Canon unveiled a raft of new technology imaging and display concept models at last week’s Canon Expo 2010, writes Richard Dean, including the new Multi-Purpose Camera that delivers 4k video at over 60fps.
The show has been held every five years at the 8,000 square metre Grande Halle de la Villette former wholesale market in Paris since 2000. Under the exhibition banner of ‘We Speak Images’ and alongside large areas set aside for its office ICT, print and medical imaging products, Canon Europe showed a lightweight Multi-Purpose Camera (MPC) equipped with a new 2/3 inch 8 megapixel CMOS sensor, delivering 4k video at up to more than 60fps, offering photographic quality stills as well as high resolution video with slo-mo.
The MPC features a 24-480 mm wide-angle 20x optical zoom lens with aperture settings from F1.8 to 3.8 (35mm film equivalent), and is powered by a new fully electronically-controlled lens drive system. Guarded by a Perspex casing, the working prototype stood on a custom-made cooling plinth and fed an external disk, but the production model will be free-standing with internal storage. No prices or launch dates have yet been announced.
Other demonstrations included a Cross Media Station that uses a combination of magnetic resonance and wi-fi to allow users to download images and simultaneously charge digital cameras and camcorders by simply placing them on top of the device.
Canon also showed its first High Fidelity Display, a 77cm (30-inch) 8 megapixel LCD screen claimed to offer ultra high definition across a wide viewing angle and colour range that supports Adobe RGB and Digital Cinema colour space.
More specialist innovations included what the company heralded as the world’s first Single-Shot Multi-Band Camera, featuring a 50 megapixel CMOS sensor with six colour filters claimed to capture colours beyond the capabilities of standard RGB cameras for anything from archiving cultural properties to medical care and e-commerce; an Ultra High-Resolution Panorama Camera which uses a 120 megapixel CMOS sensor comparable to the 130 million optic nerves of human sight to capture a huge image from which realtime HD video can be played at 60fps from any designated area; and an Ultra High Sensitivity CMOS Sensor Camera with a sensor some 300mm square to capture scenes down to less than 1 lux of ambient light.
Canon says production of the wafer-size large sensor has been perfected, but scientists had to use a makeshift camera complete with a time-honoured velvet drape to record night time scenes, which appeared virtually black on the normal camera images alongside. A full report on these and other innovations will appear in the December edition of TVB-Europe magazine.