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The sky’s the limit! Amazing aurora borealis footage revealed

The sky’s the limit! Amazing aurora borealis footage revealed

© AURORA Skycam

September 2015

AURORA Skycam, a German film company with an office in Norway, specialises in streaming and filmed content of the aurora borealis (Northern Lights). It has become the first company in the world to use the new ME20F-SH high definition video camera to produce stunningly detailed low-light footage of one of the world’s most spectacular natural phenomena...

The footage, filmed earlier this month in Norway, records the borealis in never-before-seen clarity, revealing colour and high definition detail that has opened up new creative possibilities according to AURORA Skycam’s Anders Hanssen.

© AURORA Skycam

Please click on the image above to view exciting test footage filmed in near-darkness with the incredible ME20F-SH HD video camera.

Speaking exclusively to CPN, he revealed: “It’s the most amazing camera out there. A revolution when it comes to night-time photography. There is something very special about how this camera uses the RGB channels to preserve colours and although we only had 12 days to get the footage you see here, we were immediately blown away and will never use anything else from now on.”

© AURORA Skycam

The ME20F-SH was operating in almost near-darkness, allowing the AURORA Skycam team to exploit the camera’s capabilities.

He continues: “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!

The creative options offered by the ME20F-SH are considerable, as Anders explains. “We wanted to show the possibilities of shooting real time footage with wide-angle lenses. It’s one thing filming with a 24mm or a 35mm lens but you don’t get to show the whole beauty of the Northern Lights. You need to go wider.”

“We had every lens we needed, but mostly we used the CN-E14mm Cinema EOS lens which, together with the camera, was really a fantastic combination. Recording was via the camera’s SDI output to an external recorder and we could control the camera and lens combination using the RC-V1001 Remote Control which was superb and meant that the camera was kept perfectly still at all times.”

“I now have 14.5 hours of footage,” Anders reveals, “So I have some editing to do and am already working on movie number two! All the footage we recorded was done during a new moon phase so there was no light in the sky at all. It was as dark as it’s possible to get. It’s the first time anyone has managed to film aurora clearly with a wide-angle lens and also, for the first time, it’s possible to get good recordings of the Milky Way, constellations and nebula, too. All things combined it is a perfect camera to see the unseen beauty of the night sky. It’s not fair to compare it with others because – truly – there is no comparison. It is a total game changer.”

© AURORA Skycam

As well as filming the Northern Lights, the AURORA Skycam team were able to film the Milky Way in unparalleled detail.

Speaking on behalf of Canon Europe, Kieran Magee, Marketing Director, Professional Imaging, told CPN: “We are delighted to see such stunning footage from Anders Hanssen. His incredible footage shows just what is possible with the ME20F-SH and we can’t wait to see what new and exciting things others will do with this camera!”

ME20F-SH Key features:

  • Ultra low-light performance at ISO 4,000,000.
  • High quality Full HD 1080p/1080i/720p output.
  • Flexible control with auto and custom settings.
  • Compatible with a wide range of EF lenses2.
  • Remote control of camera settings and built-in ND and IR cut filters possible.
  • Small and lightweight for ease of integration.

1 Along with other compatible devices.
2 A list of compatible lenses to be confirmed.

Biography: Anders Hanssen

Anders Hanssen

Anders Hanssen is a Norwegian photographer who specialises in providing images and film of natural events such as aurora borealis (Northern Lights) and whale watching from his home country. Along with his business partner Guido Sobbe, he formed his company AURORA Skycam to produce hardware capable of remote controlling digital cameras via the Internet with bespoke applications.