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Canon VR camera? A full-frame mirrorless VR camera is being designed

Canon VR camera! Design revealed for full-frame mirrorless VR system
(Image credit: Canon / Japan Patent Office)

Is a Canon EOS R VR camera on the way? A design has been unearthed for what seems to be just such a thing: a full-frame mirrorless camera with "dual view anamorphic optics for VR" (virtual reality).

With the manufacturer significantly broadening its range of full-frame mirrorless cameras – with the Canon EOS R (opens in new tab) being joined by the lightweight Canon EOS RP (opens in new tab), the astrophotography Canon EOS Ra (opens in new tab), the 8K Canon EOS R5 (opens in new tab) and plenty of others being rumored – the idea of a Canon EOS R VR (Canon EOS vR?) actually makes some kind of sense. 

The design was revealed by online outlet Hi Lows Note (opens in new tab) (by way of Canon Watch (opens in new tab)), in the form of Japanese patent P2020-42197A (opens in new tab)

"Canon filed a patent of dual view anamorphic optic formulas for 35mm full-frame mirrorless cameras to record an image for VR," wrote the Japanese outlet, sharing images of the optical arrangement and image circles (below). 

Is this the design for a Canon EOS R VR camera?

Is this the design for a Canon EOS R VR camera?  (Image credit: Canon / Japan Patent Office)

Of course, it's that key line – "35mm full-frame mirrorless cameras" – that indicates we're specifically talking about an EOS R camera here, since that is the only full-frame mirrorless system made by Canon (in other words, the patent doesn't describe the APS-C format of Canon's EOS M cameras).

What are the potential applications of such a camera? We've already seen plenty of 360 cameras (opens in new tab) that shoot VR using dual lenses, including the Insta360 Evo (opens in new tab) and Vuze XR (opens in new tab). Then there are high end professional systems like the Matterport 3D VR (opens in new tab), which provides virtual walkthroughs of buildings (like Google Maps for the home).

Quite how Canon envisions leveraging the technology is not yet known, but the manufacturer is definitely on a technology kick right now. On the back of the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III (opens in new tab), which may be the most advanced camera we've ever seen, and the rule-redefining EOS R5, we can't wait to see what the company does with this fascinating tech.

Read more: 

The best 360 cameras (opens in new tab): shoot panoramas, 360 video, 3D VR and more
Best VR headset (opens in new tab)
The Insta360 Titan (opens in new tab) promises VR video you won’t believe
The Matterport 3D VR (opens in new tab) system is like Google Street View for your house

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The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a magazine and web journalist and started working in the photographic industry in 2014 (as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy, who succeeded David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus). In this time he shot for clients as diverse as Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus, and providing training for professionals. This has led him to being a go-to expert for camera and lens reviews, photographic and lighting tutorials, as well as industry analysis, news and rumors for publications such as Digital Camera Magazine (opens in new tab)PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine (opens in new tab)N-Photo: The Nikon Magazine (opens in new tab)Digital Photographer (opens in new tab) and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and demonstrations at The Photography Show (opens in new tab). An Olympus and Canon shooter, he has a wealth of knowledge on cameras of all makes – and a fondness for vintage lenses and instant cameras.