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Canon unveils 250-megapixel image sensor

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Canon has announced the development of an astonishing new 250-megapixel image sensor.

The new sensor is an APS-H CMOS sensor, which works out to approximately 29.2 x 20.2mm in size. This enables it to cram in 250 million pixels, which Canon says is "the world's highest number of pixels for a CMOS sensor smaller than the size of a 35 mm full-frame sensor."

Those are the figures, but it's what these stats enable the new sensor to capture that's really impressive.

According to Canon, this new image sensor will enable a camera to capture shots of such fidelity that you'll be able to distinguish the lettering on the side of a plane in images taken from 18km away.

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Simply increasing the megapixel count on a sensor causes its own set of problems, such as signal delays and timing issues, but Canon claims that this new sensor signal achieves readout speeds of 1.25 billion pixels per second. Apparently, advancements in circuit miniaturisation and enhanced signal-processing technology are to thank for this.

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In addition, Canon's new sensor can capture ultra-high-pixel-count video that's 30 times the resolution of 4K at 5fps. This would enable the cropping and magnification of video images with no discernible drop in detail.

Canon says that it is considering applying this new technology to surveillance and crime prevention fields, as well as other industrial tools, which suggests that it's not quite ready for the consumer camera field just yet.

Check out our Sony Cybershot hands-on video:

ElectricSheep

September 7, 2015, 10:29 am

Wonder how they get around the poor signal to noise issues with this huge MP, tiny size sensor. Can't imagine it's much use above 800 ISO. Still, I'm sure the NSA and MI5 will be happy to put a deposit down!

Zubeir

September 7, 2015, 11:52 am

Ok Canon, now make a decent camera that can compete with the A7IIr

Iain Coghill

September 7, 2015, 12:51 pm

At what point does the resolving power of the lens become the limiting factor?

Dead Words

September 7, 2015, 1:43 pm

Okay Apple, I demand that you put this sensor into the new iPhone's camera or I will never buy another iPhone again! Also I want a holographic display and a two week battery life.

Everlast

September 8, 2015, 7:50 pm

This new 250Mp Canon sensor will finally make the Canon 5DSR dynamic range and low light capability look good :)

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