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Canon shows off new concept cameras at CES 2020

Canon shows off new concept cameras at CES 2020


Canon shows off new concept cameras at CES 2020

Canon shows off new concept cameras at CES 2020 1

Canon has been showing a small range of concept cameras for a couple of years now at various shows. One of them, the clip-on Canon IVY REC actually became a reality, following a crowdfunding campaign. The company doesn’t say too much about these concepts officially, but uses shows like CES to get feedback and gauge interest in these unconventional products aimed at a younger, more active, less enthusiast marketplace.

At this years’ CES show in Las Vegas we took a look at Canon’s current range of concept cameras. Click through for more details.

Canon shows off new concept cameras at CES 2020

Canon shows off new concept cameras at CES 2020 2

First up is a pair of ‘wearable’ cameras. A dual-lens model (shown here with a blank plate where the lenses would be: it’s about the same size as a large divers or GPS watch) that would feature twin medium-wide and medium-tele focal lengths, similar to options provided by many modern smartphones. The camera can be attached to whatever you want: from your wrist like a watch, to the strap of a backpack, or even some existing structure (Canon suggests a tent).

Canon shows off new concept cameras at CES 2020

Canon shows off new concept cameras at CES 2020 3

The second of the two models features a 180-degree lens, making it suitable for capturing point-of-view video and stills of activities like snowboarding or skateboarding. The idea with both cameras is to ‘free’ the user from bulky equipment, straps or the need for additional camera supports. Or to avoid handling (and risking the safety of) your phone.

Canon shows off new concept cameras at CES 2020

Canon shows off new concept cameras at CES 2020 4

The second concept is a single camera with a modular lens system capable of tele, wide and closeup imaging. It’s hard to tell scale from this photograph but the camera is about 13 cm (5″) long. As such, like the other concepts, it’s reasonable to assume a smartphone-sized sensor.

Canon shows off new concept cameras at CES 2020

Canon shows off new concept cameras at CES 2020 5

This rough working prototype demonstrates the basic concept. In its normal configuration, the lens module is unfolded from the body like the blade of a pocket knife, in which position it offers a wide-angle field of view. Note the joins in the middle of the ‘blade’ section: they’re key to the camera’s other functions…

Canon shows off new concept cameras at CES 2020

Canon shows off new concept cameras at CES 2020 6

With the first lens module removed (they’re attached via magnets) the lens is converted into an extreme macro, capable of very closeup imaging.

Canon shows off new concept cameras at CES 2020

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And with both removable lens modules unclipped, the lens becomes a telephoto.

Of all the concept cameras being displayed by Canon at CES, this one seems the least practical for casual photographers, but for remote use or evolved into some kind of home security solution, it could work.

Canon shows off new concept cameras at CES 2020

Canon shows off new concept cameras at CES 2020 8

This is a camera we’ve seen before, but last time we clapped eyes on it it was at a much earlier stage of development. This is a compact, variable telephoto stills / video camera which puts extreme telephoto performance literally in your pocket. The user can switch from 100mm, 200mm and 400mm equivalent focal lengths using the zoom button, and images are captured with a full press of the larger pill-shaped button in the middle of the control cluster.

Canon shows off new concept cameras at CES 2020

Canon shows off new concept cameras at CES 2020 9

An electronic viewfinder serves for image composition and menu browsing. The knurled ring underneath the finder is diopter correction.

We’re told that this model is pretty close to being finalized. Working samples exist, and it may become a shipping product relatively soon.

Canon shows off new concept cameras at CES 2020

Canon shows off new concept cameras at CES 2020 10

This is another concept camera that we’ve seen before, and has been developed to the point where it appears to work as intended. This is an ‘Intelligent Capture’ AI camera, designed to automatically track human subjects and shoot images without human interaction. The ‘ICC’ can be controlled by voice, and intelligently captures ‘good scenes’ and sends only the most interesting shots to your smartphone, via an app. I can’t vouch for that last bit, but it certainly does seem to do a good job of identifying and moving to track faces.

Anyone remember the Sony Party-Shot from ten years ago? It’s a similar concept.

Canon shows off new concept cameras at CES 2020

Canon shows off new concept cameras at CES 2020 11

The final concept camera is one about which we know very little: it’s an augmented reality device intended to be worn around your neck. Presumably this is a ‘life vlogging’ camera for active photographers and fans of extreme sports. Though who knows, it could also have applications for first responders if it’s tough enough.



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