South African filmmaker Dan Mace shot fascinating night scenes with the super-lowlight camera Canon ME20F-SH, which was released over 6 years ago. The compact special full-format camera, which costs around 21,500 euros, only shoots in FullHD resolution, but has a fabulous ISO value of over 4 million (+ 75dB) and can thus still make colorful recordings in almost complete darkness - according to Canon, a brightness of just 0.0005 lux is already sufficient.
Despite these special features, there are hardly any new shots taken with the Canon ME20F-SH that use its capabilities to produce spectacular images - Mace has therefore used it to produce shots from a night surf trip and a trip to the Cederberg mountains - both minimal, but still sufficiently illuminated with a flashlight (the sensor needs at least some photons to produce usable and not too noisy shots). Due to the extremely high light sensitivity of the camera, the starry sky including visible galaxies on a clear night forms a wonderful background for the images, which seems almost artificial.
The super light-sensitive 35mm FullHD CMOS sensor of the Canon ME20F-SH resolves with 2.26 megapixels - Canon had introduced it back in 2013. The small number of pixels (actually sensels) on the large sensor area allows for approximately 7.5x larger sensels than are used in Canon full-frame DSLR cameras, enabling the extremely high ISO values of the ME20F-SH.
Recording is maximally in FullHD with frame rates up to 50p/59.94p, but not from the camera itself; a corresponding signal is output for external recording via HDMI and two 3G/HD-SDI interfaces. Canon Log Gamma and a Wide DR mode allow the camera to achieve a dynamic range of 12 f-stops.
So, in order to record video, you need an external monitor/recorder such as the Atomos Ninja V, which also acts as a display since the camera itself doesn&t have one. Likewise, due to its very sparse controls, it must be controlled via a wired remote like Canon RC-V100.
Canon&s DIGIC DV4 image processor is built in, interchangeable lenses are attached via a Canon EF bayonet with Cinema Lock - ND and IR filters are integrated. The camera is intended for very special applications such as TV productions of nocturnal wildlife, astronomical recordings, deep-sea and cave exploration and surveillance. Here the detailed technical specifications of the Canon ME20F-SH.