Canon's multi-purpose cameras record color HD video day or night
Canon has announced a new series of multi-purpose, full-frame industrial cameras with ultra-low light sensitivity. Where a full-frame mirrorless flagship for consumers might boast low-light chops with an ISO topping out at 51,200, the ML-100 and ML-105 modular cameras boast an equivalent ISO sensitivity of 4.5 million.
Both of the new models are built around Canon's next-generation 19-micron 35-mm full-frame CMOS sensor, which can record 1080p color video of a subject with a minimum illuminance of 0.0005 lux when at the maximum 75-dB gain setting (which is equivalent to an ISO sensitivity of 4,500,000) – meaning it will be pick out objects under a moonless night sky, though we imagine image noise may be problematic at full tilt.
Though Canon has revealed two model numbers, there are actually four cameras in the series, thanks to different lens mount options and video output configurations.
The ML-100 model can transmit video, camera control data and power over a single coaxial cable via its CoaXpress terminal, which outputs 12-bit RAW data at up to 73 frames per second. A so-called region of interest feature can bump up the frame rate to 164 fps at 720p resolution.
The ML-105 unit features a Digic DV4 image processor for Full HD video at 60 fps, uses a 3G/HD-SDI video terminal and is capable of YCbCr 4:2:2 10-bit color output.
Both camera units can be had in either an EF mount variation for tapping into Canon's extensive still and cinema lens arsenal, or a version for M58 screw-mount lenses.
The M58-mount flavor of the ML-100 camera unit will be the first model out of the gate at the end of December, with the other three variations due to follow in April 2021. No pricing has been revealed at this time, but given their industrial use applications, you're likely looking in the tens of thousands of dollar range.