A closer look at Canon’s experimental low-light sensor


Canon announced, back in March this year, that they were working on a new experimental high-sensitivity 35 mm full-frame CMOS sensor designed to record video in low-light conditions. When it was first announced it was already capable of some impressive video capture in poor lighting, new footage shot with the CMOS sensor indicates that the performance is still improving.

The video below shows the Yaeyama-him fireflies which live on Ishigaki Island in Japan. Canon says that the video was shot without the aid of artificial light, in conditions of 0.01 lux. That’s pretty much total darkness.

The new sensor uses pixels 19 microns in size, more than 7 times larger than those found in Canon’s EOS-1D X. Canon is using a new system which reduces the noise that typically comes with having oversized pixels and it appears that the new tech is coming along nicely.

Unfortunately it seems that the experimental sensor won’t be making its way to commercial devices any time soon. Canon has designs on the medical, astronomical and security fields with the low-light-capable tech. Still, we can dream, can’t we?


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