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Canon announces 4.5 MILLION ISO (!!!) camera with 164fps video

Canon announces 4.5 MILLION ISO (!!!) camera with 164fps video
(Image credit: Canon)

Think your camera has good ISO performance? Well, there's good and there's really good – and Canon has announced two new cameras that definitely fall into the latter category, with astonishing 4.5 million ISO performance.

The Canon ML-100 and Canon ML-105 are a pair of new multipurpose modular cameras, designed for industry use where capturing video in incredibly low light conditions is crucial. 

• Read more: Best Canon cameras (opens in new tab)

To this end, both cameras can capture color full-color 1080p video with illumination of less than 0.0005 lux (at maximum 75 dB gain setting), which is equivalent to a sensitivity in excess of ISO4,500,000. 

These aren't the kinds of cameras intended for vlogging or videography, though; with their ability to record color low-light images, these machine vision cameras are employed in industrial system design where seeing color images during day and night is paramount.

Both the Canon ML-100 and ML-105 feature next-generation 19um full-frame CMOS sensors. And while not designed for consumer use, you can be sure that all the extensive sensor research – such as the recent Canon 250MP sensor (opens in new tab) – feeds back into the manufacturer's development of more mainstream bodies. 

Indeed, earlier this year Canon won an Emmy Award for its 4 million ISO camera (opens in new tab) – another multifunction system, the Canon ME20F-SH – so these advancements in niche industry cameras definitely informs the broader technology that we enjoy in other cameras (maybe one day Canon will give us a camera to rival the Nikon D6 (opens in new tab), which has a sensitivity of ISO 3.28 million!).

The Canon ML-100 possesses a CoaXpress terminal, delivering 12-bit RAW video at up to 73fps, with 2.74 million pixels of maximum video output and Region of Interest support – which can push the frame-rate to 164fps at 720p. 

The ML-105 camera, meanwhile, has a 3G / HD-SDI terminal for standard video environments. It can output YCC 4:2:2 10-bit output in 1080p resolution at 60fps, powered by Canon's Digic DV4 image processor. 

Both cameras can be obtained with either a Canon EF or M58 mount. The Canon ML-100 with M58 mount will be available at the end of December, while the EF version and both Canon ML-105 options will be available in April 2021. 

Read more: 

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Low light photography (opens in new tab): shoot seasonal portraits and holiday headshots

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