Low-light filming is about to make a big leap forward

31 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Canon’s $30,000 Camera Can See in the Dark.

When it comes to cameras Canon always wants to be on the bleeding edge, be it the introduction of DSLR cameras for pro film makers like the Canon 5D and 7D, the first line of budget DSLR’s with it’s EOS range or the iconic Canon 1D where they tried to make the best camera possible. Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, today has introduced the Company’s first multi-purpose camera, the new ME20F-SH, which delivers exceptionally high sensitivity to capture Full HD video with a minimum subject illumination of less than 0.0005 lux1 (at maximum 75 dB gain setting, equivalent to an ISO sensitivity of over 4,000,000). Described as the competitor to digital movie cameras made by companies such as Arri and RED, the ME20F-SH aims to reinstate Canon at the top of the pile once again.

Before you strain your superior rectus rolling your eyeballs, consider this: We’re talking about a full-frame camera with a special sensor that has an ISO equivalency of 4 million. Nighttime surveillance and security, cinematic production, reality television, and nature/wildlife documentaries are just some of the ME20F-SH’s many possible usage applications. With the ability to capture color video in extreme low-light conditions and its simplistic and versatile design, the ME-20F-SH Multi-purpose Camera can be easily incorporated into existing infrastructures and systems to provide high-quality video capture even where subjects might not be seen with the naked eye. It all boils down to size of the pixels on the ME20F-SH’s sensor — they’re more than 5.5 times the surface area of pixels found in other top-of-the-line interchangeable lens cameras, Canon said. The camera used in both video clips is a Sony A7S, which has a max ISO value of 409,600 — the reigning champion until this new Canon starts shipping.

The ME20F-SH is ideal for use within specialist applications such as TV productions of nighttime wildlife, deep sea/cave exploration, astronomy and surveillance. It weights approximately 1.1 kg (body only) and has Canon’s proprietary EF mount; so exisiting Canon owners can use their old lenses along with this camera.

For people who are scratching their heads wondering what that means, it means this camera can basically Illuminate and show everything in a completely dark room. Furthermore, similar to Canon’s Cinema EOS System of professional digital cinematography cameras, the ME20F-SH camera includes Canon Log and Wide DR, which make possible a wide dynamic range, delivering high-image-quality video results across a range of illumination environments, from low- to brightly lit conditions.

Bigger pixels collect light more effectively, which allows a camera like the ME20F-SH to ramp up the ISO to ridiculous levels without much image-destroying noise. By letting users select the ideal lens based on their shooting or application requirements, taking into consideration such factors as angle of view and level of brightness, this multi-purpose camera facilitates a wide spectrum of imaging possibilities. Employing output-only 3G/HD-SDI and HDMI terminals, Canon’s ME20F-SH camera enables users working on location to output video via a single cable to a variety of peripheral equipment, including external recorders and monitors.

In spite of the eye watering price if you still have Canon’s attention, the camera will be released in December 2015 and should be available in India by early-2016. That might be sensitive enough for a trained firefly to illuminate a scene for you; a sample video shot by an earlier iteration of the camera successfully used a few sticks of burning incense as a light source.

Equipped with a 2.5mm stereo mini-jack and a round 8-pin jack for RS-422, the multipurpose camera is capable of connecting with Canon’s RC-V100 Remote Controller (released in June 2014; sold separately) 6. By allowing users to operate the camera or change settings from a remote location, the camera facilitates video capture from inaccessible locations as well as fixed-point surveillance. Canon is obviously positioning it toward independent filmmakers, albeit ones that need good color fidelity and no noise at fast frame rates in low light. If you need the world’s most extravagant security camera or have always dreamt of remaking Barry Lyndon without a million-dollar F0.7 lens, this is the camera for you. In 2014, Canon U.S.A. received the PCMag.com Readers’ Choice Award for Service and Reliability in the digital camera and printer categories for the 11th consecutive year.

Canon U.S.A. is committed to the highest level of customer satisfaction and loyalty, providing 100 percent U.S.-based consumer service and support for all of the products it distributes. In 2014, the Canon Americas Headquarters secured LEED® Gold certification, a recognition for the design, construction, operations and maintenance of high-performance green buildings. To keep apprised of the latest news from Canon U.S.A., sign up for the Company’s RSS news feed by visiting www.usa.canon.com/rss and follow us on Twitter @CanonUSA. Compliant with the specification method for CCTV devices (TTR-4602B) issued by the Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association (JEITA).

Details regarding the firmware are scheduled to be made available in mid-December 2015 on Canon’s Japanese-language broadcasting and professional video camcorder homepage: canon.jp/bctv

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