Future DSLR CMOS Improvements

Digital cameras have been steadily improving for many years now, but recently progress has started to stagnate. One area I am particularly interested in is the low light (high ISO) performance of digital SLRs. There is enough light captured at high ISOs to generate decent images, but the main problem comes in the form of noise. While advances are still being made, the pace of change seems to be lowing. This is evidenced by the difference in capabilities between successive generations of cameras.

The Canon EOS 5D was a pretty ground-breaking camera when it was launched back in 2005. It was the first ‘affordable’ full frame DSLR, with a 12 megapixel sensor and was capable of shooting at up to 3200 ISO. In reality (as is always the case, even today), only images a stop or two below the max ISO were really usable. 3 years later a massive upgrade came in the form of the 5D mkII, improving low light shooting by a stop, allowing the same quality of shots with half the light. In 2012 the 5D mkIII added another half stop. Now, in 2016, the law of diminishing returns continues with the 5D mkIV showing virtually no improvement in low light performance over the mkIII. Below are what I consider to be the main areas of current tech where there is room for improvement and by how much.

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