TOKYO, Japan, September 12, 2013—Canon Inc. has successfully captured video footage of Yaeyama-hime fireflies flying in darkness, a feat made possible by the high-sensitivity 35 mm full-frame CMOS sensor developed by Canon for video capture that was announced in March 2013.
Yaeyama-hime fireflies amid jungle vegetation (Photomontage created from video footage)
35 mm full-frame CMOS sensor for Full HD video capture
The high-sensitivity, low-noise video-shooting capabilities of the dedicated 35 mm full-frame CMOS sensor1 for Full HD video capture were made possible not only through the integration of the high-performance sensor technologies employed in Canon’s digital SLR cameras, but also through the incorporation of new pixel and readout circuitry technologies that reduce noise.
Using a camera prototype equipped with the CMOS sensor, Canon, in cooperation with ZERO CORPORATION,2 succeeded in capturing video3 of the Yaeyama-hime fireflies that inhabit Japan’s Ishigaki Island, located off the northeastern coast of Taiwan. No artificial lighting was used during shooting, which took place after sunset amid the island’s mountains. Despite an exceptionally dark shooting environment4 of less than 0.01 lux, a level in which the naked eye would have difficulty discerning surrounding objects, the CMOS sensor was able to capture not only the color of the light emitted by the fireflies, each of which measures only a few millimeters in length, and their movements, but also the surrounding vegetation in which the species lives. Plans call for the footage to be used to benefit future research into the Yaeyama-hime firefly.
In addition to astronomical and natural observation, Canon is looking into applying this CMOS sensor to medical research purposes as well as surveillance and crime-prevention equipment. Through the further development of innovative CMOS sensors, Canon aims to expand the realm of photographic possibilities while cultivating the world of visual expression.
Read the press release for example video
The New VIXIA mini Compact Personal Camcorder Features an Ultra Wide-Angle Lens, Full HD Video, Vari-Angle LCD Monitor and Slim Ultra-Compact Body with Built-in Stand, and Allows for Convenient Hands-Free Shooting with built-in Wi-Fi
Melville, N.Y., July 31, 2013 – Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, today announced the new VIXIA mini compact personal camcorder. The creatively designed VIXIA mini personal camcorder allows shooters to easily record their hobbies, special interests and memorable moments hands-free, and then share those videos and images on their favorite social networking sites or their own blogs via built-in Wi-Fi or via the free Canon Movie Uploader app*.
The VIXIA mini compact personal camcorder features an ultra wide-angle Canon f/2.8 fisheye lens (160 degree movies / 170 degree photos) allowing a user to shoot from unique and creative perspectives while including their surroundings to make their videos and images more interesting. By utilizing the Wide Mode users can give the viewer a full view of their surroundings and then switch to Close-Up Mode to provide emphasis on a particular subject. While in Close-up Mode, users can record a centered 1920 x 1440 resolution image with little distortion. They can also quickly toggle from one shooting mode to the other, or switch back and forth between video and image mode, by touching the camcorder’s innovatively designed 2.7-inch capacitive-tilt touch panel LCD display. Attached to the camera by two parallel hinges, the Vari-Angle LCD monitor allows for various shooting styles, including low-angle shooting, normal and high-angle-shooting and self-shooting.
Canon USA at NAB 2013
Canon’s focus here at NAB 2013 is definitely 4K acquisition and broadcasting. They have a big theater and ongoing presentations about the benefits of acquiring your content in 4K resolution.
A lot of people, including myself, don’t think 4K will even become a mainstream thing inside peoples homes. The size of screen you’d need to see the difference between 4K and 1080P in your home would eliminate most potential customers. Think of it like a 1080P vs 720P 32″ television, there’s just no discernible difference when viewing 1080P content. Another big issue with 4K in your home is streaming content at that resolution. As on demand internet content services become more popular, there’s only a handful of people in the grand scheme of things that will have the bandwidth necessary to stream 4K resolution reliably.
Acquisition does have a lot of merit. Canon was very much pushing the idea of cropping, zooming and having more options when editing your film. They showed a lot of examples of 4K content being zoomed 200%-300% and outputting to a 1080P signal, and the image was still quite stellar.
Beyond the cost of a 4K display, the workflow with 4K content needs improvement. There is a lot of software and hardware talk here at NAB to correct this area of the equation.
Will we see 4K in a DSLR camera other than Canon EOS-1D C? One day, though I don’t think it will be soon. A drop in price-point for Canon is something that would be welcomed. The $25K+ C500 is a big jump from the $15K C300.
The 4K and 8K resolution is beautiful on the big screen, just don’t expect it to become mainstream in your home. Your local movie theatre is a different story.
Canon EOS C300 $13,999 (Save $2000)
From Canon France
Canon France has begun teasing us about a new product. They have titled the teaser “Creativity with a twist”. With the graphic they also say (Translated):
“Soon, we will share information that will change the way you look at the world…”
By the image below, it looks like they’re talking about small camcorders. Or maybe they’re going to take another run at a TX1 type of product.
I notice the missing camcorder and missing ping pong ball, what does it all mean? I’m sure whatever it is, we’ll see it for CES in just over a week.