The immense capabilities of the highly anticipated Canon 120MP concept camera were displayed yesterday in an appearance at Shanghai’s Canon Expo 2016. For many it was the first time they were able to see the camera in person, although it was nice to see it in action it was also a bit of a letdown.
Last September we covered some of the known specifications of the as of yet unnamed SLR , but this showing gave us a taste of how all this digital brawn actually translates into practical use.
The main demonstration of the Canon 120MP involved the camera being placed on top of a high glass table with the lens pointing downwards. Underneath the table (at a distance of around 1 metre) lay a selection of objects.
Most notable of these was an average-sized book that featured text descending in size, and a tiny matchbook sized book that featured even smaller text. A photo was then taken by the camera in this position. When shown to the crowd at up to 100% magnification, every line of text was still completely in focus and legible with no visible pixelation.
The major issue I have is that though the technology was certainly proven to be impressive, this was one of the dullest ways you could possibly imagine to demonstrate that. This type of incredible innovation should be presented in a way to incite gasps of wonder. Looking at some Latin on a crusty page generates more of a “yeah, it’s alright I suppose.”
But problems with Canon’s lack of theatricality aside, this astounding level of detail means that the Canon 120MP can potentially use a standard lens (In this instance an EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM) as a Macro lens. That could be a gamechanger.
The second (and even less gimmicky) part of the demonstration set out to show how different lenses could handle this immense level of resolution. A shot of a large tree taken with an EF 11-24mm f/4L USM lens and a portrait of a young girl taken with an EF 300mm f/2.8L iS II USM were blown up to a huge size with no visible imperfections. So, yay? I mean this is great to know but once again I urge you, shake it up, Canon!
Another thing to note is that this level of quality will of course come with a hefty price tag. A RAW picture file at 13,248 x 8,832 resolution will take up an estimated 214.1 MB of space. To meet these requirements, the Canon 120MP need radical upgrades in terms of processing and storage capability.
The Canon 120MP may not be visually distinctive, as it strongly resembles the shape of current models like the EOS 5DS. However, after this short glimpse we can appreciate that there is a lot more going on under the hood. We’re certainly looking forward to getting our hands on one.