Canon’s upcoming ME20F-SH multi-purpose video camera may have a pretty pedestrian name but it’s getting a warm reception on the Internet today. That’s because it can practically record in the dark – without the aid of traditional infrared night vision.
The ME20F-SH features a maximum gain setting of 75db, equivalent to an ISO setting of more than 4,000,000 which is absolutely insane. It allows the camera to capture full HD video with color under very low lighting.
Specifically, it has a minimum subject illumination of less than 0.0005 lux. For comparison, a full moon overhead on a clear night puts out about 0.27 to 1.0 lux while a moonless, overcast night is around 0.0001 lux. Or in other words, the camera can more or less see in the dark.
As PetaPixel points out, the camera’s incredible night vision is possible due to the size of the pixels on the sensor which are more than 5.5 times those found on high-end interchangeable lens cameras.
Canon first announced the camera and its sensor back in 2013. While the company hasn’t yet released footage or photos captured with the new “enhanced” version, it did show off the media embedded here a couple of years back.
Canon said possible usage applications include night time surveillance and security, reality television, nature / wildlife documentaries and cinematic production. That seems fitting given its extremely steep retail price of $30,000.
Look for the Canon ME20F-SH to be available sometime in December.