Canon to Sell APS-H Sensor, Could Custom Cameras Be in Our Future?

By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)

Remember the story did about Canon developing a massive 12-MP APS-H sensor and what camera they could be designed for? Well, it turns out that the new sensor could be for ALL of them. Or more specifically, any camera design that wants to buy their sensor to be built around.

There are several so-called “home built” cameras out there. The one that comes to mind is the Apertus Axiom 4K camera, which has been slowly, but steadily, been developing a very impressive array of specs and has shipped BETA versions to its backers. They made a pretty big splash, however, winning an impressive accolade and a hefty grant from the European Union. It could even be argued that RED started out as a home brew camera project ten years ago, as Jim Jannard started designing a camera that he knew had to push the state of the art over the horizon. The result was the RED One Mysterium sensor.

The 120 MSX primarily for security cameras because it focuses on exceptional detail from huge distances and can offer extremely sharp macro shots as well. Check out just how sharp in the video below:

The tech specs outlined are:

  • Sensor size: APS-H (29.22mm x 20.20mm)
  • Filter types:
    120MXSC: RGB
    120MXSM: Monochrome
  • Number of effective pixels: 13280h x 9184v, approx. 122MP
  • Pixel size: 2.2µm x 2.2µm
  • Progressive Scan
  • Rolling Shutter
  • 188pin ceramic PGA
  • Sensitivity:
    120MXSC (Green): 10,000e/lux/sec
    120MXSM: 20,000e/lux/sec
  • Saturation: 10,000e @ gain0.5x
  • Output Channels: Data 28 lanes, Clock 14 lanes
  • Dark Random Noise: 2.3e rms @ gain x8, Room Temp.
  • Dark Current: 8.1e/sec @ gain x8, 60°C
  • Number of output channels: Data 28 lanes, Clock 14 lanes
  • Main clock frequency: 45MHz (Recommended)
  • Output format: 720Mbps in LVDS output 9.4fps @ 10 bit
  • Built in column amplifier (Pre-amplifier gain mode: x0.5, x1, x2, x4, x8)
  • Serial communication
  • All pixel progressive scan reading function, Region of Interest (ROI) reading function (Vertically)
  • Vertically intermittent reading function (1/1, 1/2, 1/3, 1/5, 1/7, 1/15)
  • Power consumption: 2.5W (under recommended operating conditions)
  • Power supply voltage: 1.7 V, 3.5 V
  • Package size: 55.0mm x 47.8mm x 4.49mm

Not only that, but Canon is still developing an even larger 250MP APS-H sensor. Both are smaller than a full frame sensor to be sure, but offers far more detail than the state of the art 4K full frame sensor.

Now with Canon’s new 120MXS APS-H sensor coming on the market for purchase, will those blasted seeds spread to other designers and camera shooters, who have an inkling that “there has to be a better way” or want to add features that camera companies have only ignored?  Well, maybe not yet, at least in it’s current configuration. While the 120MXS can image 13,280 x 9,184 resolution, it can only do at just under 10 fps.

So why did I bring it up? Well, ever since I saw Apollo 13, I’ve been more or less obsessed with this line … I don’t care what it is designed to do, I care what it CAN do. So maybe, could it be possible to tweak the sensor,, settle for less resolution, and maybe boost the frame rate? And we all know that downscaling a sensor can provide a better image at that size. So 13K down to say 8K. Maybe it would work.

Canon is also offering their 5MP global shutter sensor, which would be free of rolling shutter issues, and a full HD ultra sensitive model that not only shoots in near darkness, but at 100 fps. Look out RED Gemini, it sounds like Canon is coming for you.

The sensors are available through authorized Canon distributor Phase 1 Technology of New York.

Hat Tip – DIYP



About James DeRuvo 801 Articles
Editor in Chief at doddleNEWS. James has been a writer and editor at doddleNEWS for nearly a decade. As a producer/director/writer James won a Telly Award in 2005 for his Short Film "Searching for Inspiration. James is a recovering talk show producer from KABC in Los Angeles, and a weekly guest on the Digital Production Buzz with Larry Jordan.

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