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Breaking news - Canon announce new full frame sensor for video

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new-canon-cmos-video-sensor

  • Full frame 35mm

  • 16:9 format

  • Hyper low light sensitive - even larger pixels than 1D X sensor

  • Prototype to be shown in Japan between 5th-8th March


If you think the C300's low light sensitivity is impressive, here's Canon's new image sensor for digital cinema cameras.

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This announcement reminds me of the fixed-lens 4k camera and world's largest CMOS sensor from a few years ago. So I don't think we'll ever see this exact sensor come to market, but on the bright side I think the R&D spent on this will lead to even more better low-light performance in Canon cameras moving forward.

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The largest CMOS sensor, I think went into a telescope.

 

I too expect this to go to a very small sector of the scientific market.

 

All it is really is a low megapixel count full frame sensor.

 

There's no place for it in Canon's current DSLR or Cinema EOS line-up.

 

This is a shame as I'm really into the creative possibilities of ultra low light shooting.

 

I am currently writing a script which involves a scene shot entirely by moon light at ISO 12,800, T0.95.

 

Imagine being able to stage a scene on top of a mountain with the milky way as the backdrop.

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Canon may not use it in their Cine cameras. but an independent manufacturer might.

Hello, BlackMagic Design Cine Camera 2.

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I'm not sure this will be of practical use outside of scientific or surveillance applications.  Unless you like shooting in daylight at f32, 1 degree shutter angle with a big stack of ND8s on the front of your lens.  *Too* sensitive.

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I'm not sure this will be of practical use outside of scientific or surveillance applications.  Unless you like shooting in daylight at f32, 1 degree shutter angle with a big stack of ND8s on the front of your lens.  *Too* sensitive.

 

When you pull a sensor down from a very high native ISO of 3200 for example to 400 it is true that your lower ISOs compromise the image. I.e. dodgy highlights, banding, etc. We see this on the low light kings FS100, 1D C. This is a problem waiting for a fix. Of course what you describe with F32, high shutter speed, stack of NDs is not the answer and you're right to point the issue out. This sensor probably isn't a general purpose one!

 

Red Dragon is rated at 2500 native I think.

 

I think some stuff is already looking too plastic and too clean. I actually WANT a bit of grain. But there's no denying how excited I am about the low light possibilities.

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Yeah, let's see.  Of course I exaggerated somewhat... perhaps it will be usable in daylight, but if the native ISO is too high, it will be a limited as a specialist camera.  Which is fine, I guess it could be a specialist low light camera, just like you have specialist high-speed cameras.

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I too expect this to go to a very small sector of the scientific market...There's no place for it in Canon's current DSLR or Cinema EOS line-up...

This is a shame as I'm really into the creative possibilities of ultra low light shooting.

 

Most likely yes, but the R&D and technology behind it can and probably will be somehow applied to upcoming video/cinema/stills sensors.

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Kind of odd, showcasing a sensor optimized for video recording static stars. If resulting products can produce true "Full HD" (true 1000+ lines H & V sampling resolution without aliasing), will be pretty cool. Since optimized for video only, could use the same photosite arrangement as C100/C300 for true Full HD (4K sensor). The 5D3, 1DX, and 1DC do around 800 lines for full frame HD vs. the required 1000+ lines for Full HD (the 1DC can do this in 4K mode sampled down to HD; S35 crop mode appears to be somewhere in between- a chart test could show us for sure).

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Kind of odd, showcasing a sensor optimized for video recording static stars.

 

I agree.The video, they showcase, should clearly outline the noticeable advantage, in low light, over its current breed of cameras. Maybe, with the right kind of parabolic mirrors, any good full HD Camera can do that. Maybe, they should have made a comparison, with the Mark iii, under similar lighting and with silhouettes , instead.

 

Or, maybe, the stars were captured, because it IS a sensor, and, camera, meant, Only for the scientific community. 

 

I don't understand the purpose of creating a Hype about it, then. What a waste of PR time and money. 

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Ok, I jumped the gun. Just saw the full video. Wow !!! I guess, this may be used for some special video projects. With the right kind of ND Filters (in-built, preferably), this could bring Canon back into the race. It will also help get rid of a lot of unnecessary and heavy duty lighting equipment, I guess.

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I am currently writing a script which involves a scene shot entirely by moon light at ISO 12,800, T0.95.

 

Imagine being able to stage a scene on top of a mountain with the milky way as the backdrop.

 

Andrew - If your script ever takes off, I have a Canon 50mm f0.95 Dream Lens in M Mount you could use on your FS100. Had it for years and used it on my Leica M8, always wanted to bolt it onto a film camera to see what it can do.

Lots of CA but I love the softness of it. Tack sharp when closed down a stop or 2 too!

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This is all so amazing.
Now, if there was only an amazing GH3 review...

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When you pull a sensor down from a very high native ISO of 3200 for example to 400 it is true that your lower ISOs compromise the image. I.e. dodgy highlights, banding, etc. We see this on the low light kings FS100, 1D C. This is a problem waiting for a fix. Of course what you describe with F32, high shutter speed, stack of NDs is not the answer and you're right to point the issue out. This sensor probably isn't a general purpose one!

 

Red Dragon is rated at 2500 native I think.

 

I come from a photography background, so this whole native iso thing confuses me a bit. In photography, the base iso is always 100 or 200. You will get the best result on such iso values. Best dynamic range, least noise, etc. Some dslr's you can pull to iso 50 (or 100 from 200) and indeed the quality on such values is worse than the native iso range. This is more of an issue at higher values though, the usual 'high' or 'extended' iso-ratings.

 

I've seen this 'native iso' term being dropped more often. It's like in video you only have one native iso setting? In photography you would say you have a native iso range of 100 to 6400, and you can pull to 50 and push to 12800 and beyond, for example. But I get the understanding that for video you have only one native iso value and that every other value is just pushed or pulled (on the BMCC for example). Why is that?

 

It especially surprises me that you mention the 1D C in this regard. It has the same 18 megapixel sensor as the 1D X, right? The 1D X surely gives the best results at it's lowest iso values. How would that be different with the 1D C?

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High sensitivity has no advantages for bright light shooting. It just forces you to use very strong NDs and narrow apertures, or else the highlights look rubbish when pulled down to ISO 400 and under.

 

Leica discussed this with me at Photokina when I talked about a possible ISO 25 setting or a digital ND.

 

http://www.eoshd.com/content/9060/the-new-leica-m-as-a-filmmakers-tool-an-interview-with-leicas-jesko-von-oeynhausen

 

Look at the 'digital pull' image to ISO 25 for an example of the image quality problems when doing a very large pull from a high sensitivity & over exposed image.

 

Think of it in terms of dynamic range. At ISO 800, in bright light you're gonna get a lot of over exposure unless you shoot at a very narrow aperture, etc. etc. You can pull that raw data down to ISO 100. The camera does it with the image processor which is why it can offer the low ISOs. But to pull a native ISO of 3200 down to 100 is harder. Think of an over exposed raw still shot in daylight at ISO 3200. You can only pull it down so far in post. At ISO 3200 the exposure is going to be even brighter all else being equal - that requires even more latitude to keep hold of highlights. The roll off to highlights will become very steep when you pull the exposure down on that ISO 3200 raw, and some areas will be completely burnt.

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Now this kind of emulsion I'd love to have. Really, that buliding lit only by the moon is nuts! To have this kind of sensitivity on a camera would be absolutely amazing, no question about it.

Then if you have to shoot in the daylight there are tons of cameras you can choose from! Having to go around carrying two cameras wouldn't be a problem at all (many people do it already with much less relevant reasons than having a color nightvision camera option). And you can probably share many lenses between them both, if not all!

I hope Canon bring something cool to the table, not just more douchebaggery like this: http://cpn.canon-europe.com/content/education/technical/abraham_joffe_on_the_eos-1d_c.do

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High sensitivity has no advantages for bright light shooting. It just forces you to use very strong NDs and narrow apertures, or else the highlights look rubbish when pulled down to ISO 400 and under.

 

Leica discussed this with me at Photokina when I talked about a possible ISO 25 setting or a digital ND.

 

http://www.eoshd.com/content/9060/the-new-leica-m-as-a-filmmakers-tool-an-interview-with-leicas-jesko-von-oeynhausen

 

Look at the 'digital pull' image to ISO 25 for an example of the image quality problems when doing a very large pull from a high sensitivity & over exposed image.

 

Think of it in terms of dynamic range. At ISO 800, in bright light you're gonna get a lot of over exposure unless you shoot at a very narrow aperture, etc. etc. You can pull that raw data down to ISO 100. The camera does it with the image processor which is why it can offer the low ISOs. But to pull a native ISO of 3200 down to 100 is harder. Think of an over exposed raw still shot in daylight at ISO 3200. You can only pull it down so far in post. At ISO 3200 the exposure is going to be even brighter all else being equal - that requires even more latitude to keep hold of highlights. The roll off to highlights will become very steep when you pull the exposure down on that ISO 3200 raw, and some areas will be completely burnt.

I understand that, but how come in photography we have iso 100 - 6400 (or something like that) as native iso values, and in video there is only one native iso setting which is somewhere halfway the iso range? In photography the 1D C (or 1D X or any other high iso camera) doesn't suffer from bad quality on lower iso values. It's the opposite: the lowest values are always the best. Even on low light kings like the Nikon D3s etc. How come it doesn't work like that for video?

 

By the way, this new sensor has a pixel pitch of 19 microns. If it is fullframe, i'd say the sensor is 36mm wide. That would be 36000 microns. Divide 36000 by 19, and this sensor will have about 1895 pixels? I suppose they could stretch it a bit and fit 1920 pixels inside of it. But the max. resolution will be 1080p it seems. 

 

I double checked this math with the numbers from the C300, 3840 pixels x 6,4 (pixel pitch) = 24576 microns = 24,576mm.

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"1) It doesn’t really fit in the Cinema EOS line as that is moving towards 4K and this only does 1080p.

2) It doesn’t really fit in a DSLR because it doesn’t do stills and it has a 16:9 aspect ratio."

 

1) you missed the point, BIG Juicy pixels will produce a better image even at 1080p. 4K is a file size not automatically a measure of image quality.
2) Who needs stills? I have 10 year old point and shoots for that.

"and it has a 16:9 aspect ratio" . Well that's where it's at. 4:3 is DEAD!

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