In March Canon announced the development of an ultra-lowlight CMOS sensor. Now Canon released the first video made with a prototype camera holding this sensor which was specifically made for video.
The video shows shots of the “Yaeyama-hime” fireflies which were shot in an environment as dark as 0.01 lux. Unfortunately, while the CMOS is supposed to produce 1080p, the video itself strangely is of particularly low quality and mostly out of focus which makes it hard to see anything.
The announcement further explains that “A full moon provides approximately 0.3 lux; a crescent moon, approximately 0.03 lux.”
Read on for more details on the topic:
The high-sensitivity, low-noise video-shooting capabilities of the dedicated 35 mm full-frame CMOS sensor1 for Full HD video capture were made possible not only through the integration of the high-performance sensor technologies employed in Canon’s digital SLR cameras, but also through the incorporation of new pixel and readout circuitry technologies that reduce noise.
Using a camera prototype equipped with the CMOS sensor, Canon, in cooperation with ZERO CORPORATION,2 succeeded in capturing video3 of the Yaeyama-hime fireflies that inhabit Japan’s Ishigaki Island, located off the northeastern coast of Taiwan. No artificial lighting was used during shooting, which took place after sunset amid the island’s mountains. Despite an exceptionally dark shooting environment4 of less than 0.01 lux, a level in which the naked eye would have difficulty discerning surrounding objects, the CMOS sensor was able to capture not only the color of the light emitted by the fireflies, each of which measures only a few millimeters in length, and their movements, but also the surrounding vegetation in which the species lives. Plans call for the footage to be used to benefit future research into the Yaeyama-hime firefly.
In addition to astronomical and natural observation, Canon is looking into applying this CMOS sensor to medical research purposes as well as surveillance and crime-prevention equipment. Through the further development of innovative CMOS sensors, Canon aims to expand the realm of photographic possibilities while cultivating the world of visual expression.