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Canon sensor records video in very low light, sees movie stars of a different sort

Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
March 4, 2013
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Although there's undoubtedly been improvements to low light videography, it's still difficult or impossible for most cameras to record in near-total darkness. Canon has the solution with a video-only, 35mm CMOS sensor that can keep recording even when there's virtually no visible light at all. The prototype's pixels are about 7.5 times larger than in already light-sensitive DSLRs like the EOS-1D X, letting it get focus with as little as 0.03lux of illumination. The result is more than just the perfect camera for a horror movie -- the sensor can capture the Geminid meteor shower and other astronomical phenomena without special tricks. Canon hasn't said when it might ship a video camera toting the new imaging technology, but it's planning to show the sensor at a security expo this week; we may well see the sensor in the field, even if most of its work happens beyond the public eye.

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