Canon Enters VR Market with Dual-Fisheye Lens

The RF5.2mm F2.8 L brings stereoscopic virtual-reality capture to the EOS R5 camera as part of the EOS VR System.

Canon USA, Inc., has introduced the RF5.2mm F2.8 L Dual Fisheye Lens, which brings stereoscopic virtual-reality capture to the EOS R5 camera as part of the EOS VR System.

A firmware update for the EOS R5 to support use of the new lens with new VR-specific functions is imminent, as are EOS VR software solutions for conversion and processing.

An interchangeable dual-fisheye lens capable of shooting stereoscopic 3D 180° VR imagery to a single image sensor, the RF5.2mm streamlines the complexities of VR production and improves the ability to view content in full capacity. To experience the content captured by this system in its truest form, a compatible VR headset (such as the Oculus Quest 2) is recommended. 

“At Canon, we innovate so creators can push artistic boundaries, and this commitment to innovation is what led us to introduce the RF5.2mm F2.8 L Dual Fisheye Lens,” says Tatsuro “Tony” Kano, executive vice president and general manager of Canon USA’s Imaging Technologies & Communications Group. “As Canon’s first entry in the world of VR image capture, the EOS VR System represents an important milestone in our company’s rich history as a lens manufacturer and welcomes a bright future for VR content creation. This new lens produces a stunning 8K VR image and sets itself apart through its simplified workflow.” 

The new lens features L-series optics engineered with an interpupillary distance of 60mm for delivery of 3D imagery in VR with natural parallax closely resembling human vision when viewed through a compatible headset. With a 190° field of view captured from two separate optical systems, it delivers outstanding results for 180° VR viewing platforms. Thanks to subwavelength-coating technology offering flare control in backlit conditions, VR creators have the freedom to shoot regardless the time of day or sun position.

The dual-fisheye design provides versatile exposure control with electronically controlled apertures, allowing the lens to operate just like other RF mount lenses. Featuring dust- and water-resistant sealing and fluorine coating, the system offers peace of mind even in challenging weather conditions.

The EOS VR System’s workflow is a standout feature. Accomplished by recording left and right fisheye images to a single full-frame image sensor, this design helps to solve common VR challenges of stitching and syncing by outputting a single image file. Canon is developing two paid, subscription-based software solutions for completing the post process. The EOS VR Utility will offer the ability to convert clips from dual-fisheye image to equirectangular and make quick edits, as well as select the resolution and file format before export. With the EOS VR plug-in for Adobe Premiere Pro, creators will be able to automatically convert footage to equirectangular and cut, color and add new dimension to stories with Adobe Creative Cloud apps.

The Canon RF5.2mm F2.8 L Dual Fisheye Lens will be available in late December and will list for $1,999. 

Canon EOS VR Utility and the EOS VR plug-in for Adobe Premiere Pro will also be available in late December, and the company will offer free trial periods for both solutions in addition to paid subscriptions.

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