Canon shows off 35mm full frame CMOS sensor that can see in the dark

Written by Russell Co. Posted in Cameras, News

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Published on March 06, 2013 with No Comments

canon-low-light-starsHaving trouble capturing moments during extremely low-light conditions, like stargazing for example? Most of the time you’ll have to crank up the sensitivity while adding noise. Well Canon might be able to help with that as it teases a newly developed 35mm full-frame CMOS sensor specifically tailored for recording video in low-light environments.

The photo above shows off the Geminid meteor shower using only starlight. While the photo above shows off the same scene with and without the new sensors improved sensitivity, shot using only moonlight.


Canon’s new sensor features pixels measuring in at a tiny 19 microns square in size, 7.5 times the surface of its top-of-the-line EOS-1D X. Add in a few new technologies and you get a sensor that delivers high-sensitivity with low-noise performance. The new sensor needs as little as 0.03 lux of light, roughly the brightness of the moon, where sometimes humans can barely see.

However it may take awhile before we see consumer applications as Canon is looking towards security surveillance and astronomical and natural observation uses. Check out the video below to see the sensor in action in various low-light conditions. From the looks of it, it’s like night vision with color.