Canon recently announced two new multi-purpose cameras to Canon’s diverse range of cameras and lenses, the Canon ME20F-SH and ME200-SH. Being a multi-purpose camera, they can be used for videography and photography purposes.

At a recent media presentation by Canon Singapore, I got the opportunity to attend, to witness for myself, the Canon ME20F-SH in action inside a studio whereby it was pitch dark and the human eyes can’t see what was in front, yet the Canon ME20F-SH was able to see it and projected the image on a 4K TV. The low light sensitivity is amazing!

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A multi-purpose camera, that can be put to great use by both filmmakers, videographers, documentary producers, photographers, institutions. Coming from a photographer perspective (the 2 multi-purpose cameras can attach EF lenses, makes it easy for photographers to use them), it would really be awesome to use these multi-purpose cameras in photography exploration inside the world’s largest cave in Vietnam, Hang Son Doong, there would be a really amazing photography and video adventure with the Canon multi-purpose cameras! Imagine a scenario with the Canon ME20F-SH on the ground level taking photography stills/videos and the Canon ME200-SH mounted on a drone doing the other half of the action in the air!

Here are two videos on YouTube that shows the Canon ME20F-SH in action, take a look at them!

Exclusive AURORA SkyCam

Video produced by Canon Marketing Japan

Let me share key information of the two multi-purpose cameras ME20F-SH and ME200-SH from the press release information below:

Canon ME20F-SH

This high-sensitivity camera is capable of delivering exceptional imaging performance when capturing Full HD video, even with a subject illumination of less than 0.0005 lux[1] (near pitch dark). This is made possible with its impressive gain setting[2] of up to 75 dB, and an ISO sensitivity of over 4 million.

ME20F-SH (5)

Canon’s multi-purpose camera employs an enhanced version of the 35 mm full-frame CMOS sensor for Full HD video usage that was developed by the company in 2013[3]. While capturing videos in low-light conditions often require the use of infrared illumination – a technique that only yields video in black and white, the ME20F-SH achieves impressive low-light performance retaining Full HD videos in colour with reduced noise in low-light conditions without the need for infrared illumination. This makes the ME20F-SH uniquely suited for situations such as shooting wildlife documentaries or surveillance. By enabling video capture in low-light scenarios under which subjects are difficult to discern with the naked eye, the ME20F-SH makes image capture possible even in challenging environments.

“The ME20F-SH is a game changer with its unrivalled ISO sensitivity of over 4 million, capable of capturing full colour HD footage of scenes too dark for the naked eye to discern. This spells limitless possibilities for users who require top-of-the-range equipment to capture high quality professional footage in environments with minimum illumination, such as wildlife documentaries or underwater videography.” said Edwin Teoh, Head of Marketing, Singapore Operations, Canon Singapore.

Ultra-sensitive CMOS sensor enhances colour video capture in low-light conditions

The ME20F-SH’s CMOS sensor has pixels measuring 19 μm square[4], which is more than 7.5 times the surface area of the pixels on the CMOS sensor featured in Canon’s top-of-the-line EOS-1D X (released in June 2012), and other digital SLR cameras. The sensor’s pixels and readout circuitry uses Canon proprietary technologies to achieve reduced noise, enabling it to detect subjects illuminated at less than 0.0005 lux[5].

Similar to Canon’s Cinema EOS System professional digital cinematography cameras, the ME20F-SH is equipped with Canon Log and Wide DR gamma, enabling it to deliver excellent image quality videos consistently, across a range of lighting situation.

Canon ME200-SH

With its compactness, the ME200S-SH can be accompanied with a range of drones and gimbal systems. It can also be used as a sub-camera for video production in locations where portability is important. Easily compatible with peripheral equipment such as pan tilt zoom remote heads, the multi-purpose camera is also suitable for use in surveillance applications as well.

ME200S-SH (4)

“Crafted with versatility in mind and geared to meet the needs of professional users, the ME200S-SH combines stunning imaging performance with its compact design to create the perfect camera for shooting a myriad of scenarios and styles. With the flexibility to link up with a variety of peripheral units, the ME200S-SH will deliver high quality professional footages, even in challenging environments.” said Edwin Teoh, Head of Marketing, Singapore Operations, Canon Singapore.

Enhanced video imaging quality

Equipped with Canon’s Super-35mm CMOS image sensor (effective pixels of approx. 8.29 megapixels) and DIGIC DV4 for enhanced arithmetic processing capacity, the ME200S-SH produces excellent video quality with fewer occurrences of colour artefacts, moiré, and jaggies[6].

With a minimum subject illumination of 0.015 lux or less[7] and a maximum gain[8] of 56 dB (equivalent to ISO speed of approximately 200,000), the ME200S-SH is able to shoot clear videos with significantly reduced noise in low-light environments. Furthermore, the use of Canon Log with its wide dynamic range and Wide DR gamma allows users to shoot with smoother gradations while alleviating blown-out highlights and loss of shadow details.

Product Specifications

ME20F-SH

Image sensor 35 mm full-frame CMOS sensor (single), effective pixel count: approx. 2.26 million pixels
Minimum subject illumination Less than 0.0005 lux (at maximum 75 dB gain setting, equivalent to an ISO sensitivity of over 4 million)
Lens mount Canon EF mount (Cinema Lock type)
Optical filters ND filter with 2 density levels (motorized manual / auto)

IR cut filter (motorized manual)

Frame rates 59.94P / 59.94i / 50.00P / 50.00i / 29.97P / 25.00P / 23.98P
Gamma Canon Log, Wide DR, etc.
Video output terminals 3G / HD-SDI BNC jack (output only)

Terminal count: 2

1080P / 1080i / 720P

HDMI HDMI[1] connector (output only)
Genlock terminal BNC jack (input only)
Remote terminal φ2.5 mm stereo mini-mini-jack (Canon-proprietary protocol)

Round 8-pin jack (for RS-422, Canon-proprietary protocol)

Microphone terminal φ3.5 mm stereo mini-jack
AF One-shot AF
Auto-exposure Combined interlocking (iris / gain / ND / shutter)
White balance AWB, color-temperature setting (setting range: 2000 to 15000 degrees Kelvin), natural light, light bulb, Setting A, Setting B
Digital teleconverter 2x, 4x
Power input 4-pin XLR DC11-17V

Terminal block 2-pin jack DC11-17V

Operating temperature 0 degrees C to 40 degrees C
Body dimensions Approx. 102 mm (w) x 116 mm (h) x 113 mm (d) (excluding protrusions)
Weight Approx. 1.1 kg (body only)

[1] HDMI, the HDMI logo and the High-Definition Multimedia Interface are brands and registered trademarks of HDMI Licensing, LLCT

ME200-SH

Image sensor Size: Super 35 mm CMOS image sensor
No. of effective pixels: Approx. 8.29 megapixels
Minimum subject illumination Less than 0.015 lux (at maximum 56dB gain setting, equivalent to an ISO sensitivity of 204,800)
Lens mount Canon EF mount (Cinema Lock type)
Optical filters ND filter with 2 density levels (motorized manual / auto)

IR cut filter (motorized manual)

Frame rates 59.94P / 59.94i / 50.00P / 50.00i / 29.97P / 25.00P / 23.98P
Gamma Canon Log, Wide DR, etc.
Video output terminals 3G / HD-SDI BNC jack (output only)

Terminal count: 2

1080P / 1080i / 720P

HDMI HDMI* connector (output only)
Genlock terminal BNC jack (input only)
Remote terminal φ2.5 mm stereo mini-mini-jack (Canon-proprietary protocol)

Round 8-pin jack (for RS-422, Canon-proprietary protocol)

Microphone terminal φ3.5 mm stereo mini-jack
AF Continuous AF(Dual Pixel CMOS)/One-Shot AF
Auto-exposure Combined interlocking (iris / gain / ND / shutter)
White balance AWB, color-temperature setting (setting range: 2000 to 15000 degrees Kelvin), natural light, light bulb, Setting A, Setting B
Digital teleconverter 2x, 4x, 8x
Power input 2 inputs (4-pin XLR or  2-pin power connector)

DC +11V to +17V; power consumption: approx. 11W (body only)

Operating temperature 0 degrees C to 40 degrees C
Body dimensions Approx. 102 mm (w) x 116 mm (h) x 113 mm (d) (excluding protrusions)
Weight Approx.1.0kg (body only)

 

Price and Availability

The Canon ME20F-SH will be available from May 2016 at a recommended retail price of $31,029.

The Canon ME200S-SH will be available from August 2016 and its pricing will be advised at a later date.

I would like to thank Canon Singapore for the invitation to the media presentation and to catch a view the Canon ME20F-SH in action.

* Information and pictures courtesy of Canon Singapore and Ogilvy Public Relations *

[1] Compliant with the specification method for CCTV devices (TTR-4602B) issued by the Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association (JEITA). Theoretical value based on the following shooting conditions: colour, no light accumulation, f/1.2, 30P, 50 IRE

[2] Gain represents the level that the output signal from a pixel has been amplified, measured in decibels (dB). Increases in gain value enable image capture in darker conditions

[3] For more information, please refer to the press release announced on March 4, 2013, available on the Canon Global website: http://www.canon.com/news/2013/mar04e.html

[4] 1 μm (micrometer) equals one millionth of a meter

[5] (E.G.) Environments lit by artificial illumination or under a moonless night sky

[6] The informal name for artefacts in raster images, most frequently from aliasing, which in turn is often caused by non-linear mixing effects producing high-frequency components or missing or poor anti-aliasing filtering prior to sampling.

[7] Compliant with the specification method for CCTV devices (TTR-4602B) issued by the Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association (JEITA). Theoretical value based on the following shooting conditions: colour, no light accumulation, f/1.2, 30P, 50 IRE

[8] Gain indicates the power of amplitude of a signal output from the pixels. Units are in decibels (dB). Increasing the gain setting value makes it possible to shoot in dark locations.