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.
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]