Studio photographers dissatisfied with recent events in the world of Canon SLRs might take heart at a fleeting glimpse of a possible 46-megapixel Canon EOS 3D.
That glimpse came from Nine Volt Photo, a maker of equipment to help photographers help take photos with cameras tethered to computers. It said it found a reference at retail powerhouse B&H Photo after an "inadvertent search for a Canon 3D."
The company shared a screenshot of the page list with specifications including a 46.1-megapixel CMOS image sensor, dual Digic 5+ processors, a 3.2-inch LCD, and dual CompactFlash memory-card slots. (All but the first of those specs are already on the current top-end EOS-1D X.)
It's not clear whether the 3D is real, but the Canon Rumors blog, which has reported earlier Canon 3D rumors, declared on the basis of typography and other details that the rumor is a "hoax, hoax, hoax!"
Nine Volt stood by the screenshot's authenticity. When asked about the hoax conclusion, Operations Manager Walter Tenenbaum told CNET:
No, real screenshots. As you saw, the link was dead when I found it. And then completely gone in the morning when I went back to try again (I was really hoping I was going to see a Canon 3D). Possibly a B&H employee with advance news. Maybe just populating HTML pages in anticipation.
I don't know if the Canon Rumors guy has inside info. His comments don't completely rule it out for me. The part number could be a placeholder. The .1 kerning seems to be on par with other items on the site. The MP vs. Mp seems to be inconsistent on the site. This was done the evening the B&H people checked out for the holiday week. Maybe we see something after they return. Maybe it's just wishful thinking on my part.
Certainly a higher-resolution camera is possible. People who shoot giant ads for jewelry, watches, and new cars still need lots of pixels, and Canon EOS-1D X's dropped to 18 megapixels compared with the earlier flagship from 2008, the EOS-1Ds Mark III. Meanwhile, Nikon has released its D800 with 36 megapixels.
Megapixels certainly aren't everything, and shrinking them causes problems with noise and dynamic range, but they do matter, as the market for medium-format cameras with up to 80 megapixels illustrates. Some drawbacks of high megapixel counts are cured by carefully controlled studio lighting, too.
Updated 10:00 p.m. PT with the identification of the Nine Volt representative.