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Colour video in the dark

A small, new full-frame camera that can ‘see the unseen’ in extremely low light has been launched by Canon. The ME20F-SH can capture full colour images in almost complete darkness (less than 0.0005 lux), with a maximum ISO in excess of 4million (+75dB).

It is compact and lightweight, making it ideal for wildlife productions, and can be installed in a semi-permanent location, under remote control, for use on long-term projects. It has both HDMI and two 3G/HD-SDI outputs.

Previously, working in so little light required infrared illumination, producing black and white video, but the ME20F-SH can produce colour 1080p or 1080i video with reduced noise, without the need for infrared lights.

It uses a new full frame 35mm 2.26megapixel CMOS sensor with a DIGIC DV4 processor. As with Canon’s Cinema EOS cameras, it includes Canon Log and Wide DR settings, for a wider dynamic range (800%).

It can take EF mount lenses (with Cinema Lock, as used on the C500). It also offers flexible control with auto and custom settings, including remote control of camera settings and built-in ND and IR cut filters.