Image: Ichiro Uematsu
At Photo Next 2023, Canon unveiled a consumer VR concept camera.
Eighty-five companies exhibited last week at Japan’s photography trade show. Canon made a big splash with a folding hybrid concept camera that can capture 180° stereoscopic and 360° monoscopic photos and video.
When the camera is folded, you can capture 360° omnidirectional images because the lenses point in both directions. When unfolded, 180° 3D VR images are created.
The prototype belongs to the V-series, which is reserved for consumer products.
PHOTO NEXT 2023のキヤノンブースで展示されている
Canon PowerShot Vシリーズのコンセプトカメラ
360°＆180° 3D VR Camera
—Ichiro Uematsu (@IchiroYqz01403) June 6, 2023
The website Pronews writes that the camera is only a non-functional mock-up and that Canon did not provide any details about specifications, price and availability.
Canon copies the Insta360 EVO
The idea of a folding mechanism that allows you to take either 180° or 360° shots is not new: the Insta360 EVO, which is several years old, works exactly on this principle and is still one of the best consumer VR cameras, but it is no longer manufactured and sold.
Little has happened in the market since the VR hype ended. Most VR cameras are aimed at professionals and are quite expensive. If a major camera manufacturer like Canon were to enter the market and introduce hardware for consumers, it would be an announcement with a signal effect.
Canon already has experience in this field. In 2021, the company launched a dual fisheye lens for the Canon EOS R5 professional camera, which delivers stereoscopic images with 8K resolution. Cost: 2,300 euros without camera, 6,000 euros with camera.
A reaction to Apple?
The show was held June 6-7 in Yokohama. The day before the show opened, Apple unveiled Vision Pro, an immersive headset that doubles as a stereoscopic VR camera. Vision Pro combos a camera, player, and distribution platform in a single device, solving many of the problems that have hindered the adoption of VR cameras in recent years.
It’s possible that Canon showed the prototype as a response to Apple’s Vision Pro. In any case, it remains to be seen if Canon is serious about the camera or if it will remain just a concept.
If you own a Meta Quest 2 and want to experience the potential of VR photography, I recommend checking out the shots taken by VR photographer Thomas Huebner. However, such high image quality is not possible with Canon’s hybrid camera. For his shots, Hübner usually combines two high-resolution professional cameras to create stereoscopic rigs.
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You can read all about the Meta Quest 2 and Meta Quest Pro in the linked reviews.
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