At NAB, Canon will bring a very special camera, which has some points of contact with the broadcast industry, but is mainly developed for surveillance purposes. That's because thanks to its 1.0" SPAD sensor, the MS-500 is extremely bright - it's said to produce noise-free images even in total darkness.
Canon MS-500, SPAD sensor
SPAD sensors (SPAD: Single Photon Avalanche Diode) process light differently than conventional sensors. These measure the accumulated amount of light incident per unit time on a sensor pixel and are susceptible to noise. In contrast, the SPAD process detects incoming photons individually and converts them into electrical charge, resulting in cleaner results.
Under the same lighting conditions, the SPAD sensor developed by Canon - it was introduced at the end of January - is said to be ten times as efficient as a conventional CMOS sensor. Or, to put it another way, it needs only one-tenth of the CMOS sensor area to produce the same image result.
Example of a night shot
Night vision test image
The resolution of the sensor, and thus of the associated camera now presented, will be 3.2 MP, just over FullHD, the highest yet for this type of sensor, according to Canon. The mount of the MS-500 is supposed to be compatible with the B4 connector, so that (telephoto) lenses from the broadcast sector can be used - the camera is supposed to be able to spot and record subjects that are several kilometers away.
The MS-500 is expected to be ready for the market before the end of this year, but as mentioned before, film makers are not part of the target group - except maybe when "reality" TV is to be produced? In any case, we immediately had to think of a TV format like Big Brother as a possible application scenario.