Earlier today, Sept. 9, Canon kicked off its 2015 expo at the Javitz Center in NYC. Though the expo officially opens tomorrow, we were given an exclusive press tour of some of the new gear, products and concepts Canon has in the works. Here are a few prototype products that blew my mind before the expo even started. Canon is definitely trying to remain at the forefront of imaging science and sensor technology with the announcement of both 8K and 250 megapixels. In short, it’s a lot of information that kind of blew my mind.
250 megapixel CMOS Sensor
Canon Inc. has developed this 250 MP CMOS Sensor, the highest number of pixels ever fit into a CMOS smaller than the size of a 35mm full-frame sensor. When installed in one their prototype cameras, which we’ll get to later, it was capable of capturing the lettering on the side of an airplane taken from approximately 11 miles away. With an ultra-high signal readout speed of 1.25 billion pixels per second, it’s also capable of capturing ultra-high-pixel-count video at a speed of up to five frames per second. But despite the absurdly high pixel count, it’s press release states that “Canon has achieved high-sensitivity, low-noise imaging performance through an architecture developed over many years and adapted for miniaturized pixels.”
ME20F-SH Multipurpose Camera
Canon’s new multi-purpose camera employs an enhanced version of the 35mm full-frame CMOS sensor for Full HD video use that was originally developed by the Company in 2013. Its compact, modular body design allows easy custom configurations for diverse usage scenarios. While capturing video in extreme low-light conditions often requires the use of infrared illumination (a technique that only yields video in black and white), the ME20F-SH camera achieves impressive high-sensitivity performance enabling the capture of color Full HD video with reduced noise in low-light conditions without the need for infrared illumination.
The ME20F-SH camera’s CMOS sensor has pixels measuring 19 ?m square, which is more than 5.5 times the surface area of the pixels on the CMOS sensor featured in select top-of-the-line interchangeable lens cameras4. Furthermore, the sensor’s pixels and readout circuitry make use of Canon proprietary technologies to achieve both reduced noise and exceptionally high sensitivity on subjects with a minimum illumination of less than 0.0005 lux. This multi-purpose camera allows users to discern subjects under even some of the dimmest lighting conditions, such as environments lit by artificial illumination or under a moonless night sky. Furthermore, similar to Canon’s Cinema EOS System of professional digital cinematography cameras, the ME20F-SH camera includes Canon Log and Wide DR, which make possible a wide dynamic range, delivering high-image-quality video results across a range of illumination environments, from low- to brightly lit conditions.
EOS System 8K Camera and Monitor
The Cinema EOS System 8K camera, being developed and with no shipping date announced, will be equipped with a Canon Super 35 mm-equivalent CMOS sensor that makes possible high-resolution 8,192 x 4,320 pixel (approximately 35.39 million effective pixels) imaging performance, even at a frame rate of up-to-60 frames per second with 13 stops of dynamic range and a richly expressive wide color gamut. Additionally, featuring a body size that realizes outstanding mobility and a design that delivers high levels of operability, along with an EF mount that offers compatibility with most of Canon’s extensive interchangeable EF lens lineup.
Canon really wanted to make a statement this year that they are still very much interested in research and development, and we are hard pressed to argue with them now. 250 megapixels and 8K are coming, and Canon is planning to be at the forefront when they do.