Back in March, Canon announced that it was working on a special 35mm low-light sensor that would blow away all other competition when it came to seeing things in near complete darkness. In order to further prove that point, the company sent a prototype out to shoot tiny fireflies in less than 0.01lux on Japan’s Ishigaki Island.
The sample footage is quite impressive when you realize that no external light source was used. In almost total darkness (even a crescent moon puts out about three times as much light as they had to work with) Canon’s people were able to capture great footage of the Yaeyama-hime fireflies.
But it’s not just that you’re seeing tiny pinpricks of light on a black screen, the surrounding vegetation came through in detail as well.
According to a Canon press release, the sensor’s ability to see in conditions where even the human eye would have trouble discerning shapes comes from the marriage of “high-performance sensor technologies” and “new pixel and readout circuitry technologies that reduce noise.”
Although it’s still a prototype, Canon is excited to expand this technology in myriad ways, and take advantage of a sensor that sees things even the human eye has trouble with.
In addition to astrophotography and low-light research applications like the one demonstrated above, Canon hopes to expand the tech into industries such as medical imaging, surveillance and crime-prevention equipment, all in the name of “expand[ing] the realm of photographic possibilities while cultivating the world of visual expression.”
For more info and sample footage, check out our previous coverage by clicking here.
(via Canon Watch)