Even though I’m not primarily a Canon shooter, I’m always intrigued by the concept cameras and sensors that Canon bring to show off at shows around the world. During The Photography Show, Canon brought two with them. Actually, they brought a bunch, but they all basically stem from two different types of camera. We had a chat with David Parry on the Canon stand to find out more.
The first camera looks something akin to an action camera. And it can sort of fill that role, although it offers a whole lot more than your typical GoPro. It’s modular in design, allowing you to easily connect various things to it. That could be different mounts or even loupe-style viewfinder LCDs. It has built in wifi so that you can connect your phone to it for remote control, and it even features a built in Lightning connector to plug it straight into your iPhone, in a similar fashion to something like the DxO One.
One of the things they want to do with this camera is include a lens that offers up to 400mm equivalent focal length. I wasn’t clear on whether they hoped to have multiple cameras at different focal lengths, or if the different lenses would form part of the camera’s whole modular system and be interchangeable. But, either way, 400mm equivalent field of view on a camera this small could be quite handy (and also potentially scary for those privacy advocates).
The mobile communication offers other advantages, such as GPS tagging, which would be very handy for me as a location photographer. Instead of having to deal with the limitations of a phone, or lugging around a DSLR, when I’m location scouting, I could take one of these. Then I could get all my shots of the location, all tagged, so that I can actually find the place again. Before I switched to using a phone and GPS-enabled DSLRs, I discovered so many amazing locations that I could never find again.
The other type of camera Canon brought with them is a little different. It’s an “intelligent” machine learning camera which can actually look for and follow subjects. It can recognise individual people that it sees, and even their voice through the built in microphones. So, if you’re heading to a party or something, and want some shots of the evening, you can just take it along, set it down, and have it track you taking what it thinks are interesting pictures.
Or, if you’re live streaming, you could have it follow you as you move around. If there are several people on the stream, it could possibly even rotate around to whoever’s talking to give those watching a better view. Perhaps as an alternative to something like the Mevo Plus.
Obviously, as concept cameras, there’s no word on when these may become available, or if they’ll ever even release them at all. But it’s nice to get a little insight into what Canon’s working on behind the scenes, the technology they’re playing with. Even if these cameras don’t become a reality, some of this technology and concepts might start to appear in other models in their lineup.
Personally, I can see uses in my own workflow for both of these types of camera. The first as a small, pocketable location scouting camera. The second as a live streaming camera. Recently I’ve been looking into live streaming more with my YI 360 VR, but a camera that could follow me as I move would be easier for people to deal with than having to turn themselves around or click & drag their browser window as I move around.
This is it now from The Photography Show 2018. As always it was a fantastic show with some cool toys and gadgets and a lot of amazing and wonderful people. It’s difficult to pick out which were my favourite products at this year’s show, but these two definitely stuck out.