Canon's multi-purpose ME20F-SH camera reaches ISO 4 million
Canon has introduced its ME20F-SH multi-purpose camera - a black cube with an EF mount and the ability to capture Full HD color video in near-darkness.
At the core of the ME20F-SH is a 2.26 megapixel CMOS sensor, originally announced in 2013, which has pixels measuring 19μm - 5.5X larger than what's found on high-end DSLRs. This allows for 1080/60p/30p/24p (and PAL equivalent) video capture in light levels as low as 0.0005 lux at a maximum gain setting of 75 Db, which is equivalent to over ISO 4,000,000. As with the company's professional cinema cameras, Canon Log and Wide DR modes are available for capturing a wide dynamic range.
The ME20F-SH supports EF and EF-S lenses with a locking mechanism and autofocus support. There are built-in neutral density and IR cut filters, both of which can be disabled if desired.
As one would expect, the ME20F-SH has virtually every port imaginable. There are output-only 3G/HD-SDI and HDMI ports and both a 2.5mm mini-jack and an 8-pin RS-422 port for using Canon's remote controls. There's also a 3.5mm jack for a stereo mic as well as GENLOCK port for synchronizing multiple video sources. A microSD slot is used solely for firmware updates.
The camera can be controlled on an external monitor using a rear-mounted joystick and the five buttons that surround it.
The ME20F-SH could prove to be a useful tool for filmmakers, either as a specialty camera or as a regular production tool for certain applications. Filmmakers needing to shoot the occasional scene in near-total darkness while maintaining accurate color will benefit from the insanely high ISO. And, the camera could be useful in production environments such as reality TV or for documentary filmmaking in low light.
You can pick up the ME20F-SH this December for $30,000.