by Nic Divischek | 19th April 2017
The Starlight X27 camera from SPi Infrared can literally see in the dark in full colour, with minimal artefacts and noise. It is a direct competitor to the Canon ME20F-SH. The image above was shot in complete darkness. SPi Infrared has developed a camera so sensitive to light, it can pick up laser pointers light beams. The digital X27 ColorVision reconnaissance LLL (Low Light Level) true Color night vision CMOS sensor is a technological breakthrough in night-vision technology. It utilizes specialty algorithms that allow the sensor to see in extreme low-light environments traditionally unseen before. The X27 is a 10 megapixel fully-digital solid-state system. It features an incredible 5 million-equivalent ISO rating compared to Canon’s ME20F-SH 4 million ISO. Its low noise and high sensitivity is accompanied by 1920 x 1080 HD resolution at up to 60 FPS (optional 120 FPS). The rugged design would indicate that the X27 is designed with military use in mind. However, Starlight cameras have been used increasingly in documentaries and wildlife. It comes with a 32 mm lens, but you have the option of adding 22mm, 37mm, 60mm, 88mm, 152mm to your kit. For military purposes, obvious uses include integration with night vision sights, scopes, binoculars and UAV. For filmic purposes it could also be great, but unfortunately it does lack the resolution, as do all current Starlight cameras. One thing to consider, though, is if it would take away the feeling of night. We are used to seeing films and documentaries in certain ways to indicate the mood or the time of day of a scene. If a scene is green and grainy, we know someone is looking through night vision goggles. If a documentary is mostly desaturated with a blueish tint, we know its undercover work at night. Being able to see something literally as clear as day may end up distracting or confusing the viewer. For more information, sample videos and comparisons, head over to x20.org How would you use a night-vision camera like the X27 for your film projects? Please let us know in the comments below.Read more
by Sebastian Wöber | 30th July 2015
Canon just announced a new lowlight camera they have been developing over the past years. The Canon ME20F-SH is a multi-purpose cinema camera that is rated at over 4 million ISO. Back in March of 2013 we reported about Canon’s efforts to develop an ultra lowlight camera sensor that could film virtually without any visible light. Today we see the Canon ME20F-SH as the result of this development. The Canon ME20F-SH is aimed at a number of different markets. While it is clearly capable to work as a cinema camera Canon also describes it as suitable for nighttime surveillance and security, reality television and nature/wildlife documentaries. The development of this unique lowlight camera certainly represents a new frontier in a saturated market of cameras and stands out. Lowlight cinematography is new and intriguing and as Canon’s press release states it makes things visible that might not be seen with the naked eye. In terms of technical specifications the Canon ME20F-SH is also quite unique. It features a resolution of only 1080p due to the required large pixel size on its super35 sensor. It is equipped with a positive-locking EF mount and outputs in Canon Log and Wide DR mode for maximum dynamic range. As can be seen on the press images this lowlight camera is tiny in size. With a width of only 10cm (4 inches) it’s more narrow than the Sony Alpha A7s and twice as heavy at 1kg. The Canon ME20F-SH has no internal recording capabilities and only outputs a signal via the SDI and hdmi outputs on the back. Considering the multi-purpose aspect of the camera this could be regarded as an obvious choice. In return the camera is small and lightweight and offers a lot of flexibility. It’s probably no coincidence that the camera body has a very close resemblance to the new Arri ALEXA Mini and comes at a very similar suggested retail price of $30,000, even though the purpose of the two cameras is quite different in many regards. The Canon ME20F-SH is scheduled to become available in December of 2015. See the original press release HERE. via nofilmschool.comRead more
by Tim Fok | 27th August 2014
Consumers and professionals alike are obsessed with fingertip technology, camera and grip equipment is getting smaller and lighter, and smartphones can do just about anything except cook us dinner (in the literal sense, plenty of culinary apps out there!) Last year we were taken by storm by what seemed to be the next fad after time-lapse photography – Hyperlapse. Now, social media snappers Instagram have released a sister app that stabilizes video from your very own smartphone to create hyperlapses. What is a hyperlapse? Just watch this video below: Filmmaker Luke Shepard bought a ticket around Europe with just a tripod and DSLR to capture this stunning short. To capture a Hyperlapse you simply shoot a standard timelapse, move the camera after each actuation and stabilize it in post. Due to the fact that you have so much resolution to play with, and that you aren’t battling any artifacting such as camera shake or rolling shutter, post stabilizations is much more effective. The app by Instagram video stills in the same way to stabilize, and if conducted properly can yield some really great results. Hyperlapse by Instagram has taken the app store by storm, The Guardian reported it ranked 11th in the UK store in the same week of release, whilst hitting third and first in the US photo and video categories.Read more
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