Canon USA, a leader in digital imaging solutions, today announced that its parent company, Canon Inc. has developed an APS-H-size (approx. 29.2 x 20.2 mm) CMOS sensor incorporating approximately 250 million pixels (19,580 x 12,600 pixels), the world's highest number of pixels1 for a CMOS sensor smaller than the size of a 35mm full-frame sensor.
When installed in one of Canon's prototype cameras, the newly developed sensor was able to capture images enabling the distinguishing of lettering on the side of an airplane flying at a distance of approximately 11 miles (18 km) from the shooting location.
With CMOS sensors, increases in pixel counts result in increased signal volume, which can cause problems such as signal delays and slight discrepancies in timing. The new Canon-developed CMOS sensor achieves an ultra-high signal readout speed of 1.25 billion pixels per second, made possible through advancements such as circuit miniaturization and enhanced signal-processing technology. The sensor enables the capture of ultra-high-pixel-count video at a speed of up-to-five frames per second. Despite the high-pixel count, Canon has achieved high-sensitivity, low-noise imaging performance through an architecture developed over many years and adapted for miniaturized pixels .
Video footage captured by Canon's prototype camera outfitted with the approximately 250-megapixel CMOS sensor achieved a level of resolution that was approximately 125 times that of Full HD (1,920 x 1,080 pixels) video and approximately 30 times that of 4K UHD (3,840 x 2,160 pixels) video. The amazingly high definition, made possible by the sensor, lets users crop and magnify video images while maintaining fantastic image quality. Canon is considering the application of this technology in specialized surveillance tools, ultra-high resolution measuring instruments and other industrial equipment, to expand and enhance the field of visual expression.