Canon Announces Full Frame Sensor With Global Shutter

Canon Announces Full Frame Sensor With Global Shutter

Few things are more hyped in photography than the development of global shutters, which offer a wide range of advantages over more traditional counterparts. The holy grail is a consumer-level full frame global shutter, and thanks to Canon's recent announcement, we are getting closer to that.

Global shutters, which expose and read the data from the sensor all at the same time as opposed to traditional sequential reads, are prized for a number of reasons. Because the entire sensor operates simultaneously, rolling shutter and distortion of fast-moving subjects are eliminated. This also means that there is no flash sync speed limit and no need to resort to workarounds like high-speed sync. However, global shutters have traditionally been for smaller formats (like 1" sensors) or prohibitively expensive (Canon's C700 GS retailed for around $30,000). 

However, Canon has announced two new full frame global shutters, the LI5030SAI and LI5030SAN. Both models are 19-megapixel full frame sensors with global shutters and 12-bit, 57.99 fps readout. The LI5030SAI can image both visible and near-infrared light and is intended for industrial applications, while the LI5030SAN has no micro-lenses or color filters and is intended for electron microscopes and x-ray detection cameras.

Of course, the thing many photographers and filmmakers are probably wondering is if we will see this in a consumer camera soon. There have long been rumors that the upcoming flagship EOS R1 will have a global shutter. To be clear, I doubt that will be the case. Global shutters are simply still very expensive (probably too much so even for a flagship consumer camera). Nonetheless, it does show that Canon has an active interest in them and knows that this is probably the next paradigm-shifting technology for the industry, so I suspect they have an eye towards bringing them to the consumer level eventually, perhaps in a camera like the EOS R1 Mark II. 

Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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""Both models are 19-megapixel full frame sensors… will [we] see this in a consumer camera soon"

OMG! Fool Frame zealots would have to live with fewer megapixels than are in the "postage-stap-sized" sensors they constantly deride!

Uh, for those who do video and don't care much about photos, eliminating rolling shutter is BIG!

"But, but, but... this is a PHOTO website, not a video website!"

Yeah seriously the rolling shutter news is awesome!

PSST! Rolling shutter on smaller sensors is much reduced, or even eliminated! Without expensive "global shutter!"

There. Saved you bunches of money. You're welcome.

Stacked sensors reduce roll considerably, any sensor size. Mechanical shutters roll too, usualy at around 1/250s. The OMDS OM-1 has an electronic roll at 1/125s or better. The pricey Nikon Z9 has an electronic roll at 1/270s, so they didn't bother with the mechanical shutter.

Sony will be first with some lame global sensor and all will decry how Canon is so far behind. Like with mirrorless.
Canon introduced the 70D many years ago. It was Canon working on perfecting mirrorless while Sony had pretty lame AF mirrorless cameras.
Canon's DPAF is superior and once introduced in mirrorless was alreadt matured and has shown it's superiority.
And it has totally left Nikon in the dust when it comes to AF accuracy.
Canon will do the dame with a global shutter sensor.

But then, if your sensor is small enough, and you read it out fast enough, you don't *need* "global shutter!"

Olympus/OMDS OM-1 users are reporting an almost total lack of rolling shutter effects in 90% of cases, and greatly reduced RS in super-high-speed cases, like airplane propellers.

Don't let the "perfect" be the enemy of the "good enough!"

70D (first Canon DPAF camera) launched 1 year AFTER Sony launched the NEX-6 (first Sony Hybrid AF camera). So yes, Canon was behind even then. And Sony's implementation didn't hurt IQ like Canon's did and continues to do.

As far as AF superiority, they're neck and neck. A1 vs R3 is a wash. That said, R3 is only 24MP, and A1 is 50MP. So A1 is processing 2x the data that the R3 is, and still getting the same performance. And now that the A7R V has a dedicated AI AF processor, giving it AF performance rivaling the A1 WITHOUT needing a stacked sensor, the A1 II (or A9 III) is set to revolutionize the industry the same way the A9 did nearly 6 years ago.

Also, Sony already has global shutter in some of their video cameras.