The Starlight X27 camera from SPi Infrared can literally see in the dark in full colour, with minimal artefacts and noise. It is a direct competitor to the Canon ME20F-SH.
SPi Infrared has developed a camera so sensitive to light, it can pick up laser pointers light beams. The digital X27 ColorVision reconnaissance LLL (Low Light Level) true Color night vision CMOS sensor is a technological breakthrough in night-vision technology. It utilizes specialty algorithms that allow the sensor to see in extreme low-light environments traditionally unseen before.
The X27 is a 10 megapixel fully-digital solid-state system. It features an incredible 5 million-equivalent ISO rating compared to Canon’s ME20F-SH 4 million ISO. Its low noise and high sensitivity is accompanied by 1920 x 1080 HD resolution at up to 60 FPS (optional 120 FPS).
The rugged design would indicate that the X27 is designed with military use in mind. However, Starlight cameras have been used increasingly in documentaries and wildlife. It comes with a 32 mm lens, but you have the option of adding 22mm, 37mm, 60mm, 88mm, 152mm to your kit.
For military purposes, obvious uses include integration with night vision sights, scopes, binoculars and UAV. For filmic purposes it could also be great, but unfortunately it does lack the resolution, as do all current Starlight cameras.
One thing to consider, though, is if it would take away the feeling of night. We are used to seeing films and documentaries in certain ways to indicate the mood or the time of day of a scene. If a scene is green and grainy, we know someone is looking through night vision goggles. If a documentary is mostly desaturated with a blueish tint, we know its undercover work at night. Being able to see something literally as clear as day may end up distracting or confusing the viewer.
For more information, sample videos and comparisons, head over to x20.org
How would you use a night-vision camera like the X27 for your film projects? Please let us know in the comments below.