One of the claims Canon’s made in the past over its DSLR and mirrorless cameras and the lack of certain video features compared to their higher end (more expensive) dedicated video cameras (and the DSLRs and mirrorless cameras their competition is releasing) is that they can’t keep the bodies cool enough.
Whether or not that’s true, a new Canon patent showing a camera with a built-in fan behind the LCD might suggest that they’re getting ready to start stepping things up a bit. At least when it comes to their EOS M APS-C mirrorless line.
The patent begins by describing the problem that we all know can exist. Sensors build up heat, that heat needs to be dissipated…
To provide an imaging device capable of efficiently suppressing temperature rise of an imaging device body.
Their means of solving it means building a fan into the back of the camera, behind the LCD screen, to expel the warm air out of the camera. The fan is labelled “608” in the diagram at the top of this page, with 607 being an “air discharge port” which draws the heated air out.
Chances are, though, that video performance isn’t really the focus here. As Canon Watch points out, the diagrams resemble that of the Canon EOS M100/M200, which aren’t exactly at the higher end of Canon’s range. More than likely, they’re looking to be able to shrink the camera down further and keep at least a similar or improved level of overall performance while preventing it from overheating.
It seems odd that the fan would be placed in the LCD, though, although other parts of the patent describe the cooling measures in place for the main internals of the camera itself and how it interacts with the fan to cool the system as a whole.
The electronic component 912 is an electronic component mounted on a main board 910, and has a considerably high temperature among electronic components to which the electronic component itself is mounted. In this case, a heat conduction member 903 is used for thermally conducting heat generated by the electronic component 912 to the metal plate 902 in contact with the electronic component 912. The metal plate 902 is fixed to the chassis 901.
Heat generated in the electronic component 912 is conducted to the metal plate 902 and the chassis 901 via the heat conductive member 903. Then, the rear rear cover 800 disposed in the vicinity of the chassis is also conducted over time. Here, the display unit 600 of the present invention is disposed on the rear side of the rear rear cover 800. An air cooling fan 608 for discharging air toward the rear rear cover 800 is arranged in the display unit 600. By always blowing air discharged from the air cooling fan 608 to the rear rear cover 800, it is possible to suppress an increase in temperature caused by heat conducted to the rear rear cover 800.
The patent also discusses how the built-in microphone manages to suppress the noise of the internal cooling fan so that it doesn’t destroy the audio on your video footage, too.
Whether or not this technology makes it into one of Canon’s little EOS M cameras or not remains to be seen, but this is probably one of the more likely ones I’ve read. So, maybe we’ll have even tinier EOS M cameras coming in the near future that aren’t too badly crippled.
And, hey, maybe if it works, they’ll be able to scale it up to their EOS DSLRs and EOS R mirrorless cameras and let them shoot 4K without a crop! Or higher bitrate internal recording? Wouldn’t that be nice?
Check out the full patent on the Japan Patent Office website.
[via Canon News]