If you often find yourself shooting video in the dark, you'll be happy to know that Canon
has developed a high-sensitivity 35mm full-frame CMOS sensor designed exclusively for video recording. According to Canon, the new sensor is able to capture Full HD video in exceptionally low-light environments. That's especially great news for budding astronomers, as Canon says the sensor can capture clear video of even faint stars.
The CMOS sensor features pixels measuring 19 microns square in size. To put that into perspective, it's more than 7.5-times the surface area of the pixels on the CMOS sensor inside Canon's top-shelf EOS-1D X and other DSLR cameras. Both the pixels and readout circuitry employ new technologies designed to reduce noise, allowing the user to shoot "clearly visible video images even in dimly lit environments with as little as 0.03 lux of illumination," Canon says. That's approximately the brightness of a crescent moon.
"When recording video of astral bodies, while an electron-multiplying CCD, which realizes approximately the same level of perception as the naked eye, can capture magnitude-6 stars, Canon's newly developed CMOS sensor is capable of recording faint stars with a magnitude of 8.5 and above," Canon says.
Canon will have on hand a prototype camera with the new sensor at the Security Show 2103 in Tokyo this week. No word on when the sensor will find its way into shipping products.