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New rumor: Canon to reclaim their sensor crown
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New rumor: Canon to reclaim their sensor crown

A new rumor from Canon rumors suggests that Canon will come out with a camera with a sensor in excess of 70MP and also catch up to Sony's lead in sensor technology.  All in one fell swoop.

As Canon Rumors states;

It has been rumored in the past that Canon will eclipse 70mp with their EOS 5DS  replacement and that it will come to the EOS R system and not the EOS DSLRs. So that means no DSLR replacement for the EOS 5DS and EOS 5DS R.


There have been two sensors tested in the new EOS R body, and it’s possible that the camera may come with a sensor over 80mp. The source noted that Canon is about to release brand new advancements in sensor technology and has “caught up to Sony”. 

This, of course, is highly possible, even with the current generation of Canon sensor technology to date.  The problem with this that Canon has currently experienced is the rather slow readout speed of its sensors.  This would make it harder for Canon to come up with a generic "to everything" from oversampled 4K, to fast 10fps shooting, at the same time as delivering 70MP, and while their sensors can match Sony's 1st or 2nd generation full frame EXMOR sensors in terms of dynamic range and other metrics, they can't match Sony's current generation.

Thus the near-certain need for improving sensor performance from Canon.  Could they? It would be an incredible jump for Canon to catch up to where Sony is in sensor technology.  It would mean yet more foundry changes for Canon not to mention quickly getting caught up on the multiple stages of Sony's BSI sensors (now in their 3rd or possibly even 4th generation).  Not only that, they would have to fast track that new development onto full frame sensors fairly quickly.  Even if they release the 90D and M5 Mark II with new generational sensors, there will be very little time between those cameras and the full frame cameras coming out "soonish" most likely in the spring of 2020.

Canon, as we have documented through the last few years has certainly been active in exploring higher-end sensor technology, from flexible curved sensors to 3 layer stacked sensors.  Is any of the technology ready for prime time?  It's hard to say, but as we noted earlier when the Sony A7R IV was announced; Canon needs to do something and fairly quickly or they may lose what few advantages they have remaining.

One advantage that Canon has in this regard, that normally is not a Canon advantage, is that it's usually easier to catch up than it is to be the forefront innovator.

We shall see - if we're to see a new generation of sensors quickly from Canon, the upcoming 90D and M5 Mark II should show the first signs of it.

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