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.
[via Mirrorless Rumors]