When filming the award-winning documentary Awavena in the Amazon rainforest, Director of Photography Greg Downing needed a way to capture the extremely dim light given off by various fluorescent plants and insects. So he turned to Canon’s specialized ME20F-SH, which can shoot at up to ISO 4,500,000.
The ME20F-SH is not a new camera. It was released in July of 2015, and since then we’ve shared some pretty incredible footage of everything from real-time Aurora Borealis to Bioluminescent coral. But Canon has been quiet about this camera for the past few years; that is, until this week, when they highlighted its use on the documentary Awavena in the Amazon rainforest.
Awavena follows the Yawanawa tribe and its first ever female shaman, documenting their lives in the Amazon and attempting to capture the experience of an Ayahuasca vision quest by combining real footage and CGI into a mixed-reality experience. The real footage is where the Canon ME20 came into play, allowing Downing to capture extreme low-light imagery of fluorescent plants and animals that would have been difficult, if not impossible, with any other camera.
You can see some of final footage in the video up top, and see how it was combined into trippy mixed reality in the trailer for Awavena below:
“A lot of the vision of this piece was about the vision quest experience through the Ayahuasca ceremony, and this is where we used the Canon ME20’s,” explains Downing. “We wanted to go and sample real things in the jungle, but that were spectacular, and we were really trying to view them in a different light. That’s why we turned to showing the jungle in fluorescence.”
Given the camera’s age and sudden reappearance in a Canon promotional video, it has us hoping that a follow-up to the Canon ME20F-SH is in the works. Even though anything more than ISO 4,500,000 is really unnecessary, a follow-up that cleaned up that ultra-low-light footage a little bit would be really cool to see. Of course, that’s just speculation on our part, but we can hope.
In the meantime, if you want to see more footage that show what this camera is capable of, check out the incredible footage of the aurora borealis and bioluminescent coral below, previously featured here and here.
(via Canon Watch)