Canon promotes CMOS sensor technology touting exciting prospects (Canon ME20F-SH)

Canon ME20F-SH

Canon posted a rather theatrical (at least at the beginning) video to underline the low light features of the company’s CMOS sensors.

A moonbow is a natural phenomenon that can only be seen when the appropriate lunar brightness, angle of elevation and levels of moisture in the air align. They are so rare that in Hawaii it is said they bring happiness to those who see them. Recently, Canon succeeded in capturing video of a moonbow, which would prove difficult to see with the naked eye, using an ultra-high-sensitivity CMOS sensor. Additionally, using a 250 million pixel ultra-high-pixel-count CMOS sensor, Canon succeeded in capturing* video in which the lettering on the side of a plane flying approximately 18 km away could be clearly read. “Exciting Prospects for CMOS Sensors,” a video introducing these technologies, is now available to view on the Canon Video Square.

The video is here.

This is about the pioneering technology featured in the Canon ME20F-SH (images below), a commercially available multi-purpose camera that goes up to ISO 4M; it’s yours if you have $20,000 to spend.

Shooting the Aurora Borealis handheld with a 4M ISO Canon ME20F-SH camera

Canon ME20F-SH

This is not the first Aurora Borealis video shot with the Canon ME20F-SH and posted by Aurora Skycam, though I think this one is more impressing.

The ME20F-SH was used, a special full-frame Canon camera that goes up to ISO 4M (yes ISO, 4,000,000). The camera was hand-held during a flight with Norwegian Airlines at 36000 ft and while cruising at 800 km/h. The video was shot at ISO 102.000, 50fps, 1/50 sec. There is some beautiful footage in the video below, and the best thing is: there is more to come soon (according to the makers).

The Canon ME20F-SH is a speciality camera, with a special price: it’s yours for a mere $20,000.

Canon ME20F-SH at a glance:

  • Up to 4 Million ISO & 12 Stops DR
  • Full Frame 35mm CMOS Sensor
  • Canon DIGIC DV 4
  • Full HD up to 60p
  • HD/3G-SDI & HDMI Connectors
  • Canon Locking Cinema EF Lens Mount

Canon ME20F-SH

Canon ME20F-SH overview after the break

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New Canon ME20F-SH Cinema Kit Offers Versatility For Filmmaking And Television Production

Canon ME20F-SH

New Canon ME20F-SH Cinema Kit Offers Versatility For Filmmaking And Television Production

ME20F-SH Cinema Kit Includes 10 Accessories to Ready the Camera for Cinematic Applications

MELVILLE, N.Y., April 13, 2016 – Canon U.S.A. Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, today introduced the ME20F-SH Cinema Kit, which bundles the ME20F-SH Camera with 10 accessories to enhance the user operation and provide significant savings compared to purchasing the accessories separately. The ME20F-SH camera’s CMOS sensor has pixels measuring 19 μm square1, which is more than 5.5 times the surface area of the pixels on the CMOS sensor featured in select top-of-the-line interchangeable lens cameras2. Its large pixel size enables the ME20F-SH to deliver magnificent imagery in normal lighting conditions, while also possessing the high sensitivity to capture Full HD video in less than 0.0005 lux3 (at maximum 75 dB gain setting, equivalent to an ISO sensitivity of more than 4,000,000). Along with its modular body and compact size, the image quality delivered by the ME20F-SH camera allows users to capture clear images in even the most demanding of applications including cinematic production, reality television, and nature/wildlife documentaries.

“We’ve been using the ME20F-SH camera to simulate military-grade night vision goggles and no other camera can simulate night vision goggles like this – it’s the only machine that could do what we needed,” said David Klein, ASC, cinematographer of The History Channel’s upcoming drama series SIX. “The camera takes sensitivity to a new level; its high end is not just noteworthy, it’s mind blowing. When we shoot with the ME20F-SH camera, nearly every light is turned off or knocked down to nothing, and the camera does the rest,” added Dominik Mainl, SIX’s First AC.  “I know this camera is capable of over four million ISO, but we found a remarkable singular image around 600,000 ISO, where signal to noise ratio was suddenly irrelevant.”

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. The ME20F-SH employs the same EF mount (Cinema Lock type) as Canon’s SLR cameras and Cinema EOS series of professional digital cameras, allowing users to make use of the Company’s extensive lineup of interchangeable EF lenses from fisheye to super-telephoto.

The ME20F-SH kit accessory list includes the Atomos Shogun Flame external recorder, Zacuto mini baseplate, a SanDisk SSD pack, Noga Arm, HDMI cable, additional battery, battery and cheese plate, D-Tap/D-Tap cable, XLR cable and a battery charger that can also be used as a power adapter. All of these accessories make the ME20F-SH Cinema Kit ready for film and TV production as well as documentary work across a number of genres.

“Since its introduction in 2015, the ME20F-SH camera has been an incredible tool for cinematic production,” noted Tim Smith, senior advisor, Film & TV Production, Canon U.S.A., Inc. “It produces phenomenal light sensitivity that enables incredibly clean images in standard lighting conditions, and remarkable color imagery up to ISO 4,000,000 even in extremely low light. This new Cinema Kit empowers filmmakers to have a turnkey solution to shoot with minimal lighting equipment or additional gear.”

The Canon ME20F-SH Cinema Kit is expected to be available in April 2016 at a suggested list price of $31,000.* For additional information about the camera and this new kit please visit:  https://www.usa.canon.com/internet/portal/us/home/products/details/cameras/multi-purpose-cameras/me20f-sh. Follow Canon throughout the NAB show on Instagram at @CanonUSA and Twitter at @CanonUSApro and visit Canon’s C4325 Booth in the Center Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center.

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Canon ME20F-SH overview videos (the ISO 4.5M camera that can see in the dark)

Canon ME20F-SH at a glance:

  • Up to 4 Million ISO & 12 Stops DR
  • Full Frame 35mm CMOS Sensor
  • Canon DIGIC DV 4
  • Full HD up to 60p
  • HD/3G-SDI & HDMI Connectors
  • Canon Locking Cinema EF Lens Mount

Do you remember the Canon ME20F-SH, the Canon camera with ISO 4.5M (yes ISO 4,500,000)?

CanonUSA on YouTube posted two videos that give a good overview about the Canon ME20F-SH. The ME20F-SH is a hghly specialised camera, and it sells at $20,000, so it is not the nice camera you want to gift to your spouse or your childrens.

More about the Canon ME20F-SH after the break.

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Canon ME20F-SH review by B&H Explora (the Canon camera that can see in the dark)

B&H Photo Explora posted their review and thoughts about the soon to be released Canon ME20F-SH, the full-frame camera that literally can see in the dark.

While the technology featured on the ME20F-SH will likely not find its way into the EOS-1D X Mark II and the EOS 5D Mark IV, it’s good to know that Canon has the engineering skills to develop and build such a camera. Even if this tech is not going to spill over into other parts of the Canon lineup in the near future, Canon shows once more who is the leader. Writes B&H Explora:

The Canon ME20F-SH presents itself as a unique tool for a wide range of applications. Part cinema camera, part surveillance tool, part studio camera, the camera is ready to serve anyone who wants to capture images in extremely dark conditions without having to sacrifice color or resort to infrared lighting and sacrifice nature color reproduction. While it isn’t necessarily meant to be an “A” camera for most productions, I’m sure wildlife and nature documentarians, cave and deep-sea videographers, and astrophotographers in particular, will be champing at the bit to try out the camera. With its ability to capture previously impossible shots, the ME20F-SH could help reinvent the very look and feel of ultra-low-light videography. Exciting times are ahead. Read the review…

Yes, I agree: such technology is exciting, and there are big things to come from Canon in the future.

[we always quote where we find our news, this time: Mirrorless Rumors. Other sites do not care and just repost, we care about ethics]