Since I was looking in my crystal ball about what the future of the Leica M might bring, I thought it might be a good idea to see if anything new has been reported by CMOSIS, the manufacturer of the sensor for the Leica M. Indeed there is some exciting news. They have developed a 70 megapixel full frame (35mm) sensor.
The CHR70M is a high resolution CMOS image sensor with 10000 by 7096 pixels. The image array consists of 3.1μm x 3.1μm size pixels. It offers a dynamic range of 63 decibels, which is relatively high and comparable to other high end sensors. CMOSIS states on their website that the sensor is in production. Another interesting fact is that this sensor apparently is being made in both a monochrome and RGB version.
No indication was given if this will find its way into any digital cameras soon, but the ‘what if’ question immediately turned to the Leica. Several competing manufacturers are offering cameras with full frame sensors of a higher resolution than the Leica M, and the rumor mill is mentioning even higher resolutions of over 40 and even 50 megapixels.
Leica has obviously decided to bring their cameras into direct competition with the market leaders. Subsequently a sensor of 70 megapixels in the Leica M and Leica M Monochrom would definitely quiet a lot of the nay-sayers. Of course there is nothing official, but it is nice to dream ‘what if’?