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The Canon RF5.2mm f/2.8L Dual Fisheye lens, paired with an EOS R5 body captures 3D virtual reality content and makes post production easy.

What sorcery is this? It’s a Canon mirrorless, full-frame DSLR with a dual fisheye lens.

The RF 5.2mm f/2.8L is designed to capture 180° VR content, currently only compatible with the Canon R5 body. This lens costs about 1.8 lakhs (while the R5 body retails at around 3.4 lakhs) in India.

So far, there were options for 180° cameras but not with such high resolution and quality, that a Canon R5 with 45MP produces. In Virtual Reality, 180° content has an easier workflow, compared to 360° because the viewer need not see what’s behind the camera. Think of a concert or an event where it is not necessary to turn around and see the audience, even with a VR headset.

A Bit of History

180 Degree VR Camera - Adostrophe

Shown above is the Insta360 EVO, which has a foldable design to capture 180 as well as 360 degree content. As India’s first Insta360 authorised distributor, Adostrophe had introduced this camera a few years back along with other consumer cameras such as the ONE X. Currently, we are not associated with this brand, although in touch with our awesome customers.

The EVO had its advantages such as direct streaming to VR headsets and an innovative HoloFrame to view 3D content in a smartphone. Practically, customers claimed that the resolution was not good enough even for recreational purposes such as sharing vacation images on Facebook.

Other brands such as KanDao (Qoocam), Lenovo (Mirage), Vuze (XR), etc., had their share in this niche market, but failed to impress the discerning VR content creator in India. Not until now, at least.

Insta360 ONE R - Adostrophe

The EVO, not cutting through to the mass markets in India, led to the evolution of the Insta360 ONE R which is now compatible with Matterport! The modular design caters to a large section of consumers, with the best part being replaceable parts (modules), instead of purchasing a brand new camera altogether. The above image is of an accessory (3D mount) which is still in R&D stage. 

Experienced photographers who offer Matterport 3D scanning services recommend the Ricoh Theta Z1, if your budget is less than a lakh. Otherwise, buy the Matterport Pro2 or the Leica BLK360 for 3D virtual tours. DSLR and drone media can complement the services.

Professional 3D Photography

Coming back to the Canon dual fisheye lens, this is probably more suited for an enthusiast or a professional – but beginners are welcome, as long as they invest some time and effort to create a portfolio that would interest some big builders like DLF or Brigade.

Real Estate is just a popular example for the sake of illustration. However, the applications of stereoscopic media is far fetching – such as capturing endangered animals, industrial visuals for training employees, healthcare, education and many other fields.

A typical Matterport 3D virtual tour will allow users to navigate the interiors of a location from any device. Let’s say it is of a museum. Mattertags are informational links within the tour that can enable the viewer to learn more about that particular display – it could be text, video or a 3D visual captured by this professional lens.

Pro features:

  • EMD – The large aperture (f/2.8) along with Electro Magnetic Diaphragm for both lenses, controls the aperture electronically.
  • ND Filters – Gelatin filters holder can be used to mount Neutral Density filters on the back of the lens, which can create that movie-effect, for outdoor shooting.
  • SWC – Subwavelength Structure Coating minimises ghosting.
  • Sealings – Protective tech that prevents dust, fog or water from entering the lens. Now you can take up sports photography without worrying about the expensive lens catching dust.

The 8K Flagship

EOS R5 for VR - Adostrophe

The EOS R5 is the third most expensive professional camera in the Canon India website, but the highest in MegaPixels. However, what sets this new flagship device apart is the 8K resolution video recording capability. In terms of photography, this feature lets you shoot a video and then grab a particular frame off it, for high-res stills.

This full-frame, mirrorless camera has advanced auto focus (eye, face, head detection for humans as well as animals) and an upgraded in-body stabilisation. A welcome feature to compete with Sony Alpha’s range of professional cameras that boasts world-class AF and a silent shutter.

Canon overtakes every other camera manufacturer by introducing the RF dual fisheye lens compatible with this 8K powerhouse. A breakthrough for VR content creators. Earlier they had to make do with EF lenses such as the 8-15mm fisheye, and complicated stitching for panoramic output.

Canon R5 for VR - Adostrophe

The Japanese company recently started their first experience centre in Andheri West, Mumbai. The Canon Image Square (CIS) 4.0 store would have trained staff to help customers with purchase and tech support, specific to the genre they’d be interested in. The CIS 4.0 would also have exclusive zones for Wildlife, Vlogging, Wedding and Family photography/videography. 

You're the Manfrotto

Italian company Manfrotto (owned by UK-based Vitec Group) is popular for their reliable tripods and photography essentials. You may be able to use the Canon R5 without a tripod, owning to its 8-stop in-body Image Stablizer, however a Matterport Pro2 camera must be used on a tripod.

There are plenty of options in the Manfrotto line-up with aluminium tripods being more affordable than its carbon fibre alternatives. While both are sturdy and reliable, be prepared with some Allen keys in your camera bag in case a hinge gets loose while on a large project.

American filmmaker, Brandon Li uses a DSLR to demo a Manfrotto gimbal, that shows the possibilities of an advanced gimbal system that helps produce spectacular content. 

These are exciting times for photographers with global brands reselling in India. You’d wish you had the Canon R5 with the RF5.2mm dual fisheye lens, perched on a 3-axis Manfrotto gimbal, while shooting athletes, models, animals or just buildings. 

In Fashion

Photography – be it portrait, wildlife, landscape or Matterport 3D capture, can never go out of fashion. With the kind of manpower available in the country, upskilling is the need of the hour – for all age groups.

The world-famous Fashion TV (FTV) group is now in India, to offer a wide range of courses in Photography, Cinema, Event Management, Advertising & PR, Fashion Management and Fashion Personality.

Learn more at FTV School of Performing Arts. In a possible partnership with SOPA, Adostrophe might launch franchise institutes across India that includes training for Matterport 3D photography. Stay tuned for updates!

Further Reading: External Links

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