Canon offers a glimpse into the future of sensor technology

Back in January Canon announced three specialized sensors at CES 2018. Along with a 5MP Global Shutter sensor, it also revealed a 120MP APS-H CMOS sensor and a 19μm (pixel pitch) Full HD sensor (by comparison Canon's full-frame EOS 5D Mark IV has a 5.36μm sensor).

Canon has now revealed footage showing what the latter two chips are capable of, and while you're not likely to see them in your next Canon DSLR, they showcase cutting-edge tech that will no doubt eventually trickle down to the consumer sensors Canon manufactures.

35MMFHDXS sensor

This full-frame sensor might only have a resolution of 2.2MP, but what it loses in the number of pixels it more than makes up for in pixel size at 19μm, allowing each pixel to capture much more light than current sensors.

The larger pixel size means the sensor should deliver outstanding high-sensitivity, low-noise imaging performance, and be capable of achieving great results even in very low lighting.  

This is thanks to the readout circuitry employing new technologies, while the sensor is also able to shoot at a very impressive 100fps in Full HD. Check out the video below to see the sample footage captured. 

120MXS sensor

The second sensor for which Canon has released demo footage is the 120MXS, a 120MP APS-H CMOS sensor with 13,280 x 9184 pixels – that's 60x the resolution of Full HD, and roughly 15x the resolution of 4K.

Before you get too carried away, this sensor can only capture video at 9.4fps, so while it might be too clunky for filmmakers, the potential to be able to zoom in on footage and still achieve high levels of detail is bound to appeal to some specialist industries. You can see for yourself in the video below, in which Canon compares footage to that from a Full HD DSLR. 

If you want to find out more about these sensors, Canon has set up its own dedicated sensor page with more information.

Phil Hall

Phil Hall is an experienced writer and editor having worked on some of the largest photography magazines in the UK, and now edit the photography channel of TechRadar, the UK's biggest tech website and one of the largest in the world. He has also worked on numerous commercial projects, including working with manufacturers like Nikon and Fujifilm on bespoke printed and online camera guides, as well as writing technique blogs and copy for the John Lewis Technology guide.