Sunday, September 15, 2013

Canon Captures Firefies 30fps Video at its Full-Frame DSLR Sensor

Canon announces that it was able to capture a video of Yaeyama-hime fireflies flying in darkness on the high-sensitivity 35 mm full-frame CMOS sensor with 19um pixels developed by the company for video capture and announced in March 2013. No artificial lighting was used during shooting, which took place after sunset amid the island's mountains. Despite an exceptionally dark shooting environment of less than 0.01 lux, a level in which the naked eye would have difficulty discerning surrounding objects, the CMOS sensor at 30fps 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.

Yaeyama-hime fireflies amid jungle vegetation
(Photomontage created from video footage)

A Youtube copy of the video from Canon site shows the footage:



8 comments:

  1. Impressive. But why would they only upload it in 360p? The most common comment in videography forums right now goes to the tune of "for such an amazing technological company they sure make pretty crappy promo videos"

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  2. Imagine if they remove the IR-cut filter and CFA ... In this case it should be possible to see at 1mLux!

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  3. How could you not enjoy that footage? Nice job Canon-san. Shows that big pixels and big glass rules the night!

    Now, we just need to do the same with the QIS technology...and it is going to happen one of these days.

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  4. "for such an amazing technological company they sure make pretty crappy promo videos"

    One of the smart things about the video was they went to Zero Productions, a Japanese wildlife/nature video shooting company, to do the photograph rather than a bunch of random sensor otaku out at night. Notice the shot is a tracking shot (I presume on a motion controlled cam).

    But I agree it would have been better to upload the high res version.

    I wonder if this footage will appear as part of a bigger documentary on the Yaeyama Island fireflies (and perhaps some other low light phenomenon) from Zero Productions?

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    1. It's not only resolution, it's also compression. It looks awful.
      Of course it would be different if they released it with good image quality.

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  5. Being a rookie, excuse me, my question is that what the difficulties for capturing fireflies in dark environment. Can anyone share some materials? Is it because of Yaeyama-hime :P?

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    Replies
    1. With my 3-years-old DSLR, a star shot like the one at the beginning of the video requires an exposure time of around 5 seconds. They got it here with a shutter of 1/25s (my guess). So light sensitivity is 125 times better.

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  6. WIth industrial development, it's hard to see plenty of fireflies in the nature. I remember when I was kid in the countryside in China, during the summer time I could capture the fireflies just by openning my hands. There were so many flying in the air, it remains a magic souvenir that younf generation can hardly imagine !

    -yang ni

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