Can’t disclose my source right now, but a big Japanese camera maker has been secretly working on this ever since the first small sensor interchangeable lens systems by its competitors Olympus, Panasonic, Samsung and Sony started getting some market share. The sensors for the new camera will come out of the company’s small sensor factories utilizing the very high pixel density technology. The sensor will be assembled from a 4×4 grid of 12 megapixel sensors, hence the large amount of pixels, resulting in a whopping resolution of 16000 x 12000. Here’s a snippet I managed to grab out of marketing material:
The piecewise fashion is used to improve chip yields that have traditionally been the bane of large pixel count sensors. Now all the subsensors can be individually tested before they are incorporated into the full sensor. According to ultra-secret strategic market positioning material, the most expensive camera line will be created with sensors that have zero dead pixels (ordinary cameras have lots of dead pixels that are interpolated over in signal processing), while less good subsensors will go towards entry level DSLR versions with fewer subsensors in a grid forming a smaller sensor (APS size), and the worst ones (that are not scrapped) to compact cameras with only one subsensor forming the entire sensor. This provides good synergy, the company can make one type of subsensor for a wide variety of different sensors and cameras for many different markets.
The possibilities enabled by this mega-DSLR camera are immense. With a sufficient good quality lens, you can make huge prints or crop even very small areas of the picture while still keeping quality equivalent to smaller sensor systems. You can always capture everything, with no fear of leaving any important details out of the frame and do the cropping later, or using the camera’s touch screen. As a tourist you can do all your shooting with a wide angle lens, or a modest zoom will suffice for a nature photographer. Full frame size and bright lenses also guarantee excellent viewfinder image size and quality.
This camera will produce better images than your own eyes.
One version of the full resolution system will be used in a movie camera. The still camera can’t shoot movies in high resolution because of the high processing demands and consequent battery, storage and heating problems. It is envisioned though that with the advances in Moore’s law, the processing power and storage density with small power demands to match the sensor will be available in less than twenty years. The video camera should have a 3 kilogram backpack computer system with a few inch cord reaching to the camera for the signal.