Nikon mirrorless camera may have dual pixel autofocus tech according to new patent

Jan 25, 2018

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Nikon mirrorless camera may have dual pixel autofocus tech according to new patent

Jan 25, 2018

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Join the Discussion

Share on:

I have to be honest here, I’m actually starting to get a little excited about the idea of a Nikon mirrorless camera. I know I probably shouldn’t. I know it’ll be lots of hype and when it finally arrives I’ll be disappointed. But, still, the more little bits of information about it come out, the closer I get to certain that I will want one. And this latest development just brings me that bit closer.

NikonEye are reporting on two new patents Nikon have published describing a new autofocus system. It combines dual pixel AF technology similar to Canon, as well as “time of flight” tech similar to new Sony sensors. The new autofocus system appears to be destined for the new mirrorless system.

There’s no link to the actual patents on NikonEye, but there is a google translated section.

There is known a time-of-flight (TOF) measurement method for measuring a distance to an object by receiving reflected light of light irradiated to the object (for example, Patent Reference 1). When measuring the distance to the object by such a method, it is difficult to obtain the image of the object at the same time.

It has a set part which sets up the range which detects a focusing state from the information about the exit pupil of the aforementioned imaging optical system, and the information about the aforementioned pixel for focus detection, and a transmission section which transmits the information about the aforementioned range set up by the aforementioned

So, essentially it seems that it uses the dual pixel data in order to build up some kind of depth map and determine just how far away the subject is. Something akin to how the iPhone’s dual cameras are able to build up a depth map in order to simulate a shallower depth of field.

Given how badly video autofocus works for Nikon’s DSLRs, it’s nice to see they’re taking it a bit more seriously with a mirrorless camera. Hopefully, eventually, this tech will translate over for those who prefer the DSLR form factor.

The only thing I need Nikon to confirm now is that it’ll have a flippy out (like the D5600) and not flippy half-up (like the D750) LCD screen and I’m sold.

[via Mirrorless Rumors]

Filed Under:

Tagged With:

Find this interesting? Share it with your friends!

John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Join the Discussion

DIYP Comment Policy
Be nice, be on-topic, no personal information or flames.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

3 responses to “Nikon mirrorless camera may have dual pixel autofocus tech according to new patent”

  1. Huge Dom Avatar
    Huge Dom

    Just read Canon first deployed this Dual Pixel AF tech in 2013 for the EOS 70D…

  2. Muster Ham Avatar
    Muster Ham

    I’ve always wondered why cameras didn’t use time-of-flight to detect range. It won’t work for long distances (as far as I know from when I was working with it) but for shorter distances, it can be very accurate. This is how V2 of Microsoft’s Kinect device would map human features.

  3. xrb Avatar
    xrb

    I’m hoping Nikon does come out with this! I shoot Nikon (D810) and have been waiting on the sidelines for the ultimate video dSLR. For me it hasn’t arrived yet. It should have 4K in full frame 60fps, with flip-out screen (not tilting), fast continous AF (like mentioned in this article), on board stabilization, don’t want small factor like Sony but don’t want too big either, I’d be ok with a a D750 form factor or smaller like GH5 will be great! I’ll definitely get this if someone made it irregardless of the manufacturer. But Nikon just do it! Canon and Sony (a little bit) won’t because they don’t want to risk eating up the market of their higher end video cameras.