AURORA Skycam has made it their mission to bring the arctic’s most stunning Aurora Borealis displays to the world. This coming winter, their live stream feeds of the Aurora Borealis will cover Nordic locations such as Norway, Iceland, Finland, Sweden and Svalbard, a Norwegian archipelago in the Arctic Ocean.
The team at AURORA Skycam was the first company in the world to get their hands on the new Canon ME20F-SH, a $30,000 video camera capable of filming up to an unbelievable ISO of 4,000,000. Having a camera capable of such high ISO video recording opens up exciting new possibilities when it comes to capturing video in low light situations, and no situation is better to test these capabilities than the Aurora Borealis.
Anders Hanssen, Managing Director of Aurora Skycam, realized that capturing footage from his home in the northern location of Senja Island, Norway wasn’t ideal during the summer month of August, as the sun does not go below the horizon far enough to create the pitch-black night skies needed for aurora viewing. So Hanssen picked up his friend Tommy Eliassen and the team headed 1,400km south to Juvassshytta, Norway where they were treated to a night of clear Milky Way and Aurora shows, which were captured cleanly at a very high ISO. Hanssen knew then how this camera would change the way he captured and shared his passion for the Northern Lights.
Hanssen told Canon Professional Network:
It’s the most amazing camera out there. A revolution when it comes to night-time photography. After our initial studio tests it became clear that this was a very unique and special piece of equipment. The camera picks up all the different layers of the Northern Lights, even at very high ISO. We also filmed the Milky Way, for instance, at ISO 407,000. No other camera can compete with this product. With an 800 percent dynamic range it is truly incredible what it can see.
It’s clear from Hanssen’s test footage that the Canon ME20F-SH is a remarkable low-light video camera, and that Canon is serious about competing with Sony in the High ISO video game. With the recent announcement of the Sony A7sII for 1/10th of the price, it will be an interesting to compare footage of the Aurora from the two cameras. I just happen to be leading a workshop in Norway this November, which is shortly after the A7sII is released, so it looks like I may have that opportunity.
But regardless of the Sony A7sII capabilities, it’s clear that Hanssen and his team at AURORA Skycam have shown us that the future of high ISO video is as bright as the neon green auroras that hang over the Nordic sky.
See more Behind the Scenes photos, a map of the road trip, and more information about the making of this video on AURORA Skycam.