Canon Business General

Canon Shows off 1/1.8-inch Sensor Capturing 1080p Video at 0.08Lux

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Here’s something I missed in the last month that was picked up by PetaPixel.

Canon has announced the launch of a new 1/1.8-inch CMOS sensor called the LI7050. This new sensor is capable of recording video in low light environments down to 0.08lux.

The main application for this image sensor isn’t for the photography or videography industry. The main applications will be network and security cameras, microscopes, wearable security cameras as well as underwater drones.

The new sensor also has an HDR drive function that increases dynamic range by a wide margin. The new sensor is capable of recording between 0.08 lux and 80,000 lux, this eliminates blown-out whites and clipping in blacks.

This sensor won’t be in your next EOS R camera, but it’s still a pretty impressive piece of technology.

This sensor is scheduled to begin shipping at the end of October 2020.

Press Release:

SINGAPORE, 3 August 2020 — Canon announced today the launch in Japan of the LI7050, a new 1/1.8-inch CMOS sensor capable of capturing color images in full-HD even in low-illumination environments as dark as 0.08 lux1.

The recent growth of IoT technologies has in turn generated an increasing demand for network and industrial-use cameras—in particular, cameras capable of image capture in full-HD as well as nighttime color recording. Despite a compact body size of 1/1.8 inches and pixel size of 4.1 µm (micrometers), Canon’s newly developed LI7050 sensor makes possible color video recording in full-HD, even under low-light conditions.

The LI7050, while achieving a compact size, features a pixel architecture that enables high sensitivity, thereby making possible low-noise, full-HD color video recording in low-light environments as dark as 0.08 lux. Conventional nighttime monitoring employs infrared cameras and records video in monochrome. However, network cameras equipped with the LI7050 can capture video at night in such locations as public facilities, roads or transport networks, thereby helping to identify details including the color of vehicles or subjects’ clothing. What’s more, this compact, high-sensitivity sensor can be installed in cameras for such use cases as underwater drones, microscopes and wearable cameras for security personnel.

Canon’s new sensor is also equipped with an HDR drive function that realizes a wide dynamic range of 120 dB. When recording in an environment with illumination levels between, for example, 0.08 lux and 80,000 lux, the sensor’s wide dynamic range enables video capture without blown-out whites and crushed blacks. Thanks to this capability, the sensor enables cameras to record high-quality video, even when positioned at building entrances and other locations where there are significant variations in illumination levels. During normal drive operation, the sensor realizes a noise level of 75 dB and captures video without blown-out whites and crushed blacks in environments with illumination levels between, for example, 0.08 lux and 500 lux.
​​​​​​​
​​​​​​​The LI7050 supports the MIPI CSI-2 interface utilized by a wide range of consumer and industrial-use cameras, thereby greatly expanding the number of possible equipment combinations. The sensor also meets a variety of industrial needs through such features as a Region of Interest (ROI) function that enables users to select regions to read from the sensor, reducing the amount of read information and allowing for image capture at an increased framerate, and the ability to configure horizontal and vertical inversion directly from the sensor for easy viewing of footage from cameras installed on ceilings and other inverted positions.
​​​​​​​
​​​​​​​Canon has begun sample shipments of the LI7050 from today and is scheduled to officially commence sales in late October 2020.

SteveC

R5
CR Pro
Sep 3, 2019
2,046
1,902
Quote:
This sensor won’t be in your next EOS R camera, but it’s still a pretty impressive piece of technology.

Allegations that Canon has had this for years and didn't sell it to cripple their cameras, in 3..2..1..

edit: change formatting--habit from old site had me using blockquote tags.
 
Last edited:

bbasiaga

Canon Shooter
Nov 15, 2011
412
437
USA
<blockquote>
This sensor won’t be in your next EOS R camera, but it’s still a pretty impressive piece of technology.
</blockquote>

Allegations that Canon has had this for years and didn't sell it to cripple their cameras, in 3..2..1..
Come on...the community is way past that. It'll be allegations of overheating and artificial record limits.
 
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cornieleous

5D4 + R5
Jul 13, 2020
208
736
While it might not benefit our cameras directly, glad Canon has their own sensor divisions and can continue to innovate there. Eventually that will mean something new and cool for us. Although, the latest cameras are getting to the point where amazing images are almost too easy to get.
 
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Sean C

EOS M50
Apr 21, 2015
48
22
Self driving cars? In that application, a sensor that's difficult to blind by high dynamic range could be useful (lights or darks).
 
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Bahrd

Red herrings...
Jun 30, 2013
109
75
Self driving cars? In that application, a sensor that's difficult to blind by high dynamic range could be useful (lights or darks).
In the "traditional" cars it will be helpful as well (a rear view "mirror", 360° view, etc.).
 
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LSXPhotog

Motorsports, Automotive, Commerical, & Real Estate
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Apr 2, 2015
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That was extremely impressive to watch. If anyone hasn't seen it, the documentary series on Netflix called "Night on Earth" is a must watch. It shows what can be done with these low light monsters - much of that series was shot on Sony A7SII cameras as well. There is a practical use for many technologies that we may dismiss at face value.
 

chellm

I'm New Here
Jun 13, 2020
11
1
Here we are again ! Barry Lindon # 2 .. The candle is not the only illuminating source:
1- Light diffuses as in circle
2- when actress blows on candle only the light emanated by candle moves (the shadow behind the model on the wall..)
3- it is not respected the principle and measurement of the "foot - candle" proportion: the wall behind actress is illuminated in a very even way - while instead at the farest corner should be very dark respect to the closer part to actress
Try urself at home - light a candle and see # 1 and # 3 to happen
 

stevelee

FT-QL
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Jul 6, 2017
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Davidson, NC
Here we are again ! Barry Lindon # 2 .. The candle is not the only illuminating source:
1- Light diffuses as in circle
2- when actress blows on candle only the light emanated by candle moves (the shadow behind the model on the wall..)
3- it is not respected the principle and measurement of the "foot - candle" proportion: the wall behind actress is illuminated in a very even way - while instead at the farest corner should be very dark respect to the closer part to actress
Try urself at home - light a candle and see # 1 and # 3 to happen
So the moon landing was faked after all?
 

SecureGSM

2 x 5D IV
Feb 26, 2017
2,376
1,246
So the moon landing was faked after all?
Yet another conspiracy theory. Poor Canon (not)... Can someone Call Tony and Chelsea, please. Quick.. the Next episode of Canon drama is coming to their YT channel soon. :)
 

chellm

I'm New Here
Jun 13, 2020
11
1
So the moon landing was faked after all?

YES - as covid -19 - as Cristoforo Colombo - as JFK shot by Oswald and Virginity of Virgin Mary..
If u are a person of pictures and filming u should ask urself why the quality of images of space ship around the moon are so terrible while instead - once landed - they are tuck sharp of Hassy quality.. and also ask urself why Zeiss Distagon 50mm doesnt focus at infinity with subject at 3 meters (i.e. hills in back ground.. ) in the photos after landing .. Plus much more..
If is for this S.K. didnt conceived the steadycam - already existing as "balanced arm" - he maybe "revealed in his filming..
 
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stevelee

FT-QL
CR Pro
Jul 6, 2017
1,844
654
Davidson, NC
YES - as covid -19 - as Cristoforo Colombo - as JFK shot by Oswald and Virginity of Virgin Mary..
If u are a person of pictures and filming u should ask urself why the quality of images of space ship around the moon are so terrible while instead - once landed - they are tuck sharp of Hassy quality.. and also ask urself why Zeiss Distagon 50mm doesnt focus at infinity with subject at 3 meters (i.e. hills in back ground.. ) in the photos after landing .. Plus much more..
If is for this S.K. didnt conceived the steadycam - already existing as "balanced arm" - he maybe "revealed in his filming..
I like the Rupert Grint version.
 

Hector1970

EOS R
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Mar 22, 2012
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Looks impressive. Obviously trying to sell to a wide audience. In general they really did make a mess of sensor sizing naming. The use of imperial measurements in a digital era was not a good idea. I don’t know why they didn’t use area or diagonal width.
 

SteveC

R5
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Sep 3, 2019
2,046
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Looks impressive. Obviously trying to sell to a wide audience. In general they really did make a mess of sensor sizing naming. The use of imperial measurements in a digital era was not a good idea. I don’t know why they didn’t use area or diagonal width.

And what's worse is it isn't even really the imperial (or US customary; the two aren't really the same in some realms like liquid measure, an imperial gallon is larger than a US gallon, so it's a distinction sometimes worth making) size of the sensor, the thing being referenced is the diameter of the vacuum tube they used to come in, which of course was larger. So even a "one inch" sensor isn't one inch.

And just to make it even worse than that, the number is expressed as a reciprocal, 1/1.8, causing people to focus on the 1.8 and even sometimes call it 1.8, and creating a backwards scale, rather than just calling it 5/9ths. (Of course this is nothing new as f numbers often omit the /, creating the perception of another backwards system where a bigger number means less.)