Canon has released a short video produced with a unique full frame CMOS sensor. Announced in March, it's a sensor dedicated to extreme low light video recording with unusually large pixels. The test subject? A group of Yaeyama-hime fireflies on Japan's Ishigaki Island. The sample video was captured without artificial lighting in just 0.01 lux, a light level that challenges the naked eye. Beyond natural and astronomical applications, Canon says the high sensitivity sensor may one day be used for medical and security purposes.

Canon staff used a prototype camera carrying the new CMOS sensor to produce a sample video featuring an extremely dark scene. The 35mm full frame CMOS sensor uses a 1920 x 1080 pixel array with individual pixels measuring a whopping 19μm.

The high sensitivity chip uses large pixels and low readout-noise circuitry, allowing it to capture light around 10 times less bright than current CCDs used for astronomy. Each pixel is 7.5 times larger than those of the Canon EOS 1DX.