Patent shows the Canon 7D Mark III may get illuminated buttons

Nov 23, 2017

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.

Patent shows the Canon 7D Mark III may get illuminated buttons

Nov 23, 2017

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.

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A new Canon patent has recently been published which highlights a long-awaited feature. It shows what looks like a Canon 7D or 5D style body, with technology for illuminated buttons. It’s taken quite some time for Canon to catch up on this minor but important feature. Nikon have had it for years, and even Pentax have figured it out.

The translation of the patent is… Well, it’s about as good as any online translation can be, really. It suggests that the goal is about not just lighting up the buttons but to also prevent light leaks. The last thing you want is to be shooting a long exposure at night and have light from those buttons interfering with your shot. But, you do obviously want to be able to see them.

It sounds like a really complex description for what would at first appear simple. Bear in mind, this is translated online.

SOLUTION: A light emission button mechanism includes an operation portion (156) having a light guide portion (156b) that transmits light, an exterior cover (200) having a hole (204) through which the operation portion is inserted, a switch unit (210) having a movable unit (210b) which is elastically deformed by pressing the operation unit, and a contact unit (210c) which is to operate by further pressing the operation unit, light emitting mans (300) which is arranged in a substantially sealed space (400) formed by the operation unit and the switch unit and causes the light guide portion to emit light, and a conductive pattern (500) connected to the light emitting means and formed in the switch unit, and at least the conductive pattern formed in the movable portion out of the conductive patterns is not linear.

In short, a button that lights up, doesn’t blind you at night, and doesn’t interfere with your shot. A number of images accompanying the patent go on to illustrate the feature in quite some detail.

As with all patent applications, there’s no guarantee that such technology will finally appear in Canon DSLRs. But, given that so many other camera bodies now contain illuminated buttons, I think it’s likely we may see it in a 7D Mark III or 5D Mark V at some point.

The Canon 7d Mark II was released in September 2014. Given how rapidly it lagged behind the times when the Nikon D500 was announced, it’s about due for a refresh.

There’s no way to link directly to the patent, but go here, enter 2017-147019 into the “A:Publication of a patent application” box, and hit search. It’ll be the only result.

[via Canon News]

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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.

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14 responses to “Patent shows the Canon 7D Mark III may get illuminated buttons”

  1. Randy Kasal Avatar
    Randy Kasal

    Still won’t catch the D850.

  2. Tim Brakemeier Avatar
    Tim Brakemeier

    Illuminated buttons like the Nikon D850 has? Wow!

    1. Thore Rehbach Avatar
      Thore Rehbach

      You mean as the Pentax introduced with the K1 ;-)
      “The Pentax K-1 sports a unique on-camera illumination system that helps with lens, control and cable adjustments after dark. Note the small LED immediately beneath the pentaprism in the shot above, which illuminates the lens mount when changing lenses. ”
      http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/pentax-k1/pentax-k1A.HTM

  3. Daniel Shortt Avatar
    Daniel Shortt

    hope they can come up with more then that

  4. Scott Waltrip Avatar
    Scott Waltrip

    Haha all the things going on in the photo world with mirror-less dominating technological progress and canon is trying to figure out how to make a button light up. And they wonder why DSLR sales are down and people are switching to Sony, Fuji and Olympus and others at the pace they are

    1. Chris Chinnock Avatar
      Chris Chinnock

      Preach!! ?

  5. Howardo Mansfieldio Avatar
    Howardo Mansfieldio

    Illuminated buttons??? Like, buttons that are illuminated??? Well, stomp on frogs and shove a crowbar up my nose, if that doesn’t improve the quality of my photos then nothing else will. NOTHING ELSE WILL!!!

    1. Alexander L. Harris Avatar
      Alexander L. Harris

      being able to see what you’re doing in poor conditions might improve the quality of your photos instead of squinting in the dark because you couldn’t quite remember which button was which.

    2. Chris Chinnock Avatar
      Chris Chinnock

      Sell ALL of your gear now!!! Buy this new thing instead! Nobody ever took a photo at night before this is a GAMECHANGER! ?

  6. Thore Rehbach Avatar
    Thore Rehbach

    Copying Pentax (K1), i guess…

  7. Raphael Web Avatar
    Raphael Web

    I’ve always wanted illuminated buttons…..? what an improvement in my photography. And to think I’ve wasted all this time in understanding exposure and composition….sniff…

  8. Autumn Jay Avatar
    Autumn Jay

    Until I saw this, I didn’t know I needed illuminated buttons. Because of this , I’m going to cancel my preorder for the Sony a7 RIII and return to Canon. ??

    1. Chris Chinnock Avatar
      Chris Chinnock

      Haha

  9. Dieter Greven Avatar
    Dieter Greven

    Canon, look at this Nikon D500 and learn.