Canon Released an ISO Monster That Goes Up To 4,000,000 ISO

Jul 30, 2015

Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.

Canon Released an ISO Monster That Goes Up To 4,000,000 ISO

Jul 30, 2015

Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.

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20150730_hiRes_me20fsh_3qlens

The new Canon camera which goes by the boring name of ME20F-SH is capable of taking photos in almost complete darkness or in Canon’s words “delivers exceptionally high sensitivity to capture Full HD video with a minimum subject illumination of less than 0.0005 lux“. This is quite extraordinary and I would usually expect this kind of a low light monster from Sony, but looks like Canon is taking the low light game seriously now. And for a good reason.

The market for low light is a niche that is not yet fully tapped into. Aside the obvious surveillance usage, Canon suggests using the camera for cinematic production, reality television, and nature/wildlife documentaries. This will definitely help you enjoy either your favorite animal or favorite Jersey shore Character in the middle of a moonless night.

The press release does not share the full sensor details but it does say that it is a 35mm full-frame CMOS sensor with effective pixel count of about  2.26MP.  The camera uses the same EF mount as the rest of Canon’s cinematic line so there is a wide variety of lenses available.

The ME20F-SH will be available in December this year for a price tag of $30,000 – this is less than 1 cent per ISO point :)

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Here are the full specs from Canon:

Product name ME20F-SH Multi-purpose Camera
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)
Frame rates 59.94P / 59.94i / 50.00P / 50.00i / 29.97P / 25.00P / 23.98P
Gamma Canon Log, Wide DR, etc.
Video output terminals 3G / HD-SDI BNC jack (output only) Terminal count: 21080P / 1080i / 720P
HDMI HDMI connector (output only)
Genlock terminal BNC jack (input only)
Remote terminal φ2.5mm stereo mini-mini-jack (Canon-proprietary protocol)Round 8-pin jack (for RS-422, Canon-proprietary protocol)
Microphone terminal φ3.5mm stereo mini-jack
AF One-shot AF
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
Digital teleconverter 2x, 4x
Power input 4-pin XLR DC11-17VTerminal block 2-pin jack DC11-17V
Operating temperature 32 degrees F (0 degrees C) to 104 degrees F (40 degrees C)
Body dimensions Approx. 4 inches (102mm) (w) x 4.5 inches (116mm) (h) x 4.4 inches (113mm) (d) (excluding protrusions)
Weight Approx. 2.4 lbs (1.1 kg) (body only)

[Canon’s First Ultra-High-Sensitivity Multi-Purpose Camera Features ISO Equivalent Of Over 4,000,000]

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Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.

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23 responses to “Canon Released an ISO Monster That Goes Up To 4,000,000 ISO”

  1. Benn Murhaaya Avatar
    Benn Murhaaya

    now you’re talkin’!

  2. Josh Galamgam Avatar
    Josh Galamgam

    Dear Canon we want more MegaPixel not MegaISO!

    1. Scott Stevenson Avatar
      Scott Stevenson

      We want a balance… Low ISO equals a slower/longer shot…

    2. Tamir Emran Avatar
      Tamir Emran

      Yea but higher ISO gives you a lot of noise.

    3. Mark Clarisse Avatar
      Mark Clarisse

      What about dynamic range?

    4. Jason Starr Avatar
      Jason Starr

      +1 for DR. Not a HDR substitute.

    5. Craig Harris Avatar
      Craig Harris

      This is purely for video in places which need high ISO.
      It’s $30k for a 2 megapixel camera, so certainly not aimed at photographic camera consumers!

    6. Scott Stevenson Avatar
      Scott Stevenson

      Tamir – that isn’t necessarily true. It’s dependant upon the capabilities of the sensor capturing the image… Different sensors at the exact same ISO will show varying levels of noise…

  3. Carlos Rodriguez Avatar
    Carlos Rodriguez

    Really?

  4. Tamir Emran Avatar
    Tamir Emran

    What good is that? If you get grainy pictures at ISO 3200, ISO 4 million isnt going to give you a picture, you’ll just have noise…

    1. Craig Harris Avatar
      Craig Harris

      It’s not a consumer camera, most of that price is probably going towards ensuring clean images at high ISO – hence the low photosite count.

    2. Dick Blom Avatar
      Dick Blom

      But think Tamir ! Now you can play with the grain ! Play football (or soccer depending on your geographical situation) or whatever ! It’s all possible now !

    3. Han Grevelink Avatar
      Han Grevelink

      You want a nikon! :-)

    4. Viggo Næss Avatar
      Viggo Næss

      You do not get grainy pictures at 3200 with a 19(!) micron pixel. That’s FIVE times bigger than the 5ds and this costs 10 times more, it’s therefor safe to assume it has a bit different processing than the 5ds also ;)

    5. Joshua Stokes Avatar
      Joshua Stokes

      If you are talking about the latest 5d then yes you are right. 3200 is noisy however that has 50 megapixels. The more megapixel cameras always seem to have noisy pictures. This has 2 megapixels. At 3200 it will be allergic to noise

  5. Alexander Dodin Avatar
    Alexander Dodin

    Black holes shooter))

  6. Erlin Sierra Avatar
    Erlin Sierra

    That doesn’t mean anything if the quality isn’t good!

  7. Orfeas Kalafatis Avatar
    Orfeas Kalafatis

    30,000$ ??? now fuckin’ way!

  8. Christopher Yule Avatar
    Christopher Yule

    Honestly don’t think they would tool up for producing a 30 grand 2.2 megapixel camera unless it was good.. And in demand. Everyone who falls to see the value and engineering thought process here is frankly a danger to the modern world…

  9. Renato Murakami Avatar
    Renato Murakami

    Very interesting, but not in the same class as what Sony is trying to do.

    From very early content, that stuff that Sony showed long ago, it’s basically a camera that’s capable of catching good images in almost complete darkness. Not under moonlight, not under extremely weak light sources (like the A7S does) – really almost complete darkness.

    Well, unless we’re talking about something like this:
    http://www.pcworld.com/article/2682652/sony-launches-security-cameras-that-see-in-the-dark.html

    Problem is that price along with form factor makes it a specialized camera. Even if the A7S isn’t exactly on the cheapest side of consumer grade cameras, it’s still less than a tenth of the price.

    I dunno how big of a market there is for photos and videos in complete darkness which requires more than stuff like readily available – security cameras, cctv, infrared, night vision scope, among some other solutions – but there’s probably a market. That or Canon is really taking a very big shot in a market that doesn’t exist.

  10. Angela Grumpylicous Avatar
    Angela Grumpylicous

    Christina I want one

    1. Christina Audrey Batts Vietmeyer Avatar
      Christina Audrey Batts Vietmeyer

      Idk what all that means, but you should get two Angela. And I’ll take the second one off your hands.

  11. Rob Avatar
    Rob

    Visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eHnUtmenGQ0 to see Canon’s 3/2013 low-light demo at .01 lux & that was from a 2MP CMOS sensor. Today’s article is most likely a further development from the same group.