How many megapixels?

Canon has again shown a prototype of a mega-megapixel sensor. But don’t get your hopes up.

The 120-megapixel sensor (yes, 120) is slightly smaller than full-frame (the equivalent surface area of one frame of 35 mm film), but larger than APS-C.

Canon says its aimed at video applications as well as aviation and space applications, among others. So, not consumer use . . . yet.

The company says the CMOS sensor has a “pixel count equivalent to the number of photoreceptor cells in the human eye.”

Keep in mind the more megapixels, the more data that has to be moved off the sensor with each picture being taken, and that creates heat. Heat creates image noise. Still, Canon says it can handle 9.5 frames per second thanks to “parallel signal processing.” This apparently reads signals at high speed from multiple pixels.

Another reason not to get your hopes up for a DSLR using this sensor in the immediate future: Canon showed this prototype about five years ago, so its development is taking a long time.

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