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Canon’s virtual reality simulator lets you test new gear before you buy

Are you gearing up for some photography gear purchases for the holidays, but you have not had a chance to try out the gear in person first? Canon’s new virtual reality simulator may be the next best option for anyone looking to see the differences between some of the lenses you might be considering.

Canon has a new VR simulator setup that lets you walk around a virtual world and shoot different scenes with some of the various lenses in the Canon arsenal. It is a great visual aid for those looking to discover what sort of field of view they will be able to get out of lens ‘A’ versus lens ‘B.’

More: Oculus debuts Asynchronous Spacewarp VR frame-blending technology

Obviously, this will not replace actually renting or getting your hands on a lens to try it out before you buy it, but if you are just curious about how much the field of view and distortion changes from one lens to another, or maybe you simply like to take virtual pictures, then this could be the virtual reality simulator for you.

If you own an Oculus Rift, the hardware requirements for this specific VR simulator are pretty basic — you will, however, want to make sure that you have a VR-ready graphics card or you may run into issues. In terms of experience, it looks to be fairly simple. That said, this is just meant to give you an idea of the visual differences from one lens you may be considering over another.

Being a new release, the gear selection in the simulator at this time is rather limited to two cameras and three lenses, but the hope would be that Canon adds more support for other lenses and cameras if people genuinely found this simulator to be useful.

Only time will tell. If you would like to check out the simulator for yourself, you will need a VR setup. If you have it, you can get all the information you need about it from Canon here.