Canon just introduced a very unique camera. The new ME20F-SH is a cube shaped multi-purpose camera, with a full-frame 35mm sensor, capable of delivering exceptionally high sensitivity to capture Full HD 1080p video with a minimum subject illumination of less than 0.0005 lux at maximum 75 dB gain setting, which is equivalent to an ISO sensitivity of over 4,000,000! That's a staggering number that may take a few minutes to sink in.
Canon sees this camera being used in Night-time surveillance and security industry predominantly, but certainly not limited to them. The new cube low-light monster is fully capable of cinematic images for reality television, and nature/wildlife documentaries, and this is just the tip of the iceberg. The possibilities of use for this camera are nearly unlimited.
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.
Canon's new multi-purpose camera employs an enhanced version of the 35mm full-frame CMOS sensor for Full HD video use that was originally developed by the Company in 2013. Its compact, modular body design allows easy custom configurations for diverse usage scenarios.
While capturing video in extreme low-light conditions often requires the use of infrared illumination (a technique that only yields video in black and white), the ME20F-SH camera achieves impressive high-sensitivity performance enabling the capture of color Full HD video with reduced noise in low-light conditions without the need for infrared illumination.
Features and Highlights
The ME20F-SH camera's CMOS sensor has pixels measuring 19 μm square, 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 cameras. Furthermore, the sensor's pixels and readout circuitry make use of Canon proprietary technologies to achieve both reduced noise and exceptionally high sensitivity on subjects with a minimum illumination of less than 0.0005 lux.
This multi-purpose camera allows users to discern subjects under even some of the dimmest lighting conditions, such as environments lit by artificial illumination or under a moonless night sky. 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.
The new ME20F-SH employs the same EF mount (Cinema Lock type) as Canon's SLR cameras and Cinema EOS System-series of professional digital cameras, allowing users to make use of the Company's extensive lineup of interchangeable EF lenses5. 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. Equipped with a φ2.5mm 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).
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. Furthermore, a φ3.5mm stereo mini-jack allows the camera to connect with an external microphone, enabling users working on location to output audio and video signals to connected peripheral equipment.
The Canon ME20F-SH is expected to be available in December 2015 at a suggested retail price of $30,000. UK pricing has not been confirmed yet, but rest assured we at Visual Impact we'll keep updated as more information reaches our shores.