3 min read

New Cameras for Spatial Video

New Cameras for Spatial Video

Until now, cameras for recording spatial video have been limited to either the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max or Apple's own internally developed hardware (following its acquisition of Next VR several years ago) which, presumably, have been used to film the "Apple Immersive" series of shorts, slowly rolling out to Vision Pro users.

New hardware (and software) will, however, be arriving later this year. In their WWDC 24 keynote, Apple's Mike Rockwell teased new hardware from Canon and Blackmagic, and mentioned future software updates from Blackmagic, Apple itself, and Vimeo.

Let's start with the hardware.

Canon R7 Spatial Lenses

First announced in Apple's keynote is a (presumably) "consumer level" spatial lens for the Canon R7...

RF-S 7.8mm F4 STM

This lens will, according to Mike, "record gorgeous spatial video for Apple Vision Pro, even under the most challenging lighting conditions" [emphasis added] – something that the iPhones 15 struggle with due to the setup of the lenses used for spatial video, one of which is the wide angle lens that is less capable in low light.

One of Canon's new dual lenses coming soon for the R7. Source: Apple (WWDC keynote)

According to Canon, "after capturing video with the interchangeable lens, the EOS VR Utility app transforms the video captured from the camera to spatial video, which viewers can enjoy on Apple Vision Pro," so it sounds like this lens is going to offer a very simple, consumer level solution for creating spatial videos. Pricing has not yet been announced.

RF-S 3.9mm F3.5 STM Dual Fisheye

Separately from Apple's keynote, Canon has also announced a dual fisheye lens for APS-C sensor cameras, retailing for $1,099 and arriving on June 27.

Source: Canon

This lens is also "exclusively compatible with EOS R7 APS-C 32.5MP camera with the firmware 1.5.0+" and features "an interpupillary distance of 60mm, and a 144ΒΊ field-of-view." More details about this lens can be found on Canon's website here.

As both of these new lenses will pair with the R7, which currently retails for Β£1,700 GBP, they promise to offer an "entry level" solution for capturing high quality spatial video. Unlike...

Blackmagic's URSA Cine Immersive

...this beast, also coming "later this year" – an immersive camera from Blackmagic, teased in Apple's WWDC keynote with this image...

Source: Apple (WWDC keynote)

...and revealed further on Twitter/X by Blackmagic with these images:

Source: Blackmagic Design (all 4 images)

Blackmagic has also shared a few more details about this camera, dubbed the "URSA Cine Immersive," saying that it will feature two 8,160 x 7,200 resolution sensors (one for each lens) and 16 stops of dynamic range! πŸ‘€

All of which makes it quite clear that we're looking at a high end professional solution for spatial video capture.

New Workflows For Editing, New Ways To Watch

Along with this new hardware, there will be a new "professional workflow" for editing in Final Cut Pro, and a new Vimeo app for vision OS coming later this year, the latter of which will hopefully make the viewing experience for spatial videos as straightforward as existing apps that stream 2D films.

Blackmagic are also adding an immersive video editing workflow to Davinci Resolve, which will enable editing spatial video on 2D monitors OR on Vision Pro headsets.