Canon’s 120MP full-frame sensor is not a Bayer sensor, it’s based on new technology [CW4]

350px-Bayer_pattern_on_sensor.svg

Bayer sensor (image: Wikipedia)

I have been told by a reputable source (was right in the past) that Canon’s 120MP full-frame sensor is not based on Bayer technology. That means: not an RGB sensor.

According to Canon (as told by the source), an RGB sensor doesn’t work for such a high resolution, i.e. for resolutions above 100MP. The source stated it is a totally new technology that Canon is employing on their upcoming 120MP sensor. We are not talking Foveon or other stuff here. To be more clear: according to the source, with this sensor Canon will introduce a new sensor technology to the world.

Update: after the post has been published, the source contacted me saying it may be “a technology similar to Foveon”. We have a long row of Canon patents pointing to Foveon/Multi-Layer sensors.

The 120MP sensor was announced as a development project back in September 2015. Since then, we didn’t hear much about the sensor, except that it could go to market in 2018.

So, now the big question is: what sensor technology does Canon employ on their full-frame 120MP sensor?

  • Kurt

    there are bayer sensors with over 100MP already…. this is nonsense.

    • Fred

      “According to Canon (as told by the source), an RGB sensor doesn’t work for such a high resolution …”
      And, btw, I do not think this is bs.

  • Michael – Visual Pursuit

    Canon has patents on multilayer sensors, and in those patents it is obvious that they don’t suffer from the problems inherent with the foveon design. Yes, this is likely the holy grail. Finally.

    • Kurt

      lets hope they will go to a smaller manufacturing process also and fix the ADC issues…. if only to shut up the noisy sony fanboys an DRones.

    • animalsbybarry

      This is all falling into a very logical timeline
      Canon desperately needs a sensor Sony does not have
      Intense Canon/Sigma negotions…foveon…
      Lots of non Canon on canon camera rumors.
      Now …120mp sensor non bayer…foveon?
      Both Canon and Foveon versions have issues as well as possible patent overlapping.
      Combining the two technologies is Canons most logical next move.

  • animalsbybarry

    You heard it from me first …2 weeks ago.
    Foveon plus Canon tech for Canon,
    Proprietary Canon lens tech for Sigma.

    Update…when I first predict these events I believe I was the first to suggest it .
    This resulted in negative critisism. Perhaps some people did not believe it or were not ready for it
    Now that it has become more obvios that I have been correct I am still getting critisism.
    This is a good thing for Canon, I do not umderstand why I am critisized for both being correct and wrong, and also for saying good things about Canon.
    The reason for rumor sites is to hear future predictions.
    If people do not want to hear incorrect rumors, and do not want to hear correct rumors, then why read a rumor site.

    • Michael – Visual Pursuit

      Looking at the Foveon patent, they do have lateral offset between colors,
      while the Canon patent clearly shows a real multilayer construction in a backlit
      arrangement. There is no Foveon technology in this Canon sensor, the patent

      is very clear.

      • animalsbybarry

        Canon offered 10x market value for Sigma.
        They want FOVEON really bad.

        • Michael – Visual Pursuit

          That was a rumor which none of the parties have acknowledged to be true.

        • Mumpitz

          troll….

          • animalsbybarry

            This is current information, totally on topic….how do you come up with “troll”

          • Mumpitz

            because it´s BS what you are writing….

        • yawn

          Put that bottle down, imbecile.

          • canonwatch

            please stop it

          • yawn

            Ok, I will. But please, do some troll policing. The web is cluttered with astroturfers and various sorts of imbeciles spreading false information, it’s really annoying.

          • canonwatch

            Every opinion is welcome here. Just write it down without offending others.

    • Ben Olry

      Noone can take this from you 🙂

  • animalsbybarry

    My next prediction.
    Canon morrorless ff
    126mp Foveon/Canon sensor…not 120mp

  • yawn

    Very interesting, real innovation vs consumer electronics “innovation” a la Sony or Samsung.

  • I’m looking forward to seeing what it is. Might be the “game changer” they need.

    • animalsbybarry

      That is precisely why it was so important to Canon.

  • peevee

    “Canon’s 120MP full-frame sensor is not based on Bayer technology. That means: not an RGB sensor.”

    No it does not. Bayer is the specific lineup of color filters on top of a sensor, but other RGB filters can use different lineup (like Fuji X-Trans for example).

    “According to Canon (as told by the source), an RGB sensor doesn’t work for such a high resolution, i.e. for resolutions above 100MP”

    Total BS. An iPhone sensor, scaled to FF dimensions with the same pixel pitch (and the same Bayer pattern of RGB filters), would be something like 768mpix – and it works.