Canon has shared video captured with its unique virtual reality RF 5.2mm f/2.8 L Dual Fisheye lens. The 4K footage allows for inspection of quality as well as showcases the ability to “look around” and interact with the scene.
Canon’s RF 5.2mm f/2.8 L Dual Fisheye Lens is described as the company’s first lens in the EOS VR System, which indicates that the company plans to make more lenses and devices to support the creation of virtual reality content. The design of the lens is rather unique in that it doesn’t require specialized camera capture hardware and is compatible with a Canon single-sensor interchangeable lens camera body — in this case, specifically the Canon EOS R5.
Canon says that the EOS VR System’s workflow is particularly impressive and because it can record left and right fisheye images to a single full-frame image sensor and therefore bypasses the common challenges of stitching and synching since the footage is output to a single image file. That single file can be interpolated using Canon software. Either the standalone EOS VR Utility software or a plugin for Adobe Premiere Pro will be made available via a subscription.
The lenses are capable of shooting with a 190-degree field of view captured from two separate optical systems, which Canon says is perfect for finishing 180-degree VR footage.
The footage above shows what can be expected from the enhanced field of view and also shows that Canon has already completed at least a beta version of the upcoming software. The footage also shows that Canon made good on its promise that its system has no seams, unlike the more common multi-sensor VR cameras on the market.
Without seeing the original exported file, it’s difficult to tell if the visual artifacts in the footage are caused by something either with Canon’s software or if they are due to YouTube compression. The sharpness and clarity of the footage does not appear to be consistent with the quality of footage captured with the R5 that Canon itself has shared in the past. VR footage may be the subject of even greater compression on YouTube’s part.
The Canon RF 5.2mm f/2.8 L Dual Fisheye lens is scheduled to be available in late December 2021 for $1,999 and both of Canon’s EOS VR Software solutions should be available around the same time, although the company has not revealed how much customers will be expected to pay for the subscription service.