Despite confirming a ton of specs, Canon has held back revealing the resolution of its forthcoming speed beast. However, EXIF data from images shot using a prototype R3 at the Olympics show that the camera has a 24-megapixel sensor.
It’s long been assumed that the R3 would have a comparatively low-resolution sensor given the speed at which Canon has said it will churn through images (30 frames per second using the electronic shutter). Over on the Canon Rumors forum, several users including Neale Smith pulled up the EXIF data from some of the shots produced on the R3 by photographer Jeff Cable at the Olympics and discovered original image dimensions listed as 6000 by 4000 pixels. This gives a sensor resolution of 24 megapixels.
Cable confirmed earlier this month that he would be shooting on a pre-production version of the R3 and has since posted a number of images from the Games.
Canon’s flagship DSLRs have always had sensors with relatively low resolutions which suits not only the rate at which images are shot, but also the speed at which they need to be delivered, often uploaded immediately and used by news and sports agencies within minutes. Higher resolutions are largely redundant. In addition, a lower resolution can bring a number of benefits such as an increased potential for autofocus performance to remain consistent when shooting at its fastest frame rates, and a bigger buffer.
It’s worth keeping in mind that there’s a chance that several R3 test bodies with different sensors are currently being tested and the industry awaits confirmation from Canon.
Mysteriously, TechRadar reported last week that rumors “strongly suggested” that the R3 would have 45 megapixels. It’s not clear where they sourced this information and so far no one else has suggested such a high resolution.
Were you hoping for 30 megapixels? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.