Canon Has Made a CMOS Sensor That’s Three Times the Size of a Typical EOS Camera

With a possible full-frame mirrorless camera on the way, Canon’s generating even more buzz after revealing it has made the world’s largest ultrahigh-sensitivity CMOS image sensor that’s 40 times the size of a full-frame CMOS sensor.

Just how big is this sensor?

Usually, a typical full-frame sensor measure at about 36 by 24 millimeters (1.4 by 0.95 inches). This crazy huge sensor is 20 centimeters (7.8) one each side. Canon’s sensor is also the largest that can be produced on a standard 12-inch wafer.

The sensor reportedly has a 120-Megapixel Ultrahigh-Resolution too!

Why make a sensor this large?

Now, it’s pretty obvious that this sensor isn’t going to be in any upcoming Canon camera. If you think the sensor’s big now, just imagine how big that camera would have to be. Nevertheless, this sensor has already helped scientists make some big discoveries.

Canon claims the sensor, with its ability to capture 60 frames per second with only 0.3 lux of illumination, was able to help confirm the existence and frequency of very distant meteors that up until this point were just theoretical. The sensor was actually able to record these meteors after it was installed in the 105 cm Schmidt camera at the Kiso Observatory at the University of Tokyo Institute of Astronomy.

Further, Canon says the sensor could “lead to an increased understanding of the influence that meteors may have exerted on the development of life on Earth.”

The challenges Canon faced to make this sensor

Canon says that it had to overcomes problems like distortion and transmission delays when creating this huge sensor. Canon reportedly solved these issues by making use of a parallel processing circuit and an exercised ingenuity with the transfer method itself. In the end, this allows the sensor to shoot video at 60 frames per second with only 0.3 lux of illumination.

Real-world Uses

While videographers may not be getting a giant EOS camera, the sensor will still of use in certain circumstances. For instance, the sensor could be used in a few industrial applications, like being put in cameras that shoot images for large-format poster prints, as well as cameras for image inspection of precision parts, aerospace cameras and omnidirectional vision cameras.

You can learn more about this sensor at

Sean Berry
Sean Berry
Sean Berry is Videomaker's Managing Editor.

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