Canon’s New Full-Frame Camera Can Shoot at ISO 4,500,000

Canon has announced the latest generation mulit-purpose cameras, the ML-100 and ML-105, that can reach a staggering ISO 4,500,00 for astonishingly detailed color photo and video capture in extremely dark environments.

We haven’t heard that much from Canon when it comes to its multi-purpose cameras lately. The last major announcements we have on record was in 2015 with the ME20-F SH. Not long after, we saw some images produced with that camera. The next year we actually got to see some of the video footage the camera was able to capture in near-complete darkness.

Now, four years later, Canon has announced the next generation of its multi-purpose low-light cameras, and the ML-100 and ML-105 deliver amazingly high sensitivity to capture Full HD Color video with a minimum subject illumination of less than 0.0005 lux (at maximum 75 dB gain setting, that is equivalent to an ISO sensitivity of over 4,500,000). With the ability to capture color low-light images, these multi-purpose cameras can be utilized in industrial system design, where Canon says seeing color images is critical during day and night.

While the ISO performance doesn’t exceed the numbers we saw in the last multi-purpose cameras, Canon says these two new models employ a next-generation 19um, 35mm full-frame CMOS sensor.

What that translates to with the ML-100 is 12-bit RAW data output at up to 73 fps when connected with a CoaXpress terminal. The ML-100 features approximately 2.74 million pixels of maximum video output and supports Region of Interest, which can improve frame rate output up to 164 fps at 720p resolution.

The ML-105 camera features a 3G/HD-SDI video terminal and can output YCC 4:2:2 10-bit video. The ML-105 features the older Canon DIGIC DV4 Image Processor that is only capable of handling Full HD resolution at 60fps but should be good enough for the designed purposes of the camera. The DIGIC DV4 processor was the same processor used in ME20-F SH.

It’s not clear based on the information provided if the camera’s image quality was improved much, or if the new models are simply better designed to work in a greater number of applications more easily.

Both cameras are available with either an EF or M58 mount. The M58 mount version of the Canon ML-100 multi-purpose camera is scheduled to be available at the end of December 2020, while the ML-100 in EF, the ML-105 in M58, and the ML-105 in EF are scheduled to be available in April of 2021. No pricing was provided at the time of the announcement. However, given the pricing of the last model was $30,000, we can expect a similar asking price for either the ML-100 or the ML-105.