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250MP Canon Sensor! OM-D E-M10 II Sales Halted | Daily Roundup

By Anthony Thurston on September 7th 2015

Welcome to our roundup series where we will hit on several gear news and rumor topics each day. This gives you a chance to get caught up on all of the day’s news and rumors in one place. Make sure to check back daily for the latest gear news, rumors, and announcements.

Canon Unveils Monster 250MP APS-H Sensor

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Every once in a while, companies like to make ‘look what we did’ type announcements on milestone tech. Today was such a day for Canon, as the imaging giant announced a new 250MP APS-H sensor, making it the highest-resolution sensor of that size.

The resolving power of this sensor is absolutely incredible; when installed in a camera, 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 18 km from the shooting location.

Canon sees the primary uses for such a camera being in the surveillance and security markets, so don’t expect it in any Rebel’s or APS-H DSLR cameras any time soon. That said, this sensor would be capable of some pretty incredible things:

Video footage captured by the 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 (3,840 x 2,160 pixels) video. The exceptionally high definition made possible by the sensor lets users crop and magnify video images without sacrificing image resolution and clarity.

As with many announcements of this type, there is no product attached to this milestone. So there are no awesome security cameras or surveillance cameras coming down the pipe anytime soon. Canon had to do something, with Sony getting all of the sensor loving lately, this was likely their attempt to remind everyone that ‘hey, we are still over here’.

Well played Canon, Well played. Now put this sensor in a DSLR and we can talk…

Olympus Announces Halt to OM-D E-MII Sales Over Manufacturing Issues

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Olympus Japan has released a statement saying that sales of the OM-D E-M10 II will be halted until further notice due to a manufacturing issue that has been discovered. They have disclosed that the issue appears to be something to do with a lock and the lens mount; obviously a pretty serious issue.

They are suspending sales until at least the end of September, but there is no word yet on how this will affect anyone who has already bought an E-M10 II. The camera is still currently for sale on B&H and other US based retailers, so it is unclear if this is a worldwide issue or if it is somehow limited to Japan.

Regardless, if you have a new OM-D E-M10 II, I would get in touch with Olympus and find out if you need to do anything or if your camera is affected by this issue.

Enter Our ‘End of Summer’ Contest!

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Don’t forget to head on over to our Contests section and share the best image you took over the summer for a chance to win a $200 credit to WhiteWall.com, one of our favorite photo labs.

Full details and enter here.

What are your thoughts on today’s roundup? What news/rumors did we miss? What would you like to see covered in future roundups? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think!

Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Steve VanSickle

    I can hear hard drives everywhere weeping at the thought of that Canon sensor. And stitching a panorama of 250MP images? Ouch.

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    • Dave Haynie

      I can hear the hard drive makers drooling over that sensors :-) And yeah, you might just need some more memory for that kind of stitching. But fundamentally, stitching four 250Mpixel shots shouldn’t use more memory, and less CPU, than stitching fifty 20Mpixel or sixty 16Mpixel images… that’s why I have 64GB of RAM. Just for compositing. That one, at least, is a long-off prototype… but the 120Mpixel chip is claimed to be real, and Real Soon Now.

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  2. Matthew Saville

    I see that Canon is still in “trophy mode” with its R&D dollars. This is a shame for us mortals to see at first, however maybe in the long run it will result in a major leap in technology.

    Still, I’ve always found it difficult to get on board with this marketing strategy. Canon seems to have been doing it for at least two decades, and their “L” moniker has been around forever actually.

    I know that, as consumers, we’re inclined to want the absolute best. That’s a good long-term investment. However I can’t help feeling that the “L” label also plays to an aspect of consumerism that is NOT necessary: elitism and a disproportionate sense of pride or affection. These are only mechanisms for sales figures, they don’t actually benefit the end user very directly. Unless you argue that the sale of high-end $10K lenses (or 250 megapixel sensors) is somehow funding the R&D of more affordable options for less affluent consumers.

    However I think the opposite is more likely- the big companies make the bulk of their profit by selling to the masses in high volume. Canon’s profit margins on a Rebel body or kit zoom aren’t nearly what they are for a $10K “big gun”, but the hundreds of thousands or millions of sales of those cheaper products will far outweigh it.

    Some companies like Sony, Pentax, and Nikon seem to use this tactic to their advantage at least some of the time: They first focus on making the absolute best product a budget-end consumer could possibly want, and then they worry about the expensive stuff once they’ve made a mountain of cash from the sales of a truly superior low-end product.

    Meanwhile, Canon is releasing $2-3K lenses left and right, and developing 52-250 megapixel sensors, as if to say “look at us, we can do all this, surely it means we’re the best at EVERYTHING! Buy a Rebel!”

    Maybe I’m just a complete Canon hate-boy, but I honestly would love to see them suceed. I await both the 6D mk2 and the 5D mk4 with much excitement, and I hope they have a few key (affordable) aftermarket products coming out soon as well, like a decent 50 1.4 and 85 1.8 to compete with the offerings from Sigma and Tamron.

    I don’t want to see either Canon or Nikon “bite the dust”, and I don’t think they will. I just think that in this day and age, with third parties doing such great things at such affordable prices, Canon’s sense of elitism is actually a hindrance more than a selling point.

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    • adam sanford

      Matthew, why such a hater on trickle-down photonomics? Everyone knows we need to invest more dollars in the Lens Creators to deliver lenses for the rest of us.

      #canon #foxnews #mixedmetaphors

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    • Matthew Saville

      I dunno, I guess I’m more a fan of trickle-up photonomics? :-P

      Actually maybe photocommunism might be an interesting business model to ponder… I can imagine Rokinon lenses with autofocus, and we just use tape and glue to hold the lenses together when they break?

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    • Dave Lyons

      It’s just one more (to an ever growing list) of pony tricks to try and distract customers away from the fact that they can’t get over the 12.1 (or whatever) stops of DR that they can’t seem to overcome.

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    • Dave Haynie

      The upgrade path does sell consumer products. Even stupid ones… when I was at Commodore, and we released the Commodore 128 personal computer, sales of the Commodore 64 went up. Fans see those big white Canon lenses at every football game and rock concert, that lends Canon a certain cred that Sony, Olympus, Panasonic, Fujifilm etc. don’t get. Nikon, sure, they have their own flavor of that.

      It works on some pros, too. You may not be planning to buy that new lens, but you know you can rent it, and it’s not available for other bodies. You see that Canon and Nikon are committed to supporting the top of the pro market, you kind of wonder about the direction of the other guys… Sony makes a new body every other month, but they spend more time re-inventing their old lenses than making something new.

      And the opposite is a terrible feeling. My largest system isn’t Canon or Olympus M43, it’s actually Olympus OM. It was really rough watching Olympus at first support consumer cameras — fine — but then go entirely over to the dark side and not bother with their system stuff anymore.

      As for the sensors — do what you’re good at, I suppose. Though between DR and BSI, Sony is getting freaky good compared to everyone else. And we don’t even know how long before they sell some of that sweet silicon to Nikon or something else… do they do that right away, or keep it in-house for a year? As I’ve said before, I don’t see how Canon goes to 120Mpixel and delivers a professional-quality image without going BSI. Could be that’s what the holdup’s been since they first showed off 120Mpixel sensors in 2010… but overestimating Canon has never been a good bet. And they do seem to spend most of their sensor time on Cinema EOS stuff… don’t forget, that same announcement has them delivering an 8K Cinema camera soon.

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  3. Dave Haynie

    Well, my computer can handle 250Mpixel photos no problem. But it is an issue… I had to build a computer with 64GB of RAM to handle the composites I like to make.

    I was reading about Canon’s discussion of a 120Mpixel sensor planned to show up in an EOS body just this morning. That sounds amazing until you realize that’s 2.7um pixels, smaller than the pixels in any Micro Four-thirds camera and some Nikon 1 models. That means diffraction limiting starts kicking in at f/2.8, and is certainly a major issue by f/8. Given that many of the best lenses don’t hit their sweet spots before f/4-5.6, I’m not sure what glass we’re supposed to use with this sensor…. even the EOS 5DS, at 50Mpixels, has a fairly short list of ideal lenses.

    So 250Mpixel at APS-H, that’s just crazy talk. That means cellphone-sized pixels, and maybe you get to use them all at f/1.8 or f/1.4, but probably not much below. Ok, that’s a technology demo, and they made a 120Mpixel APS-H sensor back in 2010 that we haven’t heard much about until just now (eg, such a wonder showing up in a real camera). I expect we’ll see an article about this here soon…

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    • adam sanford

      You are correct, sir. Great timing on that prediction:

      http://goo.gl/o63ZEL

      That 120 MP sensor is real and headed for an SLR before too long (and going to be shown off at the upcoming Expo, one would imagine). Disregard that CR has posted this — *that’s official from Canon*.

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  4. Paul Blacklock

    Put that Brilliant sensor into a new FF camera, me wants now now now :)

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  5. Colin Woods

    And don’t forget to add the cost of the new computer you’d need to process these files.

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