Canon announces new RF lens for recording spatial video for Apple Vision Pro

Canon has announced that it is developing a new lens for recording spatial video for the Apple Vision Pro. The Canon RF-S 7.8mm F4 STM DUAL lens is intended for use with Canon’s EOS R7 APS-C sensor mirrorless camera. Canon also says it is the first manufacturer to introduce a dedicated, interchangeable lens that enables you to capture spatial video for the Apple Vision Pro.

Spatial videos are also called 6DOF (six degrees of freedom) videos and give you much more than 3D videos. With 3D videos, the perspective never changes, no matter how you view them. However, if you move when viewing spatial videos, then the perspective will change. For example, this means that the background can move left or right behind your subjects as you change your view.


The shape and size of Canon’s RF-S 7.8mm DUAL lens looks similar to a regular prime lens. However, there are two small circular lenses at the front where you would expect to see only one. Canon says that its new lens features a field angle that is similar to a person’s field of view. Such a wide focal length would normally be found on a fisheye lens. However, spatial video captures a wider view so that you can look around within a scene.

Canon RF-S 7.8mm F4 STM DUAL lens
Image courtesy: Canon


The RF-S 7.8mm DUAL lens uses Canon’s STM (stepper motor) autofocus system. The company says that this delivers high-speed autofocus. With a maximum aperture of F4, the new lens won’t be the best in low light. However, you need a deep depth of field for spatial video for the best results.

How it works

The RF-S 7.8mm DUAL lens is the latest addition to Canon’s EOS VR System line up. VR lenses all capture separate right and left images to match up with a person’s eyes. However, spatial video also captures depth information. Canon hasn’t said how the lens does this, but Apple’s iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max have a feature called LiDAR which is short for Light Detection and Ranging. This uses lasers to detect depth in your image. After recording your video with the DUAL lens, you then need to use the EOS VR Utility app. This transforms the video captured from the camera to spatial video.

What we think

One of the challenges Apple has faced with marketing its Vision Pro headset is delivering enough content to tempt people to buy the system. However, Canon’s new RF-S7.8mm DUAL lens should open the creation of spatial videos to a wider market. The EOS R7 is also a popular camera with content creators who could use spatial video to attract a new  audience. It will be interesting to see the first videos from the RF-S7.8mm DUAL lens to see how well they work with the Vision Pro.

Pricing and availability

Canon says that the RF-S7.8mm F4 STM DUAL lens will be available later this Fall, sometime between September 21 and December 20, 2024. The company hasn’t given an indication of pricing yet. In addition, the new lens will currently only be compatible with the EOS R7. You will also need to install a firmware update scheduled for release at the same time as the lens.

Pete Tomkies
Pete Tomkies
Pete Tomkies is a freelance cinematographer and camera operator from Manchester, UK. He also produces and directs short films as Duck66 Films. Pete's latest short Once Bitten... won 15 awards and was selected for 105 film festivals around the world.

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