Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
 / Updated 
By Devin Coldewey

Every photographer has missed a shot because it was too dark and they couldn't get the flash ready in time. That won't be a problem with the new ME20F-SH camera from Canon — it's so sensitive it will take full-color pictures in darkness that other cameras would be unable to even operate in.

Related: World's Largest Digital Camera Gets Funding Go-Ahead

The secret is a sensor that Canon announced it was working on two years ago. Sensors in digital cameras are covered in tiny light-sensitive pixels — and generally, camera makers try to pack as many in as possible to create high-resolution photos. But the Canon sensor's pixels are huge — more than five times the size of the usual kind. This means each pixel has more space for light to hit, though there are fewer of them in total.

By gathering more light into fewer pixels, the Canon can take pictures in darkness that would stymie even high-end cameras — though the results won't be high-res enough to print poster-size. Still, the camera could be useful for wildlife watching, security systems, and more.

You won't be picking one up to put in your back yard, though — the ME20F-SH will cost around $30,000 when it comes out this December.