Supertelephoto zoom lenses have made remarkable strides in recent years, and the kind of image quality that used to be exclusive to the most expensive professional prime models is now available at much more affordable prices and with the added versatility of variable focal lengths. One such example is the Canon RF 100-500mm f/4.5-7.1L IS USM, and this great video shows just how well it performs, even in low light and with teleconverters.
Coming to you from Jan Wegener, this awesome video takes a look at the Canon RF 100-500mm f/4.5-7.1L IS USM lens, particularly when used in low light. No matter how good the image quality of the lens is, that f/7.1 maximum aperture at 500mm certainly gave some photographers pause when the lens was announced, as it forces one to use an ISO two to three stops higher than they might with a top-shelf supertelephoto prime and also significantly reduces the light available for the autofocus system to work. And yet, with a modern body like the EOS R5, those issues are nowhere near as significant as they might have been a decade ago, making such a lens a viable (and sometimes superior) alternative for a lot of work. Check out the video above for Wegener’s full thoughts.
Andy Westlake puts the Canon EOS R3 and its Eye control AF through its paces with a day shooting high-speed motorsport
All the sample images in this article were shot using a pre-production beta model of the Canon EOS R3, and may not reflect final image quality. They’re out-of-camera JPEGs edited ‘to taste’, including cropping, brightness, contrast, and saturation adjustments, etc.
Canon’s latest mirrorless model, the EOS R3, is designed for shooting high-speed sports and action
Canon EOS R3 at a glance:
£5,879 body only
24MP full-frame stacked CMOS sensor
30 frames per second shooting
1/64,000 sec top shutter speed
5-axis in-body image stabilisation
AI-based subject recognition AF
Eye control AF
I’ve been lucky enough to test some remarkable cameras this year. Early on there was Sony’s phenomenal Alpha 1, which can shoot 50MP images at 30 frames per second. Then there was the superb Fujifilm GFX100S, whose 102MP medium-format sensor makes it a landscape photographer’s dream. But when Canon offered me the chance to try out a beta sample of its new EOS R3, I got an extra shiver of excitement.
Because while this high-speed, pro-spec sports and action camera may ‘only’ be capable of shooting 24MP images at 30fps, it’s got some really exciting new features of its own. Most importantly, it’s got Eye control AF. This means it can detect what you’re looking at in the viewfinder and focus on it.
The EOS R3 can be set to focus on whatever you’re looking at in the viewfinder
At this point, Canon fans who know their history will be muttering under their breath that I’ve got it all wrong, and eye control isn’t actually new. On one level, they’re absolutely right, as the firm first introduced this futuristic-sounding technology almost 30 years ago, on the EOS 5 in 1992.
Canon then went on to use it in several more 35mm SLRs during the 1990s, including the mid-range EOS 50E and, most notably, the high-end EOS 3 in 1998. As it happens, I used these two cameras for the majority of my film photography, and still own both. This is exactly why I’m so excited by the EOS R3.
What is Eye control AF?
Eye control AF is, at heart, a simple idea. The camera uses an array of low-power infrared LEDs to illuminate your eye and determine whereabouts you’re looking in the viewfinder. Back in the film days, this was simply a method of selecting your autofocus point, and on the EOS 50E which only had three to choose between, it worked perfectly. With the EOS 3’s 45-point system I found it rather less reliable, but I still used it all the time, as it was quicker and more intuitive than the alternative of pressing a button and spinning control dials.
Canon previously used Eye control AF on several 35mm film SLRs, most famously the semi-pro EOS 3 (left)
On the EOS R3, things are a bit different. Aside from anything else, the camera doesn’t really use an array of discreet focus points, as SLRs did; instead, like other mirrorless models, it can autofocus anywhere in the frame. Secondly, its AF system is based heavily on subject recognition, meaning it can be set to detect people, animals or motor vehicles, and then specifically focus on them while ignoring anything else.
Again, this isn’t new; Sony has had great success with its Real-time Eye AF for portraits, while the Olympus OM-D E-M1X can recognise birds and various kinds of vehicles. But there’s often been a practical problem with these systems: if you have several possible subjects for the camera to choose between, it’s not always easy to get it to lock onto the one you want. This is where Eye control AF promises a significant advantage.
Subject detection can be easily set between humans, animals and vehicles directly from the Q Menu
To try out the system, I first needed to find a suitable subject. You can, of course, shoot anything you like with the EOS R3, but with the best will in the world, you’re not going to learn much about it by shooting portraits or landscapes. Luckily, I live close to the famous old racing circuit at Brands Hatch. So I found myself driving there on a misty Saturday morning to photograph motorbike racing, armed with the EOS R3, 24-70mm f/2.8 and 70-200mm f/2.8 RF lenses, and a stack of memory cards. Oh, and after a last-minute request to Canon, I also had the decidedly unusual RF 800mm F11 IS STM lens to play with.
Canon EOS R3 – a quick recap
Before going any further, let’s take a step back and remind ourselves of the EOS R3’s main features. It employs an all-new 24MP full-frame stacked CMOS sensor, which enables not only the headline 30fps shooting speed, but also a silent electronic shutter that promises minimal rolling-shutter distortion. In addition, it boasts a world-record fastest shutter speed of an action-freezing 1/64,000sec. Canon’s Dual Pixel CMOS AF facilitates phase-detection autofocus anywhere in the frame, while its AI-based subject recognition technology provides settings for focusing specifically on people, animals, and now motor vehicles.
The EOS R3 is built around a new 24MP full-frame stacked-CMOS sensor
In design terms, the R3 is one of only a few mirrorless models with an integrated vertical grip for more comfortable use with large telephoto lenses, alongside the Olympus E-M1X and the Nikon’s upcoming Z 9. Its control layout borrows heavily from EOS-1D series professional DSLRs, while adding all the interface updates that we saw in the brilliant EOS R5 and R6.In fact, though, the design lineage goes back much further; almost all the controls that were on the EOS 3 are still to be found on the R3, and in pretty much the same places, too.
The viewfinder is surrounded by a huge eyecup. Beneath it is a superb fully articulated LCD.
For composition, you get a superb 5.76m-dot EVF that offers 0.74x magnification. It’s surrounded by a huge, deep eyecup, which is necessary for Eye control AF to work reliably. New to the EOS R3 is an ‘OVF simulation view assist’ function, which rather than previewing the final processed image, mimics the experience of using an optical finder in terms of colour and contrast, and does so extremely well.
Underneath the EVF is a stunning 3.2in, 4.2m-dot fully articulated touchscreen, with practically every aspect of the camera’s operation being seamlessly integrated into the touch interface. This means you can change most settings using either the physical controls, or by touch.
AF tracking is toggled on or off using the upper, convex button on the front, which is duplicated across the two grips.
Overall, anybody who’s used a high-end Canon camera over the past decade should be able to pick up the EOS R3 and get started almost straight away. But there’s one really important thing to do first, which is calibrate the Eye control AF. Thankfully, this is a simple process that only takes a minute; the camera instructs you to look left, right, up and down, while measuring your eye position at each point. Canon advises repeating it in a wide range of lighting conditions, which allows the camera to build up a thorough understanding of your eye structure and how it changes according to the ambient light.
More about the Canon RF 800mm F11 IS STM lens
You need a long lens to shoot motorbikes, and my first thought was to try the RF 100-500mm F4.5-7.1 L IS USM. Unfortunately, Canon couldn’t lend me one at short notice, but provided the 800mm f/11 instead. This unusual design combines a fixed aperture, diffractive optics, image stabilisation and a collapsing barrel design to make a relatively affordable (£999) and portable ultra-telephoto, that can easily be used hand-held.
Canon’s unique RF 800mm F11 IS STM lens is remarkably lightweight and affordable
I didn’t have especially high hopes for it, but ended up being pleasantly surprised, in particular with its ability to keep up with the EOS R3’s autofocus. It’s decently sharp, too, with its main optical flaw appearing to be reduced contrast when shooting into the light. The small aperture does, of course, often require you to use high ISO settings, especially given the fast shutter speeds often required. But with modern full-frame sensors, that’s no problem at all.
Canon EOS R3, RF 800mm F11 IS STM, 1/2000sec at f/11, ISO 2000.
The available autofocus zone is also reduced to a central square, so you have to pay more attention to keeping your subject covered, while the minimum focus distance is a lengthy 6m. But these are all acceptable compromises to get a full-frame 800mm that’s less than a third of the weight and a twelfth of the price of its high-end EF 800mm f/5.6L IS USM cousin.
Shooting motorsports with the Canon EOS R3
Before setting out, I configured a custom mode for high-speed action, combining shutter priority with high-speed continuous shooting, servo AF, vehicle tracking, and eye control AF. But in fact, this was almost superfluous, because Canon makes it quick and easy to change all these settings with the camera up to your eye.
Here I used a relatively slow shutter speed and panned with the subject. Canon EOS R3, RF 800mm F11 IS STM, 1/200sec at f/11, ISO 125
Tracking is enabled using a button on front, eye control can be toggled on and off using the SET button, and subject selection is accessible from the Q menu. It’s all very user friendly, and much easier to set up than the Sony Alpha 1 or Alpha 9 II.
The big question, of course, is whether Canon’s Eye control AF, subject detection and AF tracking all work together seamlessly. The answer is a resounding yes; in fact, it’s an incredibly intuitive way of shooting. You simply look at the subject you’re interested in and half-press the shutter, and the camera locks on instantly, outlining the subject in blue and tracking focus on it.
Eye control AF is a brilliantly effective way of choosing between two possible subjects. Canon EOS R3, 1/2000sec at f/11, ISO 1250
For example, when I saw two bikes climbing up Hailwoods Hill, I was able to shift the camera’s attention to the chasing rider simply by looking at him; other AF systems would focus on the leader by default. This works so well that after a few minutes, you almost forget it’s even happening; the AF system just does your bidding with no need to touch a joystick. For this kind of fast-paced shooting, it’s a revolutionary feature.
Canon EOS R3, RF 70-200mm F2.8L IS USM at 200mm, 1/2000sec at f/5, ISO 100
Canon’s continuous AF also works astonishingly well. In fact, I got a near-perfect hit-rate of in-focus shots, regardless of whether the subject was approaching or leaving the camera, or front- or back-lit. It also continued to work while zooming the lens, which isn’t always the case. Amazingly, it worked almost as well with the 800mm f/11 as it did with the 70-200mm f/2.8.
The camera has no problem tracking focus on subjects travelling away from the camera. Canon EOS R3, RF 800mm F11 IS STM, 1/2000sec at f/22, ISO 2000
With most cameras, engaging the fastest drive speed via the electronic shutter comes with significant compromises. Rolling shutter distortion tends to be problematic, and continuous AF will often be unreliable or stop working altogether. But neither is a problem with the EOS R3.
Canon EOS R3, RF 70-200mm F2.8L IS USM at 200mm, 1/64,000sec at f/3.2, ISO 6400
I stress-tested for rolling shutter effects by shooting bikes driving past at high speed with the camera position held fixed, firing off bursts when I heard one approaching and relying on the blistering 30fps speed to capture it in frame, which worked every time. On examining the resultant files, not only is there no image distortion worth mentioning, but by employing the 1/64,000sec top shutter speed, I also captured pin-sharp shots. If you look really closely there are some jagged artefacts on diagonal edges, but this is nit-picking.
This 30fps thumbnail sequence shows the bike travelling through the frame. With a slower camera, you’d be really lucky to capture it.
A white frame flashes around the edge of the viewfinder during burst shooting, which gives a useful visual confirmation that the shutter is firing. Of course, 30 frames per second is demanding on data throughput, but this is where the CFexpress card format pays off.
I used a 64GB Lexar Professional Type B card with a rated 1000 MB/s write speed (fully 3x quicker than my fastest SDs), and it swallowed large bursts of JPEG and raw files effortlessly, without the camera ever perceptibly slowing down. Using the matched Lexar reader, I was also able to copy a card’s worth of files in less than seven minutes. For less demanding work, you can still use SD cards in the camera’s other slot.
Files can be recorded either to UHS-II SD cards, or the super-fast CFexpress Type B slot
One area where mirrorless cameras still tend to get flak is with regards to stamina. In this respect, the EOS R3’s rating of 620 shots per charge when using the EVF may look like its Achilles’ Heel; after all, that equates to just 21 seconds of burst shooting. But this really reflects the fact that the CIPA battery life test is based around shooting single frames at distinct intervals, and is completely irrelevant for high-speed bursts.
The battery may only officially be rated to 620 shots per charge, but if you mostly shoot bursts with the electronic shutter, it’ll deliver over 10,000 shots
Shooting mostly JPEG files at 30fps (as raw support isn’t yet available at the time of writing), I returned home with over 9000 shots and the battery still registering over 30%. With such a huge number of files, I also appreciated the ability to apply star-ratings using a dedicated external button, which are then recognised in imaging software such as Lightroom.
Canon EOS R3 – initial impressions in real-world use
With this being a Beta sample of the EOS R3, I can’t do the usual testing and image quality assessment that you’ll find in our full reviews. Instead, I can just show some pictures and give my initial thoughts on how well Canon’s new tech all fits together. Needless to say, I’m seriously impressed.
Even with a consumer telephoto, the EOS R3 convincingly demonstrated the capabilities of its Eye control AF
Using the EOS R3 reminds me of when I first picked up the original Sony Alpha 9 and realised that mirrorless cameras had completely surpassed the capabilities of DSLRs with regards to shooting speed and autofocus. Now, Canon has more than matched that technology, but made a camera that offers vastly superior handling while being much easier and more intuitive to use. Indeed what impressed me most is just how easy the EOS R3 made it to get perfectly-sharp shots, time after time; using it almost feels like cheating. This is the camera that the Alpha 9 II wants to be when it grows up.
Canon EOS R3, RF 800mm F11 IS STM, 1/125sec at f/11, ISO 100
It’s certainly an exciting time to be a photographer, with camera technology advancing at an extraordinary rate. Alongside the Sony Alpha 1 and Fujifilm GFX100S, the Canon EOS R3 shows the boundaries being pushed further than ever before. And let’s not forget, the Nikon Z 9 is still to come. We may be mourning our favourite old SLR systems, but their replacements are absolutely extraordinary, and with the EOS R3, Canon is right back at the head of the pack.
Post-script – animal detection AF
The Canon EOS R3 doesn’t just recognise motor vehicles, but animals too. For example, it easily detected this ring-necked parakeet’s body and head:
Canon EOS R3, RF 800mm F11 IS STM, 1/8000sec at f/11, ISO 1600
Here’s a cormorant on its take-off run, again recognised and tracked by the camera:
Canon EOS R3, RF 800mm F11 IS STM, 1/100sec at f/11, ISO 16,000
And finally, remarkably, here is a bee captured in mid-flight, using autofocus.
Canon EOS R3, RF 70-200mm F2.8L IS USM at 200mm, 1/2000sec at f/3.2, ISO 500
Canon’s announcement of their newest RF lens has pricked up a lot of ears in curiosity. Is this new lens going to be brilliant, or is it too niche to succeed?
If there’s one thing I love in photography, it’s strange and unusual lenses and cameras. Sometimes, I’ll just buy one to own it, even if I have no real intention of using it. That of course has a rather low budget cap and Canon’s announcement far exceeds it, and yet I’m so curious to try it.
The Canon RF 5.2mm f/2.8L Dual Fisheye 3D VR lens is the latest RF-mount lens and it’s turning heads. As you can see, the lens is aimed at stereoscopic 3D 180-degree VR imagery. VR has been tipped to be the next big thing in photography and videography for well over a decade at this point, and while it has failed to secure such an illustrious title, it certainly hasn’t failed and fallen away either. I tried a VR headset when they were just emerging and was optimistic for its future, but wholly unmoved for its present. Then, last year, I tried a newer VR headset and realized we’re far closer to it being a common way to consume all types of visual media than I thought.
It is still undoubtedly a niche area, but it’s interesting that Canon is catering to it. The research and development of a lens like this can’t be cheap, and given it’s an L lens at $1,999, Canon presumably believes there is a future for the technology and they would like to have a staple piece of equipment for it.
Supply chain issues have been plaguing electronics manufacturers for several months now, and camera companies are not immune to the problems caused by an inability to obtain adequate quantities of needed components. It seems as if Canon is the latest to be affected by the shortages, with several product canceled and slated to be “refreshed” at a later date.
Canon Rumors is reporting that Canon has canceled several products that were shown in 2020 due to supply chain shortages. There has been no word yet of what products have been canceled, but the prevailing theory at the moment is that Canon will “refresh” the products. This means that instead of completely canceling them, Canon will likely keep a close eye on the availability of needed components, then update the relevant designs with the latest technology when it looks like they can produce a meaningful number of units. This will help the company avoid bringing an outdated product to market. Given that lens designs take a long time to become outdated, it is likely that the shortage likely applies to camera bodies, which could constitute several models — the Cinema EOS line or mirrorless RF mount cameras, such as the update to the EOS R and RP or an APS-C mirrorless camera. No word yet on when we can expect the “refreshed” products, but it will likely coincide with the alleviation of the ongoing supply chain issues.
Canon has just announced what might be its strangest lens ever: the RF 5.2mm f/2.8 L Dual Fisheye lens. Yes, that’s right—it’s two fisheye lenses strapped together in one lens body.
The Dual Fisheye is designed to shoot stereoscopic 3D 180º virtual reality footage onto a single camera sensor. It’s the first lens in Canon’s EOS VR System, though we can presumably expect more down the line. It will retail for $1,999 when it goes on sale in December. Here’s what you need to know.
Specs (specifications, not spectacles)
The RF 5.2mm f/2.8 L Dual Fisheye lens has two identical 5.2mm fisheye lenses side-by-side with a 60mm “interpupillary distance” (the distance between the center of the two lenses). There’s a lot of glass involved: each side has 12 elements in 10 groups including two Ultra-low Dispersion (UD) elements and two prisms to “fold” light to hit the sensor.
While both lenses have their own optical systems, their aperture (from f/2.8 to f/16) is controlled and coordinated using what Canon calls the “Dual-synchronized Electromagnetic Diaphragm (EMD)”. This means the aperture and exposure are always synchronized. This makes combining the footage much easier later on.
Similarly, both manual focus lenses are controlled using the one focus ring. You can adjust the left-right focus distance with an included hex wrench if you need to. But otherwise, both lenses will always focus to the exact same distance.
For two L-series lenses MacGyvered together, the Dual Fisheye is surprisingly light and compact. It’s 4.8-inches wide, 3.3-inches tall, and just 2.1-inches long. It weighs around 12.4 ounces. Really, it’s only the lens’ odd shape that will make it hard to fit in a camera bag.
The Dual Fisheye has one purpose: to shoot VR footage. Canon claims it’s the “world’s first digital interchangeable lens that can capture stereoscopic 3D 180° VR imagery to a single image sensor.” The idea, supposedly, is that “creators can go from traditional stills or video shooting to stereoscopic 3D capture with a simple lens swap.” Assuming it all pans out as claimed, the Dual Fisheye will make it easier and more accessible for many people to shoot 180º VR footage.
To that end, most details about the Dual Fisheye have been carefully considered. The interpupillary distance and focal length of the fisheyes were deliberately chosen to closely mimic normal human vision with a “natural parallax”. There’s “Subwavelength Structure Coating (SWC)” on the lens to minimize ghosting, flare, and reflections and keep the color balance consistent between both lenses in tricky lighting situations. It’s also compatible with gel ND filters so you don’t have to stop down in bright light.
A lens, however, can only do so much. You also need a camera. Right now, the Dual Fisheye is only compatible with the EOS R5 (running firmware 1.5.0 or higher). Combined, you can shoot 8K-equivalent DCI footage at 30p or 4K-equivalent DCI footage at 60p.
The R5 has gained a number of features to make capturing VR video simpler. It automatically adds the metadata necessary to convert the fisheye footage into equirectangular footage and has a “Magic Window” on-screen overlay that shows an approximation of the VR field-of-view to make composition easier. You can also magnify to 6x and 15x, use MF Peaking, and swap between lens previews to nail your focus.
To pull everything together, you also need software. Canon is working on two subscription offerings: its own EOS VR Utility and the EOS VR Plug-In for Adobe Premiere Pro. Availability and pricing have yet to be announced.
When is the RF 5.2mm f/2.8 L Dual Fisheye lens available?
The Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM was one of the most respected lenses in its DSLR line, offering top image quality, impressive image stabilization, and no-fuss autofocus, all at a very reasonable price that made it a top pick for wedding, macro, and portrait photographers. The new RF version promises a range of improvements and new features, and this excellent video review takes a look at if they are worth the price.
Coming to you from Katelyn James, this great video review takes a look at the Canon RF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM lens, particularly in comparison to the venerated EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro lens. The RF version is a bit of a strange bird, offering improved magnification (1.4x versus 1x) and spherical aberration control, but coupled with a fair amount of focus breathing. Personally, while the additional magnification would be nifty, 1:1 magnification is already enough for everything I do, and my EF version has no issues keeping up with the resolution demands of the EOS R5 sensor; in addition, the autofocus is just as good (perhaps even better) with Canon’s EF-RF adapter. Check out the video for James’ full thoughts.
Canon Europe today introduces the Canon Zoemini S2, the latest addition to the instant camera printing sector for those wanting to snap, customise, and print on the go. An evolution from its predecessor the Canon Zoemini S, this innovative 2-in-1 design allows users to add borders and filters, choose between shooting modes and save favourite snaps to print later – all on one device. Available in Dark Teal, Pearl White and Rose Gold, the Canon Zoemini S2 remains light and compact, making it easy to carry around day-to-day.
Ideal for creative minds, content creators and craft lovers alike, the Canon Zoemini S2 connects to the Canon Mini Print App via Bluetooth to produce fun creations, from collages and circular printouts, to adding text and printing pre-made or custom stickers. Hand-drawn signatures and symbols can be snapped on a mobile device, edited in-app and printed using the Canon Zoemini S2, perfect for scrapbooking or zines. Perfectionists can tweak poses and ensure friends and family are all in shot before printing by checking out the live view through the Canon Mini Print app.
The creative functions of the Canon Zoemini S2 are enhanced by its 2-in-1 functionality, allowing users to shoot, customise and print on the go. Stylish selfies can be snapped with the in-built mirror and ring-light, while the new Effects and Frames buttons add vintage style filters and borders. For optimal shooting, users can flick between portrait, outdoor or selfie mode using the top slider button, and then print in different formats on up to 10 sheets of sticky-backed Zink™ Photo Paper to personalise everything from laptops to bedroom walls or journals.
With a compact design and weight of just 188g, the Canon Zoemini S2 is the perfect pocket-camera and chic holiday companion. If users forget to refill the paper tray before setting out on an adventure, they can still snap away and save images onto the MicroSD card for printing later, with time information automatically added once synchronised with a smartphone. The print queue has now also been extended from its predecessor, reducing the wait between taking photos and the need for frequent paper refills, while the battery life lasts for up to 25 photo prints – ideal for making memories on the go.
Skylum has announced an update for Luminar AI that adds one new feature, addresses multiple bugs, and fixes a major issue with the platform’s ability to properly read Canon EOS R5 files.
While Skylum has been working through pushback from consumers regarding the launch of Luminar Neo and subsequent retirement of Luminar 4, the company did specifically say that it would be working on enhancing the experience of Luminar AI rather than focusing on new features.
Lunimar AI Update 5 makes good on that promise and adds a set of bug fixes to the application, including the crippling Canon EOS R5 RAW file issue that resulted in the company removing the R5 from its list of supported cameras. That changes today, as Skylum says that the R5 RAW file issue has been fixed.
For months, Luminar AI was unable to properly read Canon R5 RAW files since it launched claimed support for the camera as part of Luminar update 4.3.3 six months ago. Photographers started noticing issues with images captured with the R5 in the platform for more than two months before Skylum removed official support for the camera while it worked on fixing the issue.
In short, photographers noticed that R5 files would be imported in what can only be described as “overly contrasty” and there was no way to use Luminar AI to make the photos look correct.
At the time, a Skylum representative said that it was aware of the issue.
“We are aware that for Canon R5 images, there are specific cases with options like ‘double pixel’ and/or HDR settings,” Skylum said. “In these few cases, the user may experience issues when opening these images. The issues do not apply to most Canon R5 photos; that is why we consider the camera to be supported.”
More than four months later, the company tells PetaPixel that the camera is now finally supported and retains full information in the highlights and shadows.
Additionally, Luminar AI now supports the Olympus E-P7, Panasonic DC-GH5 II, and the Pentax K-3 III. The company adds that it has also caught and fixed seven other minor bugs on macOS and seven bugs on Windows that it says could “lead to unexpected results.”
Skylum also added a new enhancement to the Sky Replacement technology called “For This Photo.” It’s a minor but arguably useful update that uses content-aware technology to recommend the best sky for a particular photo and include recommendations from the skies collection on the Luminar Marketplace.
This update is free and users will be prompted to install the update the next time they launch Luminar AI.
Canon has announced the new RF 5.2mm F2.8L Dual Fisheye lens, designed specifically for use with the Canon EOS R5 to create high-quality VR video content.
Not just an announcement of a new lens, but Canon is also introducing the EOS VR System, a simplified setup designed to let you create VR content more quickly with less complication. Thanks to being able to use just one camera, rather than having to use two seperate cameras, lenses, and all the associated processing that goes with that.
The lens will be available for £2,099.99 / €2,399.99. The EOS VR Utility and plug-in (EOS VR Plug-in for Adobe Premiere Pro) is free to use for videos up to 2 minutes long, but after this a subscription fee is payable.
Key features EOS VR SYSTEM:
Simplified 180° VR setup and capture in a compact form
Professional grade image quality, with 8K file size output
A single image file enables an efficient workflow in post-production
EOS VR Utility3,4 simplifies image conversion
EOS VR Plug-in3,4 integrates with Adobe Premiere Pro
Key features Canon RF 5.2mm F2.8L DUAL FISHEYE lens:
Dual Fisheye lenses for 180° VR stereoscopic capture and 190-degree field of view
Compact, lightweight design with f/2.8 aperture
Two UD elements per lens
Subwavelength Structure Coating (SWC)
Precisely synchronised and controlled EMD units
Canon revolutionises 180° VR with its innovative 3D VR system and Canon RF 5.2mm F2.8L DUAL FISHEYE lens
The ground-breaking new EOS VR SYSTEM includes the world’s firsti lens for digital interchangeable lens cameras enabling 180° VR shooting with one camera to a single sensor
From Canon: London, United Kingdom, 06th October 2021 – Canon Europe today announces the latest innovation in the EOS R System – a pioneering new virtual reality capture solution that leverages the superior capabilities of the RF mount.
Canon’s EOS VR SYSTEM, which includes a new Canon RF 5.2mm F2.8L DUAL FISHEYE lens, has been developed in response to demand for high quality 3D 180° VR content. With the adoption of VR technology on the rise across many sectors such as training, travel, sports, live events and documentaries, Canon’s new offering simplifies the whole process of stereoscopic 180° VR capture and post-production. The EOS VR SYSTEM’s ability to create an immersive experience brings viewers into the heart of the action by providing professional image quality and higher levels of realism.
The Canon RF 5.2mm F2.8L DUAL FISHEYE lens is Canon’s first ever interchangeable VR lens, designed to simplify the set-up and capture of 180° VR video and stills with the EOS R5ii – all whilst retaining the high optical performance of the EOS R System. This makes 3D content creation more practical for existing VR content creators, professional production companies as well as professionals looking to break into the VR market with a more efficient system. Along with the Canon RF 5.2mm F2.8L DUAL FISHEYE lens, Canon’s EOS VR SYSTEM also includes a newly developed Canon VR software application (EOS VR Utility) and plug-in (EOS VR Plug-in for Adobe Premiere Pro) to streamline the 180° VR post-production process, enhancing content creators’ experience from input to output.
Innovative lens design for simplified capture
The Canon RF 5.2mm F2.8L DUAL FISHEYE dual forward-facing fisheye lenses have an ultra-wide 190-degree field of view which form the basis of its stereoscopic VR capture capability. Canon’s advanced lens design then enables projection of two images onto the camera’s single sensor for perfect alignment and synchronisation straight out of the camera. By utilising the lens in this way, VR setup is simpler than a two-camera system.
Capturing two images on a single sensor also means that both images have the same performance characteristics, avoiding subtle variances such as image quality and exposure that other two sensor systems can suffer from. Additionally, the two EMD (aperture) units, one for each lens, are also finely controlled to maintain a consistent exposure onto the sensor – helping to reduce post-production grading and expertise required to match the left and right image output.
The compact lens features a clever folding optical design and baseline distance of 60mm for a natural looking view. Engineered to work with compatible cameras within the VR system such as the Canon EOS R5, the system offers both the portability and familiarity of the EOS System.
Pushing optical boundaries
The stereoscopic Canon RF 5.2mm F2.8L DUAL FISHEYE lens features the infamous red ring, denoting it as a professional L-series lens that utilises two UD elements per lens, helping to produce sharp clear images, from edge-to-edge. The Canon RF 5.2mm F2.8L DUAL FISHEYE lens SWC coating is ideal for shooting with the sun in the frame, as it suppresses ghosting and flare of sunlight – a commonly encountered shooting condition in VR capture.
Featuring a gelatin holder across the rear elements, Canon RF 5.2mm F2.8L DUAL FISHEYE lens users can leverage third-party gelatin ND filters to maintain ‘normal’ shutter speeds and apertures when shooting in bright conditions. The MF Peaking function in the EOS R5 provides simple assisted manual focusing, highlighting the areas within focus.
When using the EOS R5’s 8K Full Frame sensoriii, the Canon RF 5.2mm F2.8L DUAL FISHEYE lens achieves high resolution 180° VR capture with a high dynamic range using Canon Log / Log 3. A fast f/2.8 aperture along with high ISO capabilities of the EOS R5 means great low light performance – giving content creators the opportunity to shoot in a wider range of scenarios. Streamlined 180° VR workflows
The brand-new EOS VR SYSTEM uses the Canon RF 5.2mm F2.8L DUAL FISHEYE lens on a single sensor camera where no lens alignment is required – meaning only one file is produced for both the left and right images which is already perfectly synchronised. This allows the Canon software or plug-in to accurately convert the captured dual circular fisheye format to a standard 180° VR format, ready for further editing in Adobe Premiere Pro or viewing on a VR headset.
Typically one of the more complicated and time-consuming tasks in VR content creation, Canon’s new powerful EOS VR Utility application and EOS VR Plug-in for Adobe Premiere Pro makes the image conversion processiv, from a dual circular fisheye image to a more recognisable side-by-side equirectangular 180° VR format, effortless. With these additional solutions, videos and stills can be easily processed3,v and exported into various resolutions and (professional) codecs, up to 8K in file size for video output2 – designed for post-production editing and/or final playback on suitable VR headsets. Canon’s updated EOS Utility and Camera Connect App will also provide easy remote control and live image preview whilst capturing content.
This high-quality solution leverages the benefits of the RF mount whilst delivering innovative new VR technology to simplify the entire process of 180° VR capture from set up through to post-production.
As of October 5th, 2021, among all lenses for digital interchangeable lens cameras (based on Canon research).
The EOS R5 (currently the only compatible camera) will need a firmware update to be compatible.
The captured resolution per lens will be slightly less than 4K due to the two image circles being placed side by side on the sensor.
Canon’s EOS VR Utility or EOS VR Plug-in for Adobe Premiere Pro are required to perform the equirectangular conversion of recorded 180° VR images from a compatible camera (EOS R5).
A trial use of Canon’s app with still images and videos under 2 minutes is free of charge. When exporting (EOS VR Utility) / importing (EOS VR Plug-in for Adobe Premiere Pro) videos 2 minutes or longer, a paid subscription is required.
Canon has announced what it describes as its first product for virtual reality capture: the RF 5.2mm f/2.8 L Dual Fisheye Lens. It is capable of enabling stereoscopic 3D 180-degree virtual reality (VR) shooting to a single image sensor.
It appears the rumors of the dual fisheye lens were true and Canon is making its foray into the virtual reality hardware space.
The new lens is designed to work on Canon RF camera systems as part of what the company is calling the EOS VR System. It will also come with a firmware update for the EOS R5 camera that will support the new lens along with new VR capture functions. Additionally, the company will release new software that will convert and process the footage for viewing on VR devices. Canon mentions that a compatible VR headset is recommended for use, and specifically calls out the Oculus Quest 2.
Canon says that the lens is the first interchangeable dual fisheye lens capable of capturing stereoscopic 3D 180-degree VR imagery onto a single image sensor and hopes that it will make the complexities of virtual reality production more streamlined for both professionals and newcomers.
The lens uses Canon’s high-quality L-series optics that are engineered with an interpupillary distance — the space between two eyes — of 60mm to deliver 3D imagery in VR with what it calls natural parallax that closely resembles human vision. The lenses are capable of shooting with a 190-degree field of view captured from two separate optical systems, which it says is perfect for finishing 180-degree VR footage.
Canon says that the lens has subwavelength coating technology that offers “impressive” flare control even in backlit conditions which will enable VR creators can have the freedom to shoot regardless of the time of day or position of the sun.
The lens has a set of electronically controlled apertures with a range of f/2.8 through f/16. It also features dust and water-resistant sealing as well as fluorine coating that, when paired with the R5, allows it to operate in even challenging weather conditions. Canon says that from an operation perspective, the dual fisheye lens works just like any other RF lens. 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 as well.
The lens has a close focusing distance of 7.87-inches/0.2m and a maximum magnification of 0.03x. It also features a built-in Gelatin Filter Holder which allows ND gel filters to be used in bright environments without needing to stop down the lens.
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.
Canon is currently developing two paid subscription-based software solutions for completing the post-production process. Canon’s EOS VR Utility will offer the ability to convert clips from dual fisheye images 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 the footage to equirectangular and edit as they would normal footage from there.
The Canon RF 5.2mm f/2.8 L Dual Fisheye lens is scheduled to be available in late December 2021 for $1,999. 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 with pricing to be revealed later, but they will be, as mentioned, based on a subscription model.
Privacy & Cookies Policy
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.