Canon U.S.A. Inc. introduced the company’s first multi-purpose camera, the ME20F-SH, which delivers exceptionally high sensitivity to capture Full HD video with a minimum subject illumination of less than 0.0005 lux (at maximum 75 dB gain setting, equivalent to an ISO sensitivity of higher than 4,000,000).
The camera employs an enhanced version of the 35 mm 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 high-sensitivity performance enabling the capture of Full HD color video with reduced noise in low-light conditions without the need for infrared illumination.
The 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 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 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 Canon’s lineup of interchangeable EF lenses. 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. Nighttime surveillance and security, cinematic production, reality television and nature/wildlife documentaries are just some of the ME20F-SH’s many possible usage applications.
Employing output-only 3G/HD-SDI and HDMI terminals, it 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 φ2.5 mm stereo mini-jack and a round eight-pin jack for RS-422, the camera is capable of connecting with Canon's RC-V100 remote controller. 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 φ3.5 mm 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.