Canon has just announced a new professional-grade video camera that can effectively see in the dark.
The Canon ME20F-SH is a relatively compact, box-shaped, high-end EF-mount video camera that captures Full HD (1080p) footage. That might not sound too special, especially in a time of 4K.
But the MED20F-SH has a trick up its sleeve. With an “industry leading” maximum ISO of more than 4 million, the Canon ME20F-SH is most at home in extremely low-light environments.
Most extreme low-light solutions involve infrared illumination, which has the effect of switching the footage to black and white. The ME20F-SH captures full colour footage without such infrared illumination, and with a lot less noise than standard cameras.
As Engadget points out, the ME20F-SH’s full-frame 35mm CMOS sensor offers photosites that are 19 microns square – that’s five times bigger than those found in even the best high-end cameras. Combined with more specialist technology, it means that the Canon ME20F-SH can capture far more light than regular cameras.
The camera is intended to capture footage in situations where it wouldn’t normally be possible, particularly with a view to professional TV productions. Think nighttime wildlife shots, astronomy, and even deep sea exploration.
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Canon also mentions that the ME20F-SH could be useful for surveillance, and it’s not just the camera’s extreme low-light performance that enables this. Remote control operability means that filmmakers can set the camera up easily in semi-permanent locations.
You’re probably expecting the Canon ME20F-SH to be expensive, right? It’s going to cost a cool $30,000 (around £19,200) when it launches this December. So, yep.