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Rumors of 36-megapixel full-frame cameras

Word on the Net has it that a Sony 36-megapixel full-frame sensor is going to pop up in Sony and Nikon cameras starting before the end of this year.

Is the D700 finally getting its replacement?

With all the hullabaloo lately over medium-sensor compact cameras and ILCs, some photographers would have been justified despairing over the dearth of news about full-frame (35mm-sized sensor) cameras. Well, despair no more. The rumors have started to flow surrounding a new 36-megapixel full-frame sensor from Sony that's slated to appear in a new Sony SLT-series camera in 2012 and a Nikon D800 before year's end.

As far as I can tell, few details are available about the sensor, but Nikon Rumors has some not-so-crazy speculative specs, including 4fps burst shooting, 1080/30p video, larger LCD, and triple card slots. SonyAlpha Rumors says that the long-rumored A99 will incorporate the sensor, replacing the dSLR A900 with a fixed mirror model. That means waving good bye to the stunning optical viewfinder of the A900, albeit replacing it with a more video-friendly model.

While I'm really looking forward to seeing what Sony and Nikon do with the new sensor, I'm not looking forward to the inevitable posts about how this spells the death of the medium format, just because the resolutions overlap. That said, the bigger format may take a hit from people who buy it just to produce the big pictures.