Canon has just unboxed a huge present for all aspiring and professional VR content creators alike: a new lens for capturing stereoscopic 3D VR content. The new lens is designed for the RF mount system and cameras such as the EOS R5.
The Canon RF 5.2 mm F2.8L Dual Fisheye lens, as the Japanese camera manufacturer calls it, has two forward-facing fisheye lenses with a combined 190-degree field of view. The two images projected by the lenses are captured by a single sensor, which makes for a streamlined workflow since it eliminates issues cased by poor lens alignment and image synchronization.
“This new RF lens produces a stunning 8K virtual reality image and sets itself apart through its simplified workflow,” said Tatsuro Kano, executive vice president and general manager of Canon U.S.A.’s Imaging Technologies & Communications Group. “Our goal is to make immersive storytelling more accessible for all.”
Knowing that the ability to capture raw content is just one piece of the content creation puzzle, Canon has also created a standalone EOS VR software tool for conversion and processing, as well as a Premiere Pro plug-in for those who would like to do everything from within the popular video editing software application.
Both the EOS VR software tool and the Premiere Pro plug-in make it easy to convert clips from dual fisheye image to equirectangular, and the resulting footage should look natural because the Canon RF 5.2 mm F2.8L Dual Fisheye lens has an inter-pupillary distance of 60 mm, which is very close to the average adult distance between the centers of the pupils of the eyes.
In the official press release, Canon states that the 3D VR stereoscopic content created using the new lens is intended for Oculus Quest 2 and other similar VR headsets.
Considering that the lens is priced at $1,999, while the EOS R5 retails for $3,899, it will be interesting to see how many amateur content creators decide to pull out their credit cards for the ability to record life’s moments in an immersive fashion.