Canon unveils virtual reality camera prototype for consumers

Virtual reality - Image of Canon Camera

The new gadget first met the public at Photo Next 2023 as a consumer concept device.

Canon stood out from among the eighty-five other companies exhibiting recently at the Photo Next 2023 photography trade show in Japan, when it unveiled its virtual reality consumer camera concept.

Beyond the fact that it could record in VR, it was also a folding hybrid concept camera.

The folding hybrid concept virtual reality camera is able to capture 180º stereoscopic and 360º monoscopic pictures and videos. When the device is in its folded position, it can capture 360º images omnidirectionally because its lenses are facing in both directions. When the device is unfolded, it can capture 180º 3D VR images instead.

Image of Canon Building
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The Canon prototype is a part of the brand’s V-series of consumer products. According to a recent article in Pronews, the camera displayed at the event was only a mockup and was non-functional. Other than displaying the concept device, no additional details were provided by Canon about its specifications, availability or price.

There is quite a bit that the virtual reality concept camera has in common with the Insta360 EVO

Canon’s new concept camera isn’t the first one to use the idea of a folding device that will make it possible to take 180º or 360º shots. The Insta360 EVO has been on the market for a number of years and is based on that same type of design. It remains one of the top consumer VR cameras to have been available but is no longer being made.

Since the initial VR wave generated a tremendous amount of hype, progress has widely fizzled out, particularly in the consumer market. The majority of cameras with virtual reality features come with a high price tag and are designed for professionals. That said, if Canon intends to enter the market to reintroduce this type of device to consumers, it could prove to be a sign that attention is turning toward VR once again.

Canon isn’t new to this arena. In 2021, it launched a dual fisheye lens for its EOS R5 professional camera. This made it possible to provide 8K resolution to stereoscopic images. That said, it was never intended for use in the consumer market.

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