I turned another corner in Canon's expo halls and came face to face with on oddly shaped DSLR finished in glossy white. Displayed under glass, it's an early concept camera that's been nicknamed "the wonder camera." It's futuristic looking, for sure. The camera supposedly combines a massive zoom range with full-time video capture.
Sharing the display case with the wonder camera is a small 3D "personal" camera with two lenses in a sleek, ergonomic form. Behind it, an "image palate," which would in theory allow users to interact with videos and stills through a large touch display.
Also on display was a massive 300mm CMOS sensor the size of a large dinner plate. It's described as a high-sensitivity imager suitable for an astronomic telescope.
Around the corner was the smaller but equally impressive 120 million pixel CMOS sensor.
The sensor is displayed with an ultra-sensitive panorama camera, developed so far as to have a lens mount. The panorama capabilities were demonstrated on a large display next to the exhibit, showing off the camera's impressive resolution and detail reproduction.
Canon showed off another innovation in the form of a single-shot multi-band camera. The sensor contains six different color filters as opposed to the standard RGB of traditional cameras. According to Canon, its color recognition capabilities are greater than that of the human eye. With a 50 megapixel sensor, it detects certain colors even when the human eye can't see them.
The so-called "mixed-reality" walk-in of the Canon 5D Mark II was surprisingly interesting. I donned a pair of fashionable glasses and stepped up to a marker on the floor. There was a real 5D sitting in front of me, and a computer model appeared before my eyes, floated upwards and became larger than life. I could look around in any direction, even directly behind me to the front lens element, and effectively look around inside a huge computer model of the 5D's inner workings.
You definitely won't look cool doing it, but stepping into the 5D through the mixed reality presentation was pretty cool in itself.
The scope of the show is enormous. For those of us who pay most attention to cameras, it's easy to forget that Canon is a company that does many other things besides pump out L series lenses and PowerShot after PowerShot. The Expo is an impressive reminder of how widespread Canon's technologies are.
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