Frustrated with how your camera’s CMOS sensor performs in dimly-lit situations? Canon has just announced a new CMOS sensor that’ll put a smile on your face. It’s a new 35mm full-frame sensor that’s designed specifically for capturing video in “exceptionally low-light environments.” Canon claims the sensor can capture high quality video with high-sensitivity while keeping noise very low.
Here’s how sensitive the new sensor is: it will reportedly be able to see meteor shows, rooms lit with incense sticks, and scenes lit only by moonlight.
The new CMOS sensor is exceptionally sensitive due to the extremely large light-collecting pixels found on the surface. They each measure 19 square microns in size, which is 7.5 times the size of the pixels found on the Canon 1D X DSLR’s sensor.
The jumbo pixels also have special new technologies that help kill noise, which is generally more of a problem as pixels get larger.
These features allow the new sensor to capture clearly visible images even in environments with as little as 0.03 lux of light, which is roughly the level of illumination you get under a crescent moon. At this level of illumination, the human eye has a difficult time seeing objects.
Here’s a sample video showing the amazing difference of this new sensor stacked up against traditional sensors:
Potential applications for the new sensor may be observing the stars/nature and surveillance/security. Canon will be showing off this new sensor in a prototype camera later this week at a security show in Tokyo, but is being mum about whether we may see it appear in the consumer industry anytime in the future.