Is Canon About to Announce a 90-Megapixel Full Frame Mirrorless Camera?

Is Canon About to Announce a 90-Megapixel Full Frame Mirrorless Camera?

Rumors of Canon producing a high-resolution, mirrorless full frame camera have been circulating for more than a year, and rumbling resurfaced recently with the suggestion that an EOS R5S is in the hands of a few professionals for early testing. How many megapixels, how fast a burst rate, and when will it be announced?

The proposed megapixels for this new, high-resolution body seems to change each time that this rumor rears its head. Many have speculated that Canon has long been keen to regain its position as having the highest-resolution full frame camera and Sony took the industry a little by surprise last year when it released the 61-megapixel a7R IV, bumping its high-resolution flagship by an impressive 19 megapixels and piling more pressure on Canon to deliver a camera a little more “pro” than its EOS R.

Canon has since delivered what appear to be two excellent bodies for photographers: the R5 and the R6. Neither of these, however, offer a route to mirrorless for owners of the 50-megapixel EOS 5DS and 5DS R. Those needing resolution were going to have to remain patient.

Notably, pressure now comes not only from Sony. Fujifilm has been making the shift to medium format increasingly appealing, offering megapixel beasts that compete not only in terms of weather sealing and rugged design, but also in price. Fujifilm’s Shinichiro Udono, Senior Manager of the Sales and Marketing Group of the Optical Device and Electronic Imaging Products Division has stated in interviews that the company believes it can make its medium format cameras a direct alternative to full frame cameras. “We think that price range, from $3,000 to 5,000 is kind of the top of the full frame camera price range,” said Udono to Imaging Resource. “We want to expand our large format customer base to new customers. So that is the target audience from our side.”

The Fujifilm GFX 50R. 51.4 megapixels for less than four and a half grand.
Canon is probably now keen to release a high-resolution camera that keeps photographers from straying to other brands. From what Canon Rumors has gathered, there are murmurings that a 90-megapixel 5S is now being tested, prompting questions about what other specifications such a camera could deliver. The burst rate would likely be under 10 frames per second, and one would imagine that Canon wants to include an EVF that compares with the 9.4 million dots offered on Sony’s new a7S III.

Given that this is intended as a photographer’s camera, it’s probably something of a relief for both Canon and consumers alike to assume that the debate over video specifications will not be anywhere as intense as those seen in recent months. Fans will be keen to discover the true resolving power of the RF glass, and the new sensor’s dynamic range and the way Canon deals with diffraction (landscape photographers take note) could play an important role in determining whether Canon shooters are tempted by Fujifilm’s recent advances.

What are your thoughts? Does this rumor come too early given that the R5 and R6 have only just been announced? What specifications are you expecting? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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Robert Nurse's picture

Canon doesn't even seem to be able to get R5's into customer's hands and they're already talking about an R5S?

Stig Nygaard's picture

No Canon are not talking about an "R5s". There's rumors about something like that.
Whatever Canon are talking about internally we don't know, but Canon probably always have an idea of what cameras are to arrive within the next two years. Delivery problems of latest or not.

Roberto Adrian Sanchez's picture

Lord, if the R5 gets hot, this one with double the Mps you will be able to use it as a BBQ or a blow torch.

Alan Myers's picture

Canon is already selling cameras with similar pixel size and density. The 90D and M6 Mark II have a 32.5MP APS-C format sensor. Scale that up to dull frame and you get 83 or 84MP.

The "R5-S", if that':s what it's called, will be a still photography camera with very limited video capabilities... And it will probably have a pretty conservative max continuous frame rate. These are the case with the 5Ds/5Ds-R. Both these factors... along with lessons learned from the R5 launch... will probably mean overheating won't be much of a concern.

Ed Sanford's picture

True.... I own the 5DSR and I love it. It's for high res still images. Nevertheless, I have made some very good pictures of birds. I keep a 2nd body if I need speed.

Carlos Dacosta's picture

Several problems i see of which some can be resolved with more money spent and others that are sacrifices. First, 90 MP is a lot of data for most computers to handle. Imagine opening up a folder with 2000 images containing raw files. Even the latest i9 or Razens will sweat. How will Photoshop handle files this big, after you make corrections and apply filters, adjustments, layers.... Second, 90MP will likely sacrifice clean noise free images, and unless you have some serious buffer built in, forget 10 frames per second. Further, likely a reduction in ISO will be needed to get quality images, along with higher shutter speeds. So forget these F/8.0+ telephotos, they may not cut it. One has to just look at the Sony A7r4 to see what was sacrificed to get 60+MP vs the A7r3 with 40+MP. The former has cleaner images that are more manageable. Bring it on....

Barry Strawbridges's picture

"irst, 90 MP is a lot of data for most computers to handle. Imagine opening up a folder with 2000 images containing raw files. Even the latest i9 or Razens will sweat."

Real people use Ryzen! lol

Carlos Dacosta's picture

So there are real people and non? Glad you clarifued this mystery

sam dasso's picture

So are you saying that modern computers can not handle 100MP files? Tell it to Hasselblad H6D-400 and Fuji GFX 100 owners, they apparently got unusable cameras. As for Sony A7RIV , it is a great upgrade to A7RIII and contrary to what you say images are very manageable and are of excellent quality.You probably read that stuff or watched some youtubers reviews, but I have both A7R3 and A7R4 and I am talking from personal experience.

Carlos Dacosta's picture

Thanks for update. First, i didnt say a single 100mp image. I said a folder containing 2000 photos of 90mp photos. Try it with thumbnails set to extra large and see what happens. I will hold for the a7r5, as it wont be long. Im ok with my a7r3 for now

sam dasso's picture

Of course it depends on your video card, but generally people who shoot 2000 photos in one sitting (like weddings or events) would not benefit from 90MP camera. 100MP midframes are mostly used for studio or landscape work.

Carlos Dacosta's picture

Remember also, that raw files would be double that as well, so yes a computer would need major upgrading or new work methods developed to cope with this.

Rhonald Rose's picture

If you have a descent computer (6-core modern processor with base speed of 2.9ghz, 32gb ram, nvme hard drives, etc), it should be fine. I use GFX system and there are times I have had 1.5k+ images and it's fine (it does suffer when I stitch panoramas that are 2+ gb in size).

Of course hardware that are more than four years and under specifications will suffer.

dale clark's picture

Unlike 8k video, most modern computers will be fine with 100 MP raw files. Now, if you are batch processing many 100 mp files for a wedding or sporting event, then you may run into some speed issues.

Rick Rizza's picture

In the meantime, I'm still hoping to get an R6 with just 20Mpx

Fraser Pitkethly's picture

can relate. still waiting to upgrade to the Z6 or D4

stuartcarver's picture

If mutley was a photographer he would be asking Dick Dastardly for ‘megapixels yeah yeah yeah’

microteck's picture

yeah yeah yeah

stuartcarver's picture

Hahahahaha that’s the one:)

Sridhar Chilimuri's picture

a pixel here and a pixel there and soon you will be talking about a lot of megapixels.

davidlovephotog's picture

Sounds hot.

microteck's picture

It's just another article to get under everybody's skin. Good job Andy!

Rhonald Rose's picture

I think 70mb is a sweet spot for the full frame. Not sure how challenging it will be to nail a sharp picture with a 90mb full frame.

Black Z Eddie .'s picture

If it's coming from Canon or Sony, odds are in their favor.

Rey cisneros's picture

I guess the people that worked at Kodak now works at nikon why is nikon holding back a real professional mirroles camera where is the z8 or z9

Terry Poe's picture

That would be a right move. As the market leader Canon has to be ahead of Sony in high resolution game. Personally I'm excited by opportunity to use EF-S lenses (via adapter) on 90MP body. EF-S lens on 90MP body would produce 35MP images. Though I'm not sure if the lens' optical resolution would no be a limiting factor.

Malcolm Wright's picture

It seems all new product releases are a balancing act between expectations and technical compromises. Let's hope that Canon doesn't build the expectations beyond the technical compromises made to deliver on this one..

Fraser Pitkethly's picture

yet again another megapixel race is starting. ffs guys quality of pixels over number of pixels is always going to be better for images and video. go and buy a medium format like the Fuji GFX or Hasselblad X1D II

Indy Thomas's picture

45MP is a perfectly fine substitute for the 5DsR at 50MP. The IQ on the R5 is likely better because of newer sensor tech and better RF lenses.
They may bring out a 90MP camera but I can assure you that my clients will never notice.

Spy Black's picture

Here's the first shot of the new 90 meg sensor, ISO 100...

Malcolm Wright's picture

Here's a timely review which tends to suggest that if Canon does make a camera with a 90mp sensor don't epect your current lenses to work well with it:

The $7,000 or £6,500 lens being reviewed struggles with a Canon 32.5mp sensor.

John Carlson-Zizic's picture

As a stills photographer I am so sick of hearing video blah blah blah, wish they'd just make a stills camera with no video function at all. R&D for video options are driving camera costs out of the reach of most photographers.

stuartcarver's picture

Fully agree

Carlos Dacosta's picture

Just read about the possibility of a new Sony A9iii body with 50MP sensor possibly out in the Spring 2021. Now this makes more sense than using 65 to 90MP sensors. Lower noise and ability to shoot at higher ISO without any concerns. High speed AF And maintaining 20fps. Less shadow noise, and huge buffer!! Definitely would be a great contender to replace my A7r3 body. Now if only Sony woulf upgrade their aging lens line up with newer glass technology being used in their latest lens releases.