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Monday, 4 March 2013

High-sensitivity sensor for video recording

Prototype camera with the new sensor

Canon has successfully developed a sensor exclusively for video recording. Delivering high-sensitivity, low-noise imaging performance, the new Canon 35 mm CMOS sensor enables the capture of Full HD video even in exceptionally low-light environments.

The sensor features pixels measuring 19 microns square in size – more than 7.5x the surface area of the pixels on the CMOS sensor incorporated in the EOS 1D X and other digital SLR cameras. The sensor's pixels and readout circuitry employ new technologies to reduce noise, which tends to increase as pixel size increases. 

Thanks to these technologies, the sensor makes it possible to shoot clearly visible video images even in dimly lit environments with as little as 0.03 lux of illumination (approximately the brightness of a crescent moon) – a level of brightness in which it is difficult for the naked eye to see objects. When recording video of astral bodies, an electron-multiplying CCD, which realizes approximately the same level of perception as the naked eye, can capture magnitude 6 stars. Canon's newly developed CMOS sensor is capable of recording faint stars with a magnitude of 8.5 and dimmer.

Using a prototype camera employing the newly developed sensor, Canon successfully captured video images in a room illuminated only by the light from burning incense sticks (approximately 0.05–0.01 lux) and video of the Geminid meteor shower. 

The company expects the new sensor to be used for astronomical and natural observation, support for medical research and use in surveillance and security equipment.

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