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Canon Dual Fish-Eye Lens - Not cheap but versatile option for pro 3D 180 VR media creation

DaftnDirect
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Untitled-1.jpg

 

This Canon dual fisheye lens will be available next month. Initially it looks like it'll only work with their R5 mirrorless camera but maybe the other R's will get support. It's not going to be cheap at £2,000 for the lens and around £4,000 for the camera, but if you're looking for a pro camera to replace your aging DLSR, and you want a pro VR movie camera this could be a good option given that the VR-only Z Cam K1 is around $3,000 and the K2 at $6,000 with the iZugar lenses... and with this, you have a top digital stills/movie camera thrown in.

 

The R5 will do 8K 24/25/30p, 4K up to 120p but most modes are time limited due to heat build-up. They list 20 minutes for 8K RAW up to unlimited time for 4K 30p.

 

Canon seem to be talking specifically about the Quest 2 as the target viewing device which I guess isn't surprising.

 

360 stereo is great but 180 has its advantages, the movies tend to be framed for more confirmable viewing with less head movement and focus is held on the subject more. Detail is obviously better if the same res is used for half the FOV. 8K being the max res movie that the Quest 2 can view, I don't think there's a headset/movie player that supports anything higher right now.

 

I just hope the price comes down a bit as this is tempting.

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kojack
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It does look pretty interesting. Although I didn't know about the R5 limit. I've got a 5D Mark III, but I guess you need the extra resolution of the R5 to handle the side by side arrangement. Well, I assume side by side, unless they stuck some prisms/mirrors in there to twist it to over under stereo.

 

The R5 does look pretty cool too. I don't know if I'd really benefit much from it, I'm currently using a $4500au camera with $1500 lens to take occasional photos of lizards in my back yard, and that might be considered overkill. 🙂  The R6 might be ok, since it's cheaper but lower spec.

(Canon has an odd numbering scheme. More digits are worse/cheaper, so a 40D is better and costs more than a 400D. But higher numbers with same digit count are better, so a 50D is better than a 40D. Except for single digits, which go in reverse. 1D is better than 5D which is better than 7D. So the R series does that latter one, R5 is better than R6 but costs a lot more)

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kojack
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Looking at the Canon page, they are doing a bit of a Pimax with the numbers.

"Up to 8K³ video compatibility"

But the fine print at the bottom says "3 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. When combined this produces an 8K quality file."

 

No, 2 side by side 4K images do not give "8K quality". Each eye overlaps, you would only get 4K video in VR. It takes the storage and performance of 8K (ignoring aspect ratio part of the 8K definition), but you only see 4K.

 

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DaftnDirect
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I thought you'd be interested @kojack, the 8K business is a bit of a mystery to me and I just go by the file resolution rather than per-eye as I assume that's the figure that's limited by the media players and headset capabilities. I've no idea how lens utilisation compares to dedicated VR cameras like the Insta 360 Pro.

 

I usually spend in the region or £2000 for camera+lenses every 10 years or so, 20D then 550D and a few lenses, so due for an upgrade. I really want a decent VR camera though so this isn't out of the question. There are R5's on the second hand market so we'll see.

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kojack
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The Snapdragon XR2 supports 8K video decoding. The website says 8K 360 degree, so it's probably 8k x 4k mono panoramas (360x180 degrees).

I'm guessing the canon lens is doing 8k x 4k as dual 4k x 4k side by side frames. So that's about the limit.

 

The Insta 360 Pro is 8K mono (7680 x 3840), 6K stereo (6400x6400) or 4K stereo (3840x3840). The stereo modes do over under frames, so each eye is 6400x3200 or 3840x1920.

 

One difference though is the Insta 360 Pro does stitching in the camera, so the output is equirectangular projection (the full frame is used). The canon lens has circular views inside of the frame.

 

Here's a pic with my Sunex 185 degree super fisheye:

IMG_1237.jpg

A lot of the frame is wasted. That's what the Canon one would do, but with two circular views side by side. Using software you could then convert to an equirectangular projection for playback in VR.

 

I've got a Xiaomi Mi Sphere 360 camera. Cheap and low res, but works well for mono 360 panorama video. It can do 3456 x 1728 at 30fps or 2304 x 1152 at 60fps.

I can't find any examples of it on my system though, I need to find where I saved some shots. It's hard to photograph 360 panoramas without capturing yourself in them, I need to hide behind things and remotely trigger it with my phone. 🙂

 

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DaftnDirect
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I've been looking into the R5 some more and it's a great stills camera... just maybe not the best movie/stills camera.

 

For lower than 8K movies it seems to use line skipping rather than pixel binning, which, according to CTO Larson Tech's very technical YouTube vid creates a movie with much lower signal to noise ratio. So you'd stick to 8K raw for VR which has the heat limited times. And it may be that you've been using the camera for stills which could start to heat up the processor and reduce the time before you've started filming.

 

Maybe Sony will do a similar lens for their A7S. I really like the idea of a dual stills-VR camera.

 

Edit: or Canon's next camera has a more power efficient design.

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