Well, this was unexpected. There weren’t even any rumours floating around, other than a mention of a patent two years ago. Then radio silence, nothing. But now, Canon have entered into the drone market. Although it’s not the consumer drone market. They’re going industrial.
With the catchy name of PD6E2000-AW-CJ1, Canon’s new drone costs a reported $20,000. Of course, you can double that price when you add in the $20,000 ME20F-SH camera that gets mounted to it. It’s designed for search and rescue, which is probably why they chose a camera that goes up over ISO 4,000,000. After all, if you’re looking for people in the dark, you need a camera that can see in it.
As you can see from the video above, this isn’t a rumour, and Canon is already showing off the drone on their website.
The drone itself has a maximum payload of 10kg (22.05lbs) and can fly in rainy conditions. It has a 2-axis gimbal which to keep the camera level as the drone flies through the air. Pitch & roll as well as camera direction can also be adjusted remotely.
The full frame ME20F-SH camera is compatible with Canon’s complete range of EF lenses. It shoots Full HD video at 60fps, and can shoot with light levels as low as 0.0005 lux. For comparison, the full moon on a clear night offers around 0.05-0.36 lux.
It would be cool to see if Canon are able to bring drones to the consumer market, or at least commercial, at some point. A company with the kind of resources that Canon has could certainly give DJI a run for its money if it wanted to. And with DJI’s acquisition of Hasselblad, it could be a very competitive battle leading to some great innovation from both companies.
[via We Talk UAV]