Canon Just Announced a Camera Capable of Shooting Over ISO 4 Million

Canon Just Announced a Camera Capable of Shooting Over ISO 4 Million

That is not a typo. Canon's newest camera is its first "multi-function" camera and is capable of something entirely refreshing (and maybe even a bit scary): capable of shooting 1080p at an equivalent of over four million ISO, the ME20F-SH can shoot objects that even the naked eye cannot see (objects lit by less than 0.0005 lux of illumination) in Full HD. While all cameras are somewhat multi-purpose by nature, Canon's "multi-function" designation of this camera speaks to the wide range of uses for which the ME20F-SH can be adapted given such features.

The sensor used in the ME20F-SH is a modified version of a 2.26-megapixel, 35mm, full-frame sensor developed in 2013 and features a pixel size about 5.5 times that of leading professional camera bodies. The monstrous low-light capabilities of the 12-megapixel Sony A7S are helped by a pixel pitch of 8.4μm (square that number for a surface area of 70.56μm squared per pixel). The ME20F-SH, meanwhile, has a pixel pitch of 19μm (or a surface area of 321μm squared per pixel), allowing it to gather an incredible amount of light, needless to say.

It's important to note that while four million sound like and is a very impressive ISO number, another way to consider this fact is that it is "only" about 3.5 stops more capable than the Sony A7S' max ISO of 409,600.

The ME20F-SH features a body conducive to mounting in a variety of rig types thanks to its square form and multiple external ports for a bevy of external recording and/or streaming options. A Canon EF mount with a cinema-mount-style locking mechanism further expands the versatility of the ME20F-SH by opening it up to a wide and established lens line-up.

The ME20F-SH will ship this December at a possibly (you tell us) reasonable $30,000. Read the full press release here and/or see more specs and images below.

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16 Comments

Greg Taillon's picture

Kind of weird that it only records up to 1080p, otherwise $30k sounds entirely reasonable

The sensor has only ~2 megapixels... that's why it shoots only 1080p. it were to shoot 4K the pixel pitch would have been half the size, and probably lose some of the low-light capabilities.

Adam Ottke's picture

What Dorin Dragan said...even though I think you were simply questioning the price vs. the features and not the possibility of getting 4k with the same low-light capabilities necessarily.

That said, I do have another thought/question... This sensor isn't physically larger than anything else on the market. It's not THAT special in this regard. Does it really cost THAT much to put larger pixels on a relatively standard-sized sensor? It's not like it's a medium-format sensor that shoots 4k with the same or even larger pixel size.... Hmmmm. Any techies know more about this? Seems like it should be cheap to produce in theory...but I'm not a pro at that level of tech...

Marius Pettersen's picture

My guess is that the price is set based on the potential market, which I guess is not that big.

Adam Ottke's picture

But it could be big IF it was priced incredibly reasonably... Then people could -- they WOULD -- come up with all kinds of interesting projects with the new creativity afforded them... Just a thought...

Eric Lefebvre's picture

For that price you could get a fully kitted Red Epic. :)

I want to get my hands on these and play with it one night. I'll do my best!

Chris Helton's picture

exactly what she said....
sorry, couldnt help myself lol

Heri Rakotomalala's picture

Imagine putting the Canon f0.95mm on one of these! Light up a candle and you're overexposed :D

Chris K.'s picture

Wow a sensor that size and around 2 megapixels, wonder what the dynamic range would be? Especially since this shoots Canon Log and "wide DR"?

Looks like a cheap block of plastic.

Will the output have the look and feel of sandpaper?

IT'S OVER 9000!

Anonymous's picture

yes!

Spy Black's picture

Remove the IR filter and you grab the thermal output of your farts. Will go over big at frat parties...

Pete W's picture

haha, nothing better than the study or the science of expulsado del recto!
... Not only the thermal properties but we could also view our odious emanations via "Schlieren Flow Visualization --WiKi" Look for "DIY Schlieren Photography." A cheaper option? Certainly, lower than $30 thousand. OK, back-to-our-previous-program ...