Canon Unveils First Dual Fisheye Lens for Stereoscopic 3D 180° VR Capture in 8K
Canon U.S.A. has introduced the new RF5.2mm F2.8 L Dual Fisheye lens – bringing stereoscopic 3D virtual reality (VR) capture to the EOS R5 camera as part of the EOS VR System, which also includes a future firmware update for the EOS R5 camera to support use of this lens with new VR shooting specific functions, as well as new upcoming Canon EOS VR software solutions for conversion and processing. The Canon RF5.2mm F2.8 L Dual Fisheye lens is scheduled to be available in late December 2021 for an estimated retail price of $1,999.00.
As the world’s first digital interchangeable dual fisheye lens capable of shooting stereoscopic 3D 180° VR imagery to a single image sensor, the complexities of virtual reality production and the ability to view the content in full capacity are greatly streamlined for seasoned professionals and newcomers to the craft. In order to truly experience the captured content by this system in its truest form, a compatible VR headset is recommended for use such as the Oculus Quest 2, allowing the viewer to immerse themselves in the content.
“At Canon, we innovate so creators can push artistic boundaries, and this commitment to innovation is what led us to introduce the new RF5.2mm F2.8 L Dual Fisheye lens. As Canon’s first entry into the world of virtual reality 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,” says Tatsuro “Tony” Kano, executive vice president and general manager of Canon U.S.A.’s Imaging Technologies & Communications Group. “This new RF lens produces a stunning 8K virtual reality image and sets itself apart through its simplified workflow. Our goal is to make immersive storytelling more accessible for all.”
The RF5.2mm F2.8 L Dual Fisheye features high-quality 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 degree field of view captured from two separate optical systems they deliver outstanding results for 180° VR viewing platforms. With subwavelength coating technology offering impressive flare control in backlit conditions, VR creators can have freedom to shoot regardless the time of day or position of the sun. The dual fisheye design provides versatile exposure control with a maximum aperture of a bright f/2.8 to a deep depth of field of f/16 with electronically controlled apertures allowing the dual fisheye lens to operate just like other RF mount lenses. Between the dust- and water-resistant sealing and fluorine coating of the lens and the robust build of the EOS R5 camera, this system delivers peace of mind even in challenging weather conditions. Canon’s free Camera Connect app and Canon’s EOS Utility program both will be updated in the future to offer remote-control live view functionality for monitoring purposes while on-the-go.
The EOS VR System’s convenient 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 synching, by outputting one single image file. Canon is currently developing two paid subscription-based software solutions as available options for completing the post-production process. Canon’s 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, including Premiere Pro.
Compact, lightweight, and portable, the RF5.2mm F2.8 L Dual Fisheye is easily packed in a camera bag.
Additional features of Canon’s first interchangeable, stereoscopic 3D 180° VR 180 lens include:
- Close-focusing distance of 7.87-inches/0.2m is possible – max magnification is 0.03x.
- Aperture range of f/2.8 to f/16 with a 7-blade aperture and simultaneous electro-magnetic
- diaphragm for both left and right lenses.
- Built-in Gelatin Filter Holder – allows ND gel filters to be used in bright environments if
- a bright aperture is desired.
- Fluorine Coating on the front lens elements, with a dust and water resistant design.
- Extremely compact size – allowing it to be used in different types of productions.
In addition to the lens, both of Canon’s EOS VR Software solutions (EOS VR Utility and the EOS VR Plug-in for Adobe Premiere Pro) are currently scheduled to be available in late December 2021. Both software solutions will be available as a paid subscription based model, but will offer free trial periods (details to be disclosed at a later date) as well as the ability to process still images and certain clip lengths for free.