60 till 80 MP. Again for more you need the full frame mediumformat sensors (42x54mm) used in Phase – one and Hasselblad.
    And you need also a 16 bit workflow to compete with medium format.

  13. mahonri says

    Waiting forever to try and trump Nikon is a loser. Two or three years AFTER Nikon came out with the D800 and D600 has cost them a lot of customers and lost sales. Worse for Canon, the Nikon D600 announcement and the Canon 6D announcement were close in time(Nikon was first by about a week) but the killer was Nikon had the cameras on store shelves three days later… while canon was a couple months later.

    You snooze, you lose and it has hurt Canon.


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