Are stacked sensors the new frontier of photography? It seems to like every company is jumping on the stacked sensor hype train right now, including Canon – which might have up to three new stacked sensor cameras coming in the near future.
Stacked sensors are having a moment, and are even being touted as the next revolutionary camera feature for the iPhone. There are currently 19 cameras with a stacked sensor (according to Camera Decision), the overwhelming majority of which are made by Sony – and the rest likely using Sony sensors. After all, Sony makes close to the majority of all sensors in cameras.
The outlier is the Canon EOS R3, Canon's flagship mirrorless camera aimed squarely at sports and wildlife photographers – and Canon's first and only camera to use its own stacked sensor. Now Canon Rumors is reporting that up to three new Canon cameras might be coming soon, complete with stacked sensors of their own.
What's so great about stacked sensors? Well, the simple explanation is that having stacked layers of photodiodes and phototransistors enables the sensor to process data faster as well as capture more light and reduce noise.
The biggest benefit to this faster readout speed is that it reduces the rolling shutter effect, seen on cameras when trying to capture very fast-moving subjects – which is why most stacked sensors recently have been deployed in cameras popular with sports and wildlife photography, like the Sony A1 or Nikon Z8.
The upcoming Canon cameras that will feature a stacked sensor almost certainly includes the Canon EOS R1, which will be the official replacement for the Canon EOS-1D X DSLR used by pro sports photographers the world over. Another likely candidate is the long-rumored Canon EOS R5 Mark II, which as well as being stacked might also feature a multiple resolution sensor.
The final camera is anyone's guess. It would likely be a camera designed for shooting high-speed subjects, so the most likely candidate is a Canon EOS R7 Mark II, but this would be the first we are hearing of such a replacement for the original model that only came out in 2022. Although Canon does appear to be speeding up its camera refresh cycles, with the Canon EOS R6 Mark II barely giving any breathing room for its prior model. So seeing a replacement of the Canon EOS R7 quickly isn't unthinkable…
Find out more about the best camera for sports photography or the best camera for wildlife photography. You'll need a lens to go with that camera, so take a look at our picks for the best lens for sports photography.