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.

Canon RF 5.2mm F2.8L Dual Fisheye

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.

Canon RF 5.2mm F2.8L Dual Fisheye

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.

Canon RF 5.2mm F2.8L Dual Fisheye

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.

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  1. As of October 5th, 2021, among all lenses for digital interchangeable lens cameras (based on Canon research).
  2. The EOS R5 (currently the only compatible camera) will need a firmware update to be compatible.
  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.
  4. 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).
  5. 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.