October 23, 2015

Canon's 4 Million ISO Camera Will Cost $10K Less than Expected

Canon ME20F-SH 4 Million ISO Camera
The sharply-named Canon ME20F-SH, the camera that literally sees in the dark, is going to cost significantly less than they originally announced.

In a post the other day, Canon Rumors pointed out that ME20F-SH is not only available for pre-order, but that the price has dropped from $30,000 to $20,000. While I can't imagine many individual shooters or production companies lining up to purchase this camera, it's an exciting development nonetheless, because it should theoretically make the rental rates lower than they would have been otherwise.

In case you need a quick refresher on this camera, here are the specs:

  • 35mm full-frame CMOS sensor (single), effective pixel count: approx. 2.26 million pixels
  • Minimum subject illumination: Less than 0.0005 lux (at maximum 75 dB gain setting, equivalent to an ISO sensitivity of over four million)
  • Pixel Pitch: 19 Microns
  • Lens mount: Canon EF mount (Cinema Lock type)
  • Optical filters: ND filter with two density levels (motorized manual / auto) IR cut filter (motorized manual)
  • Frame rates: 59.94P / 59.94i / 50.00P / 50.00i / 29.97P / 25.00P / 23.98P
  • Gamma: Canon Log, Wide DR, etc.
  • Two 3G / HD-SDI BNC jacks (1080P / 1080i / 720P) 
  • One HDMI connector
  • Genlock terminal: BNC jack (input only)
  • Remote terminal: φ2.5mm stereo mini-mini-jack (Canon-proprietary protocol), Round 8-pin jack (for RS-422, Canon-proprietary protocol)
  • Microphone terminal: φ3.5mm stereo mini-jack
  • AF: One-shot AF
  • Auto-exposure: Combined interlocking (iris / gain / ND / shutter)
  • White balance: AWB, color-temperature setting (setting range: 2000 to 15000 degrees Kelvin), natural light, light bulb, Setting A, Setting B
  • Digital teleconverter: 2x, 4x
  • Power input: 4-pin XLR DC11-17V, Terminal block 2-pin jack DC11-17V
  • Operating temperature: 32 degrees F (0 degrees C) to 104 degrees F (40 degrees C)
  • Body dimensions: Approx. 4 inches (102mm) (w) x 4.5 inches (116mm) (h) x 4.4 inches (113mm) (d) (excluding protrusions)
  • Weight: Approx. 2.4 lbs (1.1 kg) (body only)
  • Availability: December 2015
  • Price: $20,000

And some footage:


Again, this is absolutely a specialty camera that you would probably never want to purchase outright. However, for certain extreme low-light shots and sequences, like nighttime exteriors lit only by moonlight or even underwater cinematography, it could make for a compelling rental option. 

The Canon ME20F-SH is still expected to begin shipping in December.     

Your Comment


Only $20k and it has full 1080p! Sign me up.

October 23, 2015 at 7:54PM, Edited October 23, 7:54PM


Considering that this will only be used for specialty shoots, they probably could've gotten away with the original price haha!

If you're concerned about it being 1080p or about the $20k price, you aren't the market it's catering too.

October 24, 2015 at 2:46AM

Matthew Emmanuel
Camera Operator

Now I can buy a decent HMI to bounce off the moon for a deeper stop!

October 24, 2015 at 1:39PM, Edited October 24, 1:39PM

Brooks Reynolds