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Canon launches ultra-high sensitivity camera with ISO sensitivity over 4,000,000

By Marcus Wong - on 31 Jul 2015, 6:04pm

Canon launches ultra-high sensitivity camera with ISO sensitivity over 4,000,000

The new ME20F-SH is a multi-purpose camera for Full HD video use that employs an enhanced version of the 35mm CMOS sensor that was originally developed in 2013 by the company.


It features a modular design that allows for custom configurations to match different scenarios, and employs the same EF mount (Cinema lock type) as Canon’s SLR and EOS system series of cameras. This allows you to pick the ideal lens based on the scenario you’re trying to capture, and offers a great deal of versatility for this new system.

The ME20F-SH’s CMOS sensor has pixels measuring 19 μm square3, which is more than 5.5 times the surface area of pixels on the CMOS sensors of most high-end DSLRs. This together with specialized pixels and readout circuitry allows the camera to capture subjects in situations with a minimum illumination of less than 0.0005 lux at a maximum gain setting of 75Db, which is equivalent of an ISO setting of over 4,000,000! As with the company’s professional cinema cameras, Canon Log and Wide DR modes are available for capturing a wide dynamic range.

A wide variety of connectors are available to cater to the varying needs of videographers.

By 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 equipment, like external recorders and monitors. The camera is also compatible with Canon’s RC-V100 Remote Controller, which allows you to do video capture from inaccessible locations.

The lower resolution count of the sensor allows it to have a much larger pixel pitch than any DSLR available at present.

Here are the basic specs of the camera:

ME20F-SH Multi-purpose Camera Specs
Image sensor 35mm full-frame CMOS sensor (single), effective pixel count: approx. 2.26 million pixels
Minimum subject illumination Less than 0.0005 lux (at maximum 75 dB gain setting, equivalent to an ISO sensitivity of over four million)
Pixel Pitch 19 Microns
Lens mount Canon EF mount (Cinema Lock type)
Optical filters ND filter with two density levels (motorized manual / auto) IR cut filter (motorized manual)
Auto-exposure Combined interlocking (iris / gain / ND / shutter)
White balance AWB, color-temperature setting (setting range: 2000 to 15000 degrees Kelvin), natural light, light bulb, Setting A, Setting B
Operating temperature 0 degrees C to 40 degrees C
Body dimensions Approx. 102 x 116 x 113mm (excluding protrusions)
Weight Approx. 1.1 kg (body only)

And here's  the early 2013 video from an early version of this sensor.


Sources: Canon USA, DPreview, Canon Rumors, Bokeh by DigitalRev 

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