Astrophotography is becoming more accessible than ever. Not only have manufacturers made cameras specifically designed with celestial photography in mind, they’ve also started work on built-in star tracking that will use sensor-shift technology to account for the movement of celestial bodies in the sky during a long exposure.
The patent, originally filed on May 17th, 2011, explains how sensor-shifting technology would be used to counteract the Earth’s rotation to keep a celestial body still in the frame.
Specifically, the patent says the system would first capture a preliminary image wherein the sensor captures the sky to calculate the location, direction and speed of movement of a particular celestial body.
Once the numbers have been crunched, a second exposure is taken as the sensor shifts along the focal plane to counteract the movement of the celestial body in the sky.
The result is presumably a perfectly exposed image that rids the problem of unwanted star trails in long-exposure images.
As with any patent, it’s unknown when this tech might actually make it into a consumer camera, but it’s likely not too far out at the steady rate Ricoh has been cranking out new features year after year.
[via The New Camera]