Canon just announced their latest creation, which is an extraordinary full-frame CMOS sensor. This sensor was made expressly for shooting video at nighttime and it can take incredible images at very low light levels.
Most traditional cameras cannot offer true low-light HD images and particularly video without a lot of noise. Canon’s new CMOS sensor can take full HD video with very little 'noise' and at extremely low-light levels. The benefits of this new technology from Canon is obvious and especially in regards to nighttime images of the sky or film footage taken at night. In time this technology could be added to security cameras to improve images that were previously very hard to make out in low light.
Regarding the new sensors features, Canon writes on their main site,
The newly developed CMOS sensor features pixels measuring 19 microns square in size, which is more than 7.5-times the surface area of the pixels on the CMOS sensor incorporated in Canon's top-of-the-line EOS-1D X and other digital SLR cameras. In addition, the sensor's pixels and readout circuitry employ new technologies that reduce noise, which tends to increase as pixel size increases. Thanks to these technologies, the sensor facilitates the shooting of clearly visible video images even in dimly lit environments with as little as 0.03 lux of illumination, or approximately the brightness of a crescent moon—a level of brightness in which it is difficult for the naked eye to perceive objects.
By making the pixels larger, and then adding noise reduction technology, Canon is giving users full HD video in environments that were previously impossible to capture before without added light, which often times spoils the shot.
It is hopeful that this new technology can be adapted to many more camera lines. While low light DSLR cameras currently exist, this sensor is much more sensitive taking video shots to extreme low-light levels.
A demonstration of the prototype camera using the new 35 mm full-frame CMOS sensor technology, along with sample footage captured with the camera at SECURITY SHOW 2013 (www.shopbiz.jp/en/ss/). The demonstration will be held at the Tokyo International Exhibition Center in Tokyo, Japan beginning Tuesday, March 5, and running through Friday, March 8th, 2013.
Canon also offers a sample video here at their main website demonstrating the new sensors ability.