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50 Megapixels, 150 MB Image Files: Kodak's New Flagship CCD Sensor

Rochester (NY) - And you thought your 12 megapixel camera is overkill: Kodak announced a new flagship product for its full frame CCD sensors, which creates digital images with a resolution of 50.1 megapixels. Hasselblad will be the first manufacturer to integrate the sensor in its cameras and yes, the camera will have a lunar price.

The new KAF-50100 image sensor replaces the nearly three year old 39 megapixel KAF-39000 as the highest performing image sensor Kodak sells. The CCD measures 49.8 x 36.8 mm, which is twice the size of a regular high-end DSLR CCD, but the same size as the KAF-39000 CCD. The new model includes a total of 51.6 million square pixels measures 6.0 μm x 6.0 μm, which is substantially smaller than the 6.8 μm pixels of the KAF-39000.

The resulting images are nothing less than impressive. Kodak says that at 50 megapixels, you could easily detect an object the size of a notebook computer in an image that is covering a width of 1.5 miles. Not surprisingly, the main application field of the chip will be industrial and aerial photography. Pricing of the chip was withheld. However, industry sources recently told us that the KAF-39000 CCD is priced north of $1000.

Hasselblad confirmed that it will be using the new Kodak chip for a new flagship camera of its H3DII series. The already announced H3DII-50, scheduled for a release later this year, will create 65 MB RAW or 150 MB TIFF image files at a rate of 1.1 images per second and 33 images per minute. Images can be stored on U-DMA CF cards, a 100 GB hard drive solution or a directly connected Mac or PC.

The camera weighs 2290 grams, more than four pounds, and will be priced above the 39 megapixel model: Hasselblad said that the H3DII-50 will be available in October of this year for $39,995.