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How many megapixels!?

As noted before in Photo Counter, there’s a veritable cottage industry in rumours about new camera and lens releases, and immediately prior to major photographic equipment exhibitions the rumour websites become more noisy and the rumours more frequent.

(If the rumours are true) the forthcoming CP+ exhibition will kick-start 2015 for the photo industry.
(If the rumours are true) the forthcoming CP+ exhibition will kick-start 2015 for the photo industry.

Sometimes they are fuelled by strategic leaks from the camera companies or their marketing/PR apparatchiks who are attempting to secure some ‘clear air’ and steal a march on their competitors, Sometimes, someone somewhere blunders and something which wasn’t supposed to sees the light of day is prematurely posted in an obscure corner of the internet. Sometimes it’s just sheer bulldust.

With the CP+ event in Yokohama (Feb 12 – 15) providing a platform for 2015 new releases, the rumour mill is currently working overtime.

The most intriguing of the latest batch is persistent talk of a new Canon DSLR with a massive 50+ megapixel sensor. Some say 52 megapixels, some say 53 megapixels. Whatever the case, if true it marks Canon’s emergence from a period of relative inactivity on the innovation front, and sees the market leader leapfrog (with pike!) the resolution of the impressive full-frame Sony A7 range and the Nikon D810, and the more recent 28-megapixel APS-C Samsung NX1.

Even more fascinating is talk that the new sensor is something of a joint project between Canon and Sony. Canon has been falling behind the pack in sensor performance, if DxO’s bench-testing is to be believed, and this may be the way it gets back up to speed. This is what one of the more prominent and arguably reliable rumour site, Canon Rumors quotes an anonymous contributor as saying: ‘Canon will buy Sony sensors for the next full frame cameras. But they are more a joint venture from Canon and Sony. Sony will make them and they will have EXMOR (sic) technology, for Canon they will get the DualPixel AF. So it’s a patent exchange that helps both companies. Sony will still sell the sensors to Nikon, but only without the DualPixel technology. Sony has the capacity to produce two lines of these 53MP sensors.’

– There’s not much extra detail, but strengthening the ‘where there’s smoke there’s fire’ line is the fact that there’s been talk of a 50+ megapixel Canon since late 2014. Camera Rumors predicts with varying degrees of confidence that there may actually be two super-high resolution bodies announced, and that all will be revealed on or immediately after February 6 – next Friday. So we don’t have long to wait to find out…

Other interesting rumours related to CP+ announcements are that Canon is going to have another crack at the mirrorless segment with an EOS M3; that Sigma will continue its roll-out of its highly-rated premium Art series lenses, including f1.4 24mm and 85mm models; that Sony may finally release a camera with its amazing curved sensor technology (though we’ve heard that one before), that Nikon has a D7200 and its own new mirrorless up its sleeve, and that we might also see a new mirrorless camera in the popular Olympus OM-D range.


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