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Canon Selected For New Nature Series 

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Canon's ME20F-SH has been used by Offspring Films for its latest series, Monkeys: An Amazing Animal Family. 

The factual, natural history production specialists deployed the camera to capture Tarsiers in extremely low light. For the project, Offspring Films needed a balance between capturing the highest quality images possible while remaining unobtrusive when operating in the tarsier's natural habitat.

When the programme required a segment on tarsiers, who are nocturnal animals living deep in the Indonesian jungle, DoP Mark Payne-Gill and the producers chose the Canon ME20F-SH.

The ME20F-SH is an HD video camera capable of capturing full colour images in environments of extremely low-light with an ISO of up to 4 million (+75dB). With this capability, the production crew could shoot at 45db – the equivalent of 144,000 ISO – using an older Canon 150-600mm f5.6 EF-mount lens, and document the tarsiers at night time in full colour HD without the need for intrusive lighting that would have scared the animals away.

Payne-Gill said: "I pushed the ME20F-SH to a very high ISO and we were still blown away by the results. We got close-ups of the animal's faces with their massive pupils in full colour. Being able to capture them in this way meant we could really tell their story." 

Clare Dornan, Director, Monkeys: An Amazing Animal Family, added: "Tarsiers have been filmed before, but filming them in colour, undisturbed in their natural environment has not been achieved before."

VMI worked with the DoP to customise the camera setup into a handheld configuration. The Canon ME20F-SH was mounted on a Vocas 15mm bar support with Hawkwood battery mount, TV Logic Alphatron viewfinder and a Convergent Design Odyssey 7Q recorder.

Monkeys: An Amazing Animal Family is a three-part series which premiers on Sky 1, Christmas Day.

Image: Mark Payne-Gill, DoP, on location.

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