Canon has filed a new patent in Japan that shows a pretty unusual mirrorless camera body. It comes with an integrated grip with a pass-through, and it’s designed so that you can shoot both horizontally and vertically.
Made famous with 35mm SLR cameras like the EOS 3 and EOS 5 (A2/A2e in the USA), Canon’s eye-controlled autofocus system has been sorely missed by some over the last couple of decades. It never made it into any of their DSLRs, but it seems it will be making a comeback in the recently announced Canon EOS R3 mirrorless camera.
New patents filed by Canon (US 2021/0124239 and US 2021/0125375) have now revealed a little information about how the user will be able to interact with it through the menu system and how you’ll be able to calibrate it. Eye-controlled autofocus wasn’t perfect back in the film days, let’s hope Canon has got it figured out now.
Sony Alpha Rumours just spotted a patent (although they didn’t link to it so we can all have a read) showing a new “light field” lens for the Sony E Mount. Sony teamed up with the folks at Light (of Light L16 fame) just over a year ago with a deal that, at the time, appeared to primarily focus on Light’s multi-camera technology in smartphones.
It seems that this technology might be also coming to Sony mirrorless bodies, though, thanks to a new lens design.
I’m genuinely amazed that this isn’t already a thing, but Canon has filed a patent for a pop-up electronic viewfinder. It really does make a lot of sense, because it means that there isn’t normally something sticking out the top of the camera when not in use, and when it is in use, you still get the entire back of the camera for your LCD – what appears to be the main goal of the patent.
The patent only shows a point & shoot – perhaps this is an idea for a future G7X Mark IV – but there’s no reason why something like this couldn’t potentially appear in some of Canon’s EOS M lineup, too, or possibly even in an entry-level full-frame EOS R body.
Given the social distancing measures in place around the world right now, this seems like a good idea. Fujifilm Japan has filed a new patent for a couple of long telephoto prime lenses. Specifically, XF 300mm f/4 and 500mm f/5.6 lenses. Designed for Fujifilm’s line of APS-C cameras, these would offer the equivalent field of view to about 450mm and 750mm respectively on full-frame systems.
An interesting patent from Canon was recently spotted, one that many photographers could find very useful. Judging from the patent application filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office, Canon could be developing a universal battery grip that will fit different camera models.
People give Canon a lot of hassle for “not innovating”, but the truth is, Canon’s probably filed more patents than any other camera company out there. According to IFI CLAIMS Patent Services, Canon has become the only company in the world to have ranked in the top five for the number of patents granted every year for an incredible 34 years.
Canon also says that they’ve ranked number 1 amongst Japanese companies for the 15th consecutive year. While not all of these patents have turned into real tangible products that you can go and buy, it certainly demonstrates that they’re at least exploring new and innovative ideas.
Here’s a fun patent from Canon – a lens that sucks. And I mean this quite literally. This lens incorporates a mini vacuum cleaner that cleans your camera sensor from dust.
The folks over at Fuji Rumors have come across a Fujifilm patent showing a compact camera with two rear dials that synchronise with a top LCD in order to create a pair of virtual dials that can be assigned to different camera functions. Unfortunately, they didn’t link to the actual patent, so we can’t dig any deeper into Fuji’s thought process behind it, but we can speculate.
An integrated flash can come in handy for photographers, but it’s useless for vloggers and video makers. However, a new Canon patent could resolve this. It shows a set of LED lights integrated with the pop-up flash to provide DLSR video makers with a continuous light source.