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Canon: No camera can truly shoot video for Apple Vision Pro

Apple Vision Pro

Canon and other camera makers have been exploring 3D, VR and AR for some time, but Apple's Vision Pro is a completely different task.

Camera maker Canon executives see new business opportunities and a potential market for a camera system capable of producing immersive video content for the Apple Vision Pro. However, currently, none of their cameras can yet provide the resolution and refresh rate required by Apple's headset.

Talking to camera site Petapixel at the CP+ camera show in Yokohama, Japan last week, Canon representatives said they already have a piece of the puzzle — 5.2mm f/2.8 L lens designed specifically for VR content creation. The problem is that the company doesn't yet have a camera with the refresh rates required for Vision Pro's high-resolution screens.

Some of the immersive environments that Apple has already provided for Apple Vision Pro contain moving elements, but they are believed to consist of a mixture of static high-resolution computer-generated images and what was likely an 8K video system from camera maker RED.

Other companies would like to create a camera system that could produce images that capture real-life environments at the resolution and refresh rate of Vision Pro, without resorting to computer graphics. They foresee market demand for tools that can quickly create such an environment.

Canon's Yasuhiko Shiomi believes that this will require a camera with “100 megapixel resolution and 60 frames per second.” This is a refresh rate that is currently difficult to achieve in combination with such a high resolution. It will be 14K video, which is 3.5 times better than the current 4K standard.

There is already one system that can create videos with these characteristics – — The Circle in Las Vegas has a “Big Sky” camera, which is essentially an 18K video system. However, it costs millions of dollars and requires 12 people to operate it, making it impractical for the emerging virtual reality production market.

“Currently, Canon cannot meet this level of demand,” Shiomi said. However, Canon Senior Managing Director and Deputy Head of Imaging Group Go Takura noted that “technically and theoretically, we can do it.”

“The challenge is whether we can create products that are commercially viable and at a price that is affordable enough for customers to buy them,” Thakura added.

Canon already has a 100 megapixel sensor, but at the moment it cannot achieve the required 60 frames per second.

“We are improving our technology to provide high resolution for virtual reality purposes,” Shiomi said. “So we will continue to try to improve our technology to improve both resolution and speed, while maintaining a good balance.”

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