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Upcoming Canon EOS R1 to ONLY feature 21MP sensor?

Upcoming Canon EOS R1 to ONLY feature 21MP sensor?
(Image credit: Canon)

We've heard a few exciting rumors about the upcoming Canon EOS R1 recently – but this could be one of the most significant tidbits of information leaked so far. Apparently, Canon has developed a brand new sensor for this high-end upcoming camera. However, it will reportedly only offer 21MP.

In a world where beefy megapixel counts are increasingly commonplace, this might initially seem like a misstep. However, when you consider that the Canon EOS R1 is apparently mean to be a mirrorless equivalent of the Canon EOS-1D X line, then the diminutive megapixel count begins to make a little more sense.

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The recently released Canon EOS-1D X Mark III only features a 20.1MP sensor, so there would likely be a very slight bump in image quality from the 0.9MP increase. However, a professional sports and wildlife camera isn't about huge megapixel counts (and the accompanying massive photo files that come with them).

Instead, sports camera technology tends to focus on providing sizable image buffers, lightning-fast burst modes and responsive AF. And indeed, the rumors reported by Canon Watch certainly point to this. Apparently, the newly developed sensor has these specifications:

• 21MP full frame sensor (6.4um)
• Global shutter
• 120dB dynamic range
• 120 fps

The Canon EOS R1 is rumored to be arriving in 2021, with some rumors speculating that it'll be appearing in the latter half of the year. However, we'll have to wait to see whether any more interesting information is leaked…

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Louise Carey

With over a decade of photographic experience, Louise arms Digital Camera World with a wealth of knowledge on photographic technique and know-how – something she is so adept at that she's delivered workshops for the likes of ITV and Sue Ryder. Before joining the site, her formidable hands-on abilities served her well as features editor for Practical Photography. A freelance photographer in her own right, she is a proud Nikon DSLR shooter.