Picking a camera or lens can be scary. Canon is using VR to make that a little easier.
Over the past year VR has proven itself more than just a gaming device. Oculus Rift and HTC Vive headsets are being used in incredible fields for various purposes from medicine and psychology, to art and design. It’s astonishing to see the wildly creative applications people have found for VR. It would seem camera manufacturing giant Canon sees the potential as well, as the company has officially released an app for the Oculus Rift that allows users to test the images of various Canon cameras and lenses.
Officially (as well as predictably) titled Camera Simulator by Canon Labs, the app is currently available for free on the Oculus Rift, allowing you to cycle between three different Canon cameras (the Canon EOS 5D MkIII, the Canon EOS 1D X and the Canon EOS 70D) and three compatible lenses (the reliable 24-105mm f/4, the classic 50mm f/1.4 and the beastly 70-200m f/2.8). You can then alter all the usual manual settings such as the IOS, exposure, f-stop, etc and then test out your new image using a virtual landscape as the subject. It’s fast, it’s simple and it’s incredibly intuitive. I think the application description provided by Canon will paint the best picture for you:
“Capture high-quality photos in a stunning virtual environment using authentic Canon cameras and lenses. Adjust manual settings like a pro to take the perfect picture. Choose from a combination of three cameras and lenses, each with their own specifications and features. Teleport to multiple vantage points and frame your perfect shot by leaning, ducking, and adjusting the zoom level of your camera. Stretch your creativity by adjusting the three corners of the exposure triangle; ISO, Shutter Speed and Aperture. View your photos in full resolution on your desktop with the properly simulated exposure, motion blur, and depth of field.”
This is simply a brilliant move by Canon in terms of product advertising. Potential buyers are not only given the chance to test out their favorite camera’s and lenses before they buy, but are able to perfect their skills and learn more about the equipment in the process. The Oculus application features all of the equipments specification information and includes the various prices of each product. Hell, they even have an option to purchase particular devices within the app itself!
Canon has tapped into a whole new way to market its products and you can be sure many other high-profile companies will be following their lead in the coming months. Home improvement juggernaut Lowe’s has already jumped in the game, providing it’s own augmented reality app that allows users to place virtual furniture in their home before they make the purchase.
As an amateur photographer myself, I can only hope more of these photography and videography applications make their way to consumers. Now I just have to sit and wait until Nikon releases one of these for their own camera line…