PetaPixel

Canon Unveils a 35mm Full Frame Sensor for Video That Can See in the Dark

canon35mmsensor

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.

Before (left) and after (right) comparisons of identical scenes showing traditional sensors versus Canon's new sensor. From top to bottom, we see a starry night sky, a candlelit room, and a moonlit outdoor location.

Before (left) and after (right) comparisons of identical scenes showing traditional sensors versus Canon’s new sensor. From top to bottom, we see a starry night sky, a candlelit room, and a moonlit outdoor location.

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.

(via Canon via Canon Rumors)


 
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  • http://twitter.com/BeingHiitesh Hitesh

    Typo: It should be “after (right)” not left.

  • http://www.facebook.com/norshan Norshan Nusi

    WOW O_O The building looks like shot in the daylight.

  • mural

    mehhh sony a99 is better

  • WibblWobble

    Very impressive low light performance, but don’t get overly excited for photography as the resolution will be 1/7.5 of that of the Canon 1Dx or ~2.4 MP.

  • 11

    why is this youtube video 360p?

  • will hall

    the article does state it’s intended for video. in which case 2.4MP is sufficent for full HD

  • cas_e

    That music..

  • http://www.facebook.com/jonathan.maniago Jonathan Maniago

    Who could have guessed 3 or 4 years ago that Canon would aim for low light while Nikon would go for the megapixels?

  • leon

    ” Before (left) and after (left) “

  • Mansgame

    It’s kind of interesting that they could have delivered a “night vision” sensor for still photography if it weren’t for the megapixel war. Not many people would pay $3000 for a DSLR that shot 3 MP’s

  • Samuel

    What i find more impressive is the amount of colour in the tree at the last bit of the video. It’s one thing shooting in low light (think:starlight cameras) but a whole different ballgame doing that in colour

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jan-Onar-Olsen/100000995864307 Jan Onar Olsen

    CCD for astro photo? :)

  • Mike

    Name it anything like “ultrapixels” and I’ll boycott you for ever.

  • William

    Good luck focusing in that light (or lack there of)!

  • Jesse

    keep in mind that its for video, in which the screen would be plenty bright for focusing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/igor.kennn Igor Ken

    it’s from 2008!

  • Frank Langham

    Would love to see it in a sub~$2K prosumer rig but, by the time THAT happens, I will be too old to utilize it.