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By 31 July 2015 | Categories: news

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Canon hasn’t exactly shied away from pushing the bar, but its latest video camera takes this to levels that could well be called extreme.

The company’s latest  ME20F-SH, a professional multi-purpose video camera whose features are as intimidating as its name, boasts a maximum ISO in excess of 4 million. This enables it to capture full colour images in environments where darkness, not light, reigns supreme.

Apparently, the uses for this new camera is as extreme as its maximum ISO -  deep sea/cave exploration, astronomy, surveillance and TV productions of nocturnal wildlife. With regards to the latter, the camera can apparently be installed in semi-permanent locations and remotely operated, a boon for documentary and natural history filmmakers, enabling long term projects and events to be  captured with minimal personnel.

Into darkness

While capturing video in low-light conditions often requires the use of infrared illumination, a technique that traditionally only yields footage in black and white, the ME20F-SH’s high sensitivity breaks this bar by enabling the capture of colour Full HD video (1080p/1080i/720p)  with reduced noise.

It is able to do this thanks to a newly developed Full Frame 35mm with 2.26 MP CMOS sensor and a DIGIC DV4 processor. According to the company, the sensor’s pixels and readout circuitry use Canon’s proprietary technologies “to achieve both reduced noise and exceptionally high sensitivity”, allowing users to capture subjects illuminated with less than 0.0005 lux.

For such a specialised camera, you might be concerned that Canon decided to implement a proprietary new range of lenses. Thankfully, this is not the case – the new camera instead employs Canon’s EF mount with Cinema Lock, as found on the Cinema EOS C500. This, of course, enables users to take advantage of its extensive line-up of interchangeable lenses, a few of which you likely already have in your camera bag if you are a serious Canon shooter.

Versatility too

More specifically, according to the company, by enabling operators to select the ideal lens based on their shooting or application requirements, taking into consideration such factors as angle of view and level of brightness, the multi-purpose camera facilitates a wide range of shooting possibilities.

As yet, there is no specified pricing for the camera. However, before you go looking for it in your local camera shop or on Amazon - due to its specialist nature and the corresponding niche demand, bear in mind that the ME20F-SH is slated to only be available to selected partners.

It’s tough not to suspect that more than a few space-geeks at NASA are putting this one on their shopping list.

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