Canon develops 250 megapixel photographic sensor

Electronics company Canon has developed a 250 megapixel photographic sensor for use in digital cameras. Canon said the sensor is sensitive enough to read lettering on the side of an aircraft 18km (11.1 miles) away. However, it added, the gadget was unlikely to find its way into domestic cameras or smartphones.
Instead, the ultra-high-resolution sensor could find a role in surveillance systems or other specialised applications. Canon said it had overcome several technical hurdles to get the sensor functioning. In particular, it said it had got round the signal and timing problems introduced when reading data from the 250 million pixels (19,580 x 12,600) on board.
Data was read from the chip at a speed of 1.25 billion pixels per second, which, said Canon, demanded much improved signal processing systems to ensure picture taking was well coordinated. The sensor measures 29.2mm (1.15in) by 20.2mm (0.79in) – which is smaller than the sensors found on many 35mm digital cameras.
The individual pixels on the sensor are about 1.5 microns across – approximately the same size as those found on consumer cameras. Dr Konstantin Stefanov, a senior research fellow at the Open University’s Centre for Electronic Imaging, said it was an "impressive" technical feat to get the sensor working but questioned how useful it would prove to be.